The newest candidate for Syracuse mayor wants to double the city's population in eight years, abolish the Common Council in favor of a neighborhood Congress and hire a city manager to handle administrative duties.

"The idea is to decentralize city government, and bring it into the neighborhoods," says Jacob Roberts, a Syracuse University graduate who will turn 32 next week and has just announced he's running for mayor.
New Times:
A quick scan of Roberts' preliminary platform outline, however, reveals myriad echoes of that agenda. Neighborhood governing councils, neighborhood city halls with decentralized public services, an expanded common council, a municipal power authority and a priority on environmentalism have been Green Party cornerstones since it began organizing locally in 1989.

Getting together with friends, Roberts said, he'd always bring the newspaper and point to issues like the sewage treatment plant and downtown development. His friends urged him to run for office because he had such passion for the city.

After resigning as executive director of ThINC, Roberts said, he decided to make his full-time job running for mayor. He's not worried about money, just helping Syracuse "become the pioneer city it's perfectly situated to become."

The problems in Syracuse today center around city management, public appeal and getting citizens engaged, Roberts said. He wants the mayor to be the listener and the thinker, gathering ideas from citizens and other communities.

New Times:
"This {campaign} is a continuation of a movement from my efforts in Syracuse, mostly through ThINC over the past decade. I want to create a bustling city with a small-town atmosphere with mom-and-pop stores. I think this campaign will resonate with 40 Below. I'm definitely carrying a torch for the 40-Belowers in this community; 40 Below was my baby, in response to the Richard Florida initiative.

By making communities more vital, people will want to live here and the population will grow, Roberts said. He also wants to establish a youth council that would have a voice in government, promote entrepreneurialism, give youngsters opportunities and turn the arts into an industry. That way young people aren't trained to be secretaries and factory workers, he said.

Roberts said he thinks Mayor Matt Driscoll got elected because people wanted a young, fresh voice. Now, he said, he's that person.

"I'm a catalyst," he said. "I've always been good at taking ideas, concepts and desires and turning them into something tangible. I love bringing people together, and that's what people in Syracuse need to heal."

Roberts is running on the yet to be heard from YES! (Youth Empowered Sustainability) party line, and needs to get 1,500 signatures to be on the ballot. He advocates the city partnering with the Destiny development.

I hope to contact him soon, and learn more about his plans and platform for the city. I will surely post more on this in the future, and urge all city residents to sign his ballot petition and add a new voice, and breath of fresh air to the Syracuse political arena.

Jacob Roberts for Mayor of Syracuse
This entry was posted on 8/03/2005 10:49:00 PM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


On 9:27 PM , Mike Smithson said...

I wonder what his position is on drug policy? America has had drug prohibition since 1919...then the modern drug war was initiated in 1970. We've spent a trillion dollars fighting it and look at our neighborhoods: drugs are more avail, more potent and in many cases, cheaper than ever before. Every study shows that the vast majority of users and dealers are middle aged white guys. The same studies show that Blacks make up 13% of the drug using population. SO why is the NY state drug felon population 98% Black or Brown young men? What will he say to this? Will he endorse more of the same stuff policies that this mayor and all of the previous mayors have laid down? Tougher laws, more cops, the same old BS? I would like to hear what he wants to do instead. These have a direct impact on what people think of our city.
I support ending the drug war...politicians are beginning to listen. Is he brave enough to discuss and listen to alternatives?
Mike Smithson
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

On 7:37 AM , baloghblog said...

I will pass along your comments to Jake, as I am not sure what his ideas on this particular issue are. I appreciate your comments and interest, and will be checking out your organization.

On 11:49 AM , Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that since Jake is now helping with the Hawkins campaign and contributing a lot of his ideas to Hawkins agenda we should all be voting for Hawkins come election day.