This past Saturday, 18 campaign supporters came out to distribute our new door hanger. So much gratitude to all these individuals who helped us reach over 1,000 households! But we still have lots of work left to distribute campaign literature to registered voters in Syracuse's 2nd District – won’t you join us by registering to volunteer? I am humbled and very encouraged by the positive response, both from voters we talk with and by friends and allies who are joining our campaign team. Your help is essential to our success on Election Day.
On Sunday, the great time I had leading 20 people through the north and west sides of the city on the 13-mile Cycle in the City ride included the question “Is this school open?”, as we rolled into the first stop on the route - Huntington K-8. Twenty cyclists visited five SCSD middle-school facilities along the way - Huntington, Lincoln, Grant, Frazer, and Bellevue. And the scene repeated itself at each school we visited. It was eerily quiet, no one was at the school, no pedestrians, students or families were to be seen.
The city of Syracuse only has three funded neighborhood community centers - Southwest, Westcott, and Northeast. Our schools are valuable community assets that are being underutilized.
My platform includes Neighborhood-Based Community Schools that have strong partnerships with the communities in which they are located, and are fully integrated into the community by contributing to the quality of life and benefiting from its support. Health and mental health care, day care centers, food pantries, and more could be operated more efficiently by locating together and using the schools as a central hub.
Schools belong to the community and should be open from early morning to late evening to provide Life Long Education, Recreation and Socialization opportunities for community members. Every school should have a community garden to reduce lawn maintenance costs, provide food and healthy activity, and provide a place for neighbor interaction.
Finally, I believe that administrators, teachers, and other staff who live in the communities they serve are better equipped to understand the dynamics of neighborhoods and student needs. We must create opportunity and incentive for these professionals that results in their living as part of the school community.
“We must be more generous to our schools so that our children will learn what generosity is, and know enough to be able to be generous to others in return.” - Green Party of Onondaga platform
I call on the Mayor, our Honorable Councilors, and our Board of Education members to join together immediately and call for the state to pay the $61,078,488 Gap Elimination Adjustment funds withheld from Syracuse “failing schools” between 2010 and 2015, and to equitably distribute them to each student in the district. Money does matter to a school’s success, and we should be funding more not less where it is needed to support success and excellence. Pass the Statewide Finance School Finance Consortium resolution now!