The 10 Most Liberal, Forward-Thinking College Towns In America

3. Boulder, CO

Home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder is widely considered to be the most liberal city in all of Colorado and one of the most progressive throughout the country.

In 1974, Boulder’s City Council was the first in all of Colorado to pass a bill that would not allow discrimination against sexual orientation. Boulder was also among the first to grant same-sex marriages.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won the majority vote was nearly 27 years ago. In 2012, Obama won nearly 70% of the vote in Boulder, Colorado.

Some progressive bills that Boulder, CO has passed in recent years include preventing employer discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.

Boulder consistently is placed in the top of premiere magazine rankings lists, including #1 on Moneywatch’s list of happiest cities, No. 1 “Foodiest Town” in America by Bon Appetit Magazine, and no. 4 on Livability’s “Best Cities for Liberals” list.

2. Berkeley, CA

A haven for anti-war protests in the 1960s, this ultra liberal city’s major era of public protest ended with the conclusion of the Vietnam War in the mid-1970s.

To this day, however, Berkeley remains among the most politically liberal cities in the entire world.

In 2008, when the city planned to build a sports annex, the Berkeley Oak Grove Protest came to fruition. Several lawsuits came about because of the environmental damage the annex would impose onto the city’s greenery.

In 2012, Berkeley was the first city in America to have a day that recognizes bisexuality. Celebrate Bisexuality Day, which occurs on the 23rd of every September, is designed to embrace and celebrate bisexual history, people, and community throughout Berkeley and, in a larger sense, throughout the world.

In September 2014, voters approved free medical marijuana for low-income patients. The city also recently passed a soda tax, which is a surcharge on soda drinks, probably to help discourage the sale of these unhealthy sugar-loaded beverages.

In 2010, when a Panda Express was going to open, a group of UC Berkeley students came together to form the Berkeley Student Food Collective, which opposed restaurants like Panda Express with its own grocery store filled with organic produce, ethically raised meats, and cage-free eggs.

Home to the oldest campus in the University of California system, Berkeley is among the most politically left-wing cities in the entire globe.

1. Ithaca, NY

Ithaca Peace Sign

Photo by tumblerut via Wikimedia Commons

Home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, a study conducted in 2004 by concluded that Ithaca is New York’s most liberal city. The populace of Ithaca continuously leans towards the left in political primaries and elections.

In the year 2000, five-time presidential candidate and outspoken Democrat and Green party member Ralph Nader received more votes than successful Republican candidate George W. Bush in all of Ithaca.

In the November 2008 election, Barack Obama won the vote in all of Tompkins County by an unprecedentedly wide margin of 41% over his opponent John McCain.

The culture of Ithaca itself is also substantially liberal…

Ithaca has pioneered the Ithaca Health Fund, a cooperative health insurance that has become very popular in the city. It is a successful model of healthcare reform with a focus for making healthcare more affordable for all of its members.

Additionally, the city has long held its own local currency system, the Ithaca hours. Although Ithaca hours are not useful outside of Ithaca, they are used and circulated widely throughout the city.

Ithaca College itself is home to the Center LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services. When a high-profile liberal arts such as Ithaca College dedicates a large part of its funding to making the community more valuable for those with various sexual orientations, a tremendous triumph in liberalism and forward-thinking is accomplished.

One of the hallmarks of a liberal city is an active and diverse sense of culture. Ithaca is among the most culturally active cities in America, home to a number of noted musicians and ensembles including the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, noted folk duet The Burns Sisters, and more. The city is also home to a number of music festivals, including Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, Musefest, and Summertime Block Party.

The most liberal and progressive college town in America, Ithaca is a haven for political left-wing idealists yearning for a city bustling with forward-thinking cultures embracing new models in health care reform, varied sexualities, democratic candidates, and an overall progressive culture.

Featured Image by tumblerut via Wikimedia Commons


One Response

  1. Cameron 8 years ago

Add Comment