Occupation: General Laborer and Forklift Operator at Nutrablend Foods
Please list your top three priorities if elected:
Public schools need to be fully funded. Music and Arts programs need to be expanded and the role of them need to be incorporated and implemented in daily curriculum.
Reform the ECIDA with “Clawback Reform”. Development corporations should not receive money, if they are not held responsible to follow through with agreed projects.
Erie County’s criminal justice system is unjust and unfair. I propose a complete reformation of the criminal justice system in Erie County primarily focusing on the full legalization of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. Minorities are disproportionately targeted.
What is the role of arts and culture in our community in general, and specifically in Erie County?
Arts are a free way of expressing emotions, in which people usually hold inside their head. Culture represents ideas, actions, rituals, and traditions that are engrained in that society. Erie County has a healthy mix of urban, suburban, and rural cultural traditions. Art plays a huge role in promoting Erie County’s industrial and modernized heritage. Especially in North Buffalo, Elmwood Village, and Allentown, where huge Art Festivals are held. People from all over flock to these festivals to purchase, and marvel at the ingenuity, creativity, and craftsmanship of all of the artists. Music in WNY is a huge part of everyone’s lives, especially Music is Art.
What is the role of arts and culture in your plans for economic development in Erie County?
First off, annual events that are just starting off, that are not profiting need better access to public space in which they can expand. The Infringement Festival is a perfect example of a festival that needs better access to public space. Events that promote Buffalo businesses, as opposed to national and international corporations should also have more access to public spaces to better promote local businesses. We need more funding for arts and music programs in public schools, as these help stimulate activity in young people. I would defend and fight to expand budgets for arts and cultural organizations.
How would you develop cultural and heritage tourism in Erie County?
People from around the country know Buffalo and Erie County for our amazing food. Erie County needs to highlight and promote local businesses as opposed to chain restaurants. Buffalo is also known for our colleges, thus Erie County needs to increase funding for Erie Community College. With ECC receiving more funds, more graduates will have the opportunity to develop the local arts and culture community. If music and art were to be better invested in, than we would see more people travel to Erie County.
In what ways would you support young people’s access to the arts in order to foster the creative thinking skills needed to ensure a solid future workforce in Erie County?
Young people are full of ideas, energy, and motivation. Young people more access to space in which their ideas can grow and flourish. There are so many parks in Buffalo and Erie County that are beautiful. Young people should have more access to use these spaces to express their ideas, and beliefs. Young people want a better sense of knowing their communities and to see them thrive. Erie County needs to highlight and promote events, and projects in which young people try to educate and reach out to the Erie County community. If adolescents had more opportunity to organize events, than the more experience they would have under their belt.
Would you vote to decrease, hold steady, or increase operational funding for cultural organizations if elected, and why?
I would vote to increase operational funding for cultural organizations because they help facilitate the sustainability of arts and culture. Arts and culture help facilitate civic discourse in a healthy and beneficial way. Music and art help spread ideas, promote social well being, and can even encourage others to become civically engaged.
Would you support the creation of a committee to discuss dedicated funding for the cultural sector?
I would definitely support the creation of a committee to discuss dedicated funding for the cultural sector. Erie County should stay updated on projects and events that are struggling financially. Erie County should also continue funding for projects and events that are important to the Buffalo community. Investing in Arts, Music, and Cultural events is basic for a society.