Community, Government, Politics

Syracuse Voters Share What They Want Ben Walsh to Focus On

Syracuse voters are telling us what they want Ben Walsh to focus on as mayor. (c) 2017 Gabriela Knutson

By Gabriela Knutson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Voters on Westcott Street have many suggestions for the future mayor-elect Ben Walsh.

The CEO of ACCESS Global Enterprises Dr. Shanelle R Benson Reid believes Walsh will take strides in the direction that the city needs to go.

When she interviewed Walsh for her podcast a few months ago, she found his vision for the community very refreshing.

“I would like him to focus on entrepreneurship, education, and communities on the South Side that probably need some revitalization. Not necessarily gentrification, but what can we do to uplift communities right now,” Benson Reid said.

Westcott resident Rory, who declined to give her last name, says she voted for Juanita Perez-Williams because she thinks women in politics to a better job.

Now, she hopes Walsh will not be too removed to the problems in the city. She says he should focus on bringing in more jobs.

“Jobs not only for those that are of age, but jobs for youth. Get them employed and get them off the street,” Rory said.

Professor at Syracuse University in the School of Design Emily Stokes-Rees voted for Walsh, and believes he cares for the city and its future just as much as she does.

“What I saw in Ben Walsh was someone that’s been a leader in the Syracuse community, bringing different people together for specific causes,” Stokes-Rees said.

Now, she says she hopes to see him help the community with baby steps of revitalization, just like when he helped the Hotel Syracuse New Marriot project get off the ground and running.

“I really hope to see some changes and improvements in Syracuse city schools, revitalization economic initiatives, like the Hotel Syracuse. I’m hoping he can really bring people around new projects like that,” Stokes-Rees said. “I’m hoping he can raise the city’s profile, with all the big wigs down state.”

Syracuse resident Phyllis Redfearn voted for Juanita Perez-Williams, because she did not know anything about Ben Walsh until he was elected mayor.

“To focus on the poverty rate, crime rate, putting Syracuse back into a positive mold. I can only hope for the best for him, and I am willing to work with the person that’s in charge,” Redfearn said.

Walsh is now preparing for his inauguration and the beginning of his term as mayor. He says his focus will be on fulfilling campaign goals, as well as establishing “a culture of service” and accountability.