March 19, 2019

Quick Takes (v33): Carson and Katko

Quick Takes
There was an article in my local paper today, about the possibility that Ben Carson, president Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, might pay a visit to Syracuse to see what's going on here.

According to Mark Weiner's article, Carson met with Congressman John Katko recently and talked about the Syracuse Surge and, according to Katko, he
expressed interest in visiting Syracuse to see how the city plans to transform its economy with public and private investment centered on a series of projects on the south end of downtown. 
The plan includes a new STEAM  high school that will be open not just to city students but to kids from all of the school districts in Onondaga County. The school would be dedicated to the more common STEM curriculum - science, technology, engineering and math - and also add focus on the arts, too.

Katko suggested that HUD could play a "leading role" in the Syracuse Surge, which ties in to rebuilding the Pioneer Homes project and redeveloping the whole southeast end of downtown, including whatever happens with the I-81 viaduct project, and said that HUD money could "help jump-start" development efforts.

And, Katko said they also talked about the ongoing issue with lead poisoning here; new funding was approved in December to get our lead paint abatement program back up and running, after funding was cut off due to disagreements between the City and HUD back in 2012.

Whether or not you're a Carson or Katko fan, we'd be nuts to not want a Cabinet member with good intentions coming here; after all, NY historically gets a lot less from the federal government than we pay in. And if there's a chance that HUD will come through with some money and other assistance to help us rebuild the south east side of downtown, and continue their commitment to helping us get rid of the lead that's still causing issues for kids in Syracuse,  I'm all for it.

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