Four white, east-side liberal candidates for School Board? Sounds OK to me. But then, I’m a white, east-side liberal! According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Syracuse’s population is 30% African-American and 8% Latino. The school district’s student population is 50% African-American and 13% Latino. Only one out of the seven Commissioners on the school board will be a person of color. That’s the best we can do?
It’s simple to explain, if hard to swallow. Syracuse is a highly segregated city. Our metro area has the 11th worst pattern of segregation between African-Americans and whites in the entire country.
The Democrats run their party through a ward committee system. African-Americans can only hope to control 4-5 wards out of the 19 in the city. In addition, the ward votes are weighted by turnout in prior gubernatorial elections. The wards containing African-American population have low levels of registration and voting.
The Republicans are less structured, but the members of the city GOP African-American and Latino caucus could all travel to their meetings in the same car–even a Cooper.
Everyone sings that sappy song about the children being our future–but the white, east-side liberals own the songbook and manage the choir.