We know you will be surprised to hear that Ithaca has been named among the “best cities for liberals” in the United States, according to a new ranking by Livability.
The results cite Ithaca’s influence on Tompkins County, where 70% of voters supported President Obama in 2012 and Senator Bernie Sanders took a lead in this year’s presidential primary. Livability also points out that the City of Ithaca hasn’t elected a Republican mayor “since the mid 1980s.” (It’s actually been longer; Bill Shaw, the last Republican mayor, was elected in 1981 and served a two-year term before being succeeded by Democrat John Gutenberger. After that, we had the nation’s first Socialist mayor, Ben Nichols.)
Livability also cites Mayor Svante Myrick’s status as Ithaca’s youngest mayor and first mayor of color, and his “Ithaca Plan” to introduce the nation’s first supervised heroin injection facility. They say the very presence of Ivy League institution Cornell University, “which has developed a left-leaning reputation, too,” contributes to Ithaca’s liberal status.
Ithaca lands at #9 on the Livability listing, with cities like Boulder, Evanston, Hoboken, and Berkeley ahead of it on the list. St. Louis, Missouri is #1 in the ranking, with Democratic mayor Francis F. Slay re-elected since 2001, a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, and 82.7% of St. Louis County residents voting Democrat in the 2012 general election.