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‘First of Many’: Socialist India Walton Defeats Mayor of Buffalo for Four Terms in Primary | New York

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In her life, India Walton has been a 14-year-old working mother, nurse, union representative and socialist. community organizer.

On Wednesday, he was on the cusp of another career change and a series of “firsts” after defeating a holder of four terms in the Democratic primary race to become mayor of Buffalo, New York State’s second-largest city.

With no Republican rivals in the general election later this year, Walton is almost guaranteed to rise to mayor in a solidly Democratic Buffalo.

She would not only become the city’s first mayor, but also the first self-declared socialist to lead a major American city in decades.

Walton would be the first socialist mayor of a major American city since 1960, when Frank Zeidler resigned as mayor of Milwaukee, the New York Times reported. reported.

“This victory is ours. It is the first of many ” Walton said, adding: “If you are in an elected position at this time, you will be notified: we are coming.”

Although current Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown did not immediately grant his candidacy for a fifth term, the Associated Press called the primary race for Walton on Wednesday “after it became clear that there were not enough absentee votes for Brown to overcome the advantage of Walton. “Reported the cable service.

“Mommy, I won!” Walton told his mother on the phone. “Mommy, I’m the mayor of Buffalo, well, not until January, but yeah!”

Walton’s platform outlines plans to address a local affordable housing crisis and declare Buffalo a sanctuary city for immigrants, limiting a local jurisdiction’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. And also the intention to convert the city’s public vehicle fleet to electric cars in an effort to address climate change.

One of his key proposals heralds sweeping reforms to “public safety,” focusing on harm prevention, restorative justice and root causes of crime rather than punitive action, according to his campaign platform.

Under his supervision, the police will no longer respond to most mental health calls and will no longer enforce low-level drug possession offenses. It also intends to require an unpaid leave of absence from officers investigated for police brutality. among other measures.

Last year Buffalo police sparked outrage when two officers pushed 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the pavement during anti-racism protests, causing a serious head injury.

Walton also focuses on economic development and access to food in Buffalo by prioritizing local, minority and women businesses for contracts, establishing a public bank and supporting community gardens, his website says.

More than 30% of the city residents live in poverty, and in the local county, employment rates for low-income workers collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“My plan is to put our resources in the community, in the neighborhoods and govern in a deeply democratic way, that the people who are governed have a voice over the decision-making process and how resources are implemented in our community,” he added. Walton said.

“We look forward to doing things differently, and I am very excited that we are ushering in a new era of progressive leadership in Buffalo, NY.”

In nearby Rochester, the third-largest city in New York State, another sitting mayor was ousted when Councilmember Malik Evans easily outpointed Mayor Lovely Warren, whose administration has been rocked by scandal for months.

Warren was charged with felony campaign finance charges and has been charged with botching the Rochester police murder of Daniel Prude, a black man last year who died after police knocked him to the ground during a mental health episode and put a hood over his head, in part because of mislead the public about what he knew.

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