Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blighted Neighborhoods and the loss of the Lawson's home because of it

Urban blight (rowhouse with boarded windows an...Image via Wikipedia
My administration together with the residents, will rebuild the entire city, starting now, not 20 years from now. Blight is a symptom of neglect on the incumbent's part & his administration. I will eradicate that problem, by putting everyone to work on our city's housing stock & beautification of our neighborhoods. First step, I will change things to make it easier for qualified contractors and even different developers who have a hard time "getting in on bids" due to red-tape to get in and make their bids. I would also open up the field for many of our entrepreneurial plumbers and electricians by eliminating the red-tape in obtaining a permit to work in this City. I have heard from many different people regarding this issue, and it will be changed under my administration. Everyone is welcomed to help change the face of Albany and to join in the rebirth of Albany, by helping to put Albany in the optimal direction - a positive one. We will start working on the interior core of our city's neighborhoods, (instead of only on the perimeter or downtown) through rehabilitation of existing houses and historic preservation of our older buildings. When applicable, newly built homes will be added in, and those unsalvageable will be knocked down, but if there is architectural detail on those buildings that can be reused for the newbuild, it will be used. Many of Albany's homes are a direct look into all of our ancestors lives from the "old world", they brought those elements of their homeland here, and we will do our best to ensure that this is not forgotten, destroyed, or overlooked. There is a place for everything, just like new builds. These plans will help provide jobs to those who would like to work in their city but can't due to red-tape. Three of my opponents could have already made that change but chose not to. We would include all people to work, including entrepreneurs, the unemployed and the homeless, not just unions, in different phases of the rebuild that they may be qualified to do, and if not qualified, they will attend my training center to help them in a second career opion, prior to building. The incumbent only talks about training, but it never comes to fruition. I, unlike the incumbent, would also bring on supervisors to watch closely those building projects to contain construction, to ensure it is done timely and does not go over budget. I believe the incumbent gives carte blanche of our tax dollars to developer/construction companies and are ending up costing more than estimated. I will be a hands-on leader to oversee the aspects of many projects. I will know what the floor plans look like, unlike my opponent, the incumbent, who was not aware of what the floorplans looked like at the condos on Broadway before building; there is no oversight in trusting someone else to take care of it. It is not acceptable for the City to look the way it does for as long as it has. The block by block program is going to take 20 years to complete. My opponent Ellis thinks that plan is the way to do it, which shows he has no other vision except for what someone else has done, or what someone tells him; and the city will remain a shambles with no new growth areas because of it. He is the same as the incumbent & will continue the incumbents methods of operation. I won't. My plans will rebuild the entire city in a very ambitious plan with a time frame of 4-8 years, in which I will have people who are willing to be dedicated to the residents, working to accomplish the same mission, putting the residents back to work & by not using "the one developer" the incumbent uses. The city did not step in with code enforcement to improve quality of life for residents for over a decade, because of the incumbent. Quality of life for these residents has nothing to do with the quality of life the incumbent refers to. His criteria refers to the same criteria used for a city to receive an award, for example how many colleges a city has, or how many people with degrees live in that city, etc. So you see, you cannot believe what the incumbent says, when the residents & the incumbent are referring to two different criteria. Blight is definitely a quality of life issue. The residents need to look at the fact that the problems are not being corrected, they are just being shifted around the city at the expense & peril of the residents who want to or need to live here. My criteria and the residents criteria are in-line with each other; we understand each other. The incumbent is out of touch with the residents and what they need, or the problems would have been resolved, period. On another note, a news article awhile ago, said "Partnership aims to evict blight." The residents are the only thing that has been evicted & the blight has been in the city for 16 years surrounding our residents. Three of my opponents (Ellis, Morris, the incumbent) say they fought against blight, but it won against all three of them. It's time the residents surround themselves around a new mayor & evict the incumbent. When you have a ward leader in the south end admitting to deplorable conditions in their ward, & for years it stayed that way under the incumbent, that's a serious problem of negligence on all their parts. So when the same ward leader states in the media, "the city has the money, we can rebuild houses whenever they wanted to", (a direct quote), WHY DIDN"T THEY. The face of the city is not going to change until you change the faces in those positions, to ones who will do what is necessary for the residents. The city as a surplus of vacant & run down buildings, and it has been that way for years with the current people in office. Think about it. Last night, I continued my community forum tour, and held a press conference at the former homesite of the Lawson's home in the south end, which was damaged by flooding from the vacant building next door. The incumbent can't get much money for a vacant lot, so for tax reasons, he keeps the delapitated houses on them. That is until it causes a problem for a resident living next to it. This is not the type of leadership residents want. The incumbent did nothing for the Lawsons, but use them for his own media exposure, at their expense. Responsibility gets the job done, and if the incumbent and the ward leader did their jobs, it would never of happened in the first place. Ten years had lapsed between the time of the last fire department inspection (per the fire chief in the media) and the day of the tragic event. Numerous complaints were made, no return phone calls, police were called to the abandoned homes because of the activity going on in them, and the city did nothing to help protect the Lawsons and their home; and the incumbent had the nerve to he didn't know about the complaints, this was the first time hearing about it. The incumbent says on his radio show that on Saturdays, he drives around the city, I guess this is a part of the city for over 10 years he never drove through to see. Retired residents need to enjoy their retirement in their homes without fear of loosing their home due to the negligence of a mayor & his administration. Retirees have other things to think about, and that should never be one of them. I will be a mayor who will act in the best interests of all residents. Together we will have a city government working to inform our residents through transparency, accessibility and responsibility. We will put an end to an era of corruption and strong-arm political tactics against the residents. We need a mayor with true leadership abilities who will be dedicated to all residents, not certain voters. The time has come for us to stop wasting our lives & valuable time with the incumbent & invest it in one that truly does care about the residents and include them in the healing process of what has become our fallen city. One building here, a couple of houses there of improvement the year before an election year and there it stops. The residents are fed up with the false hopes and the improvements never seem to continue after the election is over. The incumbent gives illusions that his committees and task forces (on any issue), have worked the entire year on one idea/project. They have not, they have only worked for approximately two full weeks in that one year time frame on it. We need my administration that will be working on ideas/plans and projects on a full time basis. Two weeks is not enough time to even wrap yourself around the whole possibility of an idea. We will have people employed and elected who are willing to be dedicated to a project/idea, that will put forth the effort truly and completely, not sometimes show up at a meeting, that needs to be reminded from minutes where they left off. You cannot continue to keep the same problematic people in city elected positions and expect a different end result. It's not happening. The reason why is the same problematic people are serving on the very same committee and task forces that are suppose to rectify the problems. Change Albany by getting them out of office.
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