Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ford: Syracuse!

Another good day interacting with and listening to voters.

We continue to hear the same thing from voters - jobs, taxes and the economy are the chief concerns. More and more, voters want a senator who will put them first. From Syracuse's most senior elected officeholders to business leaders to leading community activists to Syracuse's dynamic church community, I heard the same message. They want better government involvement in neighborhoods to help with jobs, business opportunities, housing and education.

In addition, I learned that Senator Gillibrand hasn't spent much time in Syracuse since being appointed Senator last year. It was reported this morning in the local newspaper that Senator Gillibrand has been to central New York only twice since she's been Senator. I've been once in the past 2 weeks since starting my tour across New York.

When Senator Gillibrand travels to Syracuse again, here's what she will learn. First, the city has a young and dynamic mayor focused on expanding education opportunities and creating jobs. Mayor Stephanie Miner won running as an outsider, enjoying the support of Senator Schumer. We met and she educated me about the Syracuse's Say Yes! education program, a comprehensive approach that guarantees college tuition for Syracuse high school graduates to Syracuse and Carnegie Mellon Universities as well as all SUNY and CUNY institutions provided the student is admitted. Syracuse voters made the right choice in mayor. I look forward to working with her and her team for years to come.

Moreover, Syracuse has some of the best community organizers and activists in the state around issues of housing, jobs and immigration. And, a business community hungry for opportunity and growth.

My big thanks goes to Pastor Tannyhill and the Bellegrove Missionary Baptist Church family and Pastor Carter and the Living Water Church of God in Christ family for allowing me to visit this morning as well. Made me feel like I was in church in Memphis.

Last, I want to thank Walt Dixie and the Alliance Network, and the organizers of the community forum and all who attended, especially the elected officials who attended. It was very informative.

See you again in 2 weeks.