As the daughter of a television anchorman – the late Irv Weinstein – I’ve always been attentive to how stories get written. As a former elected council member and mayor who served 16 years in public office, I know something about what it takes to run, win and serve. And as a former resident of Buffalo and Kenmore, now living in Irvine, Calif., I’ve been watching the race for Buffalo mayor with interest.
While I am not here to disparage Mayor Byron Brown, his win is less impressive to me than India Walton’s achievement in winning the primary and garnering a significant level of support in the general election despite the unfair advantage given the man who lost the primary and who, in my opinion should not have been given a second bite at the apple.
Every vote Walton earned was an affirmative vote for change, for progress and for the public interest. Mayor Brown was no more seasoned than Walton when he was first elected 25 years ago. After losing the primary, he should have conceded. That’s the way it is in politics.
It’s the winning that gives you credibility. Had Brown not used the power of incumbency to put a thumb on the scales after his primary loss, Walton would have rightfully been the first woman to serve as Buffalo’s mayor. Instead, Brown is doing a victory lap. I fully expect that Walton's efforts will continue to inspire greater civic activism and engagement in Buffalo, and that makes her a winner in my book.