Consent by silence

Urban CNY

— As the beginning of Fall arrives there’s an air of confusion — and at times confrontation — in our city, state and nation.

Look at the small encampment of people protesting Wall Street and the influence and impact of big money. In New York City and other communities across this land, people are acting out the catch phrase from the movie “Network”: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.”

In Syracuse, a group of activists worked with senior citizens in an effort to make their voices heard. The same is happening on the corner of Colvin and South Salina streets, where business investments could be hampered by closing the U.S. Post Office there. This postal station attracts customers from beyond the business district and could be the anchor and catalyst for revitalizing of the area. But not if it’s closed.

We watch in awe as properties once deemed unlivable (when they were under the banner of “affordable housing”) become prime real estate, as University Hospital converts these units into housing to address expanding needs near their facility. The African-American community that once extended almost to the War Memorial and all along the East Washington Street Corridor, Harrison, Madison, Adams, Almond and Townsend streets were all affordable housing at one time.

The poor, black, brown and urban residents have begun to merge into this uncommon alliance with activity unseen since the anti-war protests of the past. Those reading this column may think I’m engaging in hyperbole, exaggerating the impact of future events and actions.

But the landscape is about to become thick with activism. Especially since the consensus of the average citizens is that government doesn’t work for them, or it’s always the well-connected that get the breaks, regardless of how hard the average people may work.

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