Tomorrow is Election Day. I am writing to you today to ask for your vote and to present why I am the most qualified and passionate candidate running for 2nd District City Council. Learn much more about me at www.votecetera.org Contact us if you need a ride to your polling place (find out where to vote at http://vic.ntsdata.com/onondagaboe/pollingplacelookup.aspx)
As a NY Certified Small Business Advisor and Board President of Cooperative Federal Credit Union, I have a record of supporting local economic development. I’ve worked to improve quality of life in our community with grassroots organizations like the Westside Residents Coalitions, Westside Walks, the Near Westside Initiative, and Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today. I understand natural resource management and have helped to create five community gardening spaces in Syracuse, including one Land Bank lot on Gifford St and am finishing the renovation of a once-abandoned home on Otisco St. I’ve succeeded at the neighborhood level and want to bring my record of success to city government.
I have been out talking to voters with my volunteer team since early June. I’ve had three letters to the editor published, including an Op-Ed in this previous week’s Thursday edition about our need to take action in the face of a poverty epidemic, with ideas for how we can accomplish a change. http://votecetera-syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/syracuse_for_all_of_us_ps2015
Constituent services must be a priority for a district councilor and I will give my 100% to respond to your needs in city government. But constituents services is not all that a councilor should be doing. Only focusing on constituent services is only looking for another two-year term. That is not enough to fix the systemic problems facing our community – significant improvements will require introducing ordinances, policies, legislation, and programs. I also demonstrated my passion and innovative ideas at the Washington Square Neighborhood Candidates Forum.
Think about if it is time to set aside party loyalties and vote for the most qualified candidate. I saw the Democratic party door hangers that were distributed this weekend - they only listed names and pictures of candidates, and pleaded for voters to choose the Democratic line, with no information on policies, legislation, or specific priorities. Are you ready to only vote for a name, a party line, the same old message?
I have heard from many of you while campaigning the Northside, Near Westside, Skunk City, Far Westside, Tipperary Hill, Franklin Square, and Park Ave neighborhoods over the past five months. Here are some ideas I am proposing based on my conversations with you, and I look forward to discussing how we may implement them further when you elect me to be your next 2nd District City Councilor.
SCHOOL & NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY Our police officers should be trained and dispatched in community policing including bicycle and foot patrols to improve police-community relations. And to further this, I will work to convert our struggling and underutilized schools into neighborhood hubs that offer more intensive and comprehensive wrap-around services to address educational and social-emotional needs of our neighborhoods - including youth recreation after-school and on weekends.
LIVING WAGE & RESIDENT JOBS I am the only candidate who has openly and fully spoken in support of the $15 living wage. I will continue my work to create a program for businesses to voluntarily adopt the $15 living wage, while advocating to the state for home rule to raise our minimum wage across the board for all employers. Our campaign has also worked with the Urban Jobs Task Force and collected over 200 petition signatures, during our campaign canvassing, to create an ordinance that will require contractors of city public works jobs to higher at least 20% of employees form city residents.
PARKING & WINTER SNOW PLOWING I propose we reduce the the number of times needed to switch sides each week to only twice - 3 days odd and 4 days even. This will save many of us from having to pay those odd-even tickets and reduce traffic policing costs; it will ease the ability to travel narrow neighborhood streets by reducing the days per week that cars are parked across from each other during the 6 pm transition period; and will also make for an easier job of plowing snow by reducing obstacles when plows come through.
ABSENTEE LANDLORDS & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT This issue cuts across all neighborhoods in our district. If our infrastructure such as roads and water lines are the bones of our neighborhoods, our houses and landscape are the face and heart. I’d like to work to implement a property manager registration program that will require regular reporting to neighborhood representatives, and will work with the codes office to make sure that absentee landlords who are not being responsible property owners are held to the strictest scrutiny.
SPEEDING VEHICLES I know a speeding car or two from living on the Near Westside’s Otisco St. The police are unable to do anything because the perpetrators are long gone by the time the patrol arrives. I propose to install speed humps on all extended length stretches of street longer than one block where there is not currently any speed control infrastructure such as stop signs in place. There are two green streets being installed in Syracuse which will contain speed humps and will be useful as precedent for increasing these installations (different from speed bumps in that they have a gentler slope, allowing snow plows to navigate them while clearing the streets).
COMMON COUNCIL COMMUNICATION You’ve said that there is not enough communication from your current common council members, and I agree. I will initiate a bi-weekly email update corresponding with Council meetings that will be sent to those who wish to receive it. We’ll make sure to follow-up with citizens about the ramifications of new legislation, reminders about odd/even parking changes, and special events such as important meeting dates - right in your own in-box or mailbox. Think of it as public service announcements from your elected representatives.
COMMUNITY BUDGET CONTROL I will empower everyone by implementing a participatory budgeting ordinance in Syracuse that would dedicate up to 20% of the municipal budget to citizens themselves to identify, discuss, and prioritize spending as they see fit, giving each of us the power to make real decisions about how public funds are used in our community.
My goal is to create a Syracuse that works for #AllOfUs - to make Syracuse a city of safety and dignity for everyone so that your children and friends will not only want to stay in Syracuse, but will speak loudly and highly of it.
For Dignity - Frank Cetera
p.s. Your share via sending an email to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues, or by posting on social media, will go a long way in giving our campaign a last minute boost! Use #315elex and #WeAreGreen , Thank you.