Susan is committed to economic opportunity and social equity. She will use her experience in business and community development to help Lark Street and our city recover from the pandemic and build back better. She will work for balanced and sustainable use of our historic built and natural environments. And she will bring people together to ensure that our budget is fair and balanced, and our City is a great place to live and work.
Revive Small Business
The small businesses on Lark Street are at the heart of our community. Sadly, many of these businesses are struggling. Strengthening the viability of our businesses and the safety of the community are Susan’s top priorities.
The Lark Street Business Improvement District (BID) is key to reviving our local economy and making our community a better place to live and visit. The BID was formed to enhance neighborhood safety and upkeep, and coordinate marketing and special events. It’s a huge job that benefits people throughout the city and the region who enjoy festivals, dining and entertainment options here in the 6th Ward. But the Lark Street BID has the smallest budget and the fewest employees of the City’s three Business Improvement Districts.
As our Common Council Member, Susan will work to ensure that Lark Street gets needed support. She will:
- Seek additional resources to enable the BID to succeed on enhancing safety issues, street maintenance and beautification.
- Coordinate businesses and residents with the Albany City Departments responsible for public safety, street maintenance and other essential services.
- Work to enhance partnerships with federal, state and local resources, including the Small Business Administration (SBA), Empire State Development (ESD) and Capitalize Albany Corporation (CAC) to secure needed support.
Susan has the economic development experience and track record to help our community become a safer and even more inviting venue for neighbors and visitors alike.
Police Reform and Social Justice
Like cities across the nation, Albany is facing hard truths about justice and equity. Reforming our law enforcement system is an immediate priority. The City of Albany’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative is part of this process. On a larger scale, residents – especially people of color and immigrants – are leading vital efforts to break down barriers and address unjust practices that have been centuries in the making.
Susan believes that, as New York’s capital city, Albany must set the standard for other cities to follow. For starters, we must ensure that appropriate personnel respond to 911 calls. Police officers are not trained for – and may actually escalate – many situations that would be better handled by social workers or other professionals. We must also ensure that the City’s LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) Program is fair, effective and transparent in diverting arrestees and addressing racial disparities.
Susan will fight to achieve meaningful reform, improve safety, empower residents and reduce incarceration rates. She is committed to ensuring that all Albany residents are treated fairly and with respect.
As our Common Council Member, Susan will:
- Work to ensure that our police and emergency response reforms are a model for the state as just, equitable, effective and efficient systems.
- Promote efforts to provide employment opportunities for all residents of our community and help to diversify our city’s workforce and leadership.
- Work to ensure that New Americans in our City are welcomed and educated about their rights and the role of the local police, which may be significantly different from their countries of origin.
Susan has experience in advocacy and building coalitions of diverse stakeholders that will help our community progress. Her work with grassroots movements and different levels of local government will ensure results as we address social justice issues throughout our City.
Sustain our Natural and Built Environments
Washington Park and the beauty of historic homes distinguish the 6th Ward and contribute to our quality of life.
Because our neighborhood attractions bring so many visitors, Susan believes we need to strike a better balance between the needs of our permanent residents and the desires of the temporary visitors who can have an outsized impact on our community. We need the cooperation of neighbors, property owners, businesses and government agencies to sustain the character and livability of our environment.
As our Common Council Member, Susan will:
- Preserve and promote our historic and natural attractions while ensuring that the concerns of residents and businesses impacted by City and park events are heard.
- Work to ensure that absentee landlords are held accountable for code violations, snow removal, garbage maintenance and other activities that impact neighbors.
- Work closely with Lark Street businesses and organizations to make our main street as safe and welcoming on festival days as every other day.
As a long-time, activist resident, Susan has the perspective and the experience needed to ensure that the voices of our community are heard in balancing the needs of our residents with the desires of those who visit.