Katrinna's Corner

Katrinna Martin Bourdoux
I feel like county government including the county executive have basically received a pass on issues of minority inclusion within the government administration.
I also feel that issues within the Erie County Holding Center and Youth detention services is clearly understaffed and underrepresented in the county workforce under the current administration. To put it into plain terms, under the current county executive there are not enough minority worker within the youth detention centers (though new people were hired). There are not enough black/Latino sheriff deputies (among other issues).
There are not enough minorities and or people rooted in the impacted community on the hospital board at ECMC, though the hospital is in the heart of a black community.
Most county workers within the city of Buffalo do not live in the city of Buffalo.
There are no new black or Latino cultural arts programs funded by the county. There must be cultural investments in programs in the black and Latino community beyond the few that currently receive funding, such as the Urban League and the African Cultural Art Center.
No one is above scrutiny or questioning. I have few questions for the county government too. This is just a few.
My opinion and experience.
When people want to run for office, one of the first things I ask them if they tell me their ambitions is “why” do you want to run? Sometimes it’s obvious and other times it is not (Collins congressional seat is obvious). Personally, if a representative is serving well in a seat or does not have a desire to seek some higher political office with more responsibly then a race or challenge against that particular incumbent is the least of my interest.
But it is anyone’s right to run for public office, whether the seat is vacant or has an incumbent that plans to run again for their seat.
I am most interested in congressional, US senate, assembly and state senate races. In addition to town council seats and county held offices, such as the sheriff.
Believe it or not, the school board race is the least of my interest. Why? Because I see that we have plenty of education advocates that are a lot more knowledgeable about the education system that do a fine job vetting potentials and incumbents.
With that said, it does not mean I am clueless or lack knowledge or an interest. I think anybody that is elected to hold public office should be open for criticism and scrutiny from time to time.
The politician that takes criticism well, to just give an example, is the county executive. There are others, of course such as Betty Jean Grant, Brian Higgins and Crystal Peoples-Stokes that know how to take it on the chin.
This is more about skill than character; and I see that potential in county legislator elect April Baskin too.
So, let’s wrap up this thing right now.
Supporting one candidate over another or helping someone with their race for office does not mean that I don’t like or have ill feelings towards anyone else running or holding the current seat. I don’t even dislike the Fillmore district councilman even though my district has been underfunded and historically ignored for over 30 years. But something needs to be said about direction and leadership, when we are rooted in communities of the most vulnerable people that are basically fighting for relevance just to survive.
So, to scrutinize an elected official for me is a simple fight for attention and the humanity of the disenfranchised and marginalized underfunded and ignored communities and people.
If you are an elected official and you ever think I am thinking about you or speaking about you in the subliminal you are sadly mistaken; because I am not afraid to say your name.
There is no conspiracy or hidden agenda, which is not a good skill, but it is good character.
If you are going to be an elected official, you must develop the skill.
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