Ithaca BOE endorsements

Karen Friedeborn

Here are the three candidates I urge you to support in the Ithaca Board of Education election next Tuesday, May 17th:


Eldred Harris

Eldred is a well-known anti-racist activist and Black leader in our community. He has served on the Ithaca Board of Education (BOE) for 12 years and takes the commitment seriously, often visiting schools, talking with students and staff firsthand to hear their perspective on things. He currently serves on the BOE Curriculum, Finance, and Legislative Advocacy committees and offers a valuable historical memory for the BOE.


Rob Ainsle

I support Rob in part because he is, as far as I know, the only candidate who intimately knows the needs of rural youth. He grew up on and operated a dairy farm in Enfield and then went on to work in financial services. I have been impressed by his willingness to listen to others with differing views and his commitment to helping all children achieve. He is also an asset to the BOE serving as a leader in budget development and steering BOE capital projects since 2008. 


Karen Yearwood 

I was first impressed with Karen when she worked at the Village at Ithaca, then became the Executive Director of the organization. The mission of the Village at Ithaca is to “advocate for educational equity and excellence for all students, particularly Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, low income, and any other underserved students within Tompkins County, through strategic community relationships, assessment of the local district’s practices and policies, and responsive programs and services”. Her experience at the Village at Ithaca, along with her active role on the ICSD Equity & Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC), her service as a Family Advocate for multiple ICSD families, and experience as a Community/PTA representative on ICSD hiring committees all make her an excellent BOE candidate. 


There are 4 open seats and 7 people running in the BOE election. I do not have firsthand experience with the other candidates, so I will not endorse anyone else. You can read about the candidates here:


I would also ask that you vote yes on the school budget- it won’t raise your taxes!  Polls (mostly neighborhood schools) are open 12-9pm on May 17th! 

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