NYCLU, Urban Jobs Task Force and Syracuse Community Marches for Justice for 1-81


Saturday August 14, 2021: march at 10:30am

Syracuse advocates and community residents will gather for rally and march to demand racial, economic and environmental justice for the communities living near the I-81 viaduct:

  1. Environmental justice: Give us clean air
    • NYSDOT must move the traffic circle an additional 500 feet away from STEAM at Dr. King Elementary at minimum. The current traffic pattern is less than XXX feet away from the elementary school, in violation of CDC guidelines.
  2. Racial justice: Return the land
    • NYSDOT has not yet committed in writing to creating a community land trust to return the land under the viaduct from the Black residents from whom it was taken during I-81’s construction
  3. Economic justice: Give us jobs
    • NYSDOT has not yet committed to hiring local workers for this multi-year multi-billion dollar construction project

March from STEAM at Dr. King Elementary to a press conference at the NYS Office Building:

  • 10:30am ET: march at STEAM at Dr. King Elementary (416 East Raynor Avenue, Syracuse)
  • 12pm ET: press conference at the New York State Office Building (333 East Washington Street, Syracuse)

Advocates, elected officials, and directly-impacted Syracuse residents:

  • New York State Senator Rachel May
  • New York Civil Liberties Union Project Counsel Lanessa L. Chaplin
  • Urban Jobs Task Force President Deka Dancil
  • New York Civil Liberties Union Organizer David Rufus
  • Syracuse resident Ryedell Davis
  • Syracuse resident Charles Pierce El
  • Syracuse resident Gerald Funderberg

In December 2020, the NYCLU released Building a Better Future: The Structural Racism Built into I-81, and How to Tear it Down which analyzes NYSDOT’s plans from a racial, economic and environmental justice lens. The report calls on NYSDOT to take a reparative and restorative approach to rebuilding the I-81 viaduct area, and remedy the displacement and destruction of the 15th Ward, where as many as 90% of Syracuse’s Black residents lived in the 1960s.