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Politics & Government

Volunteers for Michael Greene Mayoral Campaign See Vision for Positive Change over Incumbent

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Evan Beebe/WAER News
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The Michael Greene for Mayor campaign kicked off in earnest this weekend when volunteers assembled outside the Staffworks employment agency in Syracuse. Ten new volunteers and campaign staff began dropping leaflets on the doorsteps of East Syracuse residents.

The Democrat says volunteers will be essential for his campaign given his competition is incumbent Mayor Ben Walsh.

“We’ve got a primary campaign and then we have a general election (against) an incumbent mayor who’s from the most famous (political) family in Syracuse with a huge war chest.  So, we know that if we’re going to win it’s because we have volunteers out knocking on doors, talking to people directly.” 

One of those volunteers is Donna Moore, a Syracuse resident and supported-employment specialist. She says she is excited to campaign for Greene because he offers a deviation from past mayoral candidates.

“I just think we need some new blood to come up with some different, innovative ideas to get the city moving forward.  And I think that Michael Greene offers some of that with his financial background.”

Cornell University PhD student Rich Barton is another volunteer planning on being active in Greene’s campaign. Barton says he supports Greene because he will stand up for local small businesses in Syracuse.

“In particular, I think he’s offering a new vision in the city that believes in investing in the city from the bottom up, which I think is a contrast to the current administration (that) prioritizes attracting outside corporations.” 

Both Barton and Moore say they respect and appreciate Mayor Walsh at an individual level.  But  they both feel his time in office hasn’t been progressive enough to bring meaningful changes to the city.

“I think there’s a bit of a disparity between the more progressive positions he takes in rhetoric and what he’s actually willing to do with his power.” Barton adds. 

Before a showdown with Mayor Walsh, Greene and his volunteers will have to begin canvassing for a Democratic primary against Common Councilor Khalid Bey for the right to face Walsh.  The primary is set for June 22nd.  City Republicans might also be voting in a June primary between Janet Burman and Tom Babilon.