Education. Safety. Prosperity. #ItsTime
I believe that the City of Buffalo’s best days lie ahead and that we have yet to achieve our true potential. Yet, in spite of lack of leadership from the current administration, our residents have shown what we can do together to make Buffalo better.
What I see and what the community has echoed, is that our leadership, regardless of party affiliations, has not delivered on some of the most important challenges facing our city today; such as education, crime, poverty, employment and economic development.
Some people may question what a city administration can do about the issue of education – an area where residents invests $70 million annually and the return on investment is that less than half of our students receive a high school degree on time. In fact, $27,000 is spent to educate each student in the City of Buffalo’s education system – the third most in the nation.
Yet, mayors in other cities within New York State are doing something about it. They are getting involved and taking a proactive approach. They are hands-on. They have found that they best way to address a failing education system is by dealing with it head on.
Whether it’s Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in seeking and being granted direct control over the education system in New York City, or Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner interviewing candidates for school superintendent, these leaders understand that remaining silent will not solve the problem.
Many city residents who seek a good education for their children, and are fortunate enough to have the means, are sending their kids to private schools. Private school should be a choice, not a necessity. They’re paying school taxes as well as private school tuition. And it starts with good leadership that recognizes the urgency of our problems.
Recently, Forbes Magazine named Buffalo the 10th most dangerous city in America. Under the current administration, shootings have increased 70% from 2011 to 2012. We have a lot of work to do to increase efficiency and ensure that we have the resources to address the dramatic increase in crime throughout the city. Supporting our men and women in uniform by addressing their needs is a start.
Buffalo is America’s third poorest City. We can’t afford the type of mismanagement that has recently forced us to have to return half a million dollars in HUD funds designated for services and programs meant to help those who need it most. In fact, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal cited that “... too much money is being spent on administrative overhead, and not enough on projects and programs that help the poor”. My message to the current mayor is that we could have used that half a million to help the poor, not waste it on administrative overhead.
Make no mistake: this campaign will be about the issues that matter most to the residents of the city of Buffalo; from education to employment and crime to poverty. These issues will not be ignored under a Rodriguez administration. We will take these matters seriously by being involved and being proactive.
Over the course of the next several weeks and coming months, as I continue to engage with voters, field experts, thought leaders, community leaders and stakeholders, I expect to develop a comprehensive plan on solutions to these, as well as other issues plaguing our city.
Education. Crime. Poverty. Job Development. Each of these issues will be addressed with their own multiple-point plan.
- Sergio Rodriguez
My plan to address the current state of education in Buffalo is by seeking Mayoral Control of the Buffalo Public School system. I believe the City of Buffalo needs a leader who understands the deep and complex significance of this problem and is willing to take the lead role and responsibility for addressing it.Read More »
Too often, the only contact with police our citizens in certain neighborhoods have is when someone is being arrested. We need to act to make the police more engaged with the neighborhoods they are hired to serve, as advocates and protectors, not simply enforcers. The following steps will be taken to enhance the quality and quantity of police presence in the city.Read More »