The Greater Syracuse Labor Council has chosen not to endorse me as candidate for 2nd District Syracuse Common Council. So I present here my full questionnaire. Unfortunately, they also have chosen not to release the other candidates' questionnaire answers, including the chosen endorsees. So, for all my Union Brothers and Sisters, I'll be guessing along with you as to the positions of the chosen candidates. Thank you for considering me for your vote on November 3rd.
The health, wellness, and livelihood issues that affect America's workers also directly affect all American citizens. There is no us versus them, though unions represented by the GSLC stand to be on the front lines in this fight for all of us. Without strong labor rights, jobs/employment programs, and support services such as health care and organizing legislation, the upper-class and ownership will continue to peck away at the working classes and deteriorate any resemblance of a middle class security. I will stand on the side of the GSLC membership with pride.
A bit about me: I grew up in a union home with my father a member of the United Mine Workers (UMW , UMWA) where he was local President for many years in Southwest Pennsylvania. I currently sit as a delegate for NYSUT local OCC-FTA representing Professional Administrators at Onondaga Community College. I am running as a Green Party candidate, whose platform is overtly and explicitly about favoring and maintaining workers' rights, benefits, and power.
Among other accomplishments over the last 7 years since I have joined the Syracuse community, I've tirelessly campaigned against the Trans Pacific Partnership locally, including working with the CWA (Communications Workers of America). I've been part of a process researching and calculating an independent study on the Syracuse Living Wage under my tenure as Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union. I've supported educational events regarding increasing funding for public education through my role with the Green Party (such as a lecture we hosted by Rick Timbs earlier this year). I’ve assisted small business owners in economic development start-ups and expansions through my day job counseling business planning, market research, and pro-forma creation and analysis at the Onondaga Small Business Development Center (at OCC) as a NYS Certified Business Advisor.
My current campaign is based upon an anti-poverty platform to create a Syracuse that works for All Of Us. I see the poverty everyday outside the doors of my house in the Near Westside, where poverty rates reach over 65%. As part of our current door canvassing and person-to-person campaigning for my City Council seat, we are carrying the Urban Jobs Task Force petition calling for a “Resident Employment Ordinance requiring that, when the city contracts for construction, service and public works projects over $100,000, at least 20% of the contracted work hours go to Syracuse Residents, and half of those hours go to city residents of "stressed neighborhoods” in order to create more employment for Syracuse residents.
Currently the main planks I am campaigning for are (from the Vision and Platform page of my website):
END POVERTY. Raise wages so working families can have a dignified life. Economic development must support local businesses and cooperatives. Companies receiving tax-breaks should be required to hire city residents. Schools must be fully-funded so all students have the opportunity to succeed.
SAFE STREETS, SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS. To end crime and violence, we must end poverty and create economic opportunities. We must develop better community and police relationships. We can make our streets safer by slowing traffic, developing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and better lighting. We need a citywide plan to remove sidewalk snow. We must also stop explosive oil trains from crossing our city.
STRONGER COMMUNITY and GOVERNMENT. Frank supports more public gardens and community food forests with fruit trees and berries. In addition to making our city healthier, community gardens promote collaboration among neighbors. Frank has led the transformation of five unused Syracuse green spaces into productive fruit and vegetable gardens. City government must be more accessible and responsive to city residents, being proactive and not just reactive to the issues we all face.
CELEBRATE SYRACUSE. Embrace our uniqueness as the snowiest city in America and the 5th snowiest in the world by holding the best winter festival that this country has ever seen! Showcase the arts, music and ethnic cultures that make us a melting-pot and the Central City of New York.
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