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March 20, 2024 62 mins

"Meet Kurt Becker, a seasoned public health professional with a rich journey of dedication and impact. Originally from Ithaca, NY, Kurt earned dual degrees in broadcasting and developmental psychology from Tompkins Cortland Community College. After moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico, he finished courses at New Mexico State University and graduated from SUNY Cortland in 1994 with a bachelor of science in psychology.

Kurt's commitment to community health began in Las Cruces, where he served as a Health Educator for Families and Youth. Notably, he initiated an LGBTQ+ youth group, 'The Next Rainbow Generation,' orchestrating remarkable initiatives such as raising funds to showcase the largest ever NAMES Project AIDS memorial quilt in southern New Mexico, spanning over 15,000 square feet. Kurt and his youth also pioneered 'Not Your Mom's Prom,' one of the area's first alternative proms.

 In 1999, Kurt's journey led him to Austin, Texas, where he assumed the role of the City's Coordinator for Ryan White funds, overseeing the distribution of over $4 million annually. In 2006, he became the immunization manager for the City of Austin and Travis County. He successfully secured a $12 million grant to provide easy and free access to vaccines for at-risk adults.

In 2021 Kurt retired from the City of Austin and returned to his roots in Ithaca with his husband of 15 years, Jose. Nestled on 1.5 green acres, they share their home with their two dogs, Molly and Heidi." 

**Ithaca, New York Quick Facts:**

- **Location:**

 - Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, in the northeastern United States.

 - Approximately 225 miles northwest of New York City 

- **Geography:**

 - Surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes, including gorges, waterfalls, and Cayuga Lake.

 - Home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.

- **Climate:**

 - Experiences a humid continental climate with cold winters and warm summers.

 - Average winter temperatures range from -1 to -8°C (30 to 18°F), while summer temperatures range from 14 to 27°C (57 to 80°F).

- **Cost of Living:**

 - The cost of living is moderate, with housing costs being a significant factor.

 The average price of a single-family home varies but may range from $250,000 to $400,000, depending on the neighborhood and size.

- **Arts and Culture:**

 - Vibrant arts scene with numerous galleries, theaters, and cultural events.

 - Hosts festivals, including the Ithaca Festival and the Finger Lakes International Film Festival.

- **LGBTQ+ Community:**

 - Ithaca is known for its LGBTQ+ inclusivity and progressive values.

 - Supportive community with LGBTQ+ events and organizations.

- **Healthcare:**

 - Access to healthcare through local hospitals and clinics.

 - Presence of medical facilities associated with Cornell University.

- **Crime and Safety:**

 - Generally considered a safe city with a low crime rate.

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