All posts by Ken Jackson

Ken Jackson

The Mary Nelson Community Center Unveils New Look after Lowe’s Hometown Investment


‘Jim and Juli Boeheim Learning Center’ the Center’s Fully Equipped Computer Lab, On-site Haircuts for children, Kitchen equipped to serve meals and store perishable foods

In late July, Lowe’s revealed all 100 grant recipients of its nationwide centennial celebration 100 Hometowns, Syracuse’s Mary Nelson Youth Center was selected as one of those 100 projects. Out of 2,200 qualified submissions to Lowe’s 100 Hometowns the center located at XXX S. Salina Street was selected.

Mary Nelson Youth Center’s award from Lowes included $75,000 to renovate and repair its current space. In addition to the aforementioned, the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation matched the award presented by Loews 100 Hometown. Their contribution added significant digital capacity to the center by funding what is now called the Jim and Julie Boeheim Computer Room.

Lowe’s 100 Hometowns in making the award said, “Mary Nelson Youth Center—a grassroots, community-run youth center dedicated to empowering the lives of children and their families—requested assistance in renovating and repairing its space so it can continue to combat poverty through a wide range of programs and resources focused on education, mentorship, health, career and life-skills services. The center also plays a pivotal role in helping seniors and families get medication and health services they cannot afford.”

The tour was impressive, renovations included gutting the facility to create what is now a modern multi-use center. The Mary Nelson Youth Center is the only facility in the area providing this array of services under one roof. Located on the city’s southside, the furthest south, in one of the most challenged neighborhoods in Syracuse.

Modern, yet homelike each area’s furnishings reflect the specified use of these rooms. A warm greeting space, the centers command center is a mixture of practical functionality and a welcome center coordinating their various activities closely situated beyond the designated Reception Room.

Project Management

Otis Jennings, Project Manager

Reserved yet excited, Project Manager, Otis Jennings spoke about his role in the construction project, and its completion. “My role was to be the project manager to ensure that everything was done correctly from Lowe’s perspective, and to make sure the center was going to be finished in a timely fashion. The company that did the construction was the Greg Hoover Construction Company. And he’s done a miraculous job, we’ve been pushing to get everything done in a two-month period of time. We started in September, and we finished in November, but there are some other touches that we need to do that we’ll continue to work on as we move forward.

I’m excited about the potential grant we’re going to get from our Assemblymember Pamela Hunter, because that would allow us to expand the center, that is critical. This is the furthest center south, there’s nothing after this, it’s truly in the middle of the southside. Right on South Salina Street, beyond this there are no teen centers, youth centers, elderly centers, we’re going to bring the Police Athletic league in here. So, there’s nothing that has the multiplicity of services this far south to meet those type of needs within the community. So, it’s critical that we get the building done and have a place where people can come back to and relax and learn and meet their human needs.”

Mary Nelson Youth Center Lowe’s Renovations Photo Gallery 

Multi-function Room

Next is a multi-function room complete with a large table perfect for a variety of uses that include meetings and training, as the room is equipped with a podium and a ceiling stored, drop-down screen for viewing presentations. Attached to the Meeting Room is the kitchen, again repeating the homestyle look until you reach the large commercial refrigeration units which gives the center the capacity to properly store perishables. Both rooms are situated where they can be effortlessly converted to an event room complete with an attached food service area.

Jim and Juli Boeheim Learning Center – With the digital divide becoming even more evident during our battle against covid-19, thanks to the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation the center is now equipped with a state-of-the-art computer lab. Notice the orange and blue chairs, a nod to the Boeheim’s and their Syracuse University ties.

Lowe’s Digital Media Room

Another feature of the center will be a place for access to digital media. Once completed this will be known as the Lowe’s Digital Media Room.

LduzCutz Moore Barber Shop

What’s a center without an in-house Barber? That’s a little gem within the center LduzCutz Moore Barber Chair is operated by Mary Nelson’s son LduzCutz Moore. This provides a safe place for children to get haircuts and not worry about cost.

Family Room

Sometimes you just need a room to gather and meet, as a family. There’s an area just for that. The Family Room provides a space where a variety of functions from small community activities to family counseling, or an area that provides a full living room experience.  There’s nothing institutional about the look and feel of this newly renovated facility.

Game Room

An added feature to the center is a Game Room, once fully completed will be outfitted with some of the latest entertaining games.

What this Grant means to the Center

Mary Nelson

Nelson was clearly overflowing with gratitude as she shared information about the process, “I have to start with the person that nominated us, Michelle O’Rourke and Lowe’s coming through and picking us. I know I would never, never in a million years get the money to do this. I try to keep it up, my little carpet I had in here, my little paint walls, teaching kids responsibility, how to keep things, pretend like this is your home. So, now our babies are coming here and being able to see a beautiful building that makes them feel good, it helps build their self-esteem. And having a barbershop, I told my son, LduzCutz, ‘no matter how many boys come in this door, you will cut their hair for free.’ He cuts their hair for free and that also helps build their self-esteem. Because some parents don’t have the money for their haircuts.

I can’t wait to start feeding their breakfast and lunch. And before they go home in the afternoon, they get their little, small meal to take home, so they’ll have an overnight meal. I can’t wait to bring my programs back; my family court visits”. Every Saturday, Mary Nelson has family court visits. “That’s an important piece bringing that family component back.” Mary adds, “I’m just overwhelmed with all the love the community has given me, and Lowe’s coming through and picking this center to remodel.”

The center with its services, now housed in a modern building can continue to provide services to a community Mary Nelson has been committed to serving for over 2 decades.


SYR Gears Up for Busy Holiday Travel Season

Syracuse, New York –The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) announced today that
preparations are underway for a very busy holiday travel season at Syracuse Hancock
International Airport (SYR).

Nationwide, passenger levels have rebounded to between 7%-18% below 2019 numbers, and that upward trend is expected to continue through the holiday season. Central New Yorkers may recall that 2019 was a record-breaking year for SYR, featuring the most traffic the airport has seen in three decades.

Southwest Airlines

“With the launch of Southwest Airlines at SYR and existing carriers adding more routes and
larger aircraft, more seats will be available on flights out of SYR by mid-December of this year than were available in December 2019,” said SYR Executive Director Jason Terreri. “We’re excited to welcome our travelers back and have been working tirelessly to ensure a safe, seamless, and enjoyable travel experience this holiday season.”

“We strongly recommend that travelers arrive at the terminal two hours prior to their scheduled flight,” says Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “We also ask travelers to come prepared to the airport for security screening. That means knowing what should and should not be packed in a carry-on bag or checked bag. The TSA web site has a lot of helpful information on preparing for a flight.”

“Our TSA officers are professionals, they are very good at their jobs, and they want to keep you safe, so when you get to the checkpoint, listen to the guidance that they are offering. That guidance is intended to make sure you have an efficient and smooth checkpoint experience,” Johnson said.

A new feature is available to travelers who will be parking and leaving their vehicle at the
airport this year. The airport’s pre-book parking option will allow travelers to conveniently
reserve their parking zone weeks – even months – in advance of their trip.

Holiday travelers will be treated to the sounds of the SYR Holiday Concert Series, featuring
live performances by local musicians from schools and community organizations. Additionally, the Piano & Organ Center’s Yamaha grand piano and organ will be played by volunteers throughout the holiday season.

Travelers can expect an increased volunteer presence from the airport’s hugely popular PET (Pets Easing Travelers) program, which provides therapy dogs to comfort passengers during their travel day. The airport’s Fly Guide Ambassadors will also be on hand to provide
directions and general assistance to travelers in need.

For those drivers picking up arriving passengers, Airport Security Officers (ASOs) are now
requesting that those passenger pick-ups occur along the outer curb lines located outside of each terminal.

For more information about 27 destinations served by nonstop flights from Syracuse, please visit the airport’s Destination Page.

For more information about pre-booking parking at SYR, please visit the Airport’s Parking Guide.


Syracuse Land Bank November Properties: 107 Mark Ave. and 713 Valley Dr.


The Syracuse Land Bank has houses available for purchase and renovation. The following are just a sampling of the houses that are available. for additional purchase opportunities see the Land Bank available property link below.

Follow the instructions in the listing notes to view Land Bank properties and be sure to include all required attachments with your purchase offer. Sales of properties requiring renovation are subject to an enforcement mortgage, securing a lien against the property that is discharged once the proposed renovations and any other requirements are complete.

Most listings include a scope of work that the buyer must complete to renovate the property within 12 months; if there is no scope attached, you must draft and attach your planned scope of renovations.  In order for your project to be considered complete, you must fulfill all terms of sale, completed all work proposed in your purchase proposal, and obtained a Certificate of Adequacy or Certificate or Certificate of Inspection from Code Enforcement.

107 Mark Ave

 

 

 

 

 

 

107 Mark Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13205
Asking Price: $12,000
Renovation Estimate: $88,290
Home Ownership Choice: Yes

This two-family home is currently offered for owner-occupants only. Live in one unit and rent the other for income potential or renovate the home into a single-family for a larger living space. The property does have a nice fenced-in side yard with a driveway.  When submitting a purchase offer, the buyer will need to show proof of funds in the amount of $100K.

713 Valley Dr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

713 Valley Dr.
Syracuse, NY 13207
Asking Price: $25,000
Renovation Estimate: $48,000
Home Ownership Choice: Yes

Four bedroom, one and a half bath home in the North Valley is for sale!  The home has beautiful hardwood floors upstairs and a nice backyard.  When submitting a purchase offer, the buyer will need to show proof of funds in the amount of $73K.

Properties listed in the Home Ownership Choice Program must be owner-occupied or renovated and resold to an owner-occupant.  Contact our office at (315) 422-2301 ext. 0 to schedule a showing and to hear more about our buying process.


Redistricting Onondaga County: What Republicans Accomplished is the Construction of an Electoral Viaduct, a Berlin Wall Against Democracy


“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Action 

The aforementioned quote sums up the debate and vote that establishes redrawn district lines for the Onondaga County Legislature effective for the next ten years. The process discarding any pretense of fairness, had all the makings of a shotgun wedding. Except this is Redistricting, the divvying up of power, impacting the very policies that govern our county over the next decade.

The most glaring obstacle to fairness is the breaking up of what had been a reliable Black population, large enough to have a voting bloc. This bloc of votes elects the representative on the Onondaga County Legislature from the 16th District. This enables the election of a representative of the geographic area to articulate the issues that plague some of our poorest residents, persons that by law the county is responsible for, Medicaid, Social Services, public assistance, etc.

The Republicans might as well have placed an electoral viaduct between populations that have traditionally made up the 16th Legislative District, splitting it in half substantially weakening Black voting power at the ballot box. A district with a Black population now conveniently split between legislators guarantees the dilution of the already truncated electoral voice of the Black Community.

In local politics, the chasm between republicans and democrats hasn’t mirrored the national Republican Party until now, this crucial vote was a test of electoral fairness in action. The Legislature in its rush to adopt a plan, failed in their assessment as this carved up turkey of a map is not fair.

The proof of their commitment is in their legislative actions. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many community events Republican politicians attend. Or how many photographs are released with Republican politicians mutually smiling with Black leaders, Pastors, Bishops, and Honorary Doctorate holders, power was snatched away with a quickness. Despite calls to give the Redistricting process more time.  The so-called Public Hearing Notice was mysteriously hidden, not widely distributed giving very little real-time review of this pre-Thanksgiving electoral carving.

This vote was about power, plain and simple and the impartial method of redistricting that Republicans reneged on once it became time to act. This is about more than broken promises, it’s about being fair to everyone in Onondaga County, Republicans are doing everything in their power to hold onto power.

As Lord Action famously said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

As a result of this Redistricting Plan adopted by the Onondaga County Legislature, Black voting power has been diluted like a poorly made pitcher of Grape Kool-Aid, raisins in the potato salad and almonds in the collard greens. The only way to fight is at the Polls and by turning out in large numbers. That’s the only power that frightens a politician, the fear of being voted out of office. An energized voting urban electorate can still prevail. Its’ just going to be a bit more difficult.

Remember the political adage attributed to William Powell (among others) for those waiting for power to be handed over; “Power is not a material possession that can be given, it is the ability to act. Power must be taken; it is never given.”


Orange to Retire “Syracuse’s Own” Felisha Legette-Jack’s Jersey for ACC Opener Nov. 14


More than 30 years later she remains in the top 10 in career points, rebounds, and field goals made and attempted.

Legette-Jack scored 1,526 points and had 927 rebounds in four seasons at Syracuse

 “The mark she made on the program is undeniable”

The Orange will play 17 home games and will kick off the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) season on Nov. 14 against Notre Dame in the Carrier Dome. At the game Syracuse University will Retire Felisha Legette-Jack’s Jersey for the ACC Opener. The Syracuse Native and Nottingham High School Graduate will be honored as Legette-Jack’s jersey will be retired and placed in the rafters of the Carrier Dome.

Felisha Legette-Jack ’89

Felisha Legette-Jack ’89 is the first female student-athlete to be honored on this level at Syracuse University.  A veteran basketball coach, Legette-Jack started her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Syracuse before becoming the head coach at Hofstra and then Indiana.  Legette-Jack, currently coaches the University at Buffalo women’s basketball program.

Syracuse -Legette-Jack scored 1,526 points and had 927 rebounds in four seasons at Syracuse, and she is one of three players in school history to score more than 1,500 points and grab more than 900 rebounds. Became the all-time winningest coach in Buffalo women’s basketball history on January 25, 2020 with UB’s win at Kent State, her 156th win in Buffalo.

Syracuse University has a tribute page dedicated to those being honored as 2021-22 Syracuse Jersey Honorees. 

2021-22 Syracuse Jersey Honorees- Impactful as student-athletes at Syracuse University and as influential figures in the world of sport, four Orange alumni will have their jerseys retired during the 2021-22 academic year. Felisha Legette-Jack (1984-89), Gary Gait (1987-90), Anna Goodale (2002-05) and Katie Rowan Thomson (2006-09) will be honored during Syracuse athletic events over the course of the year. 

Felisha Legette-Jack ‘89 

Felisha Legette-Jack ‘89

Felisha Legette-Jack ‘89 will be the first of four Orange alumni to have their jerseys retired during the 2021-22 academic year and the first female in school history to receive such honor. 

When she took off the Orange uniform for the final time in March 1989, Felisha Legette owned the Syracuse women’s basketball career records for points, rebounds, field goals made and attempted, and free throws made and attempted. More than 30 years later she remains in the top 10 in career points, rebounds, and field goals made and attempted. The mark she made on the program is undeniable. 

In her first year, Legette earned BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year honors after helping lead the Orange to their first BIG EAST Championship. An honorable mention All-American and All-BIG EAST First Team selection as a sophomore in 1985-86, Legette averaged a double-double with 15.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, leading the Orange to a 19-10 record, including a 12-4 mark in the BIG EAST. She followed that up by earning honorable mention All-America and All-BIG EAST Second Team honors following a junior season in which she averaged 13.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. After missing the 1987-88 season due to a knee injury she returned to the court and earned All-BIG EAST honors. She was one of 15 players named to the BIG EAST Conference Silver Anniversary Team in 2004. In 2011, she was named a Syracuse University Letterwinner of Distinction.  

A veteran basketball coach, Legette-Jack started her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Syracuse before becoming the head coach at Hofstra and then Indiana. She is currently the head coach at the University at Buffalo, where she has led the Bulls program for the past 10 years.

By the Numbers: Felisha Legette-Jack

Felisha Legette-Jack Head Coach • 318-270 Career Record Syracuse ‘89

  • 19 years of head coaching positions Legette-Jack’s Buffalo teams are 177-107 during her tenure there.

Felisha Legette-Jack

Syracuse: -Legette-Jack scored 1,526 points and had 927 rebounds in four seasons at Syracuse, and she is one of three players in school history to score more than 1,500 points and grab more than 900 rebounds. Became the all-time winningest coach in Buffalo women’s basketball history on January 25, 2020 with UB’s win at Kent State, her 156th win in Buffalo.

  • Inducted into three different Hall of Fames; Syracuse University Orange Plus Hall of Fame, Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame, Syracuse Urban League Hall of Fame.
  • Has instructed many former players to professional playing careers.
  • Named an assistant coach for the 2019 Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team
  • Accumulated the most wins (114) in a five-year span in program history (2015-2020)
  • Has led Buffalo to 10 or more MAC victories in six of the last eight seasons.
  • Three NCAA Tournament appearances in the last six years
  • Led the Bulls to their most historic season in program history in 2017-18 as they advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating #6 South Florida and #3 Florida State, while recording 29 overall wins and 16 MAC wins, both program-bests.
  • Fostered the growth of one of the best players in Buffalo history in Cierra Dillard. Dillard led the conference and was second in the nation in scoring in the 2018-19 season, averaging 25.2 points per game.
  • Led the Bulls to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year in 2019, becoming the first MAC women’s team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since Toledo did it in 1991 and 1992.
  • Developed Dyaisha Fair into one of the best players in all of Division I. Fair has been in the top 10 in the country in scoring for two straight years, earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2020 and was named to the All-MAC First Team and the All-Defensive Team in 2021.
  • Coached multiple players onto the Wade Trophy Watch List, awarded to the nation’s best player.
  • Under her tutelage, Buffalo recorded four straight 20+ win seasons (2015-19) for just the second time in school history and have won 17+ games in seven of the last eight seasons.
  • She has helped 25 players earn All-MAC honors since taking over the Bulls before the 2012-13 campaign.
  • 31 student-athletes have earned Academic All-MAC accolades under her guidance.
  • Picked up her 300th career victory on February 29, 2020 at Ohio.
  • In six seasons at Indiana, she led the Hoosiers to three post-season appearances; tying the school record with 21 wins in 2008-09 which still stands today.
  • Guided IU to wins over ranked opponents on five different occasions, including snapping a 37-game regular season win streak for then-No. 19 Nebraska.
  • 21 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors at Indiana during her time as head coach
Personal Coaching Profile
  • West Hill High School…… Head Coach, 1989-91
  • Boston College………. Assistant Coach, 1991-93
  • Syracuse…………………. Assistant Coach, 1993-00
  • Michigan State………. Assistant Coach, 2000-02
  • Hofstra…………………………… Head Coach, 2002-06
  • Indiana……………………………. Head Coach, 2006-12
  • Buffalo…………………… Head Coach, 2012-Present
Education
  • High School…………… Nottingham High School Syracuse, NY ‘1984
  • College…… Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 1989, B.A., Child and Family Studies B.A., Psychology
Career Head Coaching Records

                                             Overall               Conference

  • Hofstra (2002-06) 54-63 (.461) 34-38 (.472) CAA
  • Indiana (2006-12) 87-100 (.465) 38-64 (.373) Big Ten
  • Buffalo (2012-Present) 177-107 (.623) 95-64 (.597) MAC

Basketball action photos of Legette-Jack provided by Syracuse University


Newly Elected Legislator Calls for Massive Turnout Regarding Reapportionment Public Hearing “It’s our Last Chance” November 10th 6:00 PM

Legislator-Elect Charles Garland is wasting no time as he’s hit the ground running sounding the alarm, a clarion call regarding the upcoming Reapportionment of Onondaga County. Reapportionment takes place every 10 years and occurs after the U.S. Census is completed. This is when your districts from Congress to City Council are carved up based on population.

The Hearing is scheduled for November 10, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Along with Reapportionment Maps Legislator-Elect Garland sent the following message this morning, “ Dustin Czarny, the Democratic Commissioner of the Onondaga County Board of Elections.  Dustin has been at the forefront of this redistricting, battling on our behalf. 

The last public hearing is November 10th. They know how I feel. What’s important is to get as many people as possible to attend. Either to speak or to fill seats as a show of strength.” – Charles Garland 

It is of utmost importance that there’s a large turnout for this public hearing. One of the challenges for the Black Community is how the community will be split based on the current proposed Reapportionment Map. This can pose a problem when you look at where the new lines are drawn and where the Black Community of Syracuse resides. This could make it more difficult to elect representatives of color as this new plan may dilute what little power the community held under  existing election district maps.

While the city of Syracuse has chosen to be transparent and non-partisan with their realigning of Council Districts; the Republican generated plan, if implemented could possibly eliminate the one seat representing the Black community, which is the 16 Legislative District. The old lines demographically increased the odds of diversity on the Onondaga County Legislature. The new configuration could leave the Black community without representation on the Legislature.

The Public Hearing is on November 10th at 6:00 PM If this redistricting goes into effect without the Black community speaking up, we’ll have no voice on the Onondaga County Legislature once this plan is fully implemented.

 


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again: Syracuse City School Board Twiggy Billue Wins Commissioner of Education Race and a Seat on the School Board


“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” can be traced back to teachers’ manuals, children’s books and even a musical. But in this case, it describes the rise, and rise of Twiggy Billue in her election to a seat on the Board of Education. It’s a story of perseverance and hard work. Ms. Billue has worked tirelessly for this position for a number of election cycles.

Where others have given up, not Twiggy a fierce advocate for Syracuse students and parents her presence will be felt immediately upon her arrival.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” can be traced back to teachers’ manuals, children’s books and even a musical. But in this case, it describes the rise, and rise of Twiggy Billue in her election as Commissioner of Education, a seat on the Board of Education. It’s a story of perseverance and hard work. Ms. Billue has worked tirelessly for this position for a number of election cycles.

Unofficial results are as follows: Twiggy Billue 22.76%|10,683; Karen J. Cordano 21.92%|10,288; Nyatwa Bullock 21.72%| 10,196  These are the top three of six that were on the Commissioner of Education Ballot.

Where others have given up, but not Twiggy, a fierce advocate for Syracuse students and parents her presence will be felt immediately upon her arrival.


Charles Garland Wins in the 16th Legislative District as…The Empire Strikes Back!


Garland Beats virtual Political ‘Death Star’ to Win Seat on Onondaga County Legislature

Will work with Democratic Caucus on Legislature

“Let the healing begin, and our march towards progress begin”

Funeral Home Director, Charles Garland, was in a campaign marred by initial missteps; regarding Interstate 81 and the Harriet Tubman Skybridge. And like the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back! The political system went into overdrive. Usually when you lose the nomination of the party you step back. Based on a variety of factors, incumbent democrat Vernon Williams actively campaigned on the Working Families Party line.

Garland campaign Election Night

When the Skybridge proposal was announced it was as if someone hit an alarm button. Those who had worked so hard on gaining public trust were now being questioned.

With a dormant campaign suddenly made active, there was a chance that Charles Garland could snatch defeat out of the hands of victory. But, like a political Padawan, Charles Garland had wise counsel in his corner. He needed a “Yoda”, a role played by former 119th Assemblymember Sam Roberts, his impact was felt as Interstate 81 concerns disappeared into conventional campaign rhetoric and events. Pauline Finch, a near westside resident was there also, you could see the eclectic and loyal group of volunteers that were assembled. Too many to mention by name, from different backgrounds and interests, but what was clear is their enthusiasm for Mr. Garland.

The Empire Strikes Back!

Despite last minute endorsements of  Garlands opponent, incumbent Vernon Williams from a popular Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon. Williams leveled accusations that his campaign money was suspect, as a computer issue prevented timely submission of Garlands financial report.  Up against a virtual political Death Star. Undaunted, Democratic Party designee Charles Garland managed not only to win, but win convincingly over the challenge from incumbent Legislator Vernon Williams. The unofficial tally from Onondaga County Board of Elections is the following: 65.76%|1,575 for Charles Garland vs 34.07%|816 for Vernon Williams on the Working Families Party Ballot line. These are unofficial numbers, they will change as absentee ballots are counted. 

Two years ago in the last election cycle, Garland lost to Williams in a tight primary race; in that matchup Williams won the primary by a slim margin.

Will work with Democratic Caucus on Legislature

County Legislator-Elect Charles Garland

In an exclusive urbancny.com interview after winning the seat Garland said, “I spoke with Linda Ervin this evening and I’m ready to work with the democratic caucus.” There were initial concerns at the beginning of the campaign that Garland was questioning the consensus built by political and community leaders regarding the Community Grid. Garland did questioned the DOT report that placed a round-about at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School; “They just moved the pollution down the street from where it was at Pioneer Homes” Garland stated after the report was made public. After speaking with Ervin Garland said, “Let the healing begin, and our march towards progress begin”

For some perspective, a colleague another reporter asked me how could Charles Garland could win against the recent endorsements from the local areas highest elected officials? I had to explain to him, Garland Brothers Funeral Home has been in Syracuse for several generations.

If you’re Black, chances are your family has been touched by the Garland’s at a time of greatest distress, a funeral. Unlike other funeral homes that have gone after the minority community in recent years, Garland has buried the indigent, the uninsured, those that promised to pay but couldn’t. Therefore, his relationship with the Black community is deeply personal, defiant of political gravity.

Charles Garland made some early missteps in his campaign. But what better way to evaluate a politician then when all forces are against him, and he’s counted out.


SCSD to Benefit from Food Bank of CNY Supplemental Food Packs

Syracuse City School District leadership will join with representatives of the Food Bank of Central New York to celebrate upcoming supplemental food distribution which will benefit SCSD students.

Beginning on Monday, November 1st, the Food Bank of CNY will distribute food packs to 10 SCSD schools, benefitting 100 students weekly. The meal packs are intended as a supplement to the existing Blessings in a Backpack food distribution.


Election Day 2021: Now, It’s Up to You

There’s a lot at stake on November 2nd Election Day. After allowing republicans to go unchallenged on the Onondaga County Legislature democrats are putting up a slate of candidates. We will see if their “Flip the Legislature” theme struck a chord with voters.

Given recent history, the 16th Onondaga County Legislative District could be a tight race as Charles Garland won the democratic nomination in a primary; Vernon Williams, the incumbent has waged an all-out campaign on the Working Families line. Williams also secured the endorsement of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on Election Eve.

We have the Syracuse City Board of Education race which is important as we continue to struggle with our education system. Even with rising test scores there are problems.

While endorsements pile up for incumbent Ben Walsh, nothing is certain about the Mayoral campaign as Syracuse is a city with a large majority of voters registered as democrats. Rarely has an incumbent Mayor lost, but this is the first independent Mayor in 100 years, anything is possible.

Khalid Bey as the first Black candidate representing a major party is making Syracuse history. Winning would give Syracuse our first Black Mayor.

The next four years will be crucial as the region begins to prepare for the Interstate 81 project. Parts are already out to bid as this is more than a bridge through the city of Syracuse, this effects a region.

The plans such as the Syracuse Surge, presented to the public should begin to take root, as we emerge from the global pandemic that threatened our health both physically and fiscally.

There are a lot of plans in the process of debate and discussion. What to do with American Rescue Funds? Will an Aquarium and Lacrosse Fields increase tourism? What’s the best way to pay for these amenities, even if we want these investments? A revised or “Flipped Legislature” to Democratic control would change the dynamic.

Who you vote for, will determine how these funds are spent. Who you vote for, will determine the direction of our city and county for years to come. Some decisions will influence our community for the next 60 years.

The worst comment to hear after Election Day is, “I wish I had voted.”