JAMESTOWN – A candidate for Jamestown City Council At-Large says she’s concerned about the diminishing tax base and its economy.
WNY News Now recently spoke with Alyssa Porter, a political newcomer who is running as a Democrat. She explains how several areas, including infrastructure, rely on a strong tax base. Porter explains how, in order for the city to thrive, officials need to continue to think outside of the box.
“We have to be willing to be innovative. We have to be willing to not sit back and say, ‘This is the way we’ve always done things,'” Porter said. “I think a great example of that, right now, is cannabis legalization and the fact that has the potential to be a huge economic driver for our city and a new area of growth.”
“If we can bring in new types of businesses, we can lean into our county’s strength as an agricultural hub, and really have a benefit for our citizens in ways that we won’t be able to see if we don’t embrace that innovation.”
Porter furthers that she hopes that voters see she will prove to be accessible for her constituents if elected to one of the three At-Large positions.
“One of the things I hear as a criticism of politicians, in general, not just on the local level, is that you only hear from them when they’re running for an office, and I think that’s something that has to change,” Porter said. “Especially when it comes to your representatives, who live in your community, and who are a part of your day-to-day life.”
“I think people should vote for me because I will continue to remain accessible, I will continue to answer their calls, come to their homes to have conversations, because I can’t make decisions in a silo,” she continued. “I can’t advocate for the entire City if I’m not continuing to have conversations and listening to our entire community, regardless of location, political affiliation, and all those types of things.”
Porter says she has a background in education, municipal recreation, the arts and non-profits. She explains how she saw plenty of promise that the City and Chautauqua County, as a whole, had while interviewing for her position at the Chautauqua Institution as its Director of Youth and Family Programs.
“I fell in love within Jamestown and the promise and potential of what Jamestown has to offer our community and the people in the City as I got to know the area more and really spend some time here,” Porter said.
Porter and Democrats Ellen Ditonto and Christina Cardinale are seeking a seat. In addition, Republicans Kim Ecklund and Jeff Russell are attempting to retain their seat. A third Republican, Randall Diversa, is also running for a seat.