Letter to the Editor

Imagine life in the near future, five years from now or even 10. Where will you be? Where will our community be? The question is: will this community be in a better position when the Interstate 81 viaduct is removed than we are today?

The upcoming $2 billion tear down of the viaduct offers an enticing promise of opportunity: well-paying construction jobs, stitching the community back together and economic revitalization for the city, its residents and the region for years to come.

But the promise of opportunity is not an opportunity!

Real opportunity for us rarely comes without determination and intentional acts led by the people of this community and supported by state and elected officials.

The time to make our demands is now. As the federal and state agencies work to decide what will happen to I-81, we must speak up! We must submit a comment, show up to a hearing, sign a petition or contact NYCLU or UJTF.

Why get involved?

First, it is your legal right. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is required to review, answer and implement (when appropriate) any comments submitted by the public.

Make a Difference: Just being there will embolden others to speak freely and powerfully. There is power in numbers. Even if you will not be directly affected, support those who will. Let’s intensify the pressure on state officials to meet our needs.

Fed Up: The DOT agrees the original build destroyed a community, weakened Syracuse’s economy and moved jobs and people out of the city. Therefore, the DOT must play a role in restoring life back into the city. Stand up and make that point clear!

Urgency: Our best chance to demand equal access to opportunity will be at the yet to be scheduled NYSDOT Public Hearing. Contact NYCLU to learn how to join Tuesday Talks about this topic.

Solidarity: Unity will tell the DOT and state and local officials we EXPECT to be heard in this project; we EXPECT to be employed on this project, and we EXPECT this project to undo the damage it created. We must unite as one!

Please contact us to get involved.

Until then, stay safe and press on.

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