Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has done something that is virtually impossible for a Republican, and that is to snag an endorsement by a major black political organization.
At a bed and breakfast located in a former mansion on West Onondaga Avenue, Alliance Network President Walt Dixie addressed the crowded room:
“Perhaps one of the most important things County Executive Joanne Mahoney has done to transform this community is in fact something she didn’t do. She did not build additional sewage treatment plants. The county’s ‘Save the Rain’ program could also be called the ‘Save Our Communities’ program.”
Dixie went on to gush about the support Mahoney has given to minority- and women-owned businesses in Onondaga County.
The dynamic of this moment is not lost since it was only two years ago that the Onondaga County Human Rights Commission was allowed to die a quiet death after an explosive outcry from the black community when the legislature eliminated the department in a cost-cutting move.
One of the little-known facts about the Onondaga County Human Rights Commission was its mission to look out for the interests of minority- and women-owned businesses in this area. However, in his efforts to save the agency, the former Director Julius Edwards failed to mention the millions of dollars in mandated government spending that was consistently monitored and contract clauses enforced when there was a department with a letterhead behind it.
So like many other efforts designed to provide access for minority and women business owners to opportunities in the construction business, this agency was flushed down the toilet.
In defense of Dixie and the Alliance Network, his comments focused on the myriad issues they do agree on, which include stopping the construction of additional regional treatment facilities, supporting for the minority business community, Say Yes to Education and the spirit of collaboration between the county executive and Syracuse’s mayor.
Oh, what was not mentioned is the $350,000 the county made available to another group Dixie heads that has allowed the purchase of a former painting contractor site for a future grocery store.
County Executive Mahoney took time to chat about and spoke to the people gathered about her commitment to the community and its people.
June 6, 2011