ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A surge in violence in the city of Albany comes less than a month out from the democratic primary for mayor. On the ballot are incumbent Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and Rev. Valerie Faust, a community activist who has run for the office previously. The vote will take place on June 22.
“We’ve been working really hard with our violence prevention task force, working on strategy,” Mayor Sheehan told NEWS10. “We have a lot planned for summer. I will say, I’ve been much more focused on the job of being mayor than the upcoming primary.”
“The killings are increasing and they’re getting more uncontrollable,” Faust told NEWS10, “and I felt a righteous indignation that I needed to talk to my people, because it’s our people that are committing the crimes.”
Faust hosts live videos on her Facebook page, in which she speaks about the recent shootings in the city of Albany in a way she feels the current administration can’t.
“I want to bring the city together. I want to lift the morale. I want to have a fiscal, healthy budget. I want to motivate our Common Council people to understand that they work with me, not for me. They work for their constituents,” Faust said.
Sheehan says her own administration already has a good working relationship with the Common Council, and that the city fulfills whatever those council members bring up as needs within their wards.
“I think we’re going to be able to build on that really rapidly, and use this funding we have that is supposed to help us build back better,” Sheehan said, “but our goal is to build back with equity, and that’s what I’ll be focused on the next four years.”
Community activist Marlon Anderson told NEWS10 that although he isn’t on the ticket for the primary, he’s continuing a write-in campaign to bring a plan to the city that makes finding answers and solutions to gun violence a priority.
“We need to have an action plan in the city that’s going to change the narrative in the communities where the violence is festering, which is going to change the mindset,” Anderson explained, “which is going to make people understand that this is only leading to our own community’s destruction.”
Community activist Lukee Forbes has also said he is running a write-in campaign. Forbes was not available for interview for this story.
Full interview with Mayor Kathy Sheehan:
Full interview with Rev. Valerie Faust:
Full interview with write-in campaigner Marlon Anderson: