In January, by unanimous vote, the 6th Ward Albany County Democratic Committee endorsed Jeff Mayo for Common Council. Mayo is one of five candidates hoping to win the June primary.
Jeff Mayo is a civil rights attorney and longtime housing and homeless advocate.
"I also have really devoted myself to the Democratic Party locally, I've been a committeeman for I think about 11 years, and actually became a committeeman when I was 18. And then couldn't, had to resign for a few years because I was I was out of state going to school and then had a job where I couldn't do it, but now on the deputy ward leader in the 6th Ward, and, you know, have a, I think, a good understanding of both the politics and local issues that the ward faces. So I'm looking forward to continuing my lifetime of service in this position.”
Mayo owns a home on Chestnut Street and sees housing as one of the ward's most important issues.
"People are interested in in historic preservation, and making sure that the historic fabric of our neighborhood is kept up. And they're concerned about the emergency demolitions that have been going on throughout the city. Along with that is the issue of code enforcement, I've made strengthening our codes department here in Albany, a central part of my campaign. You know, between the, the homeless advocacy and housing work, and serving on the board of United Tenants of Albany, I've really seen what, you know, some of the shortcomings of code enforcement in the city of Albany, and that affects everybody, it affects tenants who might have to endure unsafe conditions. And it affects their neighbors too. “
Mayo says he wants to build a robust code enforcement department and also would like to help neighbors age in place in their houses and include “wraparound services” for them. He supports the concept of establishing a Fair Housing Office, noting the one in Albany has been "dormant."
“What a fair housing office would be able to do is investigate and prosecute discrimination in both the rental market and in real estate sales. There was a study that came out not too long ago showing that Albany was one of the worst cities for racial segregation and racial poverty as well, and having some kind of enforcement to prevent discrimination and housing based on race, gender, disability, would allow people a greater, greater choice in where to live and greater mobility, and I hope would lead to some desegregation and increased equity in the city of Albany.”
Mayo is hoping to replace Councilor Richard Conti, as Conti has decided not to run for re-election after joining the body in 1997. He adds there are quality of life issues impacting the ward's neighborhoods.
“We've had a problem with off road vehicles, dirt bikes, ATVs, things like that. They create a lot of noise and don't have any regard for pedestrian safety, unfortunately. So, you know, people in the neighborhood feel very strongly about those sorts of issues. “
The 6th Ward includes the Center Square neighborhood, encompassing Washington Park on its west side running from South Lake Avenue southeast to South Swan Street, bordered on the southwest by Myrtle Avenue and on the northeast by State Street and Washington Avenue. Other candidates include Sue Pedo, Ford McLain, Richard-Olivier Marius and Gabriella Romero.