Clyde Lederman: Masters alumn running for Ithaca Common Council

Masters Alum Running for the Ithaca Common Council


Matt Ives

CLYDE LEDERMAN SPEAKS AT a fundraiser for his newly launched campaign for Ithaca Common Council. The fundraiser, held in Lederman’s hometown of Nyack, was attended by local and national politicians such as former U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones. It took place in the afternoon of January 8, and raised money for Lederman’s growing campaign.

Tara Phillips, Features Editor

Clyde Lederman, a Masters class of 2022 alumnus, is running for the Ithaca Common Council. He kicked off this campaign in his hometown of Nyack with a gathering on Sunday, Jan. 8th. Lederman is a fourth-generation union member, who now attends Cornell University. His campaign email said, “[I have] the intention of studying labor relations to carry forward the legacy of speaking up for a world where the people hold the power.” 

Lederman has two major goals: affordable housing and reliable transportation. There is a general election in November, which is historically uncontested. The important election for Lederman is the Democratic primary on June 27, 2023. 

“With the creation of a district composed almost entirely of Cornell students, I now have a chance to advocate on the Common Council for their right to stable housing and quality public transportation, the same issues I have spent so much time working on downstate. My commitment to a more just world holds strong because public service does not stop at the county line,” his email read.

Ithaca Common Council, which includes ten members, is effectively the City Council in Ward 5. Lederman will have the opportunity to draft legislation, local ordinances that regulate local government and make decisions on city policy. He will also have the opportunity to serve as a liaison to various city committees and organizations.

Mondaire Jones, former U.S. representative from Rockland Country, made a zoom appearance at Lederman’s campaign kick-off. “He was a guest at the event. I am very grateful for his support” Lederman said. 

Lederman affirmed that Masters “certainly” played a role in the development of his interest in politics. “There are a number of wonderful teachers who encourage involvement and critical thinking about our government and what role it should play in our lives.” He mentioned a number of teachers who affected his interests during his time at Masters, “Matt Ives, Eric Shapiro, Colleen Roche, Skeffington Young, were all very influential in shaping my thinking.”

Eric Shapiro, a Masters teacher who works in the History and Religions department said, “His campaign certainly fits within his academic goals. It doesn’t surprise me.” Lederman was a student in Shapiro’s sophomore year, World History II, and in his senior year, AP Euro. “He came in with a keen interest in politics. He and I talked a good deal about what was happening in our country. I like to think I supported him in his political interests,” said Shapiro, “we would have a lot of conversations, in and out of class, about politics. I like to think he enjoyed the intellectual banter. Having been a member of the Masters community for 15 years, Shapiro said, “I like to see students, everybody, involved in politics.” 

Lederman said he also made meaningful connections within the student body. He mentioned his friends Henry Williams and Elijah Emery, who are now both Masters alumni. Emery is even working with Lederman as Treasurer of his campaign.  

Lederman said, “Masters is where I got my feet wet in terms of political involvement. I’m very grateful for them and still have relationships with them. They continue to be supportive of this effort.”