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Ithaca leads nation with historic climate justice initiative

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The City of Ithaca Common Council has set a national precedent by adopting the Justice50 resolution, a groundbreaking measure aimed at directing significant financial resources towards underserved communities within the framework of the Ithaca Green New Deal. This historic vote took place at the council meeting on May 1st marking a significant step in Ithaca’s ongoing commitment to equitable climate action.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Justice50 mandates that at least 50% of all funding for the Ithaca Green New Deal be invested in climate justice communities. Additionally, the resolution ensures that 40% of participants in green workforce training programs come from these communities or other marginalized groups. It also allocates 10% of the city’s total capital project budget for participatory budgeting, ensuring community involvement in decision-making processes.

Praised by local and state officials, including New York State Senator Lea Webb and Assemblymember Anna Kelles, the initiative emphasizes equitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Ithaca’s leadership in climate justice reflects its broader commitment to reducing social, economic, and environmental disparities, serving as a model for other cities nationwide.