Saturday 26 November 2022
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Democratic Common Council President Breaks From Party For Greater Diversity

Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson

Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson

For the second consecutive year, the top elected Democrat in Syracuse has broken with her party over the Democratic designee. Common Council President Helen Hudson has chosen to endorse attorney Shadia Tadros, a local Syracuse Democrat and key challenger for City Court Judge.

Hudson says Tadros, a first generation Syracusan and a child of Arab immigrants, understands the dynamics that the Democratic party is currently dealing with and is capable of reaching younger voters, said. Tadros has also been endorsed by 4th District Councilor Layota Allen and Councilor-At-Large Khalid Bey.

“The committee is not very diverse,” Hudson said of the local Democratic party, which she says doesn’t accurately reflect the diversity of the Syracuse population. “They’re making isolated choices.”

Tadros, now a primary challenger for Democratic Party designee Ann Magnarelli, also agrees that the Democratic committee unfairly represents the demographic of Onondaga County.

Hudson, Allen, and Bey are the only black members of the Common Council yet 27.9% of Syracuse is black.

“It is my belief that the group does not reach all communities and residents that make up this city,” said Tadros. “Especially those who will be affected most by this position.”

Mark English, the Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman, was disappointed in the remarks about the lack of diversity in the committee, which he says reflects the population of Syracuse accurately.

“We have several committee members of color,” said English. English also said that, because Hudson didn’t endorse Juanita Perez Williams for mayor, that her claims over the Democratic Committee’s poor inclusion are confusing. “[I’m] not sure what she’s talking about,” he said.

In 2017, Hudson has endorsed Ben Walsh, the first Independent party Mayor of Syracuse. Had the Democratic candidate, Perez Williams, won the mayoral race she would have been Syracuse’s first Latina mayor.

Hudson is now endorsing Tadros, who was also backed by 20 community leaders and activists on Wednesday, May 9. Among them were Langston McKinney, Syracuse’s first black judge; Jordan Lally, the former president of the Syracuse University Democrats; and former Common Councilor Bob Dougherty.

Tadros has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Hudson says she hopes more young people and people of color will become more involved in the Democratic Party. This election year will be the first time that baby boomers aren’t the largest generation of voters and this could mean substantial leverage for the Democratic Party.

Millennials are known for their strong opinions and from differing significantly from the baby boomer generation. For instance, compared to older generations, up to 80% of millennials feel happy or neutral toward lab-grown diamonds.

What’s more, in the 2016 election year, more Millennials voted for Bernie Sanders than they voted for President Trump and Hillary Clinton combined. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has been steadily losing ground with the Millennial generation who are more attuned to the third party views.

“I’m going to stay optimistic,” said Hudson. “I love the Democratic Party. I’m hoping we can sit down together and see how we move forward.”

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