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Congratulations, Syracuse! We have triumphed.
40 years of non-stop progress since 2010 quintupled the city's population to almost 750,000.
We transformed our skyline with building after building and replaced a blighted highway with a glorious park.
We preserved pieces of our past amidst the new glory.
Our canal and railroad heritage is not merely preserved but active once again. The Syracuse Inner Harbor buzzes with activity once more, receiving grain from the west and shipping out our manufactures. Our railyards in DeWitt and Jamesville have grown four times in the last two decades, and even the now quiet Thruway has more activity around Syracuse than anywhere else.
Some of our gains resemble those of other cities. The suburbs' slow reversion to farmland brought us more residents, as did the move north after the hurricane seasons of 2026 and 2037. We learned from our neighbor, Utica, of the advantages of welcoming refugees, many of whom proved critical in re-establishing our industries.
How did we outpace Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany? Our incubator spaces proved crucial. We reduced the cost of starting a business or moving a business to Syracuse. Slashing the cost of doing business by making sure there was more than enough business space and few limitations on using it transformed our downtown, making it easy for businesses of all sizes to thrive. As businesses started roaring, incentives for urban builders to rapidly expand the housing stock similarly made it easy for people to move here in those critical years of growth.
Our growth rate has fallen, as the number of people moving has fallen, but our incubators continue to roar. A second generation of entrepreneurs, inspired by the genius they saw in their youth, is taking the reins. We produce goods, ideas, and knowledge at a pace never seen outside of the megalopolises on the coast.
And, of course, SU just won the NCAA basketball crown - again.
Will we continue to triumph?
"They were like a hundred thousand rednecks rallying in New Paltz, New York, ninety miles above the City, about to march in." - Spalding Gray, "Swimming to Cambodia", 1989.
From the diaspora -
These have been dark decades. Many of us perished, many of us in our desperation created yet more disaster. Our masters have been brutal, and we in turn have shown that same brutality to each other.
There are fewer of us now, better able to support ourselves on these meager hills. We have slowly, painfully, sadly learned the art of extracting food in a world of hot sun and harsh rain, and how to keep it through the blizzards while we hide from the snow.
Our stories live on, even when we don't, so long as we share them. Time and experience have softened our fate, but we must never forget our loss. Our masters plead with us to forget, but in this we can never surrender. As long as we live we will not forget the Winter March, the Tappan Zee deception, the years of suffering that followed.
Time is short and our children are few but we will survive to take back what was ours, to bring justice to those who gave none to us.
Preserve your strength,
Alexander G. Sullivan
Herkimer, NY - The Upstate Refugee Resettlement Program celebrated its 30th anniversary today in this small city along the Mohawk River.
"We built on a long tradition of immigrants and refugees in New York State," said founder Elias Ocongwe, now 86. "While the focus had historically been on New York City, we knew there was tremendous potential up here."
Ocongwe's early years as a social worker in Utica had exposed him to the Bosnian refugees who were helping to rebuild that city, and his later work brought him to Ithaca's growing Tibetan and Burmese communities. He had also studied Stickley's work in applying the skills of immigrants to their factory processes, and concluded that Upstate New York had an overlooked opportunity.
"When Elias started this, there were a lot of doubts," said Congressman Colden Smith (R-Lockport). "Most of the country had decided that immigrants were a cost and threat rather than an opportunity, and the world's growing refugee numbers looked like an especially dangerous problem."
"Rising tides of refugees," said Ocongwe, "and they could be an angry flood or a source of power, revitalizing a dying area."
The URRP focused its efforts on local Congressional representatives, getting federal permission for a series of resettlement experiments with closely monitored communities. Early successes with Kurdish, Palestinian, and Sudanese Christian communities led slowly to greater willingness to allow refugees to come in clusters of a few thousand and settle in the Upstate Resettlement Zone, made up of 44 counties in Upstate New York.
"I think Americans elsewhere in the country would have been terrified of our doing this," said Congressman Smith, "except that the 2015 Mandatory Identification and Registration Act already made it difficult for people, especially non-citizens, to move around the country for anything more than a weeklong visit. Upstate was in a hard enough economic position that we were willing to take the chance, and the rest of the country didn't see it as a great risk for them. The instant deportation rules also helped."
For his part, Ocongwe is pleased that instant deportation for most offenses ended three years ago, though one aspect remains important: "As much as I want to believe in the goodness of human nature, the risk of refugee versus refugee violence is just too great when different communities come here from the same conflict, or even just live next to each other. The threat of instant deportation has forced those communities to get along, though it's still a slow process."
Smith offered Ocongwe a tribute from the Upstate New York Business Chamber, which cited the program as "the main driver of new business here, from artisanal work to industry to food and culture tourism." Smith added his own praise, noting that "When Americans found the rest of the world unwelcoming, they still had an opportunity to experience what the world had to offer, right here in our back yard."
Waverly mayor Miloska Sulejmanovic also congratulated Ocongwe for his willingness to take on the federal and state governments. "He got us the vote in local elections, at a time when we didn't know what to do and weren't given a voice," she said.
"He had to compromise on the naturalization question, but he made sure that we were still able to participate and govern in our own communities. Without his vision, a lot of us would still be living in the camps, wondering how to fit into a world ruled by people who don't look or sound like us."
Ocongwe, who formally retired eleven years ago, told well-wishers that he planned to stay involved. "I didn't have children myself - you all are my children, and grandchildren."
BATH, NY, June 3, 2050--The Northeast Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan announced today its full support for the extension of so-called NY Proposition 19 (A/S 273218), due to sunset at the end of 2050.
"Do not repeal this law," urged Assembly-Senator Farley Kuhn (RTL-53/136), Exalted Cyclops of the Central New York Chapter of the Klan, in a YouTube address. "It has successfully closed our borders to the illegal aliens who threatened our way of life for so many years."
The Klan is only one of many well-funded groups who have lobbied Albany in favor of the extension. On the other side, a smaller but equally vocal group of agriculturalists and BigBox™ spokespeople met last night with Speaker-Leader Joseph Bruno III to review statistics on the losses they claim to have incurred since the law first passed in 2026, with a clause that allows it to be revisited every four years.
Bruno will, of course, have the final say on whether the law receives its sixth extension.
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