Radio: Ithaca 5th Ward Council Candidate Aryeal Jackson

Categories Ithaca, Politics

Aryeal Jackson, one of three candidates for one open seat on Common Council in the 5th Ward, which covers Fall Creek and a portion of Cornell Heights, talked with Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News in an interview that aired first on WRFI News on Tuesday, September 19.

Jackson, along with Melissa Hall and Laura Lewis, are running to fill the seat resigned by Josephine Martell in August 2017. All three candidates turned in petitions for independent campaigns – Jackson’s selected party name for her ballot line is the “Representation Party.” Lewis was TruthSayers’ interview last week, which you can listen to here, and was granted the Democratic 5th Ward Committee endorsement earlier this week – see Nick Reynolds’ report here.

On the question of affordable housing, Jackson had this, in part, to say:

“Affordable housing for who? A lot of the issues we face in Ithaca are not black and white. They are not a simple yes and no answer and that’s because they’re issues that concern human beings, and human beings are not simple … What I’ve said to a lot of people as I’ve knocked on doors and collected signatures and started to campaign, is what does affordable housing mean to you? And I’ve gotten so many different answers. Affordable housing to a woman on Cayuga Street who was a single mother for years and worked and is now retired and has this big, beautiful house and she’s worried how she’s going to pay for it. She’s got repairs, she’s got taxes that we all know can be crippling in this city, to her affordable housing is something comfortable she can retire into … affordable housing to her is senior housing. Affordable housing to somebody who works at housekeeping at the Marriott, what does it mean to them to be able to walk to work every day, can they afford to live in downtown Ithaca? Not right now … A living wage, at for example, $15.11 if your employer doesn’t give you benefits, does just barely qualify you for those apartments and townhouses at 210 Hancock that caused such an uproar.”

Jackson said she wants to help information about city happenings more accessible to residents, “in the form they need.” Jackson also talked about other issues, like potholes and traffic, the biggest issue she said she’s heard about in her door-to-door campaign.

Aryeal Jackson, 5th Ward Common Council candidate, with her two children. Photo provided by Aryeal Jackson.

Listen to the full interview at the link at or use the embedded player below:

This coming Tuesday, September 26, on WRFI News (6 p.m. at 88.1 FM Ithaca and 91.9 FM Watkins Glen) Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News will interview Melissa Hall, another candidate for this 5th Ward seat in this year’s Common Council elections. Candidates  – especially those in competitive races –  who haven’t yet scheduled an interview should email

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