In less than two months, working tirelessly with Congress, the Biden administration has proposed an expansive COVID-relief bill with direct implications for Syracuse. While the bill still needs to go through the House of Representatives after a long journey in the Senate before it ends back on President Biden’s desk, we can assume and certainly hope the relief package will become law in its current form. The bill has allotted an estimated $126 million for Syracuse. This funding has some entirely due to the COVID pandemic, bringing much needed support for our city’s residents. In addition, our State AIM Aid is possibly being restored. It is one of the few silver linings of the very devastating past year.
With vaccines rolling out efficiently, it seems the end of these difficult times is in sight. As we near the end of this pandemic, keeping in mind the funding to be granted from the federal and state governments, we must look for ways to be more inclusive and to empower all our communities as we move forward. Too often significant spending decisions are made based on superfluous ideas and political posturing with little consideration of their effects on the people of Syracuse. After such a difficult year, the ways we decide spend the money allocated to us from Washington and Albany should start with consideration from the public. We all face significant obstacles, both in light of the pandemic and prior.
As a member of the Syracuse Common Council and a candidate for the Mayor of Syracuse, I am asking you, the city’s residents, to tell us how you think this money should be invested. All of us who have struggled this past year deserve to have a voice in influencing where the money goes so its benefits are felt beyond downtown. I encourage you all to visit www.bey4mayor.com to submit your ideas as to how we should spend the part of the federal relief package and the state aid allotted to Syracuse. The home page has a button labeled ‘Tell Us’ where you can send your ideas. This type of transparency ensures informed results to empower all our citizens. Unlike any other, this difficult year has proven our strength as a city. As we hopefully near the end of this pandemic and push forward on the road to recovery, let’s forever remain mindful of the fact that we truly are much stronger when working together.
Khalid Bey Councilor at Large, President Pro Tempore
Candidate for Mayor of Syracuse ‘21