Albany deserves more than yet another Democrat in power. We have the power to rise up and take power for ourselves.
Our lives have been dictated by profit. Let's flip the script.
Born and raised in New York City, Bryan Jimenez found himself at the University at Albany. In his free time, he would walk around Albany and take in what the city had to offer. He was convinced that the city of Albany would be his new home and he loved the idea. He has noticed issues here and there that need addressing, but he knows that he cannot address them alone. That is why he is running for mayor: to have the whole city on his side to tackle the tough issues.
The son of a paraprofessional mother and a warehouse worker father, Bryan was knee-deep in the sense of economic uncertainty that hit in 2008. Their precarious employment and other worries soon became his worries, and he knows that they were not alone in feeling a sense of dread, that everyone was feeling the pinch. The collapse of 2008 was long ago now, but its repercussion can still be felt. Bryan believes that we can end worries about job security and prices by adopting a more stable economy.
Having majored in Political Science and Economics and dedicating himself to study, he knows how we can create that stable economy, but it takes more involvement than going to the polls. That's why he has been an advocate for community initiatives, cooperative businesses, and citizen commitments to their city. By focusing on building a community cooperative commitment from Albany residents, we can build a greater Albany together.
The status quo is simply not working. Let the Democrats fight for who will maintain it. The city, and you, know better.
While the free downtown shuttle buses are commendable, a grocery shuttle bus would be a better use of resources. Having been a person to make the trek to BJ's only to carry a month's worth of groceries on my back, I know the start of the struggle; I feel for those parents who have their kids in tow. I would work with CDTA to create plans that make the biweekly or monthly grocery trips easier. To that end, I would also work to improve East-West transportation. Some buses within the city of Albany should be running more often and through the night. If we are to be a city on the rise, we need a transportation system that works for us.
Why should you spend 40, 50, 60 hours a week working to make money for someone else? Why should we provide tax incentives to people who don't need them to develop? If everyone works to bring in money for a business, everyone should be able to take home some of the profits they brought in. We can take business into our own hands and create a cooperative business program to help grow the city's economy collectively. If you and at least a few other people can work together to create a business plan and commit to running a business, you should be given help.
We have made some strides in improving the community-police relationship, but we can do more. We can bring community leaders and groups further into the fold by introducing an auxiliary police program and having the auxiliary police work together with them. Recruiting from neighborhoods with high crime, we can give proper training to people who just want to keep the peace in their communities. By starting with this bottom-up form of policing, we can bridge the community-police divide much easier than if we have state troopers patrol our streets.
The national War on Drugs has failed us. We have seen a great increase in opioid use and abuse that is wreaking havoc in our homes and lives. We need to have safe and open places where people have access to: clean needles if they need them, rehabilitation if they want it, and support for when they are struggling. We need to accept the place of marijuana in our society as a safe pain alleviator as well as a recreational drug along the lines of alcohol. That means that we can tighten our access to opioids while offering alternatives. If we can help people get the help they need, we would see great gains.
The idea behind the Albany County Land Bank is a good one: let's help develop undeveloped/derelict property. We must take that idea further into a strong community land trust that benefits from eminent domain seizures. If a property is left abandoned and allowed to be a blight on your neighborhood for months or years, we should be able to take it over and develop it to help the community out. In this fast-paced world, we cannot let opportunities for advancement pass us by because it is not profitable for the owner to develop it; we must take it over and develop it ourselves. I intend on having this community land trust work closely with cooperative businesses to provide low-cost storefronts to make it easier for businesses to be set up.
Our democracy is lacking. Less than 20% of registered voters went to the ballot box in 2013. In my discussions with Albany residents, apathy seems to be the big concern. There are no candidates who really understand voters and, frankly, if there were, the Democratic Party machine controls your state, your city, and your streets. They would not let anything disrupt their hold on power. If we could reform our voting system to bring more voices into the fold, we could get greater involvement. We could incentivize constituents to care more about their local politics and head to the polls.
The Green Party primary election will be on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 and the general election will be on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Can Bryan count on your vote to help make Albany better for all of us?
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