Alliance Network endorses a slate of candidates: Vernon Williams – 16th District Onondaga County Legislator; Amir Gethers – Syracuse Common Councilor-At-Large; Rasheada Caldwell – Syracuse Common Councilor-At-Large; Twiggy Billue – Syracuse City School District Commissioner of Education; Nyatwa Bullock – Syracuse City School District Commissioner of Education
The Alliance Network is pleased to endorse incumbent Ben Walsh for Syracuse Mayor. Steady leadership throughout these unprecedented times has allowed him to distinguish himself from the other candidates. Walsh is a compassionate and introspective thinker, who has demonstrated a willingness to challenge antiquated processes and right historic wrongs. Like many politicians, he campaigned on a platform of diversity and inclusion. During his time in City Hall, he has delivered on that promise, yielding an administration of highly-effective people who appropriately reflect the diversity in our neighborhoods. His ideas for Syracuse address the concerns of those residing in every neighborhood and epitomize a commitment to making the city a vibrant place to live, explore, and enjoy. This careful and thoughtful approach is exactly what the city needs.
Syracuse hasn’t experienced this level of economic development and workforce development activity in recent decades. Under the leadership of Ben Walsh, the city of Syracuse has installed infrastructure to set the stage for an economy that will be rooted in innovation. The Syracuse Surge, a Microsoft Smart Cities Hub designation, and a push for faster internet access have placed the area in a better position to attract and retain companies that pay a living wage and support families. The ongoing redevelopment of the former Coyne Laundry site into a technology campus for JMA Wireless will deliver good-paying manufacturing jobs into the heart of a community that has seen decades of concentrated poverty. A school with a STEAM focus will ensure that our youth are prepared to take on the science and technology -based job opportunities of the future, while Syracuse Build is working to ensure that adults are trained to meet the needs of skilled trade employers.
Four years ago, the City of Syracuse was in serious fiscal trouble. The Walsh administration painstakingly assessed every governmental process to identify opportunities to reap savings, challenging every city employee to share innovative ideas to address old problems. The purchase and installation of LED streetlights reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save the city $3.3 million dollars per year. This was a fortuitous move because 2020 delivered a costly problem: COVID-19.
Faced with skyrocketing costs and reduced sales tax revenue, Ben Walsh resisted the urge to simply slash employees from the payroll. Instead, he managed to keep city staff employed and shared the pain by implementing brief furloughs. This allowed many families to retain financial stability in the midst of a pandemic.
A lot of money is set to flow through Syracuse. The city and surrounding areas are poised to see the implementation of several largescale projects over the next few years. Each year, the Regional Economic Development Council awards millions in funding to area projects that can create jobs and stimulate the economy. Route 81 is slated for redevelopment and the City of Syracuse has been the recipient of federal stimulus funds to address the impacts of COVID-19. The Alliance Network believes that Syracuse needs a mayor with a solid record of attracting and completing economic development projects to ensure that we are able to use these funds as a catapult to move our city ahead.
Public safety and policing are of particular concern to our community. Mr. Walsh implemented a sidewalk snow removal program to reduce the risk of falls and has expressed his willingness to work with each neighborhood to ensure that all residents feel protected and supported by a law enforcement agency that treats all citizens with respect. During his time in office, city gun violence has decreased by 30% and a Gun Violence Suppression Detail has removed weapons from our streets. The administration hasn’t been able to solve all of the issues of public safety but has made some solid in-roads.
Most importantly, he has proven that he is willing to listen to the people who are most affected by these issues.
We finally have government agencies that work together. Mr. Walsh has demonstrated a commitment to living up to his campaign slogan: Rise Above. Despite differences in philosophy, he remains respectful and open to working with others from outside of his base and within County, State, and Federal leadership structures. As he has no political party affiliation, Ben Walsh works to find common ground, allowing him to remain focused on bringing diverse people together to address the problems faced by us all.
The Alliance Network takes great pride in endorsing candidates who support the community, as a whole. It is never about party affiliation, but about political representatives making good decisions and policies for the people in our neighborhoods. Syracuse will be best served with a mayor who is committed to building prosperity for residents and who has a plan to help us all to Rise Above!
The Alliance Network endorsed the following slate of candidates and incumbents:
- Vernon Williams – 16th District Onondaga County Legislator
- Amir Gethers – Syracuse Common Councilor-At-Large
- Rasheada Caldwell – Syracuse Common Councilor-At-Large
- Twiggy Billue – Syracuse City School District Commissioner of Education
- Nyatwa Bullock – Syracuse City School District Commissioner of Education
The Alliance Network is a Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy Group. In 1996, a group of local leaders, business people, activists, and other concerned citizens began meeting with the purpose of developing a strategic plan to begin working on the social, economic, health, youth and political issues that affect our community. It was formed with the mission of networking and connection with one another, whether it be through sharing resources or by helping to strengthen organizations small in number but big in vision. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in Central New York Community politically, socio-economically, educationally and spiritually. We seek to improve the conditions of our neighborhoods physically as well as mentally, recognizing that the health and viability of the City of Syracuse rests in its neighborhoods and communities.