Until now, the focus of the Syracuse mayoral race has been on the political posturing of Democrats and Republicans.
That changed Wednesday when Green Party candidate Kevin Bott launched his campaign for mayor with promises to bring collaborative, democratic leadership to city hall. In his remarks on the steps of city hall, Bott seemed to be making a not-so-subtle jab at incumbent Mayor Miner and democratic challenger Pat Hogan, who took second place in the primary.
Bott says he can identify with economic issues because he grew up in a working class family. His father served in the Marine Corps. and then as a union boiler maker for 29 years before being laid off. He says his mother is 70 and works full-time to make ends meet despite numerous medical ailments.
Bott brings experience to the campaign that’s steeped heavily in education; he’s currently associate director of a higher education consortium based at Syracuse University called Imagining America. The married father of two was also education director for seven downstate medium and maximum security prisons. Bott has also trained SU undergrads to go into city schools as part of the Say Yes to education program. Besides the economy, crime, and education, he also wants to call attention to what he says is a hidden crisis in the country and especially Onondaga County. Bott says the county ranks at or near the bottom in rates of infant and maternal mortality. He wants to work with doulas, midwives, nurses, and doctors to improve birth outcomes and eliminate racial and class disparities in the maternity system.