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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Syracuse Mayor

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    Howie Hawkins (Grn) Teamster truck unloader at UPS

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    Laura B Lavine (Rep) Retired after forty years in public education, most recently as a school superintendent.

  • Joe Nicoletti (Wor)

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    Juanita Perez Williams (Dem)

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    Benjamin R Walsh (I, Rfm, UPS) Business Development

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Biographical Information

The City of Syracuse continues to rank highest in the nation in its number of residents living in poverty. What needs to be done to reverse this trend? (1000 characters)

What will be your top 3 priorities if elected? (1000 character limit)

Campaign Phone (315) 474-7055
Campaign email
Facebook page
Twitter handle @HowieHawkins
Endorsement(s) Green Party Solidarity International Socialist Organization Socialist Party of Central New York
Education Dartmouth College
Equal Employment Opportunity: Fair shares of city-funded jobs with city departments and contractors for residents and minorities.

Marshall Plan for Syracuse: Apply for a big grant from the $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative for jobs in public works and services rebuilding high-poverty neighborhoods and incubating employee-owned businesses in them.

Desegregation: Deconcentrate poverty by desegregating housing and schools by race and class through inclusionary zoning for mixed-income housing development, detracking within the school district, and consolidation with adjacent school districts.

Worker Co-ops: Target economic incentives for employee-owned businesses in low-income neighborhoods so the worker-owners build family wealth.

Apply the Cleveland Evergreen Co-ops Model: Eds and Meds provide capital for worker co-ops in nearby low-income neighborhoods to serve university and hospital markets: industrial laundry for linens, urban farm for food services, solar panels...
Progressive Tax Reform; Anti-Poverty Investments; Increased Civic Engagement.

I want to be the next mayor of Syracuse, not its last mayor. The city is on the brink of insolvency and a state financial control board that may dissolve the city into a metropolitan government on unfavorable terms. The city needs a broader, fairer, sustainable tax base: restored state revenue sharing and a graduated city income tax on residents, commuters, and absentee landlords.

The strategic vision behind anti-poverty investments is that by uplifting poor and working-class people, the problems of crime and the schools will be reduced, which will retain and attract middle-class people and businesses, and help build a sustainable prosperity for all.

To increase voter turnout and civic engagement, I propose proportional representation on the council, ranked-choice instant-runoff voting for mayor, public campaign finance, and neighborhood assemblies for community planning and participatory budgeting.
Campaign Phone (315) 214-1843
Campaign email
Facebook page lavineformayor
Twitter handle Lavine4Mayor
Education Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology/Audiology, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Administration, Superintendent Development Program.
Education is essential to escape chronic, generational poverty. Education enables people to become employed and those who are already employed to earn more money. It increases one's chances for a healthy life, increases food security, reduces crime, promotes gender equality, reduces infant mortality-- the list continues. To reverse the trend, Syracuse's mayor should sound a clarion call by: listening to people whose lives are impacted by poverty; creating partnerships among the school district, union leaders, local officials, community and faith-based organizations, local business leaders and colleges/universities; setting expectations; creating a dynamic, transparent plan with a focus on improving the schools, creating jobs, ensuring that people have the right skills for those jobs, addressing transportation; marshaling necessary resources; holding everyone accountable by utilizing data; continuously evaluating and revising the plan. This is what is needed to reverse the trend.
My top three priorities are to:

Improve our schools, specifically to make them safe and increase student achievement so that our students are literate, graduate on time, are college/career ready and have a plan for post-secondary life. That will go further than any economic development plan to reduce poverty, reduce crime and incarceration, increase safety and overall quality of life in our neighborhoods, and increase employment.

Increase the number of police officers. Our department has roughly 415 officers, approximately 50 fewer than we need. Having more officers would allow them to create trusting relationships with the residents by implementing greatly needed community policing, reduce crime and would reduce overtime costs.

Create jobs by eliminating job-killing regulations, enacting job training programs to provide our workforce with the necessary skills, and investing in rebuilding our infrastructure, thereby creating jobs and moving Syracuse out of its worsening poverty.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Campaign Phone (315) 883-8355
Campaign email
Facebook page
Twitter handle @JuanitaForMayor
Endorsement(s) EMILY's List; National Organization of Women (NOW); Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Senator Chuck Schumer; Working Families Party; Latino Victory Project; VoteVets; UAW; Teamsters; IBEW; Iron Workers; Public Employees Federation (PEF), Roofers; Sheet Metal Workers;
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Campaign Phone (315) 396-0836
Facebook page
Twitter handle @walshformayor
Endorsement(s) Reform Party of New York Upstate Jobs Party Independence Party
Education Ithaca College (BA) Syracuse University (MPA)
City Hall must develop stronger relationships with our community partners to help citizens who need it most. As Mayor, I will take the following steps to reduce poverty:

Incentivize Home Ownership and Mixed-Income Housing - De-concentrate poverty and build wealth in our neighborhoods.

Remove Barriers to Opportunity and Economic Inclusion - Better connect people to jobs by leveraging my relationships in the business community to bring living wage jobs back to neighborhood business corridors, and by supporting public transportation and making the city more walkable and bikeable.

Support Dual Client Workforce Development Models - Bring both employers and prospective employees together to ensure people are being trained for jobs that are available.

Grow a Creative, Sustainable, and Innovative Economy from the Bottom Up - Work with our regional economic development partners to build a creative and sustainable economy powered by innovation and growth in tomorrow’s industries.
(1) Enhancing the Quality of Life and Safety in our Neighborhoods: Strong neighborhoods make for a strong city. In recent years, quality of life issues have begun to undermine even our most stable neighborhoods. From more proactively addressing crime, vacancy and blight, to reinvesting in our schools and parks and other community assets, I will ensure our neighborhoods get the attention they deserve.

(2) Improving Academic Achievement and Safety in our Schools: With our oldest daughter currently enrolled in city school district, my wife and I couldn’t be more invested in the future of our schools. I will work hand-in-hand with Superintendent Alicea and the School Board to ensure our children have the resources they need to succeed.

(3) Reducing Poverty by Increasing Access to Economic Opportunity for All: I will remove barriers to growth and ensure limited public resources are being invested where they are most needed and will maximize community benefit. logo


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