View Frank's 2017 General Election Campaign Announcement delivered on City Hall steps - 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 ."
Listen to Frank's 2015 General Election Campaign Announcement delivered on City Hall steps - Wednesday July 8, 2015.
Ladies & Gentlemen, Members of the Press, registered Green Party members, all supporters red, white, or blue, and great citizens of the City of Syracuse. I stand here before you today as candidate for Syracuse’s 2nd District Common Council seat, and after campaigning daily for over 4 weeks already, tell you that I have a lot of work ahead of me.
During that time, I've heard up close how too many people in our community are struggling to pay bills, feed their families, and feel safe in their neighborhoods.
Just last week on Fitch Street in Skunk City, I spoke with a woman who was working a job at WalMart that paid minimum wage and left her under the income poverty line each month. And wondering how she would survive the next, all while being underappreciated and concerned to the point where she nearly burst into tears while talking to me on the street. Which is why I call for an increase to our minimum wage to a living wage, the 15Now initiative, and an increase in jobs through local hiring requirements.
I see everyday the houses that are vacant or uncared for by absentee landlords, and sidewalk conditions in the winter time forcing carless residents into the street to walk about their business.
Just this February, I was able to bring the media out with the Westside Residents Coalition on one of our weekly Westside Walks volunteer snow shoveling brigades as we opened up bus stop corners and cleared walks in front of vacant houses. Now here we sit half-way to Winter snow season again without a legitimate plan for making our communities walkable all year round. Which is why I call for a special community task force to work directly with community members in neighborhood forums to implement answers to the problems outside each of our homes.
I recognize the failure of our system which continually places people back into a position of helplessness instead of rehabilitation, and the failure of our leadership to provide adequate educational facilities and youth programs enabling success.
This past Sunday night on Merriman Street, I met a single mother whose brother had just finished six years in prison for possession. Now, he was having an impossible time getting a job because of this former mistake which he has paid for, and is at risk for returning to a life of illegal activity when no legal employer will give him a second chance. Which is why I support policies such as Ban-The-Box to give offenders a better second chance, and initiatives to interact with all people in need where they are located on the streets and in the parks.
I tell them like I'm telling you, that I am not making promises, but that I am here to take my social justice, food sovereignty, community finance, and cooperative living skills and experience with me to city government and bring to fruition a reality of Syracuse that offers #dignity for #allofus.
Today we launch our series of Community Forums to bring a proactive government presence to our neighborhoods. This evening at 7 pm we will meet at Brown Memorial Church on the corner of Davis St and South Geddes St. Later this month we will be at 754 Barbershop on North Salina St, and in early August in the Bowling Alley of the Polish Home on Park Ave.
Two nights ago I experienced the grief and frustration that our community is feeling during the #LightTheNight Silent March. The ultimate goal of city government should be to facilitate communication, be proactive instead of reactive, treat everyone as equals, and ultimately - to end poverty. And until that day comes I wont stop speaking or working towards those goals. Help me create lives of dignity in a city that works for All Of Us.
Thank you for your vote.