Frank Cetera has lived in Syracuse’s Northside, Eastside, and currently the Westside - where he’s known to neighbors and colleagues for his ability to accomplish a lot with a little.  

Besides running for office because I care, I am also running because I will be taking my accomplishments at the community level and building upon them at the city level.

Never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty, Frank has lead the transformation of four unused Syracuse green spaces into productive fruit and vegetable gardens with the Alchemical Nursery, the non-profit he founded after earning his Masters in Forestry at SUNY-ESF. And Whether he’s leading snow-shoveling brigades with Westside Walks, securing funding for the neighborhood Adopt-a-Trashcan program, organizing educational events such as the two-time NY Cooperative Business Conference here in Syracuse, or representing his fellow workers as Professional Administrator Union Steward at Onondaga Community College and the Greater Syracuse Labor Council,

– Frank is a tireless advocate for community building and cooperation.

I've also got experience in the very important fields of community finance, business development and entrepreneurship, and project management.

Frank has a proven record of economic development through his day job as a New York State Senior Small-Business Advisor.  As peer-elected Board President at Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Frank is an active promoter of community finance for working families and local businesses.  Over the past two years, Frank has served as Vice-Chair in helping create the rebirth of the city's Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today program, now an independent non-profit organization, where he has has served as Committee Chair in leading the strategic planning process.

Frank Cetera is committed to policies that will create A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS. The goal of city government must be to end poverty and create opportunities for all families to have a dignified life – with living wage jobs, fully funded schools and a responsive city government.   

A Syracuse That Works means many things to me -

"I will be a leader in creating A CITY GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS well with each other as a governing body and with the residents, and that takes initiative in developing policy that is relevant and forward-thinking like my sidewalk municipalization proposal that will remove the high individual burden placed on residents with a shared solution for this shared infrastructure that is so important for our children as they walk to school, our residents as they walk to work, and our neighbors as they walk to shop for groceries and other necessities. I will also work to provide increased access to Council proceedings through a live streaming system in chambers. I look forward to working under incoming Council President Helen Hudson as she has proactively reached out and regularly communicated with me as a community and political leader following the 2015 election.

I will be a leader in creating A RELATIONSHIP THAT WORKS between our city, and the county and state, to facilitate worthwhile and well-thought out proactive economic development and shared prosperity without public bickering, such as changing from a regressive property tax to a progressive income tax - we want and need employees from the greater Syracuse metropolitan area to work in our city, and we will expect them to carry the shared responsibility of public infrastructure that supports their employers and jobs;

and lastly I will be a leader in creating A COMMUNITY THAT WORKS by increasing job opportunities through cooperative and worker-owned business development, increased workforce training, hiring policies that favor city residents, and short-term “CityWorks” placements for city beautification - such as trash pick-up - that will act as an employment pipeline to getting our residents gainfully employed. I will also increase the breadth and effectiveness of the Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today organization that will provide an increased voice for every resident, employee, business owner, and landowner in Syracuse, thus creating an informed and knowledgeable base of residents who can work with our elected officials in a positive way."

With your help we can elect the first Green to the Syracuse City Council, Frank Cetera, a community activist with a proven record of achievement and cooperation. Don't wait, participate. No more talk, take action with Frank.  Join our campaign team by signing up to volunteer and by making a donation today.


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    Greens Release Savings to City Budget from Adoption of New York Health Act

    NY Single-Payer Health Care Would Save City $80 Million a YearGreens Call on Sen. DeFrancisco To Be Deciding Vote for Passage SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR VIDEO LINKGreen Party candidates for city offices said today that the city and school district would save $80 million a year if the New York Health Act is adopted.The New York Health Act would set up a universal health insurance plan covering all New Yorkers for all medically necessary services. It would be paid for by a single public payer financed by progressively graduated taxes on payrolls and non-payroll income in New York and federal funds now received by New York for Medicare, Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Health Plus. 98% of New Yorkers would pay less on health care than they do now, with those earning less than $100,000 a year seeing the largest savings.The $80 million annual savings would more than cover the $15 million a year recurring deficit the city operations budget faces with less than $20 million projected to be remaining in reserves by the end of FY 2017-18. Standing outside the State Office Building in downtown Syracuse on Wednesday, the Greens appealed to Sen. John DeFrancisco to become the last vote needed in the state senate pass the bill. With the election Tuesday of single-payer supporter Brian Benjamin for the vacant state senate seat in Harlem, supporters of the NY Health Act are now only one vote short of passing the bill in the Senate, according a whip count by The Campaign for New York Health.  (Photo Credit Michael O'Neil)The Assembly passed the bill by a 94-46 margin on May 16. Three of the four state legislators representing the city of Syracuse support the New York Health Act, including Assemblymembers Pam Hunter and Bill Magnarelli and state Senator David Valesky. State Senator John DeFrancisco has been opposed.The Greens estimate that the New York Health Act would save the city $42 million a year in current and retired employee health care costs and the school district would save $38 million a year on current employees' health care costs, for a total of $80 million in savings for the combined city and school district budget.The county would save $54 million in employee health care costs and $98 million in Medicaid costs, for a total savings of $152 million, according the Greens' estimates “We are appealing to John DeFrancisco to be a hero, to be the deciding vote that saves the city from insolvency and saves local governments throughout his district tens of millions of dollars, including the $98 million unfunded state mandate for county Medicaid payments that eat up 70% of the county's $140 million property tax levy,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for mayor of Syracuse.“The New York Health Act would make the New York economy, which now has the second highest health insurance costs in the nation, more competitive by lowering health care costs for businesses as well as government employers. It would also enable unions to take health care largely off the bargaining table and focus more on wages, working conditions, and pension benefits in contract negotiations,” said Frank Cetera, the Green Party's candidate for councilor-at-large, a business advisor at the Onondaga Community College Small Business Development Center, and a teachers union steward and delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.Rahzie Seals, the Green candidate for 4th district councilor who works in the hospitality industry, said, “I need this plan and so do a good portion of the people in the 4th district. When we have coverage in our jobs, it is often limited and costly. And in an industry with high turnover and frequent layoffs, we are often without coverage between jobs. This plan will save us money and give us peace of mind.”The Greens made their estimates using figures from the most recent city and county budgets and financial statements and a cost analysis by economist Gerald Friedman (Economic Analysis of the New York Health Act, April 2015). Friedman's analysis found that employers would pay an average of 8% of payroll. The city payroll is $118 million, the school district payroll is $226 million, and the county payroll is $240 million. To determine the savings, the Greens subtracted 8% of those payrolls from current health care costs – $51 million for the city, $56 million for the school district, and $73 million for the county. The difference between 8% of payroll and current costs is the estimated savings. The city number includes the legacy costs for retired employees. The school district and county figures do not include these legacy costs, meaning the actual savings are greater than the Greens' estimates. The county also saves $98 million in state-mandated Medicaid expenses.The Greens' estimates assume that the government employers pay for all of the payroll taxes. The legislation actually requires employers to cover 80% of the payroll tax and with employees having the remaining 20% deducted from their wages or salaries. However, employers are permitted to pay part or all of the employees' share as an added benefit, which could be the result of a collective bargaining agreement. The Greens' estimate of savings is conservative because it assumes city, school district, and county employers will pay for 100% of the payroll tax.The savings to local governments in New York has been a big selling point for the New York Health Act with municipal officials and state legislators. Albany city treasurer Darius Shahinfar has noted, “For taxpayers, we have an enormous hidden health care 'tax' in our property taxes. And the truth is this hidden tax is bleeding property taxpayers dry. . . . Astonishingly, health care costs are nearly half of our city tax bill, a quarter of our school district's tax bill and more than the entire amount in a county tax bill.” He said that with passage of the New York Health Act “every taxpayer in every municipality in New York would see similar, massive savings.”The New York Health Act would cover all New Yorkers, including the 1.2 million people (6% of New Yorkers) who are uninsured.The Act would save $70 billion for New Yorkers in 2019, a savings of 25% from projected health care costs. The savings and expanded coverage would be achieved through ending monopoly pricing by drug and medical device companies, administrative savings and reduced fraud from billing simplification, and eliminating private insurance company profits.The plan would cover all medically necessary services with no out-of-pocket expenses, including: • doctor visits • hospitalization • primary and preventive care • reproductive care • dental • optical • hearing • mental health • prescribed occupational and physical therapy • rehabilitative care • lab tests • prescription drugs • medical devices Long term care will be added to the benefits within two years of adoption.The Green Party state committee voted on May 20 to make the campaign to enact the New York Health Act its top priority. It has a webpage at www.gpny.org/healthcare with downloadable leaflets, petitions, and other resources. WACTH THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE:
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    "Austerity Urbanism" Comes to Syracuse

     The Common Council’s recent decision to defund the Greater Syracuse Land Bank from the city budget sacrifices long-term financial and community wellness for short-term budget crisis management. In a recent report titled “Austerity Urbanism” (produced by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York City), University of British Columbia Geography Professor Jamie Peck found that “facing tax cuts and other revenue-slashing measures, these [municipal] governments have increasingly turned to austerity policies. This has translated into ….. less investment in the city, particularly in affordable housing.” Common understanding of austerity practices is that it leads to an increasing gap in income inequality and “yet more marked forms of uneven socio-spatial development” - meaning our poor neighborhoods like the NWS, the southside and SW, get poorer, while our richer neighborhoods get richer. How would more money for more police instead of Land Bank demolitions create such an outcome here? I could imagine that some developers and financiers would be more comfortable with more policing and the resulting influx of higher paying lease-holders and the extrication of poorer residents. In reality, we have enough police as the data indicates, over twice as many per 10,000 capita as other cities our general size; but doesn’t it look bad to those investors with the money that our police force is smaller by 100 officers than we were a decade ago.   This redistributive politics is taking our right for self-determination out of the hands of the people and into the hands of the police, and setting the precedent for future austerity measures that could lead to further privatization, and price hikes, of social services.  This is not the recipe for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS. What we save in the short term will end up costing us much more (unless what we want is to become the next Detroit), as flaking lead from housing in disrepair continues to enter our environment, drugs continue to be sold out of derelict structures whom no one takes responsibility for, and our police force continues to expand into a larger and larger militarized force bent on strength in numbers rather than strength in deed. This morning I took a short walk over to Central Ave, only a block from my house.  This short dead-end street has 4 Land Bank properties (out of a total of 10 houses), one of which is vacant, one of which has long-time residents still living in it, and two that are slated for demolition.  I talked to three residents on the street.  Kenny and Sandy have been working hard over the past couple years to renovate their property (we've actually watched the progress on each others gardens and yards "over the fence" as our backyards butt up against each other), they have replaced the roof, painted the exterior, and completed many landscaping projects.  Across the street Andy lives with his children and his wife who is a Minister and has a dance and ministry program at their house.   Yet both of these families tell me that the vacant and deteriorating houses lead to illegal dumping from contractors, illegal drug use and sales, and an overwhelming number of rodents in the vicinity.  Andy would like nothing more than for the house to come down so that he can acquire the vacant lot for his children to play and the ministry to continue on. As we were standing and talking, we witnessed a drug deal take place through a window of a home that is flanked by two Land Bank properties.  We all agreed, let's work as fast as possible to put people back into these properties so that they are being used, but also so we have "more eyes on the street" - as we know - community and neighbors are the first line in crime deterrence.  
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