Black Lives Matter Syracuse Election Guide

Addressing poverty, policing, health and internet, BLM Syracuse asks you take a few minutes to read "this short election guide for the Nov. 7th election in Syracuse because it will have serious and potentially devastating impacts on people of color in our city, especially those of us who face regular threats, intimidation, harassment, and abuse by local law enforcement and the criminal justice system."

Excerpt: "

In this city when a Black or Brown person, a poor person, or a disabled person dials 911, they have absolutely no assurance that they will be served or protected. In many cases, they become the suspect of a crime and the victim of more violence. And the officers who commit these acts of violence meet no accountability.

Under these circumstances, it is outrageous to even consider hiring more police officers to the Syracuse Police Department.

Yet, Ben WalshJuanita Perez Williams, Laura Lavine, Joseph DriscollQuante Wright and Norm Synder have all called for hiring more police.

Howie Hawkins, Frank Cetera and Serena Rahzie Seals think that city resources could be better used on addressing the root causes of crimes and on care workers in the city."


Cetera Presents Plan for People's Caucus - Stands with Endorsers for At-Large Candidacy

Syracuse, NY, November 2, 2017 — Frank Cetera, the Green Party candidate for citywide Syracuse Councilor At-Large, was joined by voters who have endorsed him from many different walks of life, including local activists, sole proprietor business owners, government employees, union members, higher education employees, college students, health care workers, non-profits staff, and community organization volunteers, among others.

"We stand together on the steps of City Hall and proclaim the need for a peoples’ caucus to usher in changes to how our Common Council interacts with residents, makes decisions, shares feedback and results, and gets things done for the poor and working class!" Cetera said.

Cetera called for easy changes to the existing structure of operations through:

  • Expanding study sessions and public hearings to a larger variety of times and locations,
  • Live streaming and archiving online all public meetings,
  • Open office hours for Councilors.

He also called for new and innovative changes to be made such as:

  • Sharing with the public as to the reasoning behind the votes that are made,
  • A ticket system for constituent services for equal responsiveness to all neighborhoods, 
  • Civic education for the whole city in legislative writing and processes.

With all candidates (save the Green Party candidates) accepting large volumes of donations from for-profit interests and large dollar donations from individuals, the people of Syracuse must demand equal access, beyond lip service, that everyone will receive the same attention and consideration as residents of this city. Every resident, voter or not, donor or not, regardless of race, class, or profession (or lack thereof) must receive equal and equitable access to elected officials and decision making processes.

In today’s increasingly hectic world, constituents don’t have time to track whether their state and local politicians are upholding their campaign promises. Combined with that is a decline in local news coverage. The outcome? Power is being handed to lobbyists, says Tony Shawcross, Executive Director of the Open Media Foundation (May 4, 2017:…/)

Cetera, identifying as an activist first and politician second, called for “strength in our numbers so we can show our elected officials that change is coming, we can spread the word that I will stand up for the people's’ voices when elected, and we will start that change now to #EndPoverty and create #ASyracuseThatWorks”.


A Syracuse That Works Campaign Video

Campaign video for sharing at

"We the people of Syracuse are fighting for our lives against decades of segregation and poverty. Wealth continues to leave the city through absentee landlords, commuters, and developer tax breaks. My name is Frank Cetera and I work on long-term solutions, as well as the symptoms, through worker-cooperative businesses, fair and progressive taxation, and public ownership of utilities. Elect me to Common Council At-Large on November 7th to build a Syracuse That Works."

Frank Cetera for Syracuse Citywide Common Council (At-Large District)


Transcription of my Responses from the Campbell Conversations with Grant Reeher on WRVO on October 22

00:00 Grant Reeher: Welcome to the Campbell Conversations. The two upcoming elections grabbing most of the local attention are the Syracuse City mayor's race and the statewide decision on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention. We've hosted debates for both of these decisions on this program and you can find them on But there are other decisions facing citizens this November and an important one is the race for two at-large city council seats. Voters have a choice among four candidates for those two spots and they join me today for our final election oriented program.

7:19 Grant Reeher: But first let me turn to Frank Cetera the kind of the same question because you'll be on there as a Green. I don't think your campaign literature has exactly the same kind of statements about the Democratic leadership [as Republican Norm Snyder does]. Nonetheless if you're elected you'll be the Green Party person you'll be working with. You know people and other parties from yourselves. How how do you see that working and how do you see yourself being effective in that kind of environment?

7:43 Frank Cetera: Thanks Grant, I read your mind. I was expecting that same question to come right now. [laughter] First of all we're going to see one of the largest ever turnovers in the number of council seats and the representatives on council. And so it'll be a fresh start for lots of people. We are activists first and politicians second as Green Party members and we have been showcasing how we can work with the public and work with neighborhoods and communities. I intend that we will have a people's caucus in order to get things done as well as I feel like I already have a collegial relationship, enough of one with all the other candidates both for council and mayor, to be able to have an attitude of going in and being open minded and being willing to work with them not to be obstructionist but to stand firmly for the issues of working on policy related to ending poverty and segregation in Syracuse and that's pretty much where I'll draw the line. I work with everybody. But there's got to be a point where you say is this going to be a good result or a bad result in terms of the large number of poor people and working class in this city.

12:41 Grant Reeher: Frank Cetera just a couple of minutes before we go to the break where are you on this issue [policing]?

12:47 Frank Cetera: Yeah the question is in regards to how we're most effectively using the police officers that we have. It's unclear to me whether or not we can afford to place more officers on the street at one time. Lots of numbers being thrown around. I know that we have more police per capita in Syracuse than other cities our same size. So brings up many of the questions that the other counselors are asking in regards to utilization. There is however the alternative opportunity to instead of hiring more police officers, to hire more community outreach and community peace officers and mental health workers to be boots on the ground in the neighborhoods and in the same vein that we have a lot of interrupter nonprofit grassroots work out there. We can move that more into the domain of the city and try to stop many of these issues before they reach the need for policing. I espouse looking at a policy of “policing as a last resort”.

14:07 Grant Reeher: Frank Cetera, one of the priorities that you've spoken about is to try to create something you call a workers co-operative in the city - an intriguing name. What is that exactly, How would it work and how would it help?

14:25 Frank Cetera: Thanks Grant. A Workers co-operative is a type of corporation that operates to level the playing field between ownership and workers. We’re behind the curve here in Syracuse when it comes to developing worker cooperatives. New York City has given millions of dollars in the past couple of years to technical assistance programs to do this. Rochester is starting to do so as well. The idea is that over time we convert or create new businesses or maintain current businesses particularly from the baby boomer generation that are reaching retirement age. If we convert those capital assets to the worker class, so that they own the business as well as work in the business, that stabilizes the business in the neighborhood and the community and the city, keeps those jobs open and functioning, and diversifies the assets from a single owner class to a multiple person working class.

15:21 Grant Reeher: What kinds of businesses are you thinking that are going to be owned and why, and is there a certain type of business that it works better than others?

15:29 Frank Cetera: I'll give you the example of what's going on in Cleveland right now with the Evergreen Cooperatives. And this is something we could do here in Syracuse too. They take their anchor institutions - their eds and their meds - and they commit them to utilizing certain services [provided by the worker owned cooperative businesses]. So one of those is an industrial laundry for the linens. Another is a greenhouse that grows food - an urban farm type of business. So any type of business that would work in a product or service oriented industry could be created as a worker co-op.
20:28 Grant Reeher: So now we've just got a couple of minutes left and I guess this will be sort of a version of a lightning round here but just for our listeners I want to have each of you register very very quickly your positions on a couple of things. You probably know which things I'm going to ask about. Frank let’s start with you. What would you like to see for I-81?
20:50 Frank Cetera: I would love to see the coming down of I-81 and the establishment of the community grid as it creates a more walkable livable community and city, as well as additional commercial development opportunities.
21:53 Grant Reeher: Frank Cetera are we going to get any disagreement on either of these [city county consolidation]?
21:56 Frank Cetera: No to the current proposal, sorry Grant [laughter].
21:59 Grant Reeher: And finally here. Does anybody in just the last few seconds - there's been an agreement in Onondaga County for more sharing of services is it going to lead to some savings, Perhaps it's the first step toward something more ambitious. Is anybody particularly excited about this and want to say something about it quickly? Frank you've got your hand up.
22:22 Frank Cetera: Yes it's possible to have some shared services create some savings but it's probably small change in the big sea; what we're looking at as Greens is we’ve proposed an up to 1 percent progressive income tax for the city that would create a broad fair sustainable tax base. That's progressive not regressive.
23:07 Grant Reeher: Thank you very much. You've been listening to conversations on WRVO public media conversations and the public as.
23:21 - The Campbell conversations conversations in the public interest was hosted and produced by Grant Reeher, engineered by Tom Fazzio and edited by Jason Smith. Campbell Conversations is a joint production of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University and WRVO public media. To learn more about the program or to hear previous interviews visit
# # #

Endorsements Flowing In!

I appreciate this endorsement from Karaline Rothwell as I feel the same about her. See her in the accompanying picture for my endorsements page with our Westside Walks volunteer snow shoveling crew standing to my left!

“While living in Syracuse, I was fortunate to work alongside Frank on many community projects. The projects focused on the improving the health and wellness of the Near Westside. Frank was always considerate of others and patient with his understanding of the community. Rather than pushing the agenda of the priviledged, Frank will impact the Common Council with holistic thought, considering the whole community and it's future prosperity, And, as Syracuse Councilor at-Large, he will give tireless attention to your concerns. Frank's person is true and genuine to this endeavor. I endorse Frank's candidacy!"

Make your endorsement at

Yasser Arturo Guerra Garcia endorses me in Spanish and English languages!! This means a lot as we serve together on the Cooperative Federal Board of Directors providing financial services to many immigrants, refugees, and non-English speakers, providing them with banking products, mortgages and small business help!

Pocas personas de las que conocemos a lo largo de nuestras vidas poseen la cualidad de la perseverancia, esa condición de perseguir y trabajar consistentemente por una causa, por una ideología que con el tiempo define a la persona. Conozco a Frank Cetera desde hace casi tres años y todavía me asombra y admira como usa su tiempo para promover justicia social y hablar en favor de las minorías en nuestra ciudad de Syracuse. Actualmente soy uno de los miembros del Consejo de Directores de la cooperativa de crédito: Cooperative Federal, donde Frank ocupa el puesto de Presidente, en múltiples ocasiones su voz se ha pronunciado en pos de preservar y escalar la misión de la institución: garantizar acceso a oportunidades y productos financieros a personas que no encuentran dichos servicios en las tradicionales instituciones bancarias. Su resolución para pelear en el lado de las minorías, sumado a su determinación en crear una ciudad más segura definen mi posición, yo estoy con él y te pido que tú también lo estés el día de las próximas elecciones.

Few of the people we have the chance to become acquainted with during our live time possess the attribute of the Perseverance, that condition that make one pursue and work consistently for a cause, for an ideology that as time goes by define that person’s character. I have known Frank Cetera for almost three years now and yet it amaze me and cause admiration how he uses his time to advocate for social justice and speak in favor of minorities groups from our city of Syracuse. I’m currently a member of the Boards of directors for Cooperative Federal Credit Union where Frank act as President, in multiple occasions he has risen his voice to preserve and escalate the Credit Union mission, that of empower a sector of the city that has been neglected by the traditional financial institutions. His resolution to fight for minorities, his determination to build a safer city, mark the boundaries of my side, I’m with him and asking you to be as well next election day.


GP RELEASE: Prosecute White Supremacist Groups for Domestic Terrorism

Green Party urges prosecution of white supremacist groups for domestic terrorism in the wake of racist violence in Charlottesville.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States is calling for vigorous prosecution of white supremacist groups responsible for the violence, injuries, and deaths that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12.

Greens said that the violence inflicted on anti-racist counter-protesters, including a car driven into a crowd that killed one person and injured more than two dozen others, was a deliberate act of domestic terrorism.

The Green Party strongly condemns the white supremacists and their rally and violent actions and expressed solidarity with all those who participated in the counter-demonstrations.

White supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations thrive on violence and threats of death and mayhem. They support a violent overthrow of the U.S. government and various forms of subjugation, expulsion, and extermination for all people of color, LGBTs, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and anyone who doesn't conform to their vision of a white gentile male-dominated society based on an extremist "blood and soil" ideology.

The violence on the University of Virginia campus was consistent with the openly expressed intention of white supremacist groups to provoke a "race war" and clearly fits the definition of terrorism.

President Trump responded by casting blame "on many sides," as if peaceful anti-racist protesters were responsible for the attacks they suffered.

The president's reaction betrayed the influence of advisors like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who have ties to fanatical far-right, neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim, and white supremacist organizations. Greens said that Mr. Trump's loyalty to these staffers makes him unfit to occupy the White House. (On Monday, the president condemned "criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" after widespread criticism of his initial response on Saturday.)

The Green Party counts nonviolence and respect for diversity among its Ten Key Values ( and has endorsed Black Lives Matter and its demand for racial justice. The party also recognizes and upholds the right of self-defense, in keeping with the Key Value of nonviolence. Greens support efforts to eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination, including removal of public monuments that glorify Confederate leaders and military personnel.

Taste of Sankofa 2017

RSVP and learn more at

Come out and meet and greet the Green Party who will be tabling at the
Taste of Sankofa on Saturday August 19 from 11 am - 4 pm.  The event
will be hosted by the Eat To Live Food Cooperative at 2323 South
Salina St in Syracuse.  Green candidates Howie Hawkins (Mayor) and
Frank Cetera (Councilor At-Large) were both instrumental in the
opening and planning development of the cooperative retail grocery.

Support Frank's Campaign with a Birthday Donation


Happy Birthday Frank Cetera!

Support Frank's campaign for Syracuse Councilor at-Large with a birthday donation!

Syracuse is breaking all the wrong records -- we lead the nation in poverty, child lead poisoning, segregation. The entrenched political establishment is unable to offer any long term solutions and we need skilled leadership to help steer us out of these crises. We need leaders like Frank Cetera working for the people's interest in City Hall, someone with experience and with vision, to make sure our collective resources are managed for the good of all.

Frank is committed to economic and community development grounded in justice, cooperation, and sustainability. 

Frank_2015_Best_Picture.jpgSince 2010, Frank has served on the board of Cooperative Federal Credit Union where he is currently the Board President. CFCU is Syracuse's Community Development Credit Union that is mission-based and serves a member base that is over 50% low-income and minority. 

Through the Alchemical Nursery, a grassroots organization committed to promoting permaculture, urban food security principals, and just transition principals, Frank has led the development of FOUR community garden sites. He is also a co-founder of the NY Cooperative Network (NYCN), a statewide cooperative business development organization.

Frank the Treasurer of the citywide neighborhood planning board Tomorrow'sNeighborhood Today (TNT) where he just finished leading the organizations' first strategic planning process. Through TNT, Frank has coordinated several projects, just as the Near Westside "Adopt a Trash Can Program" and fundraising to help purchase signs for the OGs Against Violence. 

Since the November 2016 election, he has been a key organizer in the effort to develop Sanctuary legislation to make Syracuse a city that does not collaborate with 45's deportation machine (he asked me not to use the T-word...)

And by day, he works as a Certified Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga County College. Needless to say, he is already working round the clock to make Syracuse a better place to live. But community projects can only go so far...we need a city government that is committed to managing our collective resources for the good of all of us.

Donate to Frank's Birthday Money Bloom to help get him on the Syracuse City Council where his skills and experience can be put to work for all of us!


To create a #SyracuseThatWorks, Frank is committed to:

  • Funding restorative justice programs in city schools and street intervention programs such as OGs Against Gun Violence based on best practices from around the country.  

  • Keeping wealth in the city through pay-your-share taxation of commuters, and city income earners, to fund city services.

  • Strengthening the Citizen Review Board for police accountability, and ensuring the legal requirements for diversity of officers.

  • Fighting for the rights of tenants and all Syracuse residents to live in healthy and safe homes, holding landlords accountable and requiring that city housing inspections test for lead.

  • Working with citywide "Eds and Meds" anchor institutions to create jobs and worker cooperatives based on successful models in other cities, and developing a pathway for worker ownership through employee purchase of the huge number of retiring Baby Boomer businesses.

  • Making Syracuse truly sustainable and self-sufficient with a focus on municipally-owned power such as in Solvay and renewable energy sourcing.

Frank is committed to making Syracuse a city that works, where black lives matter, and everyone can have a dignified life. Help Frank get on the City Council with a donation on his birthday!

In solidarity, 

- Ursula Rozum
Green Party of Onondaga County

Frank's 2017 Birthday MoneyBloom

Frank's Birthday is coming up next Sunday on August 6th and he is asking for contributions to the Greens 2017 Coordinated Campaign. Donate $30 which is the average monetary donation of our supporters so far this campaign season (or a multiple of $30 if you can!). The $funds$ will support campaign staff wages, will purchase lawn signs, palm cards, and buttons for our upcoming canvassing outings and volunteer needs, and help the campaign get off to a fast start.  The goal is 20 Birthday Moneybloom pledges this week!

Green Party to Judicial Candidates: Don't Steal Our Ballot Line

Being independent means respecting your own ballot line by not weakening your principles through fusion appearances on other party lines; as well as respecting others' ballot lines by not petitioning to appear on them when you are not a registered member of that party.  That's what Greens not only preach, but practice, and it's indicative of our political beliefs, platform, policy, and progressive ideals for ballot access and fair representation.  Unfortunately, most other candidates just care about getting their name on the ballot on as many lines as possible to overwhelm the voter.  They therefore are now also no longer independent in any way, even to the ballot line of the party they belong to, as they now are answering to multiple parties with multiple interests.  How can you really truly know where your candidate stands when they have multiple masters like this?  

July 17, 2017 - Syracuse, NY - The Green Party handed out the statement below at the judicial candidates forum at the Southwest Community Center tonight urging voters not to vote for three judicial candidates who filed Green Party designating petitions: Democrat Frank B. Pelosi for City Court Judge, Republican Loretta R. Kilpatrick for Surrogates Court Judge, and Republican Michele Pirro Bailey for Family Court Judge
The Green Party believes that judicial candidates who have filed Green Party designating petitions after being asked not to are showing poor judgment for people who want to be judges, the statement said.  "The Green Party was created for Green candidates, not the candidates of other parties,” said Howie Hawkins, Chair of the Green Party of Onondaga County and the Green candidate for mayor of Syracuse.
The statement thanks City Court Judge candidates Vanessa Bogan and James Cecile for refraining from petitioning for the Green Party ballot line. Hawkins noted that since the statement was drafted, Mary Keib Smith for Surrogates Court Judge and Beth Lockhart for Family Court Judge have also pledged to respect the Green Party’s political independence and not seek the Green Party ballot line.
These candidates for judge have shown poor judgment.
  • Frank B. Pelosi, Democrat for City Court Judge
  • Loretta R. Kilpatrick, Republican for Surrogates Court Judge
  • Michele Pirro Bailey, Republican for Family Court Judge
These candidates for judge have shown poor judgment. They have disrespected the Green Party’s political independence and party rules.
These Democratic and Republican candidates were asked by the Green Party to not petition for the Green ballot line. But they did anyway. The Green Party doesn’t want Democrats and Republicans on the ballot as “Green” candidates.
Under the state Election Law – unlike candidates for legislative and executive public offices – judicial candidates are not required to get authorization from a party they are not enrolled in to run on its ballot line. But legal is not necessarily ethical.
There are 8 party lines on New York ballots for 2015-2018, but only three political alternatives – Democratic, Republican, and Green. 
7 of the party ballot lines were created by the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial tickets in 2014 by receiving at least 50,000 votes on those ballot lines. The Democratic ticket also created the Independence, Working Families, and Women’s Equality ballot lines. The Republican ticket also created Conservative and Reform ballot lines. 
The Green Party ballot line was created by the 2014 Gubernatorial Green ticket for Green candidates, not for candidates from other parties. We created the Green Party as an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans, not as just another ballot line like the little satellite parties, which routinely endorse the major parties’ candidates.
We also want to note that two City Court Judge candidates, Democrats Vanessa E. Bogan and James H. Cecile, respected the Green Party’s political independence.   Judge Bogan asked the Green Party before petitioning and respected our request not to. Judge Cecile knew about our policy of political independence and respected it without having to ask.
We thank these judges for demonstrating good judgement.
We ask voters to take these considerations into account when they vote.
Green Party of Onondaga County
315-475-7055, P.O. Box 562, Syracuse NY 13205

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