Meet the candidates for County Legislature

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– Round two of Ithaca Voice candidate Question and Answers is here –– County Legislature edition.

Our reporters sent out Q&A’s to every candidate vying for a district seat ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primary election. Click the races below to find out how your potential representatives answered.

And as a reminder on June 22 –– Election Day –– polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Find out more information on early voting (which is already underway) and poll information at the Board of Elections website here.

District 1 | District 2 | District 8 | District 13


Travis Brooks

Candidate for District 1 (City of Ithaca)

Ithaca Voice: Arguably the most significant occurrence of 2021 so far was the passage of the Reimagining Public Safety draft. There’s been plenty of consternation surrounding the plan from both sides of the aisle. Do you think that the plan went too far, not far enough, or that it landed at a successful medium? What specifically would you have liked to see pushed further or pulled back? 

Travis Brooks: As a person who served on the task force, I knew the recommendations did not go far enough. More importantly, it was clear that under the time constraint, it would be impossible to present a comprehensive plan. This led to obvious concern and anxiety about the draft not offering a clear vision forward to the many concerns that it will address. 

I worked dutifully with four members of the Common Council to push the idea of a civilian Superintendent, and to pass this resolution with the idea that a task force would design the new department. The task force has not yet been announced, but I have made my interest, dedication, and devotion known to the powers that be. I want to be on this task force to ensure the foundation of this resolution meets the needs of this community when the plan is presented in September. 

The details, the framework, and the implementation of the other recommendations are critical in the success and impact. There is nothing to push further or pull back on because it is vague and a bit ambiguous and is not widely accepted within our community. Questions remain about whether or not this plan would promote more of the same. I have chosen not just to trust the process, but remain 100% engaged so the community gets what they need and are given the type of policing they are entitled to.

IV: There’s been a lot of talk about “building back better” after the coronavirus pandemic—that the exposure of so many weaknesses can help us improve long-term. Do you think that’s possible, and what’s that look like to you? What was the most surprising thing that was exposed to you, if anything? 

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