This is a letter to the editor written by City of Ithaca resident Theresa Alt. To submit letters to the editor, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters sent concerning the 2021 election will be accepted until Oct. 31.
To the Editor:
My husband and I bought our house in Collegetown in 1981. Since then we have found it mostly rewarding to live among students. George “Jorge” DeFendini, one of those students, is now running for the 4th Ward seat on Common Council. He has lived in Ward 4 for two years, in the crazy Collegetown rental market. I see him frequently on the streets. So unlike his opponent, who at least until recently lived elsewhere in the City, Jorge has experienced life today in this Ward.
His values are excellent. Protect the community and the Earth from climate change. Take care of children. Housing is a human right. People working in solidarity together can change the community and the world for the better.
But he also has the knowledge to put his values into practice. As a Cornell senior majoring in Government, he has been learning about how politics and government work. He does not only talk about problems; he suggests solutions. The City participates in making TCAT transportation policy. Making buses free to the user would protect the climate by getting people out of cars. It would also improve life for those low-income people forced to the edges of the City and beyond. The City can have a role in controlling some rents and building more affordable housing. The City can also have a role in providing child care.
Finally, I value the fact that Jorge shows up in support of his principles. I have seen him at an assembly about what tenants need, at a rally for abortion rights, and speaking before Common Council in support of the badly needed right to renew leases.