All posts by Ken Jackson

Ken Jackson

“My Home” An Urban Parody from the The Wiz (the Movie)

When I think of Home
I think of place
Where they’re cats overflowing
Can’t wish I was home
Can’t wish I was back there
With the things I’m knowing
Growth to street the tall branch
Bend into leaning
Suddenly, the sewer that leaks
Has a meaning
Sprinklin’ the scene
It ain’t at all clean

Now there is no chance
For me to go back
Now that I see the deception
It sure would be nice
Not to be back home
Where there’s junk, missed collections
And just maybe I
Can convince time to speed up
Giving them enough time
In my ‘hood to clean up
Time, be my friend, let me start again

Gradually, my ‘hoods gone
And changed Its face
So I still know I’m going
I have watched this city spun around in race, new and good parts are growing
And if you’re listening god, please, Don’t make it hard
To know if we should believe the things that we see
Tell me, should I try to stay
Should I run away, or would it be Better just to let things be?

Living here in this blighted ‘hood
It’s not my fantasy
But it’s taught me – to own
So it’s real, real, real to me
And I’ve learned
That we must look outside our dreams
And find
A ‘hood full of  junk
Not yours, But mine
My Home

 

 

 


2020 US Census: To Syracuse It’s as Important as Voting in November’s Election


As an impoverished city, Syracuse stands to gain the most from full participation

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade

President Trump has decided to change the end date for the 2020 US Census, originally scheduled for October. The deadline has been shifted to September, cutting out a month of US Census themed activities designed to increase our level of participation.

We are at around 50% which means that if information is not provided by the population, the government will guess. Which means when funds are awarded, Syracuse NY census numbers will be based on an estimate rather than actual numbers. When this occurs, undercounted populations lose, minority, immigrant, and impoverished people are then undercounted. Congressional, legislative, and local districts are then redrawn to reflect the new number, which is now an estimate – missing thousands of residents, many in need of the vary services the census is conducted to quantify.

In the city of Syracuse’s weekly briefing Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens emphasized the importance of what these funds mean to the area, that point was reinforced by Common Council President Helen Hudson.

The following, information from the US Census, in a nutshell breaks down what we’re losing by not completing the survey:

The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and so much more.

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

This once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education

Census results affect planning and funding for healthcare—including programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part B, State Children’s Health Insurance, and the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

Census results affect planning and funding for infrastructure—including programs for highway planning and construction, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.

We couldn’t be in a more perilous time to conduct a census, it’s in the Constitution and it drives the nations policies for a decade. That’s why leaders, especially in cities across the country are practically begging people to participate. With time now reduced by a month, it’s even more important to complete the 2020 US Census.

When Washington DC’s deciding on policies that impact us all; there will be no march, nor movement that can change that formula. Remember food distribution involving blocks of government cheese? These surplus allotments were based on Census figures. How many poor reside in a Census tract? Where does wealth reside? This resource becomes a guide that impacts our lives for the next 10 years.

As an impoverished city, Syracuse stands to gain the most from full participation, not only will it indicate how many are in need of services, it will show patterns of poverty and tracks changes in the area’s income, both positive and negative.

Syracuse Surge Proposed by Mayor Walsh in 2019 State of the City.

The Census will capture the hundreds of people who have relocated downtown. The relocation caused by a concept that spread the university’s footprint; The Connective Corridor, became a catalyst for millions of dollars of investment from University Hill to downtown Syracuse. Those numbers need to be counted as these “communities-in-a-box” are expensive and could represent a slight increase of higher income people in Syracuse, a sign of an improving city. Business decisions are also made based on information derived from census data.

There’s so much at stake with the upcoming Census; a surprising reduction in ground efforts at a time when harder to reach populations are surveyed manually, an assault on the process to allow mail-in voting. (which occurs safely in several states already.) The Reduction in the number of polling places where African Americans vote, in too many cases it takes upwards of 5 hours in line, especially in the south.

If this isn’t a clarion call to action, nothing is.

2020 US Census – Complete your Census forms today “Click” here!

 


How Syracuse Can Increase Our Census Participation: ‘Each One Reach One’

This was conceptualized to increase our city’s level of participation in the US Census. It was recently announced the effort scheduled to end in October had its deadline changed to September, a 30 day reduction in data collection time. That almost guarantees a massive under-count of populations in cities across the country, especially Syracuse. This doesn’t have to be the case. If each person reading this column; calls, emails, tweets or texts at least one person within the next 2 weeks, with a simple message, “have you completed your 2020 Census form yet?”

Corny, yes. But we must use any legal means necessary to accurately count our population. As a community that receives major allotments based on our levels of concentrated poverty, we need to make sure the count accurately reflects the snapshot of Syracuse.  The good, the bad and the not so good, document it.

It’s summed up on the US Census website:

Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education

Census results affect planning and funding for healthcare—including programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part B, State Children’s Health Insurance, and the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

Census results affect planning and funding for infrastructure—including programs for highway planning and construction, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.

Review the aforementioned “Census results affect…” you’ll realize, not one city resident is left untouched by investments made by the Federal Government into our city.

Therefore, try it. Contact someone and ask, “have you completed the 2020 Census?” The form came in the mail, if you can’t locate the official mail-in documents, go online to complete your Census forms. The life of our neighborhoods and the continued improvements in our city depends on it.

Each One – Reach One, let’s try it.

2020 US Census – Complete your Census forms today “Click” here!

Busy Weekend for Syracuse Police: If Overall Crime Rate is Down Why Does It Feel Like a Crime Wave?


  • Calls to Police involving guns, stabbings and shots fired have become a common scenario, in Syracuse this summer, within a one-hour period on July 26th , between 11:08 pm and 12:09 am violence calls spiked, as there were 3 responses by police, 1 death and 1 in critical condition. Earlier in the evening 9:00 PM, another incident occurred on the 100 block of Martin Luther King W., a location where casings were found, later a 30-year-old victim arrived at Upstate Hospital. Since New York State reopened there has been what appears to be a rash of violence within the city of Syracuse. Stabbings, shootings and shots fired are occurring again, after a respite, at times in rapid succession.

    Violence up in Major Cities Across the Country

    Violence has been occurring at an alarming rate in cities throughout the country. According to a July 6th story in the Washington Post, Major U.S. cities, gripped with crisis, now face spike in deadly shootings, including of children “Tragedies struck in urban centers thousands of miles apart, with 65 people shot over the weekend in New York and 87 in Chicago, and homicides climbing from Miami to Milwaukee.” An 8-year-old child killed over a holiday weekend when a bullet hit her mother’s car, as people were celebrating on July 4th ; an 11 year-old shot at an anti-violence cookout in Washington D.C. In Chicago, it was a 7-year-old girl outside of her home, shot and killed.

    Not to be left out, Syracuse, NY had a mass shooting at a party on the Near Westside where 9 were shot, resulting in 1 death and multiple arrests. And since June 20th there have been stabbings, shootings and shots fired on a regular basis. In Syracuse, it’s beginning to appear as though a day without violence, is like a day without sunshine, these are clouds that routinely cast a pall over our land.

    Are We Going Through a Crime Wave?

    Crime Statistics- Community Briefing Syracuse July 24 2020

    Given that perception being everything at times, Syracuse would appear to be going through a crime wave. However, the numbers tell a different story.

    Syracuse city officials are aware of the perception as they told the public in their weekly address. Mayor Ben Walsh admits we’re challenged on both violent and property crime, according to Walsh, “for violent crime, it’s aggravated assaults those are the ones that get the headlines which understandably make people feel less safe, there’s a perception that crime is going up when overall it is going down.  So, we’re going to keep continue to keep an eye on that, especially the aggravated assaults.  On the property crime side, burglaries a big problem, 36% increase in burglaries. We want to be upfront and focused on those numbers that are high; but we also, tell the full story, the overall figures are down.” The Mayor had charts and graphs to back his claims of an overall reduction in crime.

    Even with statistical information (receipts) verifying a reduction in overall crime, it doesn’t stop the anguish felt by those residing within these neighborhoods. Clifford Ryan and OG’s Against Violence has been on the front lines “in the streets” as documented in many cases, preventing violence by direct engagement.

    Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson said, “We have a problem in the community with mental health, there are many out there who are not being treated that require attention. On top of everything else we’re dealing with.”

    E. Brian Eure, Vice President Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance at City Hall.

    The clergy through the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and other religious based coalitions are planning events, According to E. Brian Eure, Vice President Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance in a statement said, “Syracuse Clergy, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA), InterFaith Works, & Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) are laying a foundation for change.”

    The group met Friday on the steps of Syracuse City Hall, Eure says “we are going into the community with events, such as food drives”. It was clear from his statement, there are ongoing efforts by clergy to reach a population challenged by both COVID-19 and cascading reports of inner-city violence.

    The following are just a sample of what has occurred in Syracuse over a 3-hour period. This cycle is beginning to repeat itself, as multiple crimes are occurring within short periods of time.

    What Happened Over the Weekend?

    The following reports are generated by the Syracuse Police Department, this is an example of a given period in the day of the Syracuse Police Department. This is not isolated as there are days where the department is moving in several directions at once, responding to incidents that happen to occur at times within minutes of each other. The following represents the 3-hour period between Sunday 9 PM through 12:09 AM Monday morning.

    Shots Fired Call on Martin Luther King W.

    On Sunday, July 26th, 2020, at around 9:00 P.M., Officers responded to the 100 block of Martin Luther King W. for a shooting with injuries type call. Upon arrival, Officers discovered evidence of shots fired, and several casings were located. A short time later, a 30-year-old male victim arrived at Upstate Hospital with a gunshot wound to the midsection. The victim is expected to survive. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222 or by using our Syracuse PD tips app.

    Shooting on Oswego St. Victim in Critical Condition

    ​On Sunday, July 26th, 2020, at around 11:08 P.M., Officers responded to the 700 block of Oswego St. for a shooting with injuries type call. Upon arrival, Officers discovered evidence of shots fired, and several casings were located. Officers also found a 27-year-old male victim, who was shot in the head. The male was transported to Upstate Hospital in critical condition.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222 or by using our Syracuse PD tips app.

    Shooting Victim Dies at Upstate Location of Incident Unknown

    ​On Sunday, July 26th, 2020, at around 11:47 P.M., Officers responded to Upstate Hospital for a shooting with injuries investigation call. A male victim, 42-years-old, was dropped off at the hospital by private vehicle with a gunshot wound to the midsection. The male was later pronounced dead. Limited information on the incident location at this time.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222 or by using our Syracuse PD tips app.

    Shots Fired Reported on Berger Ave.

    On Monday, July 27th, 2020, at around 12:09 A.M., Officers responded to the 100 block of Berger Ave. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of a shots fired, and a residence was struck. There were no injuries reported. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222 or by using our Syracuse PD tips app.

    Local leaders are flummoxed; there are no easy solutions to gun violence. Perhaps a glimmer of hope comes from the movement to Defund the Police, which is really about allocation of resources where they are needed. Defund the Police is simply saying, place money in areas to prevent crime which is a socio-economic issue properly fund those programs that prevent violence. Period.

    Defund the Police?

    There will always be a police Department, however how they operate moving forward is coming under increased scrutiny. Look for sweeping changes, as state and local law enforcement seek to contain the onslaught of public concern dealing with citizen police relations. Based on the public outcry, legislative measures will be introduced at the local, State and Federal levels in an attempt to address Community-Police Relations. Perhaps they can solve this bewildering question; specifically, why so many African -American men end up dead, after encounters with Police?


    Lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Root Cause of Our Current Problems

    As an opinion writer the hardest struggle is to put emotions into words. The pandemic has not only unleashed a disease that disproportionally attacks African Americans, there’s still no national strategy as COVID-19 has raced through the south like Union soldiers during the Civil War. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the list goes on as people have marched in the name of Black Lives Matters. Not just in our urban centers but in small towns like Marcellus NY where they had their own march, the lead sign, “Black Lives Matters”.

    In Syracuse, many have marched for 40 days in protest of police actions. Cities and communities across the country are reeling from the unprecedented direct action coming from the people.

    Groups have met in virtual settings, and in person recently there was a forum presented by Mary Nelson’s Youth Center, regarding violence, there are a myriad of organizations marching, meeting and demanding an end to business as usual as it relates to policing.

    And not to be left out of the conversation, violence that takes place between each other in the African American Community.

    In times like these sometimes music has the answer, as I pondered what I would have to say about the tumultuous times we find ourselves in. It finally came in a word. Something that if taken seriously would be the magic pill that unites us, and perhaps steer some people away from violence against “each other”.

    That word is Respect. The Staple Singers sanctified the word with the song, Respect Yourself. While Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, spelled it out for us; R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    Respect: means if you’re in Law Enforcement, you respect the people you’ve been trained to “protect and Serve”.

    Respect: means not shooting up a neighborhood party or a human being, it is like spitting in the communal cup, one from which everybody has to drink.

    Respect: means if you’re the President of the Police Benevolent Association you respect the people who pay the salaries of your union members, as a “Leader” the PBA’s searing comments only serve to pour kerosene on dry shrubs, then turn around, drop a match and yell, FIRE!

    Respect: means Jeff Piedmont negotiating as a member of a diverse dynamic community, not as an “occupier” We’ve all seen, The Black Panther, “Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, occupier!”

    Respect: means not shooting anyone for any reason. Some would argue it’s societal pressures, others would call it bad choices. When you shoot someone in this community chances are, you are going to get caught. A buddy, a friend or and acquaintance will call the Tip Line.

    Respect: means handling anger, and God knows there’s a lot to be angry about.

    Respect: means governments and government officials having the proper supports for this community. Many of our young people struggle with, what is there to live for?

    This is a simple resolution, Respect. What a novel idea?

    If Mayor Ben Walsh, PBA’s Jeff Piedmont, Common Council President Helen Hudson and Chief Buckner; can get in the same room and on the same page, maybe, just maybe we can arrive at a place where mutual respect becomes common place.

    The emotion coming from a diverse community is manifesting itself through direct action taken by various groups, including clergy. The constant adversarial relationship nourished by hyperbolic rantings from the PBA towards the people of this community must end otherwise, the only solution is to go the way of Camden, New Jersey. Rebuild a new modern Police Department from scratch.


    J. Ryan McMahon II: Onondaga County Executive Maintaining Calm During the Storm


    COVID-19 and Enforcement of Social Distancing, Amazon Fulfillment Center, Office of Diversity, Black Lives Matter

    This has been an unprecedented period for leadership in Onondaga County, as chief stewards on health issues for our area. The County Executive’s job has been fairly easy to describe as many functions of our government are scheduled and fairly predictable. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Central New York, J. Ryan McMahon II found himself in a position where it was no longer business as usual. When asked McMahon said, “It really has changed a lot. It’s starting to get back a little bit more towards where we were last year, now.  There’s a new norm now. But in the beginning of the process especially when we were planning and preparing for COVID. And then implementing mitigation techniques before we had positive cases. When we were in the response to the virus through its peaks everything was COVID, all day long. It was consistent briefings, consistent planning, at different phases it changed.”

    McMahon continues, “once it got to the point where we built up the infrastructure on testing, so we made sure we had the testing infrastructure in place for symptomatic cases. Then we started to see the virus attacking our senior facilities, our nursing homes. Unfortunately, those don’t fall within my regulatory guidelines. From that point on we started doing proactive testing in assisted living and independent living facilities. Then we went into proactive testing, into communities traditionally underserved, new American communities, our minority communities. We had testing at the Syracuse Community Health Center, strategically to make sure that there was access to testing in our minority communities on day one.”

    McMahon appears to be looking forward with an eye kept on the rear-view mirror. “We accomplished a lot in the response period when things were unknown. We didn’t know a lot about the virus. Then eventually we got the virus under control, essentially. And then when you’re looking at restarting the economy, you’re then looking at fighting the virus in real-time as you put more people back together again. “

    As with most local governments, Onondaga County has had to cope with the dramatic loss in sales tax revenue, caused by the New York Pause. Now there’s deep concern about budgets, set well before any knowledge of a devastating health crisis.  McMahon,” So these are all things that have happened; so we went from Planning and preparing, to mitigating, to response, to restart, and now were at the end of that restart process and now I think we’re going to move into economic recovery and really addressing our budgetary crisis we have now.”

    Amazon Fulfillment Center

    Amazon Fulfillment Center inside

    There has been concern voiced by residents living in the city of Syracuse who have the impression that this is another project providing jobs that will bypass Syracuse city residents.

    McMahon responds, “We landed this deal, we specifically were very interested in this opportunity because of the diversity of the jobs, on income range, to make sure that people that have low skills have an opportunity and a direct pathway out of poverty. I would say to those who are concerned about the access to opportunity, I wouldn’t be concerned. Right now, they’re building the second largest facility in the world, and there are minority-based businesses on the site.  There’s a boatload of local labor on this site, building this project. We’re going to have over 1,000 jobs available to all members of the community. As we get further on in the building process, and closer to when the building is finished next year, we’ll be having numerous job fairs. There will be direct transportation to the facility from CENTRO, so that should not be a problem. “

    Office of Diversity

    “I made a commitment when I became county executive that we would diversify our workforce to be reflective of the populations in our community. We have a goal in Onondaga County to have 20% minority employment by 2022. “

    McMahon also talks about the limitations of the office, some positions are Civil Service, that limits his ability to appoint individuals to many county positions.

    McMahon, “How do we get there? We have civil service that is part of the process, we need to build up that infrastructure of candidates so when there are jobs there, you have candidates. You Work with these candidates to be able to take these tests and score well. Because not all jobs I have, I can just pick, I wish we could but those are the civil service rules.”

    However, McMahon’s committed to providing tools required to compete in the Civil Service application process. This also includes enhancing test taking skills.

    He talks about the return of the Human Rights Commission, and the Jail Oversight Committee which McMahon touts as accomplishments while he was chairman of the Legislature.

    “We work on MWBE compliance for county-based projects, making sure our minority and woman owned business requirements we have on county projects and throughout purchasing are met up to. It’s an active office, I think it’s going to be a more active office.”

    “Right now, with a lot of the discussion, and a lot of the things going on in the community. There’s an opportunity with new young leaders in the Black Lives Matters Movement and we want to engage these folks. When you talk about systems, an investment in underserved communities; that’s what our PIE (People Infrastructure Economic Development) platform was all about. So, we’re certainly going to have Monica Williams and her team of leaders, engaging with these young leaders. Continuing to make the types of investments with health, and education with the new STEAM school we got that done in this pandemic. Early Childhood, we have been recognized across the country as leaders in early childhood investments. Workforce development, transportation; these were all things we were doing before COVIC, COVID changed everything. It pushed us apart from each other, so it’s harder to get things done. Now that we can come together more, we need to get back to our agenda. “

    COVID-19 and Enforcement of Social Distancing

    COVID County Daily Briefing May 18 2020

    When it comes to enforcement of the various “orders” McMahon says, “We are enforcing the business compliance out of our law department and our health departments. Related to physical distancing, it falls on the local police departments, in some cases that may be the county sheriff’s office for communities that don’t have a police department. “

    In Syracuse, if there is a situation that requires backup, they call the Onondaga County Sheriff Department for assistance. That has been witnessed at times in Syracuse, when several area law enforcement agencies were called upon to assist when there were shootings involving multiple victims, as an example.

    McMahon continues, “I was vocal, stating the party had more than 25 people therefore, it never should have happened under the COVID laws. No one could have ever guessed or predicted what would have happened.”

    On July 13, 2020 Onondaga County issued Local Emergency 9-T pertaining to Criminal Enforcement and Business Violations. On July, 14th Local Emergency Orders; 13-I Pertaining to Outdoor Dining,  and 15-C Pertaining to employers Obligation to provide employee roster to Health Department if more than one person tests positive to COVID-19, were extended.  The County Executive also expressed concern as reports of people breaking quarantine or having parties in violation of local emergency orders.

    As we make progress with this virus, that will allow us the have larger gatherings, we may see that soon. But, McMahon warns, “we really have to follow these rules because of the progress we’ve made during this pandemic has allowed us to get our economy open faster than other parts of the country.”

     


    COVID – 19 Pandemic and Racial Disparities: 41% of Syracuse Cases are African-American


    29.67% of the City’s Population is African American – Onondaga County’s African-American population is 11.4% with 27.8% of confirmed coronavirus cases,  SCHC Testing site (photo)

    It was March 16th when Onondaga County reported its first case of COVID-19 also known as the Coronavirus. As news reports told of people flooding hospitals in the New York City area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo began sounding the alarm as projections of casualties by the thousands began to flood newscasts. What began as an outbreak on the west coast, had ballooned into a full blown pandemic in New York State.

    Numbers of those infected by the virus and the death toll rose steadily as the state developed an action plan designed to “flatten the curve”. Gov. Cuomo and local government officials utilized a variety of techniques designed to bring down the level of possible infections, masks, social distancing and hand washing. As the virus made its way across the country, statistical trends were developing regarding the disease and its transmission. Those with underlying health conditions were the most vulnerable, and we were told those over 65 should be especially careful about possible exposure.

    COVID-19 and Chicago: How is the pandemic going to Impact the African American Community?

    “In Chicago of the first 100 deaths from coronavirus, 70 were African-American” according to ProPublica. While African Americans make up 30% of Chicago’s population, the disease had a disproportionate impact on its African American community.  From the beginning the disease appeared to be most brutal to those with underlying medical conditions, which were deemed to be contributing factors.  That being said, I wanted to look at Syracuse and our African-American population to determine if those national trends are replicated here, in upstate New York.

    COVID-19 and the Syracuse/Onondaga County African American Community 41%/29%

    Syracuse numbers were sobering, 41% of Syracuse COVID-19 cases are African-American while 29.67% of the City’s Population is African American. If you extend the analysis into Onondaga County, African-Americans have 27.8% of cases and make up 11.4% of Onondaga County’s population.

    When you drill into zip codes, there are areas with numbers that stand out, on the city’s Southside, 13205 there are 354 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 13203 has 352 confirmed, while 13208 indicates 293 confirmed cases. (chart numbers have been updated 7-7-2020)

    Most important in managing the pandemic is government at the local level, Onondaga County’s proactive leadership in monitoring the outbreak by testing, creating the Syracuse Community Health Center COVID-19 testing location for the uninsured. Over the last few months, mobile testing has been implemented as part of the effort to provide an adequate number of tests results to move on to the next step of reopening the areas economy.

    Both Onondaga County Executive J.Ryan McMahon II with his daily COVID-19 briefings and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Syracuse Common Council and others; provide their weekly update on how the pandemic is impacting city lives and operations.

    Yesterday, the County Executive issued an extension of previous orders that are only issued for short durations.  The following were extended:

    On Thursday July 9, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh will be issuing a Proclamation recognizing artist Carrie Mae Weems for her COVID outreach to Black, Brown and Native communities.

    Lack of Adherence to Health Department Mandates

    Well before the “Rye Day,” tragedy on June 20th (that drew hundreds of people to a “celebration” where 9 were shot), there were mass gatherings in Syracuse. On any given day, drive into the effected zip codes, those with high COVID-19 rates and there are several commonalities: Mass gatherings/parties without face coverings, many corner stores not practicing social distancing and employees not wearing a mask. National chain retail stores in our poorest neighborhoods with employees wearing masks on their chin.  The aforementioned is a recipe for disaster as our county’s numbers have experienced a slight increase after remaining relatively stable.

    As New York State slowly reopens there’s a ticking timebomb that resides in our urban neighborhoods. COVID-19 outcomes are hampered by diabetes and heart disease among other chronic conditions. In Syracuse, our chances of contracting COVID-19 due to this pandemic are exacerbated by non-compliant store employees and to be blunt, people not taking this pandemic seriously.

    If you live in Syracuse, 41% of COVID-19 cases are African-American while 29.67% of the City’s Population is African American, now that’s something to think about as we move through Phase 4, in an attempt to emerge from our “pause”.

     The following data is from the Onondaga County Health Department

    COVID-19 Data and Reports “click” on any chart to enlarge

    Data are a critical tool for understanding how COVID-19 is impacting our community. The data presented on this page provide a summary of what is currently known about confirmed COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County. The sections below include a current snapshot of new cases and cases to date as well as demographic data for confirmed COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County and Syracuse.

    See the Onondaga County GIS maps for a breakdown of active and recovered cases by municipality/town and by ZIP code within the city of Syracuse. 

    Hospitalization Data for COVID-19 Cases—Onondaga County

    Hospitalization Data for COVID-19 Cases—Onondaga County
    The data presented below provide an overview of COVID-19 hospitalizations among residents of Onondaga County. This section includes current hospitalization data, trends over time, and a breakdown of hospitalizations by race. Please note, Total Hospitalizations to Date refers to the number of hospitalizations occurring to date, and does not indicate the number of cases who have been hospitalized. Some cases have been re-hospitalized and count more than once.

    Racial Disparities in COVID – 19 Hospitalizations Onondaga County

    Mortality Data for COVID-19 Cases—Onondaga County
    The data presented below provide a breakdown of COVID-19 deaths by race for residents of Onondaga County. The graph represents deaths occurring in hospitals or within the community. Deaths occurring at nursing homes have been excluded.

    Demographics of COVID-19 Cases—Onondaga County
    Below are demographic data for confirmed COVID-19 cases to date among residents of Onondaga County (updated weekly, last update 7-7-20).


    Demographics of COVID-19 Cases—Syracuse

    Below are demographic data for confirmed COVID-19 cases to date among residents of Syracuse. Please note the Onondaga County data presented in the section above are inclusive of Syracuse residents (updated weekly, last update 7-7-20).

     

    Onondaga County COVID – 16 Community Resources:

    Onondaga County COVID-19 Resource Numbers

    Testing for COVID-19
    Anyone can now get tested for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms:

    Mobile clinic on Friday, July 10:
    Tucker Missionary Baptist Church | Register | Pdf Flyer

    Walk-up and drive-thru testing is available at Syracuse Community Health Center, 819 South Salina Street in Syracuse every Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm. Testing is also available at primary care offices, call for details. Other mobile clinic locations are being planned and announced as they become available.

    Anyone who is tested and is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result. Individuals with negative test results will be notified by the office/clinic that provided the test and may end quarantine at that time.

     


    Racism for Dummies: An analysis of Cayuga County Legislature member Andrew Dennison’s incendiary letter ‘Protests have been anything but peaceful’


    The writer assumes that every member of the Black Community is controlled like sycophants, by our supreme leaders, Rev. Jessie Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.  (see Legislator,  Andrew Dennison’s full letter below)

    The following letter was published by auburn.pub, a Cayuga County based publication. Why are we reprinting it? Because this evisceration of Black Lives Matters can serve as an example of a racist letter full of negative racial stereotypes, what’s worse; this letter was written by an elected official.  First clue, be wary of a letter that starts with, “I’m sure after this letter I’ll be called a racist but that’s fine because I know I’m not.”

    After allowing the public to view the text of his letter there’s a detailed analysis at the end of this story, explaining what this Cayuga County Legislator is saying, I’m call it Racism for Dummies 

    Andrew Dennison

    I’m sure after this letter I’ll be called a racist but that’s fine because I know I’m not.

    Wake up people if you think the so-called peaceful protests are just that because they’re not. Do black lives really matter when young black children are being killed by other black people who are supposedly peacefully protesting police brutality? Fathers day weekend, 100 shootings in Chicago black on black shootings that left some children dead but hey where’s Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson for that? Oh that’s right they only think black lives matter when a black person is shot by a white cop.

    Look it up folks. In 2019 9 unarmed black people were shot and killed by on-duty cops, 19 unarmed white people were shot and killed by on-duty cops, and 50 cops were killed. How many protests were there for those 50 cops killed? Is burning buildings and looting and tearing down statues really a black lives matter peaceful protest? Hell, most of these idiots don’t even know anything about the statues they’re tearing down — and should we try and erase the past or learn from it?

    If you really think doing away with law enforcement across this country is a good idea then you’re just as big of an idiot as the majority of these so-called peaceful protesters. Is there racism in this country? Yes, and unfortunately there probably always will be, but it’s a two-way street. And none of us were here 200 or 300 years ago and we can’t change the past, but we can learn from it, but not if people try to erase it.

    Where’s our elected officials at all levels are they just going to stand by and watch our country be destroyed? Oh that’s right there’s nothing like a good protest or pandemic to show the true colors of politics. Again wake up people!

    Andrew Dennison
    Cato 

    Andrew Dennison is the Cayuga County Legislature representative for District 2.

     

    Racism for Dummies: An analysis of Cayuga County Legislature member Andrew Dennison’s incendiary letter

    ‘Protests have been anything but peaceful’

    Paragraph 1
    1. “Do black lives really matter when young black children are being killed by other black people?”

    White people kill white people all the time. Never is so-called ‘Black on Black” more falsely contextualized as it is by the statement. Black Lives Matter because white lives have always mattered, while ours didn’t. An entire system has been constructed guaranteeing the value of white lives over Black lives. The death of so many Black men during police interaction is troubling, given that Dylann Roof who, during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, killed nine people. On his way in the police took him to Burger King. A Black male is more likely to be killed by police, while white men are routinely taken into custody, let alone being treated to a Burger King snack.

     “Statistics are cut-and-dry, and they do not lie. According to the FBI’s most recent homicide numbers available, from 2011, a staggering 83 percent of white murder victims were killed by fellow Caucasians. (Of murders committed by Blacks, only 14 percent were of whites.) And because whites are the majority in the country — there are six times as many whites as there are Blacks — that means they commit the most murders.” Atlanta Black Star.com

    2. “where’s Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson”

    The writer assumes that every member of the Black Community is controlled like sycophants, by our supreme leaders, Rev. Jessie Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. He forgets the number of African Americans who are now elected at the local level, all the way up to the House of Representatives, these are our elected leaders. Jessie Jackson has Parkinson’s and has curtailed his public appearances. Al Sharpton speaks for the voiceless and was asked to come into some of these communities as called upon to deliver eulogies. We have no “leader” that we kowtow or kneel to.

    3. “black lives matter when a black person is shot by a white cop”

    Just that statement alone is casting all people that support BLM as being Black. Support for the movement has grown among others including, White, Asian, Native American’s, and others.

    There was a group of white, Black Lives Matters protesters observed marching in Marcellus, New York, hardly an urban center. You are assuming that all of the protesters are Black, in addition to all protesters hating police officers.  It’s not the person, it’s the conditions that are being protested against. Which is consistent with Civil Rights protests of the past.

    Paragraph 2
    1. “Is burning buildings and looting and tearing down statues really a black lives matter peaceful protest?”
    • The man who torched Police Station Number 3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota? – white male.
    • Couple arrested in New York City with Molotov cocktails? Two anarchist lawyers. Nothing to do with BLM.
    • Pointing semi-automatic weapons at peaceful protesters- A white couple.
    • A tweet posted by President Trump where a person is clearly shouting “White Power”
    • Most protests (and there were many) have a record of being peaceful, there were outside instigators including White Supremacists and Anarchists that took advantage of the situation.

    Andrew Dennison appears to combine all his grievances into one racially charged statement; as if he’s off to see the Grand Wizard……of Oz, “Burning and Looting and Statues, Oh My! Burning and Looting and Statues, Oh My!, Burning and Looting and Statues, Oh My!”

    2. “most of these idiots don’t even know anything about the statues they’re tearing down “

    You begin by calling most protesters, “idiots”. Stating that most know nothing about the statues. People know, that’s why many remnants of the old south are being taken down, by force if necessary. There are people who don’t want remnants of slavery in monument form on our shared public space. The fact is we’ve now learned about the statues and those being depicted, that’s why they’re being taken down. They detailed their purpose for a Confederate State based on slavery, then went to war in a treasonous move.  The south lost, now they feel entitled to monuments to a cause that cost America dearly, in lives and treasure.

    Paragraph 3
    1. “doing away with law enforcement…. you’re just as big of an idiot as the majority of these so-called peaceful protesters”

    Misrepresentation of the facts. No one is claiming doing away with Law Enforcement. Camden, New Jersey, once crime ridden fired their entire force, restructured their operation with many of the same people and the crime rate plummeted. Police have long complained that they are being asked to do things that are not law enforcement based, this concept radically changed the way Camden handled community policing and the results were positive.

    According to the department, the City of Camden has seen a 70% decrease in homicides and a 46% drop in violent crime over the past 7 years.

    Camden’s Turn: A Story of Police Reform in Progress A guide for law enforcement and community screenings

    According to Politico “And it’s true that the reforms produced real change in the statistics: The excessive use of force rates plummeted. The homicide rate decreased. And new incentives laid the groundwork for a completely new understanding of what it meant to be a good cop.” According to the department, the City of Camden has seen a 70% decrease in homicides and a 46% drop in violent crime over the past 7 years.

    2. “none of us were here 200 or 300 years ago”

    You’ve been benefiting by the way this country has been structured for “200 or 300 years” Why do you think there are disparities between Blacks and Whites? Pick the area, opportunities, income, education, home ownership, healthcare.  How my father had to take a test to vote, and my mom had to learn out of hand-me-down books with pages missing from a white wealthier school district in Alabama. That wasn’t 200 years ago. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Fair Housing Act of 1968 are fairly recent on the timeline of history. We’re not talking about 200 years ago, try looking back about 50, 60 and 70 years in your rear-view mirror.

    3. ” …we can learn from it, but not if people try to erase it.”

    There’s nothing to learn from men who went to war to keep my ancestors in bondage. There’s nothing to learn from a flag that became their standard bearer. Then that flag returning for the 1950’s through 60’s, energized as an act of defiance to school integration, equal accommodations and the prospect of non-discrimination laws.

    “Click” on image to enlarge.

    1963 George Wallace (from his inaugural speech, first term as governor)
    “It is very appropriate that from this cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us time and again down through history. Let us rise to the call for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

    With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the confederate flag became in vogue. If you go to Germany, you will not see the swastika displayed proudly as a part of German heritage. The same could be said about Civil War Flags and monuments, they fought and lost a brutal war about the continuation of enslaved labor, that should never be celebrated, nor forgotten.

    Paragraph 4
    1. “…stand by and watch our country be destroyed?”

    More people are protesting now than at any time during the past 50 years. The murder of George Floyd touched a nerve with the American Public, just as scenes of the Civil Rights protesters getting bit by dogs on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, these scenes forced a nation to deal with its demons. By simply showing the pictures. Watching a man die before our eyes triggered something in the American psyche, “we’re better than this” as a nation recoiled in horror. Protests, the assembling of our people in peaceful protest is the hallmark of our democracy. The First Amendment, Freedom of Speech.

    In conclusion

    No one is standing by to, “watch our country be destroyed” These protests you are seeing are people fed up, and they’re taking to the streets. The American public is beginning to send out signals that they’ll be at the voting booths in defiance, exactly what the founders had in mind.

     


    Governor Cuomo Announces Five Regions Will Enter Phase Three of Reopening Tomorrow


    Global Public Health Experts Have Cleared Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier to Enter Phase Three

    State is Allowing Localities to Open Public Pools and Playgrounds at their Discretion Beginning Today

    Confirms 736 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 380,892; New Cases in 42 Counties

    Gov. Cuomo at his daily COVID-19 briefings

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier – will enter phase three of reopening tomorrow, June 12th. The team of global public health experts advising New York State on its reopening strategy has thoroughly reviewed the data for the five regions and cleared them to enter phase three. Phase three allows indoor restaurant and food services and personal care services to resume. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. Business guidance for phase three of the state’s reopening plan is available here.

    Governor Cuomo also announced that the state is allowing localities to open public pools and playgrounds at their discretion while following state guidance beginning today.

    “We’ve had the most informed, science-based reopening in the country and as we continue our phased reopening the numbers continue to go down,” Governor Cuomo said. “There is now one number to watch closely and that is the daily testing number because it is a snapshot of the day before and will tell us if the infection rate is going up in any given location. We’ve been doing everything right up until now, but we have to stay smart and keep following all the necessary precautions to keep getting those numbers down.”

    Finally, the Governor confirmed 736 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 380,892 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 380,892 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:

     

    County
    Total Positive
    New Positive
    Albany
    1,996
    10
    Allegany
    53
    1
    Broome
    641
    11
    Cattaraugus
    98
    2
    Cayuga
    102
    0
    Chautauqua
    106
    1
    Chemung
    138
    0
    Chenango
    137
    0
    Clinton
    98
    1
    Columbia
    424
    4
    Cortland
    42
    0
    Delaware
    88
    1
    Dutchess
    4,027
    5
    Erie
    6,659
    43
    Essex
    40
    0
    Franklin
    23
    0
    Fulton
    230
    2
    Genesee
    212
    1
    Greene
    249
    0
    Hamilton
    5
    0
    Herkimer
    125
    0
    Jefferson
    79
    0
    Lewis
    20
    0
    Livingston
    121
    0
    Madison
    333
    2
    Monroe
    3,293
    38
    Montgomery
    101
    1
    Nassau
    41,060
    45
    Niagara
    1,136
    7
    NYC
    208,517
    399
    Oneida
    1,216
    13
    Onondaga
    2,454
    21
    Ontario
    229
    7
    Orange
    10,550
    9
    Orleans
    260
    1
    Oswego
    119
    4
    Otsego
    78
    1
    Putnam
    1,282
    0
    Rensselaer
    508
    1
    Rockland
    13,385
    13
    Saratoga
    513
    2
    Schenectady
    717
    1
    Schoharie
    54
    0
    Schuyler
    12
    0
    Seneca
    62
    1
    St. Lawrence
    212
    3
    Steuben
    254
    1
    Suffolk
    40,512
    48
    Sullivan
    1,426
    1
    Tioga
    135
    0
    Tompkins
    171
    0
    Ulster
    1,729
    3
    Warren
    257
    0
    Washington
    241
    1
    Wayne
    127
    1
    Westchester
    34,106
    30
    Wyoming
    91
    0
    Yates
    39
    0

     

     


    Violence-Palooza and Stab-A-Thon Grips Syracuse as Tension between Police and Residents Increase


    Is it the weather? Is it the relaxing of the NY Pause? The number of Syracuse residents stabbing and shooting each other has hit new highs as multiple events are occurring daily. No one has to go any further than regular police released information on crime. During the NY Pause, our crime numbers were trending downward, only domestic violence has increased during this period.

    However, something’s happening in our city, an unraveling, a place out of control. It’s difficult to say why this is occurring. Simultaneously, there are daily protests against Police violence.

    In the meantime, we are on pace to have one of the deadliest years on record, as residents are stabbing and shooting each other, with increasing numbers at a rapid pace.

    Adding fuel to the fire the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association through their President, Jeff Piedmont has been against reform and recently complained that his younger officers are leaving and/or threatening to leave and go to other police departments. Or as he was quoted in published reports “The world is against us”.

    The PBA set the stage the day Syracuse Police Chief Buckner was appointed, in an adversarial tone Chief Buckner was welcomed to Syracuse.

    Octavia Spencer in The Help ( Pie the Syracuse PBA baked for Chief Buckner)

    COVID-19 was welcomed with more enthusiasm by the SPD Union, than their incoming Chief.  Now, reports are that the Chief doesn’t engage in chit-chat with rank and file officers. Not surprising, given the reception by the PBA, which was equal to the special Pie Octavia Davis delivered to a racist woman in the movie, The Help.

    This is where we are now. Multiple protests daily. A union that doesn’t appear to understand that as members of our multi-ethnic society there’s a need to work together, city, residents and the police.  And yes, they have a difficult job given the life threatening incidents popping up like dandelions on the urban terrain.

    It is now, not unusual to see Syracuse Police respond to 6 shootings and multiple stabbings within hours of each other. Syracuse Police Investigate Multiple Shootings and Two Homicides between 12:33 am Friday and 2:04 am Sunday ; the aforementioned occurred between June 5th and 7th. The following are police calls noted between June 9 – 10.

    Monday June 10, 2020

    Syracuse Police Investigate June 10th S. Salina Street Stabbing: the Victim Dies

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2020, at around 10:25 A.M., Officers responded to the 800 block of S. Salina St. for a stabbing call. Upon arrival, Officers discovered a 44-year-old female who had been stabbed in the midsection. The victim was transported to Upstate Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. The investigation is active and ongoing; anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

     Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

    Syracuse Police Investigate Multiple Shots Fired on Midland Ave., a Shooting with Injuries and a Homicide.

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, at around 10:28 P.M., Officers responded to the 2200 block of Midland Ave. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of shots fired and several casings were found. A vehicle was damaged in the area. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

    Police Investigate Homicide on E. Fayette Street

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, at around 10:34 P.M., Officers responded to the 1800 block of E. Fayette St. for a shooting with injuries type call. Upon arrival, Officers located a 21-year-old male who had been shot in the mid-section. The male was transported to Upstate Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

    Police Investigate shots fired on Pond Street

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, at around 10:42 P.M., Officers responded to the 700 block of Pond St. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of shots fired and several casings were found. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

    Syracuse Police investigate W. Colvin St. Shooting with Injuries

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, at around 11:17 P.M., Officers responded to the 500 block of W. Colvin St. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of shots fired and several casings were found. Around the same time, a 26-year-old male victim arrived at Upstate Hospital with gunshot wounds to the mid section. The victim is expected to survive. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

     

    June 10th, 2020

    Syracuse Police Respond to Gage Ct. Shots Fired

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2020, at around 12:25 A.M., Officers responded to the 100 block of Gage Ct. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of shots fired and several casings were found. No injuries reported. Two parked vehicles were struck. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.

     

    Shots Fired on Tully St. Syracuse Police Respond

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2020, at around 3:36 A.M., Officers responded to the 300 block of Tully St. for a shots fired type call. Upon arrival, Officers located evidence of shots fired and several casings were found. No injuries or damage reported. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.