Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner delivered her final State of the City speech Thursday evening.
Miner, a Democrat, can’t run for re-election because of term limits. Her final speech before staff and the community, was part reflection, part forward looking, with an exclamation point on an issue she has championed for much of her term.
The program began with 10 immigrant children, who live in Syracuse, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. So it was only fitting that Miner would, in her speech, pledge that Syracuse is a sanctuary city.
"I promise you, that so long as I am mayor, the resources of the city, including the Syracuse Police Department, will not be used to enforce federal anti-immigrant policies,” said the mayor.
Miner called the declaration a moral imperative at a time when she says refugees tell her they are fearful about the future.
"In a society like we have, and a democacy, I think it’s incumbent for leaders to stand up and say, ‘this is what we value, this is who we are.’ And that’s what I did tonight.”
This puts Syracuse on a list of sanctuary cities across the country that have policies in place to protect undocumented immigrants from being deported. Moves that could put these cities at odds with the incoming Trump administration.
In a 50-minute speech, Miner also outlined new programs meant to stop crime, improve police community relations, and make it possible for the renovation of the long-empty Central Tech High School in downtown Syracuse.
She says the decisions she’s made over the last seven years have left the city in good shape for her successor.
"I will be leaving the city stronger than when I found it."