Council President Robinson Speaks at Ida Benderson Rally


From civil rights to senior citizens, the Council president vows to fight on:


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Community Groups Rally & March in Support of Ida Benderson Center

On Monday, 9/19, Syracuse community groups and concerned citizens rallied in support of the Ida Benderson Center. They gathered at the Center at 12:45 and march to City Hall at 1.

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Press Conference to Show Support for Ida Benderson Across the Political Spectrum

from left: Common Council Member Jean Kessner (Dem), Syracuse Green Party Chair Howie Hawkins (Green), Ida Benderson Center Participants, Rev. Kevin Agee, Common Council Member Nader Maroun (Dem), Syracuse Republican Party Chair Steve Kimatian (Rep), Common Council Member Lance Denno (Dem)

When: 1pm Friday, 9/16
Where: In Front of Ida Benderson Senior Center, 205 S. Salina

Politicians from the Green Party, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party joined in condemning the decision to close the Ida Benderson Senior Center on October 1. They  discussed flaws in the process that led to the closure decision, and they spoke of the importance of spaces like Ida Benderson in the lives of senior citizens. The event was hosted by Rev. Kevin Agee of Hopps Memorial CME Church.

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Mayor’s office closes ida benderson meeting to media

Mayor Stephanie Miner is prohibiting media from observing her meeting with seniors at the Ida Benderson center, despite the repeated requests of seniors. Seniors will speak with media before and after the mayor’s visit in front of the Center. A security guard was stationed just inside the door:

Seniors were not persuaded by Mayor Stephanie Miner’s remarks. She suggested that seniors visit the Salvation Army — only to discover that most of the seniors at Ida Benderson have visited the Salvation Army, and know that it isn’t right for them.

Seniors are planning to escalate their protests against the Center closure in the coming days.

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Songs to Save Ida Benderson!

Musically talented supporters of the Ida Benderson Center have put together three songs exhorting Mayor Stephanie Miner to save the Center. The full lyrics are here, audio is coming soon. Here’s a sample:


Please don’t close our Center

It’s our home away from home

We gather here with all our friends

Much better than being alone


We’ve raised families here in Syracuse

Fought the wars and paid our tax

And all that we are asking

Is to come here to relax!

Ida Benderson Center participants and community supporters singing in support of the Center.

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Mayor Miner Agrees to Visit Ida Benderson

On Friday, 9/9, Ida Benderson Senior Center participants wrote a letter to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner demanding that she visit the Center and explain herself. A delegation delivered the letter to the mayor’s office.

Mayor Miner has conceded to this demand, and will visit the Center at noon on Tuesday, 9/13. Center participants plan to ask tough questions. And they plan to continue the fight until the Ida Benderson Center is no longer threatened.

Press release here.

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Stephanie Miner’s Admin. Lies about Ida Benderson

At Common Council hearings last week Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s representative insisted repeatedly that the Council had been informed about the closure of the Ida Benderson Senior Center.

That was a lie.

In an open letter published in today’s Post-Standard, Common Council member Patrick Hogan revealed that the city’s Parks & Rec budget showed no change to the Center’s funding. Indeed, the budget is public record, and available online here (document page 192). Note how there is funding for activities at the Benderson Center including “Special Musical Events” and “Cooking Class” through mid-2012.

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