Urbancny.com Endorses Ben Walsh for Re-Election as Mayor of Syracuse
Ambitious Administration Set High Standards for themselves
Multiple projects soon to begin will bring additional employment opportunities
New era of cooperation with other elected officials
Four years ago, voters in the city of Syracuse sent a message, through their votes, people rejected the policies and politics of our two major political parties; republicans and democrats. The people chose Ben Walsh, an Independent not aligned with either party, a decision made at 18 years old. Coming from a family that produced both a Republican Mayor, and a congressman, a bold move to make at a young age.
He came before the people of Syracuse in 2017 and had the audacity to say, “Imagine Syracuse Rising?”
In the endorsement of Ben Walsh four years ago urbancny.com posted, “the next Mayor is going to be presented with a set of challenges, as it relates to our ability to generate opportunities for those who have been left behind. How we deal with our oppressive poverty problem, is going to determine our future as a city. We can build hundreds of units with gleaming stainless-steel appliances and granite counter tops, pet friendly environments complete with amenities. However, if we don’t tackle our poverty problem, the city as a whole cannot progress.”
When you examine promises made by candidate Ben Walsh, they’re reflected in initiatives implemented by his administration. By no means is this administration the epitome of sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and unicorns; everything’s not perfect. The difference here is the leader of this city accepts responsibility.
In the period preceding his election it appeared as though Syracuse had lost faith and confidence in ourselves. We were on so many worst of bad things as a city. Ben’s campaign simply asked us to, “Rise Above”. Given their list of accomplishments he and the team he leads deserves the opportunity to continue leading our city.
Syracuse deserves a mayor who will listen to all sides and then make tough decisions. Mayor Walsh could have taken the easy way out by not committing to removing of the Columbus Monument. It would be politically “safe”. He made this decision despite a well-funded campaign to defeat him over his commitment to honor Native Americans and remove the edifice.
This endorsement is also an acknowledgement of what it takes to be an African American working in municipal government. In 2017 you could count the number of Black appointees of any preceding administration on one hand. Each party has had the opportunity to show their commitment to inclusion and diversity, by their administration’s appointments. Never have so many native Syracuse residents of color been appointed by any Administration. Walsh broke precedent by his broad-brush approach to creating long awaited opportunities. Walk into City Hall in 2021 and it’s more reflective of the city’s population than ever, and that’s important.
When Mr. Walsh’s democratic opponent calls those people of color, the mayor’s “show pieces” it’s an insult to those individuals, their work, their self-worth, and their being. The Democratic Party has had the opportunity to elevate people of color to positions of major responsibility for over two generations but failed to do so. Even the most progressive democrat counting people of color in higher level positions, over multiple administrations can’t come close to the inclusive, multi-level hiring that has occurred under the leadership of Ben Walsh.
As a candidate in 2017, Ben Walsh challenged us to, “Imagine Syracuse Rising”. It’s 2021, the cake is in the oven, don’t slam the oven door. Re-Elect Ben Walsh for a second term as Mayor of Syracuse.
Accomplishments of the Walsh Administration
(this is a truncated list, there’s more)
- Surge-a-cuse! Mayor Ben Walsh Delivers Substantive Inspirational Vision for the City of Syracuse
- Microsoft – Surg-a-Cuse! Syracuse to become Microsoft Smart Cities Technology Hub
- JPMorgan Chase – Surg-acuse! Syracuse Receives $3 Million Investment from JPMorgan Chase’s AdvancingCities Challenge
- Salt City Market: Restaurant “Food Hall” Concept Opens Friday January 29th in Downtown Syracuse
- Community Engagement – Mayor Walsh and Deputy Mayor Owens – held community meetings sought input for selection of Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner.
- New Police Officers City Residents – 30 New recruits (New contract Officers must live in city for 5 years)
- Diversity in City Hall/Department Head Leadership – Police, Fire and DPW; they’re all led by people of color. In two of those cases, Fire and DPW, Syracuse hired the first Black department heads of those two departments.
- Deputy Mayor Owens is the first Black Deputy Mayor and the first female Deputy Mayor.
- Mayor Walsh Signs Mayors’ Compact on Racial Equity “to be more intentional in lifting up marginal communities, communities of color or impoverished communities, that there’s still a lot of work to be done. That was an opportunity to reaffirm my priorities on the national level.” Mayor Walsh
- Summer Jobs for Youth– Over 2,000 Summer jobs available to young people in the city of Syracuse in 2021 (Promised 400 jobs in 2017 campaign)
- Implementation of the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center (Syracuse FEC). Led by the City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD), the program will provide professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free service to city residents. Click on link for CFE Fund Overview
- Municipal Sidewalk Program – constructing new sidewalks throughout the city
- Street Light Program – new streetlights in every neighborhood across the city
- Syracuse Build-Pathways to Apprenticeship to give people the training they need to get the jobs that are available.
- Helped build Consensus on the Community Grid Option for Viaduct Replacement