4/2/21 Letter to the Members & Community

4/2/2021

To the members of the Ithaca Teachers’ Association and the Ithaca Community,

We, the Ithaca Teachers’ Association Executive Officers, retract our letter (3/18/2021) to the Ithaca Common Council regarding the City of Ithaca’s plan to Reimagine Public Safety and apologize for any hurt our letter caused. This letter showed profound lack of empathy, judgment, and wisdom.

We apologize to our colleagues, students, families, and neighbors, particularly those of color. We see and continue to learn how the history of policing as a tool of oppression causes deep community-wide wounds, and how our letter contributed. For that we are deeply sorry.

We apologize to our members for sending that letter without consulting you and members of our social justice and solidarity committees. The ITA represents nearly 600 members; each has a voice, and we did not incorporate those voices. You deserve far better.

We apologize for the ignorance within that letter. To suggest that the members of the Ithaca Police Department have been “marginalized” in recent conversations, when in fact policing and their unions have and currently uphold systemic racism and marginalize civilians — especially people of color and including people within our Ithaca community — was unthinking and impulsive of us.

The important feedback we’ve heard from our members has shown us that, as labor leaders, we need to do more to further educate ourselves to be antiracist leaders. We will do better to communicate with and collaborate with our members and allow their experiences to guide our leadership.

Sincerely,

Ithaca Teachers Association Executive Officers