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Consent by silence

Urban CNY

— The upcoming local elections will be a barometer of how the public is feeling. This is the first measure of the temperament of people locally in two years. While turnout may be light, those showing up will be the voters most energized and motivated by their candidate. With the right combination of newly elected Common Council members and incumbents, the Syracuse Common Council would be the epitome of what Bette Davis said in the movie “All About Eve:” “fasten your seat belts its going to be a bumpy night.”

Over the next four years people and businesses are going to be displaced from their homes to make way for future development and displacement. No one will hang a sign saying, “this is the site of future gentrification,” but follow the money and investment and you’ll see upper income people flocking to newly developed apartments and condos.

Downtown will be transformed and you’ll need money to live there. Those who remain in the way of development will be hidden out of site at a bus transfer site and other business owners will be priced out of their sites, complicated by the fact their customers may not walk the three blocks for a donut.

The old 15th Ward is now among the most valuable real estate in the area. People from the old urban renewal areas were scattered, many landing on the South Side along a strip that runs parallel to Route 81. With a 1-mile strip of housing occupied by working class people along with voluminous traffic that runs down that street every day you’d think there would be more economic development. All the elements of success exist in these locations, including a population that spends more than $3 to $5 million out of the area each year. People in the city have the opportunity to affect change by voting next month. Are you going to say, “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore” or sit at home and simply consent by your silence?

Ken Jackson is the editor of Urban CNY and a weekly columnist for The Eagle. Reach him at kjackson@urbancny.com.

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