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Syracuse mayor: Revitalization would suffer under Republican congress

Mayor Miner is worried the elephants are coming.
via Flickr
Mayor Miner is worried the elephants are coming.

Several upstateMayors met in Syracuse Thursday to discuss ways they can unite to tackle similar issues and promote revitalization. In recent years, cities have been able to plug budget gaps with federal stimulus money, and that’s because of the economic recovery polices of a Democratic congress and President.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (a Democrat) says that could change if Republicans win the majority in Congress in November’s election.

“I think you would see under a Republican congress completely ignoring an urban agenda in cities. We had a Republican congress not so long ago, and they weren’t interested in housing policy or education reform or job creation,” said Miner. “I think what you’ve seen with, particularly with the Tea Party movement, is a movement toward extremism. When you move toward extremism and away from rationality, the first people that are always victimized are the people who live in cities.”

Republicans have criticized the stimulus spending. Ann Marie Buerkle, the GOP’s nominee to represent Syracuse in congress, says she would have voted against the stimulus bill. Buerkle says Washington has a “freewheeling” approach to spending and that’s laying waste to the nation’s economy. Speaking on WRVO’s Weekly Edition, Buerkle says:

“…let’s look at the stimulus package where we spent close to a trillion dollars, and let’s look at the results. We still have unemployment at 9.6 percent, we still have underemployment at about 16 to 17 percent. We’ve not jump-started the economy. We’ve frittered away close to a trillion dollars of the American people’s money.”

Federal stimulus spending has found its way to job programs, high-speed rail projects, and energy efficiency upgrades in several upstate New York buildings. Buerkle says spending federal dollars on energy efficient upgrades doesn’t create jobs, and points to that as an example of money being frittered away

Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.