The Urban Jobs Task Force Will Present and Distribute its Inner Harbor Community Benefits Agreements to COR, SIDA and the Media

In Corporations, Government, Media Advisory, Worker's Rights on June 13, 2014 at 11:48 am


When:   8:30 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Where:  Common Council Chambers, City Hall

What:    SIDA public hearing on COR’s Inner Harbor project

8:30 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in the Common Council Chambers, City Hall during the public hearing on the Inner Harbor project, the Urban Jobs Task Force (UJTF) will present and distribute its Inner Harbor Community Benefits Agreement to COR, SIDA and the media.  Following that presentation, UJTF members and the community will speak to the urgent need to establish monitored requirements for city-sponsored development.  These requirements must target city residents in need of employment and city small businesses in need of subcontracts.

Throughout the country, communities and some municipalities are working to make sure everyone benefits when public dollars are spent on a project.  Since the late nineties, CBA’s have been effective strategies for providing jobs, fair wages, contracts, housing, green space, grocery stores, community centers or whatever the community feels will foster a better quality of life in their neighborhoods affected by the project.  Two successful examples are the 1999 Hollywood and Highland CBA and 2008 Pittsburg Penguin Arena CBA.

This approach is powerful because the community speaks for itself and negotiates these legal agreements with the developer, be it a private company or a municipality.  To be effective CBAs must include compliance monitoring and enforcement.  Over the last four semesters, the Urban Jobs Task Force has worked with the Syracuse University’s Community Development Law Clinic to develop a CBA for the Inner Harbor Project.  Since this would be the first CBA in Syracuse we want it to serve as a model for how a project getting tax benefits can be more inclusive of the affected community.

Last October, COR told the UJTF it wasn’t interested in negotiating an Inner Harbor CBA because it was partnering with SUNYEOC to hire locally.  The UJTF believes SUNYEOC is a good partner of choice but if there is no targeted hiring requirement for COR to meet, such as the one in our CBA that calls for Inner Harbor contractors to hire 15 – 25% low-income city residents, history suggests that very few inner-city residents are likely to get opportunities through this development project.  At this point, the UJTF wants at least to have a conversation with COR about the community’s needs and ways in which the UJTF can partner with SUNYEOC and COR to facilitate local hiring. UJTF is a coalition of 40 community organizations and faith based groups that can add value to SUNYEOC & COR’s efforts to hire locally even if a full CBA is not enacted.  But COR has refused to even meet with us. This is why the UJTF is using this hearing to publicize its Inner Harbor CBA and the need for accountable development.  If we are ever going to tackle poverty in our city, we need to change the status quo.

The Urban Jobs Task Force (UJTF) is a coalition of 40 organizations whose mission is to advocate  “for job development, training and placement for Syracuse’s unemployed- and under-employed” and  to  “ encourage the creation of conditions and resources for local businesses under-represented regarding municipal contracts.”

Contact:  Aggie Lane, 478-4571


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