A Plan For My First 100 Days
As Mayor, we will hit the ground running and take immediate action to address the complex issues that Syracuse residents care about. This document represents what I plan to accomplish in my administration’s first 100 days. Let’s get to work!
As a city, we face many challenges. Together, I hope that we can find and develop solutions that benefit everyone as we move into the future.
OPPORTUNITY: Undocumented individuals represent only 0.4% of Syracuse residents and 6% of immigrants living in Syracuse. There are 40,800 foreign-born, lawfully emigrated individuals living and working in Syracuse, an increase of over 42% between 2000-2014. Of this number, 5658, are refugees. Many of these individuals need safe housing, training, and well-paying jobs, and we need to work together to help them build their lives, families, and communities in Syracuse. For an informative report on this subject, click here.
OPPORTUNITY: As your mayor I will take the lead and engage city residents, the private sector, community-based organizations, and government partners .We will present a plan that modernizes government, delivers services more efficiently and empowers our city.
OPPORTUNITY: My #1 priority will be to drastically decrease our poverty rate before the end of my first term. My plan will focus on making quality housing affordable and support home ownership over a lifetime of renting; expedite enforcement against slumlords responsible for the squalid conditions in which many low-income residents are living, and establish work training opportunities that will lead to well-paying jobs, some of which already exist in the City, but lack the appropriately trained labor force. We will focus on neighborhood revitalization, while engaging individuals and institutions within our city to support these efforts.
OPPORTUNITY: Former City of Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll is leading this effort on behalf of his hometown. I have every confidence in Commissioner Driscoll’s openness and willingness to listen to a plan presented by the City. It is time to have a conversation about what WE want our city to look like, and my administration will make sure the expectations of the city residents are fully met.
OPPORTUNITY: Syracuse was created and still is a global hub of economic activity. We need to think of ourselves in this way; market ourselves in this way; and, showcase our skilled workers and expertise to those who do not know us—yet.
This will involve:
- Improving blighted conditions and addressing abandoned properties that have become havens for drug trafficking;
- Increasing police staffing levels, training, technology, and roles in the community to better identify and deescalate conflicts and respond to patterns of concerning behavior before a crime occurs;
- Engaging the healthcare community in strategies to combat drug addiction; and,
- Engaging local educators to train young people for available jobs that pay a sustaining wage.
- Creating a “gun court” modeled on an effective initiative led by Mayor Lovely Warren in Rochester, New York that dedicates one judge solely to weapons charges as a means of streamlining the adjudication process and reducing the number of guns—and people inclined to use them—on the streets. This initiative cut violent assaults in Rochester by 19% in one year, and we should replicate it in Syracuse.
- Using all available public safety technology in our high crime neighborhoods to prove the city is serious about protecting the quality of life of our children.
OPPORTUNITY: City government does not need to do it alone. When I am Mayor, I will engage our many local experts to help develop a sustainability-focused development plan and provide input on the potential long-term effects of the actions we take to address today’s challenges.
We need to start with the basics: kids need safe passage to a safe school where learning can happen. SCSD spends almost $21M on a combination of contracted ($18.4M) and CENTRO ($2.4M) transportation services and pays another million dollars annually for drivers, mechanics, vehicles, and related insurance. The District has requested an additional $4.6M to bus students living between 1-1.5 miles from school–meaning that many students still will be expected to walk in Syracuse winters through troubled neighborhoods. Simply put, a more cost-effective strategy must be developed to bus every child to and from school and the savings reinvested in teaching and learning. I will work with SCSD and CENTRO to deliver such a plan.
OPPORTUNITY: As Mayor I also will work with SCSD to develop a strategic plan that moves us from the current high school graduation rate of 61% to at least the NYS average graduation rate of 79% within the span of years it takes to educate today’s kindergarteners. We will focus on our youngest learners to get them the right start and support our middle schoolers to dream about a bright future and stay in school so that these dreams may become realities.