Archive for April, 2013

Smart Strategies for Community Revitalization, Jobs, and Regional Development Forum – Mon., April 15

April 8, 2013

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is encouraging its members, allies, partners and supporters to attend this important community forum on smart growth strategies for Central New York. Please forward this email to your friends, families, co-workers, and other community growths.

The City of Utica has great strengths and assets like its historic architecture, arts institutions and colleges, and diversity of population. Like other older industrial communities, it is struggling to make a transition to a new information-based economy in a global age. To restore its prosperity, Utica, Rome, Herkimer, Syracuse, and the Central New York region must together address the challenge of sprawl, uncoordinated growth, and economic development policies that fail to reduce poverty and promote equitable development. The time to act is now. A new paradigm is needed for the revitalization of our urban areas that combines smart growth, regional planning and cooperation and equitable development into a comprehensive strategy. This approach offers the best hope for preserving the environment, rebuilding central city neighborhoods, and generating new sources of wealth that benefit community residents. Success will not be immediate, but Utica and other cities in CY have an unprecedented opportunity with new political leadership to seize the moment and begin the process for community renewal. John Furman



Utica College Pi Sigma Alpha and The Sherman Society and its Utica Center for Small City and Rural Studies as well as local organizations will be sponsoring a community forum on Monday, April 15 on “Smart Strategies for Community Revitalization, Jobs, and Regional Development.” It will be held from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Utica College Economic Crime and Justice Studies Building, Carbone Auditorium, Burrstone Road. It is free and open to the public.

The forum will address how sprawl, uncoordinated growth, and lack of regional planning have contributed to urban blight, loss of agricultural land, and a lower quality of life. Its goal will be to discuss the development of strategies to promote regional cooperation, smart growth, and equitable development. The forum is a part of Pi Sigma Alpha and The Sherman Society’s “Conversation Series” which allows students, faculty, and the community to discuss and exchange ideas about important public policy issues.

Co-sponsors of the forum include the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, Cooperative Extension of Oneida & Madison County, Rust to Green New York, Rust to Green Utica, Green Local 175, Progressive Research and Action Center, Inc., Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church, NACCP Utica – Oneida County Branch, NIA Group of Utica, Inc., and Cornhill Community for Change. The moderator of the forum will be Dr. Polly J. Smith, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Utica Center for Small Cities and Rural Studies.

The keynote speaker for the forum will be Peter B. Fleischer, Executive Director of Empire State Future, a not-for-profit coalition of 70 organizations seeking regionally appropriate sustainable and equitable community and economic revitalization of New York’s main streets, town centers, and urban areas. ESF promotes the integration of smart growth principles in public and private sector land use, infrastructure and development decision-making. ESF’s case for local and statewide smart growth decisions incorporates fiscal, demographic, social equity, public health, community development, housing, environmental justice, infrastructure, energy, transportation, farmland, land use and development considerations.

Mr. Fleischer, who became Executive Director of Empire State Future in 2008, holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. From 2003-2007, he was the Senior Vice President at the Empire State Development Corporation’s Governors Island subsidiary. Prior to this, he was a Transportation and Environmental Policy Advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office. He also served as Assistant Commissioner for Policy at the New York City Department of Transportation. Prior to his government service, Mr. Fleischer worked in strategic planning and private banking at Shearson Lehman American Express. A longtime resident of Manhattan’s West Village, he now lives in downtown Albany.

The Utica College National Political Science Honor Society is a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha which is the only honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States. Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) and is designated as a “Specialized, Upper-Division” society by ACHS. The purpose of the Conversation Series is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, and government.

Refreshments will be served. For more information on the forum contact John Furman at 315-725-0974.

smart growth flyer