This is an op-ed written by Tompkins County Workers Center leader Pete Meyers, writing as a private citizen and not on behalf of the organization. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit op-eds, please send them to Matt Butler at

Having known Nate Sitaraman for the past six years, I’ve been impressed with his human qualities, his ability to listen to all sides of an issue and work to find synergistic solutions to issues that beset us as a community. His support of the Gimme! Coffee unionizing campaign in 2018 and as organizer with the Cornell Graduate Students Union on campus have taught me the sort of values he brings to any environment, whether in his hometown of Clemson, South Carolina or here, Ithaca. 

I heartily endorse Nate Sitaraman to be on the City Council in Ward 3 – the Ward I live in – in the coming Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 27th.

I believe that Nate has lived his life from the point of view that it is always the workers in our midst who create the wealth we see locally, including Cornell University’s wealth, and that all workers need to be paid fairly to live a life of affluence and free of financial worry.

Among other things, Nate:

  • is a recent PhD graduate in Physics from Cornell who thinks that the university can afford a much greater contribution to the community that Cornell calls home, and he’s committed to making that happen. (This year, Cornell is contributing $1,575,204 to the local community it calls home, which is ridiculously low compared to the other Ivy League universities). The most recent iteration of the Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the university is due to expire in June, and Nate would work to change the relationship dynamic. A bigger payment from Cornell could help Ithaca create jobs in badly needed infrastructure development;
  • is committed to ensuring that Cornell University contributes significantly to making the TCAT bus system a free and expanded system that helps workers, especially those commuting from rural areas;
  • is committed to supporting Just Cause legislation in Ithaca Common Council which would help non-unionized workers fight for dignity, from a living wage to better working conditions;
  • would work to expand tenants’ protection in an increasingly landlord-friendly City.

This year, you have plenty of options as to when to vote, aside from June 27th, including most days of the week between Monday, June 19th and Sunday, June 25th (see schedule here), at the Town of Ithaca Town Hall, 215 N. Tioga St. in downtown Ithaca.