Helen Hudson

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Community Development Block Grant is funding distributed by the federal government to local governments and states to use on housing and economic and social development. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates CDBG funds. That means some programs in Syracuse could be hit hard, if not eliminated, by the cut.

The Syracuse Common Council recently approved the distribution of nearly $4.5 million in CDBG funding for this year. Syracuse Common Councilor Helen Hudson said that means the city’s community centers and housing partners can stay on track.

Wayne Marshall / via Flickr

After three years of rejection, the city of Syracuse is again applying for federal funding to reduce childhood lead poisoning. The money would be used to eliminate the hazards in a home that can result in lead poisoning. Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development Paul Driscoll said this year’s application will also include inspecting homes for other potential dangers.

"It could be mold, radon, asbestos or pest infestation that leads to asthma," Driscoll said. "We’re trying to address all the health hazards in a house with one visit, one application."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There are going to be several changes in Syracuse City Hall next year. Because of term limit legislation, there will be a new mayor, and a new common council president.  But the next council president could be a familiar face in council chambers.

At-large councilor Helen Hudson announced Tuesday that she wants to run for the seat of council president.

“I am doing this because where people see a ceremonial role, I see an opportunity for action,” said Hudson.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As she prepares to step down at the end of the year, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will give her state of the city speech on Thursday outlining her priorities for 2017. While the field is wide open for who will be the next mayor, some Syracuse Common Councilors are weighing in on what they would like Miner to focus on in the meantime.

Councilor Helen Hudson made her thoughts clear about running for mayor.

“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Hudson said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Over the past several years, many central New York residents have debated passionately about what they think should happen to the Interstate-81 project through downtown Syracuse. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council will create a youth advisory council to get more young people involved with local government. The youth council will also give councilors the chance to hear what problems young people face in the city.

Common Council President Van Robinson said the youth council will help young people learn more about city hall.  

“I have run across many of our students, who have absolutely no idea what government is all about and are totally oblivious to the fact that we live in a Democratic society,” Robinson said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council may soon request a pilot program from the state to bus all students living one mile or further from schools. Currently, the Syracuse City School District transports students that live one and a half miles away of further from schools. The new change could affect more than 1,100 students.

The pilot program would fund the cost plus remove a penalty the state assesses for transporting students who live closer to school. Councilor Susan Boyle said there is an immediate need and action needs to be taken quickly.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Oswego cut 17 firefighter positions this year, due to a budget deficit. But six of those firefighters have now been hired by the Syracuse Fire Department. Some Syracuse common councilors are upset that Syracuse residents were not considered for the positions.

BlackLivesMatter.com

Two separate Black Lives Matter protests are scheduled for Monday in downtown Syracuse. Some elected officials support the movement and are prepared to meet with demonstrators.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York State has a new law that will expand breast cancer screening hours at hospitals and clinics and remove some insurance barriers. African-American women in Syracuse are trying to inform the community about the changes.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Community activists in Syracuse are calling on Onondaga County to make changes in policies that prevent family members from seeing deceased loved ones at the medical examiner’s office in a timely manner. This often involves who are pronounced dead at a crime scene, instead of a hospital.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Greater Syracuse Labor Council and the United Way of Central New York are holding their annual food and clothing drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Last year the organizations provided items to more than 300 families with the help of almost 150 volunteers.

Helen Hudson works for both the Labor Council and the United Way and said volunteers will sort through the donated items to be delivered to women’s shelters and various churches.

Joe Nicoletti 2009 Campaign

Some Syracuse Common Councilors are upset that the council voted to appoint former Councilor Joe Nicoletti to fill the position vacated by Pam Hunter after she was elected to the Assembly. They say there was not enough vetting of other candidates.

The Common Council voted 5-3 to appoint Nicoletti, who previously served on the council from 1978 to 1991. He unsuccessfully ran against Stephanie Miner in a primary for mayor in 2009. 

Councilor Helen Hudson opposed Nicoletti’s appointment, not because she has anything against him.

The Century Foundation

A new report finds that Syracuse has the highest concentration of blacks and Hispanics in poverty in the country. Officials said they are disturbed by the findings and said that policies need to change to reverse the trends.

Ivy Dawned / Flickr

Grocery shopping will soon be easier for residents of one south side Syracuse neighborhood.  The announcement of a new grocery store in the Valley Plaza solves one problem, but others still exist in Syracuse when it comes to the access to affordable food.