Susan Pedo is one five candidates running for the Albany Common Council from the 6th Ward.
Richard Conti, elected in 1997, is one of five senior Albany Common Council members who are not running for another term this year.
Susan Pedo is a 25-year resident of the 6th Ward, with years of public and private sector experience under her belt.
"My work in economic development, social justice in government aligned with the experience needed to meet the challenges faced by our city right now. I serve as vice chair of the city's Industrial Development Agency, as a board member on Capitalize Albany Corporation. And I'm the former director of economic development for Albany County. And I believe that these skills will help us as we try to overcome the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Pedo says she decided to run because she believes that this is a critical time for the ward and for the city.
"We need to revive small businesses like those on Lark Street and ensure safety and all of our neighborhoods. Many small businesses on Lark Street have really struggled through the pandemic. And I was really pleased that several of the economic development organizations that I work with, were able to quickly mobilize to provide assistance that helps to sustain many of these businesses, with a particular focus on women and minority owned businesses who often have less access to capital."
Pedo says if elected, the Albany Common Council would be her priority, and she would likely cut back on some of her other activities. She notes that Albany is facing many challenges, led by the budget shortfall.
"We have a systemic hole in our budget of $12.5 million that's caused by the huge amount of public properties within the city of Albany's borders. This year, that will be complicated by an additional expectation of revenues that will be down by $16 million due to the pandemic, so we've got some really difficult choices ahead of us. However, I believe that with the change in the federal government, we have some real opportunities too to draw down federal dollars, and to really target those to some of the areas in the city of Albany that need additional funding such as infrastructure and public safety."
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 Jeff Mayo, Ford McLain, Richard-Olivier Marius and Gabriella Romero.