BA in U.S. History/Sociology from SUNY Albany
We need to stop giving tax breaks to developers and start investing in our residents. There is no shortage of work to be done and no reason that those doing the work shouldn't make a living wage. Close to $3 Billion is made in our city each year. That amounts to $46,000 per resident in the labor force. However, the actual median income for workers who live in our city is less than half that, at $21,000 a year. Fortunately, folks making the minimum wage will see a 7% increase in wages next year as the minimum wage increases to $10.40/hr. That's a step in the right direction, but it should be even higher. In addition, we need to enforce existing laws to ensure that city residents, particularly minorities, are getting their fair shares of city and city-funded jobs. Finally, we need to invest in worker-owned cooperative businesses, so the wealth created by the labor of our citizens stays in our city.
As much as I would like to say that my top priority would be to implement the anti-poverty measures stated above, I unfortunately recognize that the city's fiscal crisis and the possibility of a state-imposed financial control board is the greatest threat facing Syracuse. If we don't raise the revenue necessary to cover our deficit and prevent our dissolution into the county, things are bound to get much worse for the poor and working class than they already are. One of our proposals is a small, progressively graduated city income tax on landlords, commuters, and resident workers. Doing so would also allow for lowering the sales tax and property tax, which disproportionately hit the poor and working class.
Number two is addressing poverty as outlined above.
Number three is enacting electoral reforms to ensure fair elections and accountability.
Corcoran High School
We must reduce crime. The way to do that is to fill the vacancies on the police department. To fill the vacancies, we must generate more revenue. To generate revenue, we first must streamline economic development and cut the “red tape” within the city structure itself. This will encourage businesses to invest which will generate property taxes. The other side is increasing the strength of our codes department. Doing this will improve our neighborhoods causing housing stock to rise further increasing revenue from property taxes, while also decreasing crime and blight. We need to change the perception of our School District. The tools are there for students to succeed and we have tremendous teachers throughout the city.
These points are equally important and all are relative to each other. If we can get the ball rolling in the right direction it creates a cyclical trend that feeds off of itself.
My top priority will always be a liason between my district and it's neighborhoods and the various entities wether that be the city, developers or other municipalities. I am there to speak for my constituents and intend to keep that as the most important aspect of my job.
Secondly ReZone Syracuse will be the most important legislation I vote on in my tenure as a councilor. I will focus as much time and effort that is needed to make sure that this legislation gets done, and gets done right. ReZone Syracuse will shape our community and the direction that our city goes for the next 50 years. Please familiarize yourself with it.
Lastly, I hope to work with our next Mayor to increase the ranks of the Police Department and get our Police force back to staffing levels that allow us to keep our City safe.