Letter to the Editor

Syracuse Seniors Continue to Fight Sept. 19 to Save Their Center

One day a few weeks ago, the Syracuse Parks & Recreation Commissioner walked into the Ida Benderson Senior Center and announced that it would close Oct. 1.

Ida Benderson has provided a community, and a family, for Syracuse seniors from the South Side and from other parts of the city for more than 30 years. Many seniors who don’t have family, or whose family has moved away, spend every day with their friends at Ida Benderson.

On Sept. 9 Ida Benderson Senior Center participants wrote a letter to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner demanding that she visit the center and explain the decision to close the center Oct. 1.

Since the Commissioner visited, seniors have been organizing to stop the closure. They started a petition, which received 249 signatures, and they delivered it to City Hall. They went to a Common Council meeting about the center. They demanded that Mayor Stephanie Miner visit the center and listen to their concerns. And they worked with community allies to organize a press conference on Sept. 16 with representatives from the Republicans, the Democrats and the Greens.

The seniors and their community allies have organized a rally and march to City Hall beginning at 12:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, starting at the Ida Benderson Center, 205 S. Salina.

Information about the struggle to save the center can be found at solidaritycny.wordpress.com. The seniors are committed to continuing their struggle until Mayor Stephanie Miner reverses her decision to close the Ida Benderson Center.

 

— Submitted by Vincent Lloyd, Community Organizer