No candidates of color for school board? In segregated Syracuse? And you’re surprised?

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.


2 thoughts on “No candidates of color for school board? In segregated Syracuse? And you’re surprised?

  1. Wow, that’s an interesting statistic, as well as a breakdown I’d never heard before. I often wondered why it seems so few minorities were on the Syracuse board; now I know why. Too bad I live outside of the city; might be able to make a bigger stink about things. Then again, without redistricting of some kind, nothing will change anyway.


  2. Mitch:

    Another reason for low numbers of blacks & Latinos on School Board: a lot of good candidates run for city council rather than the Board of Ed. What always ticks me off is the Council candidates who discuss how concerned they are w/ education. The Council has NOTHING to do w/ education. The Council only votes on the Board’s budget–they don’t even really have any input into its content, just the final figure.


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