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First Woman to Represent Syracuse Common Council District #1 Takes Seat in 2022, Focusing on Housing, Crime & Solving Problems

Jennifer Schultz will take her seat as First District Common Councilor in the new year
Jennifer Schultz will take her seat as First District Common Councilor in the new year

Syracuse’s first council district on the city’s north side will have a new representative at city hall when councilors take their seats next month. Jennifer Schultz succeeds Joe Carni, who decided to step aside after six years to make an unsuccessful run for county legislature. Schultz has been serving her community in other roles for the past 15 years, most recently as president of the Sedgwick Farms Neighborhood Association. She says she feels like a mini-councilor of sorts.

“I’ve established relationships with the city, police, parks, DPW, the Mayor’s office. I would take it on myself to go knocking on those doors and ask questions, and try to come up with resolutions with things. So after awhile, I thought to myself, ’Hmm, I’m kind of doing this job. It would be kind of fun to be on the other side of the fence.’”

Schultz is the first woman to represent the first district, and will now be one of five women on the nine member council. Her district is home to a large number of New Americans. She’s learning about some of the challenges they and other residents face with inferior housing.

“I’m just really kind of sensitive to that now and to the fact that these houses are aging, and the whole landlord-tenant relationship, and lead paint, and all the things that affect housing.”

She says she’s met with Home Headquarters to understand what resources are available and wants to help families get assistance if they need it. Schultz says she’s also become keenly aware of how crime in the city affects the city’s wide array of neighborhoods.

“Crime obviously is an issue for everybody.  It feels different though.  Some people just observe it in other parts (of the city); other people live in it daily.”

Schultz says she hopes to put skills from her earlier career in medical research to good use to find solutions and make the best decisions for her district. She’s one of three new members on the council. Schultz will take her new seat in the coming year, along with councilors-at-large elect Amir Gethers and Rasheada Caldwell was not available for an interview.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at