ITHACA, N.Y. –– Ithaca Community Gardens (ICG) Board President Marty Hiller announced she is running to represent the 5th Ward on the city’s Common Council.

She said she is running to lend her, “voice and practical leadership skills to a more progressive community agenda.”

An Ithacan for almost 20 years, and a Fall Creek resident for the past five, Hiller said her experience both living at the Ecovillage where she resided for 13 years and participated in “visioning, land partnership and development, budgeting, strategic planning, and negotiations” and with the ICG where she has led, “negotiations with the City and the Carpenter Park developers to secure a long-term future for the Gardens, including a complete redesign of our layout and infrastructure” has prepared her to be successful in local government.

“I’ve developed skills with consensus building and bringing together people who have very different viewpoints and different perspectives,” she said. “I think council would benefit from having somebody who is able to span the gap between some of the new ideas and some of the more established ideas.”

An MIT graduate with a PhD in electrical engineering, computer science and computational neuroscience, Hiller said she has a mind for solving complex issues with practical solutions. Some of the issues she wants to focus on in office are providing relief from the “economic impacts of the pandemic, improving public safety by shifting our focus toward crisis care and prevention, finding more effective solutions to our affordable housing challenges and furthering our Green New Deal.”

Hiller is running against Cornellian Robert G. Cantelmo who announced his candidacy in February. The seat the two are vying for is left vacant by Alderperson Deb Mohlenoff who will not be seeking another term.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at