Friends and fellow Buffalonians,
Today, I've been informed that the Board of Elections plans to reject my independent nominating petition for Mayor on Wednesday morning. On Friday, the New York State Supreme Court will make a final determination. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteered their time, effort, and energy into this campaign. I am immeasurably grateful and will forever remember the passion, pride, and pureness of intention with which you've engaged this ambitious effort.
Those of you who helped knock on doors, collect signatures, distribute fliers, and spread the word as widely as we could, know that this campaign had nothing to do with me. This campaign was about a generation of young people who are absolutely irate that our incompetent political leadership has squandered our future here. This campaign was a rejection of the smallness of our ambition and the pettiness that has plagued our politics for far too long. It was about people who refused to believe that our decline is inevitable, and who understand that we need leaders who know where we're going and how to get us there. It was a campaign full of people who don't have the heart to watch the City that we love die because of managerial incompetence and a leadership deficit; people who didn't have the stomach to sit on the sidelines and to let that happen.
But more than anything, this campaign was about a belief in Buffalo--a belief that you and I share: a confidence in our potential, an unwavering understanding that our best days are still ahead of us, and that one day we'll have rebuilt this City better than it's ever been before.
It has been my distinct pleasure to have engaged with you all in a conversation on how we can rebuild this extraordinary City that we all love. One door at a time, my belief in Buffalo has been reinforced, strengthened, and invigorated. You've shared with me your ideas, insights, and energy. Your openness--and your willingness to be aspirational--has been a wonderful personal experience for which I cannot thank you enough.
But our efforts to change Buffalo cannot--and will not--end here. Our City still needs--and desperately deserves--a robust public discourse on how we go about reversing a 50 year population decline, decades of hemorrhaging job losses, rising rates of violent crime, a persistently underperforming school system, and an endemic housing crisis. We're going to continue this effort in three ways.
First, the solutions for these extraordinary problems must stem from us all. That is why, over the next several months, I'll be revamping ChangeBuffalo.org, into a Wikipedia of sorts for urban policy. Together, we'll continue our conversation in an effort to come to broad consensus on the strategies that we must pursue in order for Buffalo to see a brighter day. In the process of reimagining our City, we'll refine The Agenda to Change Buffalo, and put forth a robust plan for progress and prosperity.
Second, The Agenda to Change Buffalo, which was the independent body making my nomination for Mayor, will continue to exist and will evolve into a full-fledged political party committed to an assault on the status quo. Within the month, I'll begin approaching local community and civic leaders who are equally as unsatisfied with the status quo as I am, and who find mediocrity simply unacceptable. I'll ask those leaders to serve on a non-partisan "Executive Committee" who will identify Buffalo's emerging out-of-the-box leaders and thinkers who are of the quality and caliber that we need to run for local office. I'll do everything that I can to help them get elected.
Third, I intend to establish a firm that will specialize in providing consulting services to municipal governments, helping them to build more vibrant, more prosperous, more sustainable, more beautiful, more equitable communities. I'll begin approaching venture capitalists with a concrete business plan before the end of the year.
Let's be honest--a 23 year old, openly bisexual, half-Indian, registered Republican running for Mayor of Buffalo was a long shot. But you've made me believe that it's just within our grasp. Truly, we have here a City of extraordinary neighbors, and I hope that our paths cross in the future many times. Until then, don't inhale stale air of orthodoxy.
Very truly--and gratefully--yours,