Members of the CNY Solidarity Coalition brought their anti-Trump agenda to Syracuse's independent Mayor-elect Ben Walsh Wednesday. The activist group wanted to know if they could rely on Walsh’s support on a number of issues.
Barb Lane is a Democrat who voted for her party’s mayoral candidate in the past election, Juanita Perez Williams. She came out to the meeting to make peace and move forward.
“I think he did well but he’s got to prove to me that he’s not a Republican,” Lane said.
Walsh comes from a family of former Republican elected officials and said he is proud of their public service.
“I understand for some people that is still a concern," Walsh said. "I encourage everyone to judge me on my actions, not assumptions.”
Some at the meeting asked if Walsh would show up to more of the group’s rallies. Walsh said he can make more of an impact from within the government.
“My contention is that I am in a better position to influence change by developing and nurturing relationships with our leaders at the state and federal level,” Walsh said. "I understand and appreciate the value of protests and rallies and encouraging change, and it's something that I encourage myself. But I feel that the most impactful way for me to enact change is to do so through the relationships that I have and through those that I will develop with all the leaders of our community."
The group voiced concerns with police misconduct, lead poisoning and Congressional Republicans’ tax bill. Walsh said he spoke with central New York Republican Rep. John Katko and voiced his opposition with the bill.
“I'm confident we're going to have a productive working relationship; doesn't mean we're always going to agree," Walsh said.
Coalition members also warned Walsh, that at some point, he may be a target of their protests.