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Schumer responds to a call from Camillus for help

Ellen Abbott
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Camillus Mayor Patricia Butler in front of a building abandoned by Verizon years ago.

There are no issues too small for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is expected to become the next majority leader in the U.S. Senate. Schumer visited central New York Monday to put some heft behind the complaint one small town has against a big corporation.

When Chuck Schumer calls, big corporations listen. At least that’s what he figures after his latest micro-lobbying effort on behalf of residents of a sleepy street in the village of Camillus. Neighbors, sick and tired of looking at a crumbing one-story brick building abandoned by Verizon years ago, called Schumer, who’s known for jumping in on behalf of the most local of  issues.

"We called them Friday,” said Schumer. “They didn’t say too much for us. But we know they’re listening. You know how we know they’re listening?  Guess what they did this morning? They mowed the lawn. It wasn’t like this the other day.”  

Schumer has followed that call up with a letter to the communications giant, asking that they do something about the building that’s been abandoned for decades. And he figures with his backing, these neighbors in Camillus will get what they want.

"These companies are always in Washington wanting this that or the other thing.  So when I call them, they usually listen,” said the senator.

And without Schumer to add some gravitas behind their request, Camillus Mayor Patricia Butler figures that dilapidated building would just sit there till it collapsed.

"Unfortunately, the little people aren’t heard. We’re just a small village, and in a large scheme of a big company, out of sight out of mind.”

While in Syracuse Monday, Schumer also announced that plans for a new Dunkin’ Donuts at the site of a gas station abandoned by Sunoco at a high profile intersection in Syracuse, have cleared their final hurdles. 

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.