Local News for Monday, March 27, 2023

Caroline Petition Calls for Pause in Zoning Plans

More than 1,200 Caroline residents have signed a petition rejecting the town’s proposed zoning plan. According to the Ithaca Voice, the petition is the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between an elected Town Board and residents opposed to zoning. Those who signed the petition amount to more than a third of Caroline’s constituency. The Board and others have advocated for zoning policies in an effort to prevent community disruptions by large development projects. The petition pushes for a two-year delay on the zoning process, and calls for “a debate period on the need for zoning in Caroline and…to address all details within a proposed zoning law.” 

Cornell Grads Demand Better Pay

On Friday, hundreds of Cornell graduate students protested better pay and benefits. The demonstration took place outside the College of Veterinary Medicine as a Board of Trustees meeting was underway. The protests followed the University’s announcement of an 8 percent increase in graduate work stipends—the most significant increase in nearly 20 years. However, the students argue that the increase is not sufficient to fulfill Ithaca’s cost of living. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, rents have increased by 12.4 percent in the last three years. The Ithaca voice reports that students described scrambling to pay rent, struggling to afford groceries, and working grueling hours. The protests were organized by Cornell Graduate Students United. They mark the latest in a trend of increased unionization and labor advocacy in Ithaca and among graduate students around the country. 

Ithaca DSA Announces Endorsements

The Ithaca Democratic Socialists have announced their endorsement of five candidates for Ithaca’s Common Council. The candidates include Jorge Defendini for the Fourth Ward, Phoebe Brown for the First Ward, West Fox for the Second Ward, Kayla Matos for the First Ward, and Nathan Sitaraman for the Third Ward. DSA member and former mayoral candidate Katie Sims said, "These candidates are all united by a vision to transform our local government… from one that prioritizes business interests and profit to one that puts people first."

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