Major changes in the makeup of the Albany Common Council are on the horizon.
Five senior Albany Common Council members are not running for another term this year. A "Meet the Candidates Night" was held virtually on Wednesday.
Sergio Adams made an unsuccessful run for Cathy Fahey's 7th Ward seat in 2017 and is trying again this year. The Hudson Park resident has an urban planning background.
"My previous experience working in Department of Recreation, working with the Department of Planning, and working with the Department of Special Events in the city of Albany, also allows me to have good insight on the issues that are holding Albany back and figuring out what we can do to move Albany forward.
Adams counts public safety, poverty, youth and housing as issues that concern him.
Also vying for the 7th Ward, Violetta De Rosa describes herself as a progressive Democrat who has been "marching for change" for years.
"Our children are the future of our community. And I want to work to secure our youth programs and use a collaborative approach to build partnerships with community groups and nonprofits that serve our children, and to increase opportunity for all of Albany's young people. You know, the saying ‘see something, say something,’ well, I say ‘see something, do something.’ I want us to have less talk and more action.”
Edward Hyde Clarke is running for Mike O'Brien's 12th Ward seat. A 2014 graduate of Albany Law School, Hyde serves as President of the Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association.
" From my perspective, a lot of the issues that come up at the Common Council as of late have been with land use, have been with the USDO, which is the land use ordinance, and zoning, and I just think it's important that we look to make amendments to the USDO, look to actually improve the relationship with the planning department. I think there's unfortunately been some adversarial roles played in terms of some of the development projects in the city. And I just think that you can both protect our neighborhoods and encourage redevelopment and new development the city.”
Clarke, a member of the Albany Sustainability Advisory Committee, says he would also like to see improvements made to energy reduction, waste management, and continuing to make the city more bike-friendly and walkable.
Celia Evers and Deb Rosen-Zamer have eyes on Joe Igoe's 14th Ward seat.
Evers is originally from Amsterdam. She's worked for Albany County Health Department as a nurse, on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.
Evers says she wants to be a "voice for the voiceless." She sees traffic and pedestrian safety as issues impacting the ward, and despite a very busy lifestyle, thinks she can succeed as a councilor.
“I feel that I can definitely juggle multiple things. But at the end, you know, this, I am, with the good support that I have surrounding me is going to help, you know, help me get me through this. And this is just my way of continuing to be active in the community. I've been out there on the democratic committee doing that walking, knocking on doors for elected officials. there's times where you know, I've had to miss dinner, miss things, and my children and my family support me and understand that.
Deb Rosen-Zamer says she is running because she believes “Albany has great potential.”
"Issues such as sidewalks and walkability, traffic safety, equity and accountability are what we all want our elected officials to pay attention to."
Rosen-Zamer's grandparents came to North Albany after fleeing the Nazis.
"I was raised knowing my grandparents’ story, and why each of us is obligated to pay close attention to what our leaders are doing, and what they're saying. Transparency and accountability are essential. “
Rosen-Zamer served as chair of the board at upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, volunteered for Jewish family services delivering food throughout the pandemic, and has worked to help settle refugee families in the Albany area.
The Democratic primary is June 22nd.