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

NY Single-Payer Health Care Would Save City $80 Million a Year

Greens Call on Sen. DeFrancisco To Be Deciding Vote for Passage

SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR VIDEO LINK

Green 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.


Photo Credit Michael O'NeilStanding 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:

"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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HD Video: Cetera 2017 At-Large Campaign Announcement

Common Council Candidate Frank Cetera Outlines His Plan for "A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 8, 2017

Downtown, Syracuse, NY - Frank Cetera, Candidate for Syracuse Common Council At-Large, today outlined his plan for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS - jobs for its people and a city government that gets things done.

"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."

Frank Cetera is 44 years old and lives with his wife Ursula Rozum on Otisco St in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse. He has worked as a NYS Certified Business Advisor with the Onondaga Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College since 2009, providing business development planning and analysis to small and medium sized enterprises. During that time, Cetera has accounted for the economic impact of 294 jobs created, and the $3,730,000 of capital investment into the small business engine of our communities. In service to his fellow workers, he also serves as Professional Administrators' At-Large Union Steward for NYSUT Local 1845 OCC Federation of Teachers and Administrators, as well as Delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.

Cetera's additional experience includes the role of Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union since 2010, a Community Development Credit Union that manages $22 million in assets and that serves those in Syracuse neighborhoods that are underserved by traditional banking entities. Cetera has also helped lead the recent rebirth of the Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today community planning sectors as citywide Vice-Chair, and Chair of the strategic planning committee; as well as initiated and implemented numerous grassroots projects such as the 610 Gifford St Community Garden, the Near Westside's Adopt-A-Trashcan program, and the NY Cooperative Business Network.

"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."

Cetera received 21% of the vote for 2nd District Councilor in a 3-way race with an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger in 2015. Cetera also has experience working on Green Party campaigns dating back to 2010 as a canvassing volunteer, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, website and social media manager, and office manager. Cetera was also a local organizer for the Hawkins for Governor campaigns in 2010 and 2014, where he helped the Green Party secure a ballot line for the next four years as they received over 50,000 votes in 2010, and 184,419 (5% of the vote) in 2014, enough to leap over the Independence and Working Families parties to take the fourth line on New York ballots.

"Many of my supporters have urged me to run At-Large due to my diverse experience with all quadrants of the city, having lived, worked, and volunteered everywhere from the North Salina St corridor and Hawley-Green, to the Westcott neighborhood, to the Brighton & South Salina St corridor, and the Near Westside. Having moved to Syracuse in 2006 for graduate school and stayed for the community, I truly feel like I am a citizen of the city as a whole, and among my current challengers I can best represent every residents' interests ."


2017 At-Large Campaign Announcement Video

Common Council Candidate Frank Cetera Outlines His Plan for "A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 8, 2017

Downtown, Syracuse, NY - Frank Cetera, Candidate for Syracuse Common Council At-Large, today outlined his plan for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS - jobs for its people and a city government that gets things done.

"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."

Frank Cetera is 44 years old and lives with his wife Ursula Rozum on Otisco St in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse. He has worked as a NYS Certified Business Advisor with the Onondaga Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College since 2009, providing business development planning and analysis to small and medium sized enterprises. During that time, Cetera has accounted for the economic impact of 294 jobs created, and the $3,730,000 of capital investment into the small business engine of our communities. In service to his fellow workers, he also serves as Professional Administrators' At-Large Union Steward for NYSUT Local 1845 OCC Federation of Teachers and Administrators, as well as Delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.

Cetera's additional experience includes the role of Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union since 2010, a Community Development Credit Union that manages $22 million in assets and that serves those in Syracuse neighborhoods that are underserved by traditional banking entities. Cetera has also helped lead the recent rebirth of the Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today community planning sectors as citywide Vice-Chair, and Chair of the strategic planning committee; as well as initiated and implemented numerous grassroots projects such as the 610 Gifford St Community Garden, the Near Westside's Adopt-A-Trashcan program, and the NY Cooperative Business Network.

"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."

Cetera received 21% of the vote for 2nd District Councilor in a 3-way race with an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger in 2015. Cetera also has experience working on Green Party campaigns dating back to 2010 as a canvassing volunteer, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, website and social media manager, and office manager. Cetera was also a local organizer for the Hawkins for Governor campaigns in 2010 and 2014, where he helped the Green Party secure a ballot line for the next four years as they received over 50,000 votes in 2010, and 184,419 (5% of the vote) in 2014, enough to leap over the Independence and Working Families parties to take the fourth line on New York ballots.

"Many of my supporters have urged me to run At-Large due to my diverse experience with all quadrants of the city, having lived, worked, and volunteered everywhere from the North Salina St corridor and Hawley-Green, to the Westcott neighborhood, to the Brighton & South Salina St corridor, and the Near Westside. Having moved to Syracuse in 2006 for graduate school and stayed for the community, I truly feel like I am a citizen of the city as a whole, and among my current challengers I can best represent every residents' interests ."

 


Cetera Outlines his plan for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS

Downtown, Syracuse, NY - Cetera will outline his plan for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS - jobs for its people and a city government that gets things done.

"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."

Frank Cetera is 44 years old and lives with his wife Ursula Rozum on Otisco St in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse.  He has worked as a NYS Certified Business Advisor with the Onondaga Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College since 2009, providing business development planning and analysis to small and medium sized enterprises.  During that time, Cetera has accounted for the economic impact of 294 jobs created, and the $3,730,000 of capital investment into the small business engine of our communities.  In service to his fellow workers, he also serves as Professional Administrators' At-Large Union Steward for NYSUT Local 1845 OCC Federation of Teachers and Administrators, as well as Delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.  

Cetera's additional experience includes the role of Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union since 2010, a Community Development Credit Union that manages $22 million in assets and that serves those in Syracuse neighborhoods that are underserved by traditional banking entities.  Cetera has also helped lead the recent rebirth of the Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today community planning sectors as citywide Vice-Chair, and Chair of the strategic planning committee; as well as initiated and implemented numerous grassroots projects such as the 610 Gifford St Community Garden, the Near Westside's Adopt-A-Trashcan program, and the NY Cooperative Business Network.  

"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."

Cetera received 21% of the vote for 2nd District Councilor in a 3-way race with an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger in 2015.  Cetera also has experience working on Green Party campaigns dating back to 2010 as a canvassing volunteer, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, website and social media manager, and office manager.  Cetera was also a local organizer for the Hawkins for Governor campaigns in 2010 and 2014, where he helped the Green Party secure a ballot line for the next four years as they received over 50,000 votes in 2010, and 184,419 (5% of the vote) in 2014, enough to leap over the Independence and Working Families parties to take the fourth line on New York ballots.

"Many of my supporters have urged me to run At-Large due to my diverse experience with all quadrants of the city, having lived, worked, and volunteered everywhere from the North Salina St corridor and Hawley-Green, to the Westcott neighborhood, to the Brighton & South Salina St corridor, and the Near Westside.  Having moved to Syracuse in 2006 for graduate school and stayed for the community, I truly feel like I am a citizen of the city as a whole, and among my current challengers I can best represent every residents' interests ."

 


Green Party Candidate for Syracuse Common Council At-Large 2017

For Immediate Release: Frank Cetera, Green Party Candidate for Syracuse Common Council At-Large
For more information: Frank Cetera; 315-308-1372frank.cetera@votecetera.orgwww.votecetera.org

WHAT: Announcement, Cetera for Councilor At-Large
DATE: Monday, May 8, 2017
TIME: 12:15 PM
WHERE: Syracuse City Hall, Front Steps


Frank Cetera will declare his candidacy for 2017 Councilor At-Large on Monday, May 8 at 12:15 PM on the front steps of Syracuse City Hall.

Cetera will outline his plan for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS - jobs for its people and a city government that gets things done. 
 
"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."
Frank Cetera is 44 years old and lives with his wife Ursula Rozum on Otisco St in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse.  He has worked as a NYS Certified Business Advisor with the Onondaga Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College since 2009, providing business development planning and analysis to small and medium sized enterprises.  During that time, Cetera has accounted for the creation of 294 jobs, and the economic investment of $3,730,000 into the small business engine of our communities.  In service to his fellow workers, he also serves as Professional Administrators' At-Large Union Steward for NYSUT Local 1845 OCC Federation of Teachers and Administrators, as well as Delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.  
Cetera's additional experience includes the role of Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union since 2010, a Community Development Credit Union that manages $22 million in assets and that serves those in Syracuse neighborhoods that are underserved by traditional banking entities.  Cetera has also helped lead the recent rebirth of the Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today community planning sectors as citywide Vice-Chair, and Chair of the strategic planning committee; as well as initiated and implemented numerous grassroots projects such as the 610 Gifford St Community Garden, the Near Westside's Adopt-A-Trashcan program, and the NY Cooperative Business Network.  
Cetera received 21% of the vote for 2nd District Councilor in a 3-way race with an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger in 2015.  Cetera also has experience working on Green Party campaigns dating back to 2010 as a canvassing volunteer, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, website and social media manager, and office manager.  Cetera was also a local organizer for the Hawkins for Governor campaigns in 2010 and 2014, where he helped the Green Party secure a ballot line for the next four years as they received over 50,000 votes in 2010, and 184,419 (5% of the vote) in 2014, enough to leap over the Independence and Working Families parties to take the fourth line on New York ballots.
 
"Many of my supporters have urged me to run At-Large due to my diverse experience with all quadrants of the city, having lived and worked everywhere from the North Salina St corridor and Hawley-Green, to the Westcott neighborhood, to the Brighton & South Salina St corridor, and the Near Westside.  Having moved to Syracuse in 2006 for graduate school and stayed for the community, I truly feel like I am a citizen of the city as a whole, and among my current challengers I can best represent every residents' interests ."
 
# # #

 


Simple solution is best solution for Interstate 81

Originally Published at Syracuse.com on December 22, 2016 - http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/12/simple_solution_is_best_solution_for_interstate_81_your_letters.html

To the Editor:

With all the bustle that comes with the Christmas season, we sometimes forget what the holidays are all about. So I would like to offer everyone a wish for simplicity this time of year. The simplicity of a baby boy born in a simple stable. The simple act of loving that changes the world. A desire to return to simpler times brought on by the crisp air and snowy nights of the Winter Solstice. The height of sophistication,which is simplicity.

And along with the simplicity of the season, I offer you the simplicity of the choice to take down Interstate 81 and replace it with the community grid. It seems that many of the people in the Save 81 camp have delusions of being a Boston or a New York City. When really we are a small city with a huge heart, but not huge wallets, and that is OK. I, for one, am not ready to spend more money on an unneeded piece of infrastructure that will result in a sunk cost -- no matter where that money comes from. Instead I can imagine a time when those excess funds might be diverted or recommissioned for sidewalk maintenance and snow removal through public job creation in our fair, snowiest city.

Boston's Big Dig ran nine years over schedule, finishing construction in 2007 at a total cost overrun of 190 percent. Can we afford such a disruption, or can we accept a simpler and slower pace for ourselves? My self-esteem is not so low that I need a highway running through my yard to feel important.

Do we want to be a 20-minute city, as the framers of Save 81 contest? Or do we want to be a community? Instead of being a 20-minute city, we should be planning toward being 20-minute neighborhoods in which every home has local services and facilities within a 20-minute walk, cycle or public transport. We should not plan just so we can make it to our grandiose destiny as fast as possible.

Finally, the opponents of the community grid put forth everything as an us-against-them argument, short-term thinking intended to hold onto the status quo of social and economic systems. It is important to differentiate between wishes of grandeur and realistic hopes for the future. A re-evaluation of identity might show us that a down-scaling of production and consumption can increase human well-being and enhance ecological conditions and equity. Such societies will no longer have to "grow or die" but can "thrive and live" within our means.

Frank Cetera
Syracuse

The writer was a candidate for Syracuse Common Council in 2015.


Month in Review - January 2016

Our Winter so far has generally been mild, yet when the snow has arrived it has done so in volumes.  And every day I witness another unshoveled sidewalk, another ice-crusted intersection bus-stop ramp, and another sidewalk covered with plowed snow from a local business.  Last year’s legislation to fine plow operators, and create an enforcement state in which we have to tattle on each other, has not resulted in a walkable city.

Here is my January Month in Review update towards continuing to build a Syracuse that works for #AllOfUs.

NEWS:

  • Received my Interfaith Works Dialogue Circles Facilitator training to End Racism Certificate at Onondaga Community College, and will be facilitating dialogue circles with students this Spring Semester.  

  • Provided constituent information on the proposed housing development at 831 West Fayette St by sharing a written form of the proposal as well as personally providing video live-streaming and archiving of the neighborhood discussion at PEACE Inc. on Wyoming St - Learn more at this video link from Independent Media CNY and view the meeting online.

  • Continued the 2016 Westside Walks season as a member of the Westside Residents Coalition by conducting a discarded television set pick-up and recycling effort, as well as continued clearing of snow from strategic locations.  Read the short story “What Would Arlo (Guthrie) Do?” that recollects one of our more adventurous outings.

  • Completed proposal for Green Party of Onondaga County District and neighborhood Delegates, to ensure distributed representation and liaison activities towards growing Green Party enrollment and undertaking constituent needs. Ask me how you can start organizing the Green Party with your neighborhood residents!

  • Served through attendance at meetings and action items for the Citywide TNT Board, Executive Committee, and HR Committee; Syracuse United Neighbors, Greater Syracuse Labor Council, Green Party NYS Rules & Policies Committee, Cooperative Federal Credit Union board,  and OCC Federation of Teachers and Administrators.

RYAN WATCH (is your 2nd District Councilor working for you?):

TAKE ACTION:

  • 12710978_962252620534254_3545416910159714411_o.jpgUrban Jobs Task Force PROTEST FOR JOBS!!  Thursday, February 18 at 12 Noon -  12:30 PM, Corner of Solar & Court Streets, Syracuse

    • COR and OCIDA: The Inner Harbor project tax deal is wrong!  COR: Settle out of court! Negotiate jobs & contracts for city residents! OCIDA: Stop giving developers our tax $$$! For more information or a ride: Call Aggie at 478-4571 or Rich at 476-7475 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/901551539963397/
  • Become a contributor to the INDEPENDENT MEDIA CNY online blog

    • Report-backs from actions, photo essays, statements from the community that don't get printed in the Post-Standard, feedback from legislative visits, video documentation, can be published in a central site, archived for future finding and viewing online, and referred back to when needed with permanent links. We will create a movement among many social justice activists and progressive newsmakers, so that we continue to build coalitions across coalitions - while demonstrating transparent policy and development behavior.  Please check out the current platform at https://independentmediacny.wordpress.com/

CONTACT ME and the GREEN PARTY of ONONDAGA COUNTY

frank@votecetera.org
https://www.facebook.com/Frank-Cetera-1631934180369597/
www.votecetera.org
315-836-3018
Instagram:Frank_Cetera

For Dignity ~ Frank


2nd District Month in Review: December 2015

10348624_10207577027319931_5762861756638695355_n.jpgAs we enter the New Year, we have much to celebrate and much to be done. We’re still looking at the 2015 Election Day results and making analysis from it all to help us plan better for next time.  One interesting fact is that from the Board of Elections July Periodic Report until the 27-Day Post-Election report, my opponent Chad Ryan received $13,385.00 from 116 individual donations; and although we came up shorter than that in total at $8,097.00, our total individual donations were 150 in number, so thank you everyone who contributed, even the smallest amount! Your show of support is empowering and inspiring.

Here is my December Month in Review update towards continuing to build a Syracuse that works for #AllOfUs.

NEWS:

RYAN WATCH (is your 2nd District Councilor working for you?):

TAKE ACTION:

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    • 2015 was a big year for our local Green Party. Citywide, more people cast votes for our Green candidates than in any previous election. Green Party activists and recent candidates are continuing work on the issues that were important to our 2015 campaigns, such as school funding, local job creation, sidewalk maintenance, and making Syracuse a city for #AllOfUs. Join us on January 11th to hear about what is coming up in 2016 and to talk with local Green Party activists about ways you can get involved with local organizing for people, peace, and planet.
    • Kickoff the new #Syracuse #TNT with me, the rest of the Citywide TNT Directors, and special guests. Make your voices heard in the future of planning our city!  City Hall Commons Atrium, 201 East Washington Street.  Meet the new Citywide TNT Director Tina Zagyva, a resident of the Near Westside. 


CONTACT ME and the GREEN PARTY of ONONDAGA COUNTY

frank@votecetera.org
https://www.facebook.com/Frank-Cetera-1631934180369597/
www.votecetera.org
315-836-3018
Instagram:Frank_Cetera

FOR DIGNITY ~ Frank


Month in Review November 2015


frank__hips.JPGCan you believe it has already been one month since Election Day 2015?  We can’t either, because we’ve done so much in such a small amount of time since then.  Here is an update towards continuing to build a Syracuse that works for #AllOfUs.

OUR SUCCESSES and PROGRESS:


RYAN WATCH (is your 2nd District Councilor working for you?):

TAKE ACTION:

Reject COR’s Application to OCIDA

Thanks to my friend KC for the following summary of the OCIDA (Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency) COR tax break application for Inner Harbor developments:

"COR had been working with SIDA (Syracuse Industrial Development Agency) but, due to not agreeing with a recent assessment value of its property, decided to take its PILOT to OCIDA instead of staying loyal to SIDA. The effect of this ... Our City's resources will still have to respond to COR's property with public safety, infrastructure and engineering needs, but the City will not be receiving property taxes, it will be the County that receives the taxes. The city will be then given a currently undetermined amount of money from those taxes the County receives. Also associated with this is that, currently 42% of the City's property tax dollars go to SCSD (Syracuse City School District). So, in a way, COR is hurting our children by going to OCIDA."

Please contact the OCIDA Board Members and demand they decline COR's application for tax relief at the Inner Harbor development projects.

OCIDA Board Members

Dan Queri, Chair, dqueri@queridevco.com

Jessica Crawford, jcrawford@medtech.org

Victor Ianno

Janice Herzog, jmherzog@syr.edu

Lisa Dell, lisadellforcountyclerk@gmail.com

Patrick Hogan , oldstodg@hotmail.com

Steve Morgan , SteveMorgan@ongov.net

Donna DeSiato , superintendent@esmschools.org

Mike Allen

Letters can be sent to the following physical address:

Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, 333 W. Washington Street, Suite 130, Syracuse, NY 13202

NEXT MEETING of OCIDA

On tuesday December 1st, multiple city groups and residents came out to speak against COR's application to OCIDA. However, no board members or COR representatives were there to hear the community’s concerns. Now, the OCIDA board will be voting on COR's application on December 15th, join us in standing up for Syracuse!

CONTACT ME and the GREEN PARTY of ONONDAGA COUNTY

frank@votecetera.org

https://www.facebook.com/Frank-Cetera-1631934180369597/

www.votecetera.org

315-836-3018

Instagram:Frank_Cetera

For Dignity ~ Frank


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