Common Council Candidate Cetera Joins Anti-Racism Voices

Syracuse NY -- On Tuesday, June 23, Syracuse residents will rally at 12 noon in Clinton Square downtown to speak out against the racist fueled violence that led to the shooting at a South Carolina AME church last Wednesday.  Mourners will also gather in solidarity for a prayer vigil the same evening starting at 6:30 pm at Hopps Memorial CME Church.

“The racism and violence that led to this truly tragic and hate-fueled act last week are shameful legacies, which we as a community must completely renounce,” said Cetera, a small business advisor and co-founder of The Alchemical Nursery, a non-profit in the Near Westside which brings people together through community gardening.  

“In no universe that I can imagine, is it okay for discrimination and segregation based on color and class to be allowed to continue.  In no way is it okay for one family to live in daily fear because of the color of their skin and the neighborhood they live in, while another family has the benefit of safety and security to enable them to succeed.  We must stand up against hate and the poverty that it leads to, and ensure a life of dignity for everyone.”

According to recent reports, one in three Syracusans live below the national poverty line, and the predominantly black neighborhoods are among the city’s poorest.

“When elected to council I will raise my voice loudly and continuously as an ally for the unrepresented and brutalized.  And I will work to promote remedies to institutional and economic racism, including introducing legislation for a truly living wage, and inclusionary zoning.”

Activists in South Carolina have been calling for the removal of the Confederate flag, which is still flown above the state capitol. “It is my hope that this symbol of racism and systemic violence will be removed from all public buildings in our nation,” Cetera said.

A Green Party candidate, Cetera is running against incumbent Chad Ryan.

#VoteDignity #Syracuse That Works For #AllOfUs


Cetera and Green Party Urge Syracuse Common Council to Vote to Overturn “Citizens United” Ruling

Syracuse NY– On Monday, June 22, the Syracuse Common Council will vote on a resolution favoring a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that would allow greater limits on the influence of money in elections. Frank Cetera, Green Party candidate for Syracuse Common Council, added his support to the 1,107 Syracuse city residents who have signed the petition calling for the amendment.  An affirmative vote would make Syracuse the 665th municipality nationwide to call for such an amendment, and the 21st in New York State.

“Syracuse makes an important statement in support of democracy with this resolution,  where everyone’s voice and vote matter. Corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Democracy is for people – that’s why in my campaign for Syracuse Common Council, I and green Party candidates do not accept donations from for-profit business”, said Frank Cetera.

“Furthermore, we must end the current pay-to-play culture that plagues New York politics, from state government down to our local government. Candidates for public office should be prohibited from accepting political campaign contributions from businesses that do business and sign contracts with the city of Syracuse. Ending play-to-play is essential if we want a Syracuse for all of us, not just those who can afford to buy political favors.”  

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, spending coming from groups that do not disclose their donors has risen from 1 percent to 47 percent since the 2006 midterm elections…[and] spending by outside groups has quadrupled.  Meanwhile, an August 2012 AP/Roper poll found that 83% of Americans want to limit the money corporations, unions and other organizations can contribute to influence campaigns.

Current Supreme Court rulings assert that a corporation is a legal person entitled to many of the constitutional rights intended for human beings and that corporate spending to influence elections is the equivalent of political free speech.

The resolution, as submitted to the Council by Move To Amend, states “That the Syracuse Common Council supports an amendment to the United States Constitution to establish that (1) artificial legal entities are not entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons under the Constitution, (2) spending money to influence elections is not “free speech” as defined under the First Amendment, assuring the power of the federal, state, and local governments to limit, regulate, and require disclosure of sources of all money spent to influence elections.”

“Corporate personhood is not an inconsequential legal technicality. The Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a ‘legal person’ with 14th Amendment protections before they granted full personhood to African-Americans, immigrants, natives, or women,” said David Cobb, a national Move To Amend spokesperson (and 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate) at a Syracuse forum last year.  “We are inspired by historic social movements that recognized the necessity of altering fundamental power relationships,” said Cobb.  “America has progressed through ordinary people joining together—from the Revolutionaries to Abolitionists, Suffragists, Trade Unionists, and Civil Rights activists through to today. Move to Amend is a long-term effort to make the U.S. Constitution more democratic.”

#OccupyMonsanto and Your #RightToKnow

A Note from the Candidate:

Thank you so much for coming out to the Spring 2015 Syracuse March Against Monsanto and amplifying our voice for labeling GMOs and our Right To Know what is in the food we eat, that we feed our families and friends, and that is served in our communities!

I am the only Syracuse City Council candidate who is publicly speaking up for our demands.  And I need your support.

Once I hold the 2nd District Seat, one of my first actions will be to sponsor a resolution from the City in support of the GMO labeling bill in New York State.  

After that, I will work without compromise to ensure that any food served to our children in public schools, and to any visitors who eat at concessions in public buildings or businesses who have received tax benefits from the City, is organic and grown without GMO ingredients.

I'll also work with the Chair of the Healthy Syracuse Youth Wellness Committee, and the head of the Syracuse City School District's Food Services program Annette Marchbanks to bring full health equity to our youth.  This will be done through nutritious menus, healthy vending machine offerings, removing junk food advertising, and increasing the quality of food education and home economics classes in our schools.

Please make a contribution today at

Every dollar helps as we begin spending money on outreach and volunteer support.  Every donation sends a message.  Every time you share this request or tell your friends about our campaign, you build the movement.

Frank Cetera, Syracuse City Council Green Party Candidate

p.s. After you put that check in the mail, why not cook some great kids food recipes from the world-famous chef and healthy food in schools activist Jamie Oliver with your family today!

Concerns About Coalition Cloud Bigger Lakefront Issues Says Green Party Candidate

Syracuse, NY – Frank Cetera, the Green Party candidate running for 2nd District Councilor, added his voice to the opposition of plans to operate a scrap metal facility at the former Roth Steel yard along Onondaga Lake. Cetera and the Green Party have long advocated for public waterfront access and inclusionary residential zoning and will continue to do so, regardless of who is behind the new group Coalition for Onondaga Lake.

“Onondaga Lake is a precious natural resources and I will always advocate for its complete cleanup,” said Cetera. “Any new Inner Harbor and Lake District development should include affordable housing for people with low to moderate incomes. And any development that receives tax breaks or public funding should be required to hire local residents, such as through community benefit agreements as advocated by the Urban Jobs Task Force.”

“Once elected to City Council, I will work with established environmental groups, including Neighbors Of the Onondaga Nation and Citizens Campaign for the Environment, to continue the important work of improving the lake’s health, and public access in the area,” added Cetera. “Regarding the recently formed Coalition for Onondaga Lake, I find the tactics being used, and the working relationship this rather mysterious group has with the county executive's recent chief of staff, to present an unclear picture in regard to their motives.”

Both environmental justice and public safety, Cetera explained, are two primary concerns for him in his campaign for City Council ( He is running against incumbent Chad Ryan.

“Trains carrying Bakken crude and tar sands oil, colloquially known as 'bomb trains,' are passing through our city and the 2nd district, along the lake shore and within yards of Destiny USA, the Regional Market, and the Regional Transportation Center several times a week,” Cetera said. “These oil tanker cars are not safe at any speed should a derailment occur, and should not be operating anywhere near such densely populated areas, and treasures such as Onondaga Lake.”

Similar to other municipalities in the state, Cetera pledged to pursue a Syracuse City Council resolution calling on the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation to ban these “bomb trains” from traveling through Syracuse.

In the first three months of 2015 there were four accidents involving trains transporting Bakken crude oil. In May the derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia came within 50 yards of striking a Conrail train carrying crude oil. In 2013 a bomb train derailment in Quebec resulted in an enormous explosion and 47 deaths.

Sen. Chuck Schumer spoke last month to the media, using a crude oil train in Syracuse's 2nd District as a backdrop, about the need to quickly phase out older tanker cars because of known safety flaws. Cetera has insisted that simply phasing out the older cars does not go far enough in protecting the public.

As a Green Party candidate, Cetera does not accept any campaign contributions from corporations.


Meet The Candidates Potluck Picnic and June Meeting

Meet The Candidates Potluck Picnic and June Meeting

We are especially excited for our upcoming June 8th monthly meeting, which this month is going to be a Meet the Candidates Potluck Picnic* In addition to meeting the candidates, we will have petitions on hand to sign for candidates nominated by the County Committee for the Green Party ballot line this election season - Ray Blackwell for School Board, Howie Hawkins for Auditor, and Frank Cetera for 2nd District Councilor.

*if you are rushing from work, don't stress about the "potluck" part but please do join us!

June 08, 2015 at 6:30pm - 8pm
Syracuse Greens Office
2013 E Genesee St
Syracuse, NY 13210
United States

Cetera, Green Party Call for Vote on GMO Labeling

MAM-frank-press_smaller1.jpgThe Green Party today challenged Speaker Heastie to allow the state Assembly to vote on whether or not foods with GMOs to be labeled as such.
Despite overwhelming public support and the sponsorship of more than 70 members, the Greens said that Heastie was bottling the bill up due to pressure from supermarkets, the Farm Bureau and industry representatives such as Monsanto, especially on a handful of upstate legislators. A 2013 poll by The New York Times revealed 93% of Americans want GE foods to be labeled.
“Despite claims of bringing democracy and transparency to the Assembly, once again the campaign contributions of a few are being allowed by the Speaker to outweigh the desires of many. The Greens have been pushing the state legislature for more than 15 years to take action to protect residents against the dangers of genetic engineering of our food system, and we can’t even get a vote on a labeling bill,” stated Frank Cetera, organizer of the Syracuse March Against Monsanto and a Green candidate running for Syracuse City Council.
The Greens said that they would recruit food advocates to run for state legislature next year. Many Green Party groups and members participated in the nationwide protests this weekend against Monsanto and oppose the federal DARK Act (HR 1599), a bill that would strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws.
Since we are what we eat, then there are few things more basic than our right to know what’s in our food. The Green Party has always supported labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 60+ countries have already enacted laws banning or mandating labeling of GMOs. The European Union has been labeling GMOs since 1998. Nationwide polls show that over 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled.
More than a decade ago the Green Party of NY helped draft legislation for a moratorium on the planting on GMO crops in our state until health and environmental safety issues were resolved.  The use of genetically engineered foods without mandatory publicly transparent safety testing amounts to a massive science experiment on the health of New York families and children in the name of corporate profits.
The Green Party ‘s concerns about the environmental impacts of genetically engineered foods include unintentional contamination of non-GMO and organic crops, loss of seed purity for our most important food crops and an overall increase in pesticide use, and the emergence of superweeds and superbugs that are now resistant to the chemicals used with GMO crops.
The Greens support the call for a global ban on Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and an end to Monsanto’s global seed monopoly and toxic monocultures. In March, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the key active ingredient in Roundup, a probable carcinogen. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, even though it has been linked to cancer, kidney and liver disease, infertility, chronic digestive disorders and other illnesses.

Green Party Candidate for Syracuse's 2nd Council District Wants More Livable Wages

Frank Cetera runs for 2nd district councilor, focuses on raising the minimum wage.


Cetera says he wants more workers and contractors to have wages they could live on. He wants to expand the city's living wage ordinance, which now covers only city employees and contractors.

“We would expand that to all contractors who are working with the city for instance. We would also hope to expand that to other businesses and corporations that are currently receiving tax breaks from the city. There are lots of developers such as Destiny and COR that's working on the inner harbor. Not only do we want to see them hire locally, but we also want to see them hire locally at a living wage”

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