Mayor Barlow Creates City of Oswego Poverty Reduction Steering Committee

OSWEGO – On Tuesday, August 16, Mayor Billy Barlow organized the first meeting with the city of Oswego Poverty Reduction Steering Committee as part of a larger statewide effort to address poverty.

Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the State of New York created the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative of which the city of Oswego was identified and selected as one of ten upstate communities to receive $500,000 in funding to create public and private partnership in working together to design and implement coordinated solutions to increase social mobility.

The Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative has now been expanded to enable 16 communities across the state to develop and implement innovative plans that will reduce poverty.

Mayor Barlow said, “Poverty is a serious issue in our community and is an issue I am passionate about.  I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo for allocating this funding for the city of Oswego and we hope to put it to good use. We’d like to focus on workforce development and preparing members of our community for job interviews and workplace etiquette so they can get a job, retain a job and lift themselves out of poverty with dignity.”

The steering committee is comprised of eight individuals representing a diverse group that have a vested interest in formulating measurable goals and a concrete action plan to improve the socioeconomic fabric in Oswego.

The committee is represented by Mayor Barlow; Justin Rudgick, community development director; Eric Bresee, executive director of Farnham Family Services, Chuck Gijanto, president and CEO of Oswego Health; Bruce Holman, resident; Diane Cooper-Courier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities; Shane Broadwell, Oswego County Legislator 17th District and majority leader; and Karen Goetz, executive director of the Richard Shineman Foundation.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of Oswego to take charge in alleviating poverty through the establishment of a platform for developing innovative initiatives, solutions and programs to begin to shift the pendulum of a bottom heavy socioeconomic demographic to provide a higher quality of life in our community,” said Rudgick.


  1. One way, since we’re so poverty-stricken around here, to help people recover from poverty a little bit is to get those outrageous water/sewer rates back down to a realistic level; just holding them where they are isn’t enough…by far! Another way is to entice industry back in here with incentives they cannot refuse so there can be some livable-wage jobs created for those who desire to earn their keep, which there’s getting fewer & fewer of around here. We have a basically un-used “Industrial Park” right off the east side of the city & if some of these city officials would actually take a trip to a real industrial park they would soon realize what I mean by “un-used”. At least this mayor has fresh ideas but I’m thinking this town is too far in the hole to be pulled out of it with some of the misdeeds of administrations past, at least the new mayor’s young…he’s going to need it!

  2. If the county hadn’t just done a County wide Poverty study less than 2 years ago I might be in favor of this study being paid for with TAXPAYER money. Why the county used almost $ 75,000 of LOCAL share money to do a Poverty study is beyond me. They did and I guess it wasn’t good enough because now the city feels they need to use more TAXPAYER money to do another. Talk about your wasteful spending of TAXPAYER money.

  3. Start by making everyone pay their share too much of the city is exempt of taxes. In 2014 the city had 74 parcels that are all tax exempt. Most neighbor hoods can’t have company stop by because tenant parking takes up most of the street. Landlord’s should have to have enough off street parking. Most of the fires these days are in rented houses and then they just walk away from them and leave the taxpayers with the mess to take care of.There should be a limit on time ex. 6 months to bring them back to code or tear them down.Also they should have to be inspected every two years and pass or fine the land lord or close them down. I know of a couple that are fire traps waiting to happen…and I bet there are many more.

  4. Well the reason most numbers are up is due to HUD. I have a neighbor and her pay is below the poverty level – but her live in boyfriends is not, two of her children that live with her both make decent salaries yet the only way on the HUD application is her and her poverty income. I have attempted to turn them in and was told by community development that they basically don’t care…… If these people weren’t getting HUD the numbers wouldn’t look so bad – we need to start cracking down there.

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