It seems that matters have become more complex and fast-paced in recent years. That is true, but simple and consistent rules will help us order our business and accomplish our missions. Listed below are a number of issues that our administration would place as high priorities. To accomplish our agenda for change and responsive governance we will use the talents of all of our residents to design creative pragmatic solutions.
The people have a right to expect the honest, efficient, accountable administration of public affairs and the equitable distribution of public investment and benefits. There are serious deficiencies in the method and outcomes of current administration policies and practices.
Stewardship of our natural environment and built environment is a responsibility that requires the thoughtful protection and development of those resources. The nullification of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and disregard of the Certified Local Government standards by the legal and professional staff of the current administration have caused substantial environmental harm to the current population and future generations.
It should be the first priority of every administration to provide a safe environment in which every city resident may live, grow, work and play without fear or concern for their well-being. Each citizen should be confident that every public employee is knowledgeable, competent, and that they meet the highest standards of professional performance and demeanor. The public has a right to be secure in their homes and communities and to expect swift and fair enforcement of the law. These standards are not currently being met.
The quality of public education in this city is poor, it is sub-standard. Leadership on the matter is necessary to change the approach and outcomes of our academic efforts. A strong educational infrastructure with innovative programs, techniques, and options is an enormous asset in building healthy communities. The city should commit to being a full partner in these efforts.
The staggering figures on poverty's increase over the last dozen years is an indictment of the current administration and its failure to develop an effective cohesive strategy to reduce poverty in the city. An unrelenting focus on the reduction of poverty and a general increase in prosperity is necessary to effect transformation.
Efficient affordable transportation networks with multiple options should connect communities within the city and the city to the region. Maintenance and upgrade of existing infrastructure is a critical priority.
Safe, clean, reasonably priced housing units in nurturing neighborhoods should be available to residents of every income level.
The fair redistricting of political boundaries in the city is necessary. The elimination of districts that divide communities of common interest, reduce political participation, and prevent the most full expression of the political power of the people must be our first political priority.
A comprehensive system of animal management that provides for the care and/or control of domestic and feral animals within the city's boundaries consistent with best practices and humane treatment must be implemented
The citizens of the City of Buffalo should be permitted to vote in a referendum on the matter of the legalization of cannabis for their use in accordance with statutes, rules, and regulations to be determined by a competent body appointed for such purpose. In the event the citizens of the city decide to advance such a proposal to the N Y State Legislatuure as a Local Law for a specified period of time, then the Common Council should draft and forward the necessary legislation to enact the measure.
The econmic development activities of the city administration should distribute investment and benfits in a manner that addresses the needs of the city in an equitable and efficient manner. The disproportionate allocation of investment dollars and opportunities must cease. Economic development should be consistent with a holistic view of sustainable growth that reflects sound environmental and economic justice consideration.
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is an abject failure in the performance of its mission and the fufilment of its duty to the citizens of Buffalo. The leadership and management of the Authority must be replaced.
The Central Terminal is one of our central issues. Time is of the essence in the restoration and revitalization of the Central Terminal. The needs of the surrounding community, and the needs of the city, as a whole, should be the determining factors in the commitment of resources to this project.
The residents of the city should have full confidence that the chief executive of the city is the advocate for their interests, not a surrogate for powerful interests in Albany or New York City. The current mayor's role as the hand-picked political operative of the Governor and his political role as Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party mean that his loyalty must be divided between his patron, his party, and his people.
Recent attempts to present a credible offer to Amazon for its corporate headquarters search has revealed the absence of critical innovative infrastructure and the leadership vacuum that exists in the region. As a world-class tourism venue, the City of Buffalo and region possess a wealth of resources that are unequalled. Restoration of the city's heritage as a world leader in industrial innovation, information technology, human rights, multi-modal transportation, medicine, finance, and logistics should be our first order of business.
In a city that has ranked as one of the most segregated of American cities for decades, the consequent costs, in human terms, of the legacy of disparity and attendant inequalities have taken their toll on our city. It is particularly abhorrent to recognize that the current administration perpetuates systemic inequality in its role as the largest landlord of the most segregated housing in the city - in essence, the worst of the worst.
Preparation for the challenges of the modern global economy and competition for the economic engines of growth requires a proactive forward-thinking approach. Sustainable development that nurtures artisan craftsman at the same time that it encourages cleantech and innovative technologies will drive workforce development.
The surge of investment and construction along the Elmwood Village Corridor is almost unprecedented. Careful consideration of the scale and scope of proposed changes is appropriate. Public involvement and oversight is critical to the outcome - changes in the character of the neighborhood must be thoughtfully considered.
Police checkpoints as a daily and routine tool of enforcement is an idea that should be the last consideration in America.
Financing, networking, and consulting support to sustain small scale ventures and leverage start-ups should be an integral part of our sustainable development strategy. Real property, intellectual property, technology, and service sectors offer opportunities for growth.
Buffalo's public lands should remain public land. Where feasible, natural environments should be retained and/or restored. Where development occurs, the most full discussion of the methods and materials involved, the consequences of that development, and mitigation of adverse consequences must be shared among stakeholders. The wise stewardship of these resources requires consideration of their place in the larger scheme of the regional ecosystem.
From its inception, the City of Buffalo has been formed by and been home to immigrants, foreign and domestic. We cherish our rich heritage and affirm the American value of "E Pluribus Unum". We recognize our responsibility as a border city, an entry point, a transit point, and an area of resettlement to examine our capacity to welcome new generations of immigrants and refugees.