League of Women Voters 2017

  • The City of Syracuse continues to rank highest in the nation in its number of residents living in poverty. What needs to be done to reverse this trend? (1000 characters)

Demand elected City Councilors perform the most important role they hold, legislating change & regulating development. It’s not enough to be a constituent services-only Councilor - though that is only what so many people want to hear in response to quality of life issues. We must create laws, policy, & programming/services to decrease the gap in income & asset inequality.  

The minimum wage had not risen in decades indexed to inflation, & here in Syracuse, trickle-down tax exemptions to developers have never resulted in a living-wage working class. It took strong leadership from legislators & grassroots organizations, including unions, to win the #FightFor15.  We will continue that effort locally towards stronger CBAs (Community Benefits Agreements) with developers for fair share of jobs to city residents & minorities; a broader, fairer, sustainable tax base as opposed to the regressive sales tax model, and a stronger police Citizens Review Board to empower communities & neighbors.

  • What will be your top 3 priorities if elected? (1000 character limit)

Increasing Resident Power.  Proportional representation on council, ranked-choice instant-runoff voting for mayor, & public campaign financing. Plus, increase the impact of TNT (Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today) through additional sector support, access to City department officials, & participatory budgeting of additional city General Funds.

Fair and Progressive Taxation including a graduated city income tax & shared county property tax model. The only realistic way to solve our threat of financial insolvency within the next 2 years, & to provide an equitable model of wealth management between economic classes.  

Public Ownership through concrete efforts - a citizen initiative to municipalize sidewalk maintenance & snow removal, an employee-ownership business development center to facilitate conversion of millions in assets from retiring Baby Boomers to worker owners, & a citywide land trust to facilitate transfer and ownership of Land Bank properties.

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