– Public Service –
Jeffrey F. Barken currently serves as Alderperson of Ithaca’s 3rd Ward. Having grown up in Ithaca, he graduated from Cornell in 2008. Over the course of three decades he has seen his hometown become a city. Committed to protecting the city’s cherished natural areas, he believes Ithaca is uniquely positioned to be a leader in clean energy, building practices, and transportation infrastructure. Jeffrey’s collaborative approach can bring people together in this pivotal pursuit.
Jeffrey holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Design from the University of Baltimore. Now a family of four, he and his wife live in the Belle Sherman neighborhood. An author and a legal recruiter, Jeffrey is the founder and chief editor of Monologging.org, an annual online publication that connects writers with artists around the world, encouraging multimedia creation. He is passionate about arts integration as a means to celebrate community diversity. As a former Baltimore preschool teacher, he prioritizes the funding and expansion of services for children and teens offered through GIAC, Southside, and the Ithaca Youth Bureau.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, Ithaca will continue to face social, environmental, and economic challenges. Jeffrey believes it is imperative that members of Common Council implement a steady, research-oriented approach to the issues. The city should strengthen existing cost sharing measures between neighboring municipalities and the County. The City budget can be rebuilt with an eye toward diversifying and strengthening local economic engines.
Jeffrey is eager to address the high tax burden that stresses homeowners and drives up the cost of rental housing. He believes in the need for citywide wage growth to counteract Ithaca’s high cost of living. For those seeking homeownership in the 3rd Ward and throughout Ithaca, Jeffrey acknowledges the challenges and barriers to entry within the for-sale market. Through an anchored and sustainable approach, he is working alongside colleagues, city staff, and local organizations to bolster for-sale and rental housing opportunities
Since taking office in January of 2022, Jeffrey has played an active role in the ongoing Reimagining Policing debate. Via his independent reporting, he has helped raise awareness for critical factors and neglected perspectives. A full list of his local publications is available via the link below. Optimistic about the future, Jeffrey devotedly represents the needs of his constituency and maintains an open mind, listening intently to the aspirations of others.
*To reach Jeffrey directly, contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org