As someone who started my Politics 101 education with Arthur O. Eve, the assemblyman who was a dynamic and colorful character during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, I find it exciting to see a candidate for mayor of Buffalo, India Walton, emerge as a force for change.
However, the key to opening that door to a new possibility, a new future with many new possibilities, lies in unmasking the faces of Mayor Byron W. Brown’s creators, which includes local leaders, developers and key political players in the Black community, starting the day they concluded that it was time to replace Eve, a great man who truly was ahead of his time.
Today, after 16 plus years, that same coalition that made it possible to elect Brown are the people now forming the invisible government in Buffalo. If you do some research you will find that 90% or more of the Black leaders (elected, clergy, agencies) who oppose Walton are the same players that put Brown into office back in November 2005. Remember Grassroots? Look them up!
They have perfected an excellent money machine operation, and they do not want to lose the money pipeline. They must put Brown back on track to continue the growth of the machine, which has no real interest in Black, brown or poor white communities – unless you are a good paying member of the club.
What we are experiencing in this political campaign is the legitimization of corruption, selling out to protect Buffalo’s Berlin Wall, keeping the east on the east, and keeping the west on the west, all for the benefit of local developers.
If Brown wins, his team wins, but with the community continuing to be left far behind, like little pieces of cake divided among the developers and their enablers.
The game will continue: You must pay to play, or you must know someone in the club; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
When Brown first took office in 2005, Buffalo was No. 10 among the poorest cities in the nation. Today, Buffalo is considered the third-poorest city.
Let us do our children and the future of Buffalo a great deed. Let’s make history together and legitimize the words “Queen City” by truly electing our first queen mayor of Buffalo, a person whose roots come from a community tree, prepared to create healthy leaves for the residents and taxpayers of Buffalo, to protect us from being replaced, homeless or unemployed.
India Walton, the Democratic nominee for mayor, is the answer for this generation. Tear down the Buffalo Berlin Wall.
Alberto O. Cappas is co-publisher of Buffalo Latino Village.