Buffalo mayoral candidate Mark Schroeder reminded voters of their power to reverse the decision to put Buffalo’s new train station downtown instead of the Central Terminal.
“As mayor, I will bring trains back to the Central Terminal, and a great deal more – including housing, retail, and a train museum,” said Schroeder. “The public, who were ignored throughout the sham process in April, can finally have their voice heard tomorrow.”
Schroeder said that the 12-year incumbent is counting on people forgetting what transpired in the spring.
“The mayor wants you to forget how the decision was rigged, how he kicked the public and the media out of the site selection meeting, how he barricaded the streets around the building,” said Schroeder. “I haven’t forgotten, and neither have the people of Buffalo.”
“Buffalo needs a leader that listens to its people instead of slamming the door in their faces,” said Schroeder. “If I’m elected mayor, everyone will have a seat at the table.”
The redevelopment of the Central Terminal can be a catalyst for mixed-use development in an area that desperately needs it, Schroeder said.
“It’s time we had a mayor who invested in our neighborhoods, and the $100 million for a new train station in Broadway Fillmore is a good start,” said Schroeder. “It’s time we saved this architectural treasure and bring new life to the East side.”
“The naysayers will claim it is too difficult, I say it’s time to stop taking the easy way out,” said Schroeder. “I’ll tackle the tough challenges as the mayor of Buffalo, and that includes the Central Terminal,” he said.
Schroeder said that if the mayor is re-elected, there will be no stopping the downtown train station and the further neglect of the Central Terminal.
“If you want to see trains back at the Central Terminal, tomorrow is your last chance to make it happen – but you have to get to the polls,” Schroeder said.Read more
There is a seemingly typical political mailer arriving in mailboxes in Buffalo, with this year’s slate of Republican candidates – Sheriff Tim Howard, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, Assemblyman and Erie County clerk candidate Mickey Kearns, and Buffalo mayoral candidate Ashleigh Somers.
Wait a minute – who?
“I guess the Republicans do have a candidate in the mayoral race – she is running against me in the Reform Party Primary to help Byron Brown,” said Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Schroeder. “This reminds me when the mayor teamed up with Chris Collins in previous elections, and when his deputy mayor, Steve Casey, ran a printing business with Collins’ chief of staff Chris Grant.”
“Looks like the gang is back together again,” he added.
The mailer was sent to voters not affiliated with any party, who can vote in the Reform Party primary election because of some obscure state election law. Somers is opposing Schroeder, the endorsed Reform Party candidate, in Tuesday’s primary.
“One person signed Ashleigh Somers’ petition – that person was Ashleigh Somers. Then she challenged my petitions, and lost. Then she sued me to get me off the ballot, and lost,” said Schroeder. “The Republicans were putting her up to this, of course, in their effort to help Byron Brown and suppress turnout in the City of Buffalo.”
The mailer also incorrectly says Somers is the endorsed Reform Party candidate – twice.
“They have no problem blatantly lying multiple times on this mailer,” said Schroeder. “Considering the cast of characters involved, I’m not surprised.”
Schroeder pointed to Republican chairman Nick Langworthy clearing the field for Brown this year and in the mayor’s previous two elections. His last endorsed Republican opponent was Kevin Helfer in 2005.
“Now Kevin Helfer is Byron Brown’s de facto deputy mayor,” said Schroeder. “The ties between Mayor Brown and the Republicans run deep.”
Schroeder thinks the effort will ultimately backfire.
“When Reform Party members and unaffiliated voters go to the polls, are they going to vote for an actual mayoral candidate, or someone they’ve never heard of?” asked Schroeder. “Unaffiliated voters have already told me they are excited to vote for me.”
The Reform Party leadership is standing firm behind Schroeder.
“There is only one candidate that can lead Buffalo out of this ‘Pay for Play’ stench,” said Curtis Sliwa, state Reform Party chairman and founder of the Guardian Angels. “It is a true reformer, City Comptroller Mark Schroeder.”
Schroeder said the Republican efforts to help Brown go farther than just minor party shenanigans.
“Why would lifelong Democrat Mickey Kearns choose not to run in the Democratic Primary for the first time in his career?” said Schroeder, pointing out that Conservative Party chairman Ralph Lorigo was quoted in the Buffalo News that he advised Kearns not to run in his own party’s primary.
“It’s Because Nick Langworthy and his Conservative Party collaborator Ralph Lorigo don’t want Mickey to drive up turnout in South Buffalo, which would help me,” said Schroeder. “They are trying to help the mayor any way they can.”
Schroeder said the efforts against him should give pause to voters in the Democratic Primary.
“I think Buffalo Democrats should ask themselves – ‘Why do the Republicans want Byron Brown to win so badly?’”Read more
Mark Schroeder, candidate for mayor of Buffalo, has promised that unconstitutional police checkpoints will end on January 1 if he is elected.
“These police checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, they unfairly target the East side of Buffalo, and they create fear and mistrust in the community,” said Schroeder. “The unconstitutional checkpoints will come to an end on my first day in office as mayor.”
Schroeder said that the mayor’s reasoning for the checkpoints – traffic safety – directly contradicts his police commissioner, who publicly said that the checkpoints are used for “surprising the criminal element.”
“The mayor is insulting the intelligence of the people of Buffalo when he says these checkpoints are to stop speeding or unsafe driving,” said Schroeder. “They amount to nothing more than a vehicular version of stop-and-frisk.”
Schroeder said that under his leadership, the police will focus on solving and preventing violent crime instead of setting up checkpoints in impoverished areas or near public housing.
“The homicide rate is going up, but the city is solving fewer and fewer murders,” said Schroeder. “When I’m mayor, I’ll make sure more resources go to solving cases and building trust in the community, instead of intimidating law-abiding citizens with police state tactics.”Read more
Buffalo mayoral candidate Mark Schroeder has released his fourth television commercial, titled “Safe Streets,” which features his plan to focus on community policing and increase training for officers.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to live and raise their family. As mayor of Buffalo, I will make sure every street is safe,” said Schroeder in his latest 30-second ad.
One of the points on Schroeder’s four-point Compass Plan for Buffalo, Schroeder’s Safe Streets plan emphasizes community policing models that work toward strengthening the bond between police and residents. His plan would double the amount of Community Police Officers, the neighborhood liaisons who do everything from working with block clubs to refereeing basketball games for youth. The plan also includes increased training for police on de-escalating dangerous situations, combating gang violence, and fighting the heroin epidemic.
“Our police will have the best training in the nation under my administration,” said Schroeder.Read more
Tina Harris lost her son Norman when he was shot and killed on October 30, 2015. No one has been charged with his murder.
Unfortunately, in Buffalo, unsolved murders aren’t the exception – they are the rule. Buffalo mayoral candidate Mark Schroeder said Buffalo’s dismally low percentage of solved homicides is disgraceful.
“As of last month, only 24 percent of homicides from 2016 have been solved,” said Schroeder, citing statistics provided by law enforcement sources. “That means three out of every four murderers from last year are on the street. No wonder people fear leaving their houses in many parts of the city.”
The statistics from 2016 are not anomaly. Only 27 percent of homicide cases from 2013 are closed, and only 12 percent from this year. Buffalo hasn’t surpassed 50 percent in more than a decade.
“Yet Rochester manages to routinely solve well more than half of their murders,” Schroeder said. “In fact, in the three year span of 2013 through 2015, Rochester closed more than 85 percent of homicides.”
Schroeder pointed to City Hall policies as the reason for the problem, such as adding shootings to homicide detectives’ caseloads, which takes attention away from murders.
“When homicide detectives are swamped with investigating shootings – there were more than 500 shootings last year alone – they can’t devote the time needed to solve these murders,” Schroeder said.
A new approach to fighting violent crime is welcome news to Harris’ ears.
“In the last 12 years, the violence in the City of Buffalo is the worst that I’ve ever seen in the 54 years that I’ve been here,” said Harris, who suspects her son’s murderers live in her neighborhood.
After meeting Schroeder, and discussing at length his plan for fighting violent crime, Harris is convinced he will stand by his pledge of safer streets in every neighborhood.
“The things that he’s putting front-and-center are things that need to be addressed. That’s why I’m voting for Mark Schroeder,” said Harris. “We need a new mayor.”
Schroeder cries foul as Common Council committees haven’t met since July 18, won’t meet again until Primary Day
When the Common Council meets next Tuesday, they will have to skip a significant part of the agenda – the numerous items that get discharged from each of six regular committee meetings.
No items made it out of committee because there were no committee meetings held since July 18, a week before the last regular council meeting.
“It is unprecedented,” said Buffalo Comptroller, and mayoral candidate, Mark Schroeder. “No one has been able to provide me an example of when the council has held two regular meetings without having committee meetings in between.”
Committee meetings, which provide an opportunity for the public to speak, are normally held in between the bi-weekly regular council meetings, which do not allow comments from the general public. The next scheduled committee meetings, however, are not until September 12, which is also the day of the Democratic primary election.
“That’s 56 days – nearly two months – that the public has been denied the opportunity to weigh in on the issues facing our city,” said Schroeder. “Think about how much has happened with just the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority in that span. The authority’s board has had a complete overhaul, and none of the appointments went to committee. The mayor said in a debate that he won’t enforce his own law department’s decision that the BMHA should pay back the $4 million it owes the city. The cockroach infestation at Marine Drive Apartments is so bad that the U.S. Postal Service wouldn’t even deliver mail there.”
“Yet the residents of BMHA, and the taxpayers who fund its $40 million budget, have no opportunity to voice their concerns,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder said his staff inquired as to why there were no committee meetings scheduled before the council’s September 5 meeting.
“We were told that because the city charter allows the council to skip its regular meetings in August, they didn’t have to have any committee meetings either,” Schroeder said. “Of course, the council does have the option to schedule committee meetings on any day during that 56-day span, but they chose not to.”
As to why the council took such an unusual step, Schroeder said the reason is obvious.
“The Common Council is protecting the mayor, who wants to avoid any negative attention this close to an election,” said Schroeder. “So the problems at the BMHA, the circumventing of the Green Code, the crime in our streets – it all gets swept under the rug, just like every other major problem in this city.”
“The Common Council is supposed to serve the public, not the mayor,” said Schroeder. “I wouldn’t exactly call them independent in the first place, but this goes too far.”
Schroeder said there are other ways for the public to weigh in on important issues.
“Since the public can’t speak at the council meetings, and they can’t get past the police officers at the mayor’s office, they can always let their voice be heard on September 12 by casting their vote for a candidate that does care what the people of Buffalo have to say.”
Buffalo mayoral candidate Mark Schroeder has released his third television commercial, titled “Inspire,” which features his supporters front-and-center, cheering the challenger’s new vision for Buffalo.
Thousands of voters have been seeing Mark Schroeder on their doorstep over the past few months, as he campaigns door-to-door to be the next mayor of Buffalo. Starting today, they will also start seeing him in their living room, as the mayoral challenger takes his campaign to the next level by airing television commercials on local airwaves.
“I have a new vision for our city, and my television commercials will help me share that vision with more voters,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder said that there are currently two commercials in circulation on both broadcast and cable networks – “A New Vision for Buffalo” and “Strong Neighborhoods.” A third commercial will debut soon, Schroeder said, along with radio advertisements.
“I will seize any opportunity, and use any medium at my disposal, to inform the people of Buffalo that they have a choice on September 12,” said Schroeder, referring to the Democratic primary election. “They can either choose more of the same – or something more. It’s time we had a leader in City Hall with a plan for every neighborhood.”
Schroeder said his ads will continue to to air every day up until the primary election. But that doesn’t mean he will stop knocking on doors.
“30 seconds is not enough time to explain my new vision for Buffalo. That’s why I am out in the community every single day, in every single neighborhood, talking to the people of Buffalo, and listening to their concerns about our city,” said Schroeder. “The only difference is that maybe a few more people will recognize who the guy is on their front porch, ringing their doorbell.”Read more
Mark Schroeder, candidate for mayor of Buffalo, has pledged to address the lead crisis facing the city by implementing a coordinated, streamlined approach that will guide all departments and entities under his authority.
“The dangers of lead will never get addressed in Buffalo until we have a mayor who has the will to fix it,” said Schroeder, pointing to a recent Reuters report classified Buffalo as a “Hotbed for Lead,” due to high lead levels for children in the city.
“Not only do I have the will, but I also have a plan to make it happen.”
Schroeder said that with lead hazards coming from everything from paint chips to drinking water, it is crucial that a plan to address lead poisoning comes from the top.
“Whether it is the Buffalo Water Authority testing our water, the Department of Permits and Inspection checking houses for lead paint, or the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority identifying lead hazards in its facilities, when I’m mayor, all city entities will be executing my plan, and they will answer to me,” said Schroeder. “And I will answer to the people of Buffalo.”
Schroeder also committed to using all of his influence as mayor to educate citizens on the dangers of lead poisoning, how to test for lead hazards, and how to eliminate those hazards from the home.
“I will use everything at my disposal – television, the city website, social media, community meetings – to educate people on the debilitating effects of lead poisoning and to urge people to get their water and their paint tested,” said Schroeder. “You can’t just put a flyer in a water bill and call it a day.”
The type of public relations effort has been missing, said one Buffalo resident who knows the effects of lead first-hand.
“I didn’t know the dangers of lead poisoning until it was too late,” said SherrySlaper, a Kaisertown resident whose eight year-old daughter has suffered from lead poisoning since age one.
Slaper said that the lead levels in her daughter’s blood were so high that she was nearly hospitalized. She said lead exposure has caused her daughter to suffer from various symptoms including migraines, nosebleeds, sensory processing disorder, and pica – a disorder characterized by an appetite for inedible substances, such as dirt.
Slaper said she tried for years to get her daughter’s lead level down, but was unsuccessful until she put a water filter on her faucet. Unfortunately, she knows that the damage done by lead poisoning is largely permanent, and she fears future symptoms, such as infertility. She said the city is not doing enough to help people mitigate the risk from lead exposure.
“I have lived in my home nine years, and I never knew I could get my home tested for lead,” Slaper said. “Even after my daughter tested high for lead, no one told me.”
Slaper’s neighbor on Barnard Street, Carolette Meadows, said her daughter also tested high for lead. Meadows said the city has failed to get in front of its lead problem.
“Everything is reactive, nothing is proactive,” said Meadows.
Schroeder said he will drastically increase water testing and home inspections for lead paint, especially in areas of the city that have seen spikes in lead exposure.
“Not only will I focus testing on the areas that need it the most, but I will fix the problems that are causing this crisis,” said Schroeder. “That includes major infrastructure upgrades if necessary. Everything is on the table.”
Schroeder said that he will work with Erie County and municipalities such as Rochester, which has had success in fighting lead poisoning.
“Rochester inspects every one-family and two-family house for lead on a regular cycle, and it has led to an 85 percent reduction countywide in children testing positive for lead over the past decade,” said Schroeder. “Instead of learning from our neighbors, City Hall buries its head in the sand and denies there is a problem.”
Schroeder wants every rental unit tested for lead paint – inside and out – and will work on legislation to enable such inspections. In addition to urging residents to get their paint and water tested, Schroeder said he will implement programs to help people eliminate the lead hazards from their homes, including free water filters and lead abatement programs for lead paint.
“I will also work with the school district to eradicate any risk of lead from our schools. We need to protect our children from every source of lead, both inside and outside the home,” he said.
Schroeder said that major issues like lead exposure have been ignored for far too long.
“As mayor, I will tackle the tough challenges, including lead poisoning,” said Schroeder. “It is time we had a leader that wants to fix Buffalo’s lead problem, instead of sweeping it under the rug.”
Schroeder said his strategy for lead is part of his four-point Compass Plan for Buffalo, particularly the “Work Plan” point, which focuses on long-term planning and a streamlined approach to managing the city’s many departments and agencies.
“The four-point Compass Plan will bring my new vision for Buffalo to every part of the city – North, South, East, and West,” said Schroeder. “Under my plan, no neighborhood gets left behind.”Read more