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Mayor Miner Calls for Greater Economic Opportunity for All in 2016 State of the City Address

Mayor Miner’s 7th Annual State Of the City Outlined a Vision for Greater Economic Opportunity, Resulting from Meaningful Investments in Infrastructure, Education, and Economic Development Programs that Put People in Need First

Miner: Through Sustainable Economic Development, Investments in Job-Creating Infrastructure and Education We Can Address the Challenges Faced by Our Neighbors in the City and Strive for a Better Future

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A. Miner tonight delivered her seventh State of the City address to the people of the City of Syracuse, emphasizing the commitments her administration is making to ensure all citizens have access to greater economic opportunity.

“Syracuse understands firsthand the struggle against income inequality and we are determined to ensure that our City is a beacon of hope and progress, not a place where your destiny is determined by your neighborhood,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “We need to help those in need, make sure our children learn, help their parents find work, defuse violence, and create pathways to opportunity. Through sustainable economic development, investments in job-creating infrastructure and education, we can address the challenges faced by our neighbors in the City and strive for a better future.”

The Mayor delivered her remarks at Carmelita Boatwright Court at the Southwest Community Center, located at 401 South Avenue in Syracuse. Miner addressed a crowd of several hundred citizens, community leaders, elected officials and the media.

Mayor Miner greets, Sheri Dozier-Owens at State of The City
Mayor Miner greets, Sheri Dozier-Owens at State of The City

In her address, the Mayor also reaffirmed the City’s ongoing commitment to upgrade and modernize infrastructure, announcing bold new initiatives developed by the City’s innovation team (i-team). Since May the i-team, funded by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been working alongside the Departments of Public Works, Water, Engineering and others, employing a data-oriented, innovation delivery approach to fully investigate infrastructure issues and develop solutions. Mayor Miner has made using innovative methods and new funding streams to repair aging infrastructure a priority of her administration, successfully advocating for $10 million in funding from the State of New York for water and road infrastructure that will support these new solutions.

Mayor Miner added, “While our challenges are many, our resources are precious and few. Every day we face the water main breaks and pock-marked roads caused by an era of deferred maintenance. It is critical that we take innovative approaches to solving these problems that focus on long-term results will allow us to stretch our resources as far as possible.”

Highlights of Mayor Miner’s address include:

New Police and Fire Classes

Mayor Miner announced she will begin hiring new classes for the Syracuse Police and Syracuse Fire Departments. In March, the City will begin the process of hiring 25 new officers for the Police Department. In April, the City will begin a similar process for the hiring of 25 new firefighters.

Education

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras
Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras

The Syracuse City School District saw an increase in graduation rates with results officially certified by the State of New York in late 2015. Impressively, the District’s dropout rate has decreased from 26% in 2008 to 16% this year. The SCSD’s overall four year June graduation rate is 55%–the highest level since 2008. The four-year August graduation rate improved from 49% in 2008 to 58%.

Innovative Solutions for Aging Infrastructure

Mayor Miner announced new solutions for aging infrastructure, which was the first area of focus for the Mayor’s Office of Innovation (i-team). Syracuse is one of nearly 20 cities around the world participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies’ tested Innovation Delivery approach, i-teams help agency leaders and staff through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results. The new initiatives focus in three key areas:

  • Data and technology to identify and inform infrastructure interventions. New sensors will detect leaks in water mains, and cracks and potholes in the roads, so that repairs can be prioritized. A new technique, known as micropaving, will extend the life of roads without having to undergo costly mill and pave reconstruction. Micropaving costs 10% of tradition reconstruction while doubling the lifespan of roads. This will enable the improvement of more streets each year, tackling smaller problems before they become major potholes and cracks.
  • Better coordinated infrastructure repair and replacement in rights of way. New planning processes will ensure that whenever a road is opened for a planned construction project, all underground infrastructure will be evaluated and replaced or repaired if necessary; reducing the number of times a road is opened and minimizing costs.
  • Improved customer service. Starting today, residents can submit service requests using an improved, easy-to-use webpage – cityline.syrgov.net. And a new online notification center where people can easily find information about upcoming construction projects.

CityLine Expansion

CityLine, which has been in existence since the 1980s as a method by which constituents can ask questions of City government and report concerns, can now be accessed through an improved online portal. Using www.cityline.syrgov.net, citizens will now be able to enter complaints directly into the City’s online complaint system, IPS, receive a tracking number, and follow the progress of their complaint through its resolution.

Housing First

Using the successful “housing first” model of addressing homelessness, the number of occupied shelter beds from 600 per night to 380 during the first week of January, 2016 was reduced. The “housing first” model put an emphasis on rapidly re-housing homeless families with children. Working with service providers, these families are assigned a caseworker who can quickly evaluate their needs and help move them into a sustainable situation. Additionally, as part of the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, the City of Syracuse reached “functional zero,” meaning any homeless veteran in the community will have access to a network of support which will ensure permanent housing will be made available within 45 days.

Land Bank Microsoft Word - Press Release 2014-07-03 - REVISED

The Mayor announced that, since its inception, Land Bank has sold 250 properties, which leveraged $8.2 million in private investment. These sales have returned $10 million in assessed value to taxable status which generates an additional $400,000 in revenue for the City.

Interconnect Project Phase II

Miner announced that this year, the City will work to complete the second phase of the Interconnect project, designed to synchronize traffic signals by using closed-circuit TV

Traffic Light, an African-American invention

(CCTV) monitoring and computer synchronized light timing. This year, the System will add 44 more intersections to the system and enhance the CCTV and fiber-optic communication network used for monitoring. This project is designed to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion and thereby reducing emissions released from vehicles.

For more information on Mayor Miner’s 2016 State of the City address, including to view a video of the presentation and to read the full text of the speech, please visit the City’s website, www.syrgov.net.

 

 

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