Micron, Abortion on the Minds of Clay Voters in Midterms
By Chilekasi Adele
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Voters in Clay had a lot to think of as they headed to the polls Tuesday.
The town is fresh off last month’s announcement that Micron is building a microchip manufacturing plant and investing $100 Billion in Clay and in the region. Leaders from all over New York State and the country have touted the plan in recent weeks.
A couple of weeks ago, President Joe Biden visited Syracuse to tout the new plant as part of his CHIPS and Science Act, which he says provided funding for the plant. He was joined by Governor Kathy Hochul, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Onondaga County executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse mayor Ben Walsh, among others.
Voters in Clay NCC News spoke to Tuesday had differing opinions on the plant, and what matters to them.
Augusta Williams is a first-time Onondaga County voter — she recently moved from Watertown to Clay and is a professor at Upstate. Williams said the Micron announcement had an effect on the choices she made.
“As a professor of public health, voting to ensure our community’s health — whether that’s through environmental measures or the equitable development of the neighborhood as Micron moves in is important, “ she said. “So that’s always key to my voting.”
Some felt as if they should reward those involved in getting the Micron deal done. Eric Sullivan works at a tax service business in Clay.
“There was people that were involved with making that transaction happen that I felt that should have gotten a pat on the back,” he said. “And I might have voted in that direction — I won’t say one way or the other.”
At the Grace Evangelical Covenant Church off of Route 31 in Clay, not too far from the proposed plant site, voters NCC News spoke to told us the plant announcement was less of a factor, but they did have strong opinions about it, along with another big issue.
Barbara Washington, a Clay resident, said the plant news is good because of the jobs it will bring, along with what she said is an inevitable increase in area property values. She said it did not affect the way she voted, but she said abortion was a major issue for her in this election.
“Abortion is heavily on my mind,” she said. “I believe that a woman should have her own choice.”
NCC News spoke to Washington, along with Pauline Buck, a resident of Bridgeport. Buck differed on both issues, saying the Micron plant will create traffic issues in the area. Buck said she is anti-abortion, and that drove her to the polls.”
“The abortion is probably a top one,” the grandmother of 19 said. “Because I value life.”