Soon to be Acting Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis has released a statement in support of the Reimagining Public Safety Initiative. Lewis will take over as acting Mayor on February 7th after the resignation of Mayor Svante Myrick. The reimagining public safety plan was one of Mayor Myrick’s most notable actions and received national attention. Lewis said the work would impact the most marginalized in the Ithaca community and increase public safety for all.
Cornell University has been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against 16 universities. According to the Ithaca Voice, the suit alleges that Cornell and 15 other schools violated antitrust laws. The suit is seeking damages on behalf of 5 plaintiffs and others who applied to the schools. The suit alleges the schools violated a 1994 law by discriminating against students based on the ‘financial circumstances” of their families, and “disfavored students who need financial aid.” The suit goes on to claim the schools created a “price fixing cartel.”
New York State will no longer require County health departments to perform contact tracing for positive COVID tests. According to Syracuse.com the state will instead encourage individual residents to contact anyone they were in close contact with prior to a positive test. New York has seen a massive surge in COVID cases in the last month with case numbers four times higher than in December. State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett says this has made contact tracing less effective.
On Monday the New York legislature rejected both maps submitted by the state’s independent redistricting commission. According to Syracuse.com commission Democrats and Republicans each submitted their own maps to the state legislature after failing to reach a consensus. Now the commission will have to submit new maps to the legislature. The commission has said maps will be submitted within 15 days. If the new maps are rejected by the state legislature again, the Assembly and Senate members will be able to alter and pass their own maps. Maps must be approved by the state assembly, state senate, and signed by Governor Hochul. National Democrats see New York as a prime opportunity to draw out incumbent Republicans and increase Democratic seats in congress.