This is a letter to the editor from former Common Council member Josephine Martell in support of Cynthia Brock. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Anna Lamb at

As a former colleague of Cynthia Brock’s on Ithaca Common Council I heartily endorse Cynthia as the First Ward alderperson. I’ve worked in public policy for nearly twenty years at all levels of government, and find Cynthia to be smart, strategic, infinitely capable, and dedicated to her community. Cynthia has earned continued support from trusted leaders across the region including elected officials, local unions, and many others. This support isn’t just in the form of political endorsements either- it is reflected in years of professional and personal relationships she has built over her career in public service.

Cynthia’s integrity and commitment to all her constituents is evident in her ongoing willingness to have difficult conversations, in her drive to advocate for those who are most vulnerable, and in the many creative solutions she has worked tirelessly on with community members to improve their lives. In my daily runs up or down Hector Street I often think how Cynthia advocated for the sidewalk for over ten years and didn’t give up until it was eventually installed. Or how she lobbied for the residents of Nate’s Floral Estates by pushing for negotiations with the railroad so that they could no longer idle train cars emitting noxious fumes by people’s homes. Or how she pushed for the TCE and chemical mitigation and clean-up at Emerson/Morse Chain and in the surrounding South Hill neighborhood in order to protect the residents. Every one of these resolutions took months and years of dedicated effort led by Cynthia, in collaboration with City staff, residents, and other officials.

In these turbulent times, Ithaca needs effective advocates on Common Council. I will be voting for Cynthia on June 22nd and relying on her dedicated leadership to continue to advocate for our community. I hope you will join me.

Josephine Martell

First Ward