BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown seeks a fourth term in office. He kicked off his re-election campaign on Monday evening.
“I am honored to stand before you today and ask for your support as I run for Mayor of the great city of Buffalo for a fourth time,” he said. “Together we will continue to make Buffalo better for everyone.”
If he wins, Mayor Brown will be only the second Buffalo mayor to serve four terms. Former Mayor Jimmy Griffin was the first to be in office for 16 years.
“I don’t think about it, I think about how much work we have done,” said Mayor Brown.
He touted Canalside development, expansion at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, investments in Say Yes, and the reduction of violent crime.
Mayor Brown also told voters last week, during his State of the City address, he does not plan on raising residential or commercial property taxes for a 12th straight year.
Protestors gathered during his Friday speech, questioning the Mayor’s future as a leader after the death of Wardell Davis while in police custody. They told News 4 black men are being profiled in Buffalo and they want Mayor Brown to take action.
We asked the Mayor how he plans to fix relationships between police and the community if he is reelected.
“We’ve done a number of things to improve police community relations,” Mayor Brown responded. “All of our district police stations are open every single month for members of the community to come in and make complaints, report crimes.”
Mayor Brown said since he took office, he has created more ways for victims to report problems with police.
“You can do that at every district police station, you can do that at an office at City Hall out of the glare of the police spotlight, you can do it at the main police headquarters downtown,” said Mayor Brown.
Mayor Brown also addressed criticism he doesn’t do enough for the East Side. He said the city is making investments right now, including the $50 million Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project and the $50 million Jefferson Ave. Project.
“We can demonstrate that the East Side community has gotten its fair share of city resources,” said Mayor Brown. “We have been very careful and very strategic in spending money in neighborhoods throughout the city in a way that’s fair, in a way that is sensible, that will encourage growth in all of those neighborhoods. I’ll make a prediction today, if you look at the East Side in another two years there will be neighborhoods that people will not recognize.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul introduced Mayor Brown to the podium. Several other state lawmakers, including Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes also stood on stage.
Mayor Brown is also the State Democratic Party Chairman.
“I think his role as party chair brings clout to his job,” said Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner. “I think he’s done a great job as mayor and that’s what brought out the support to this room tonight.”
Zellner said he supports Brown’s campaign but the executive committee will decide who to endorse next month.
Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder told News 4 earlier this month he plans to face off with Brown in the Democratic primary.
“I think we need to have a street mayor,” said Schroeder. “A mayor who spends less time on the second floor of city hall and more time on the streets and in the neighborhoods.”
Schroeder is expected to announce his bid for mayor on March 5. We reached out to him for a comment on Monday and he sent us a statement that said, “In less than two weeks, Buffalo will see an exciting new vision for the city. I will reserve further comment until then”
Watch part of Brown’s announcement in the video below:
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