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.  

Screen_Shot_2015-06-29_at_12.32.52_AM.pngBesides running for office because I care, I am also running because I will be able to take 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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    Black Leadership Forum Questions & Answers

    If you missed the Black Leadership Coalition of CNY's Candidate Forum on October 18th, I'm providing here my written responses to the questions posed to us before the event, we didn't get to answer all of these live due to time constraints. Q1.  Please define what you believe are the issues that most affect poverty in Syracuse. What are your State Legislative priorities to tackle the problem?   Poverty in Syracuse is a generational issue that has resulted from systemic racism and runaway capitalism.  Examples of this include redlining of neighborhoods, lack of financial services for oppressed communities, displacement from development, and high levels of incarceration for non-violent crimes.     My legislative priorities at the state level are parallel to local level legislation desires.  First, we must move from regressive taxation bases such as property taxes and sales tax, to progressive income taxes based upon the amount of money an individual or household makes, with no federal cap.  This is a change that could happen at the state level, but could also be implemented at the City level by obtaining a home rule decision to create a 1% capped progressive income tax for all who work in the city regardless of residence.     Second, we should legalize recreational marijuana use in NY State, and implement reparations for minority communities disproportionately affected by the current laws such as the City of Oakland and the State of Massachusetts have already done, that would provide preferred equity ownership and operation of cannabis businesses.   The City of Syracuse must also strongly advocate for the passage of the NY Health Act, which would provide full and equal health care to everyone in NY State.  This would save Syracuse approximately $80 million dollars annually, lifting us out of our debt crisis, giving us the ability to finance our education needs, and creating healthier people and places.   Q2.  What are your ‘red-line’ issues when it comes to budget votes?   Rather than trying to isolate individual issues, I will consider the budget a moral document and my red-line issues will be any that fail to provide for the dignified life of everyone in our City.  Aside from that, I would also encourage a moratorium on financing private developments through tax breaks until our stricken neighborhoods are brought back to being safe and liveable for all. Lastly, I would work with the current Mayoral administration to develop the interest in participatory budgeting that they have, and which I have practiced and help manage for the annual $40,000 TNT special project sector awards,  in order to implement it across the city for at least 10% of our total budget to be decided on use by the residents of the City of Syracuse.   Q3. At-large methods of election are often discriminatory because they, in combination with racially polarized voting, prevent voters of color from electing their candidates of choice where they are not the majority in the jurisdiction. What strategies would you employ to ensure the policies for which you advocate reflect all of your constituency?   We must have some form of proportional representation.  This could come in many forms such as neighborhood assemblies, neighborhood representation on district oversight boards, or even an expansion of the number of current Council seats.  This would likely involve some type of election reform to include ranked-choice voting, public campaign financing, and city-funded and led GOTV expansion.   I have also advocated strongly over previous years, and continue to do so, for full transparency, access, response, and engagement (TARE) - read more in my published opinion at   Q4.  What are opportunities you see for the city of Syracuse to break up low income subsided housing? We can implement inclusionary zoning which would link the production of affordable housing to the production of market-rate housing in new residential developments.  It is also possible to create a community land trust to receive and hold properties from the Land Bank. This land trust would be managed by city residents, and enable the pooling of capital into a revolving fund that would allow interested individuals to obtain and renovate Land Bank properties when they are unable to do so currently due to lack of financial means.     Q5. With I-81 coming down, what is your vision for revitalizing the area in a equitable way? First and foremost we must avoid displacement, avoid repeating the same mistakes and purposeful discrimination that were made when I-81 was initially built.  Second, I will focus on the development of an incubator and support organization that involves the city in employee-ownership opportunities for residents. With over 50% of the current small business assets in our country owned by the Baby-Boomers, a large turnover and movement out of our cities of capital and assets, and potential loss of jobs will occur, unless we stabilize and anchor those businesses and jobs here through worker-cooperative and ESOP owner structures.  The I-81 corridor could be a premiere stage for this innovative work to take place.   Q6. Gun violence is plaguing our city, young people are in need of opportunities rather than turning to gang violence. What legislation or projects would you advocate and pass in order to reduce violence? My priority here is to only turn to policing as a last resort, and to turn to providing the essentials of a dignified life to our neighborhoods.  Violence only appears to be endemic to high poverty neighborhoods. Statistics show that When people live in households that are struggling with poverty, they have a higher rate of violence that involves a firearm at 3.5 per 1,000 people compared to 0.8-2.5 per 1,000 people in middle-to-high income families.  Therefore, we must immediately increase revenues, decrease costs, and then shift spending to a large-scale focus on neighborhood and individual health. This may include more police on the streets in “meet & greet” roles, becoming neighborhood fixtures and service providers.
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    One of Only Twenty Candidates Nationwide Awarded Financial Assistance by the Green Party of The United States

    Frank Cetera Has Been Recognized as One of Only Twenty Candidates Nationwide Awarded Financial Assistance by the Green Party of The United States. The Green Party of the United States Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC) has awarded twenty Green Party candidates financial assistance for their federal, state, and local races. They are among over 200 Green Party candidates running in the midterm races, the winners of which will join 160 Green Party candidates in 19 states currently serving in office across the country. Erin Fox, Co-chair of the CCC, said, "The Green Party has an amazing lineup of candidates this year. We are pleased to disburse these financial awards to show our support and gratitude to Green candidates. We want to be clear that it’s time to get big money out of politics. We don’t do this for the money, but it takes money to do it. That’s why we’re asking Green Party supporters to match our awards and to contribute to these campaigns and any other Green candidates they are able to support."  
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