In response to Mayor Byron Brown’s unwillingness to participate in a debate prior to the June 22 primary election where he is seeking a fifth term as mayor, Buffalo Mayoral candidate India Walton issued the following statement:
“Byron Brown’s refusal to participate in a public debate is nothing short of a disgrace. Numerous entities have attempted to organize a debate and our campaign has put out a formal request to his office, yet he still refuses to publicly discuss the challenges facing Buffalo residents.
“Perhaps he doesn’t want to discuss the concerns of working people in Buffalo because he has done so little to address those concerns over the last 15 years. We still have lead in our pipes and in our homes, we continue to pay out millions in taxpayer dollars to settle police misconduct cases, and our rents continue to climb.
“It is difficult not to notice that in 2009, 2013, and 2017, Byron Brown participated in debates with his male opponents. Now that he is running against a woman, he will not participate in a debate. Buffalo has never had a woman mayor and currently has no women on the city council. Byron Brown’s refusal to debate is not only shameful but reeks of sexism.”
Last week, Walton issued a challenge to Brown to participate in a debate. When asked about the letter, Brown’s campaign refused to acknowledge the request. Walton, endorsed by the New York Working Families Party, the national People’s Action Network, Run for Something, Elect Black Women PAC along with several other national and local organizations, will challenge Mayor Brown in the June 22 Democratic Primary.”
In other campaign developments, the Walton camp has announced that she has secured endorsements from 20 community leaders in her bid to become the 63rd, and first woman, Mayor of Buffalo. That list includes: ;Karima Amin, retired teacher, storyteller; Adam Bojak, attorney, housing justice advocate; Kartika Carr, organizer, small business owner, Khari’s Cafe; Donna Edwards, community leader; Baba Eng, restorative justice developer; Kathryn Franco, MSW, JD, chair of Buffalo Niagara Reinvestment Coalition; Veronica Golden, former Masten District Common Council candidate; De’Jon Hall, organizer, former Police Advisory Board member; Erin Heaney, environmental justice organizer; Estella Johnson, social worker; Nate McMurray, attorney, former NY27 candidate; Eve Shippens, BPS teacher and union leader; Denise and Tina Sweet, small business owners; Edreys and Alexa Wajed, community artists and small business owners; Eat Off Art; John Washington, organizer, political educator; Sherman Webb, social worker, youth advocate; and Rodney Wilkinson, firefighter, owner, Rodney’s Soul & Grill . “I am so grateful for the support of such a diverse group of leaders. Whether it’s through social work, our legal system, arts and culture, or otherwise, these folks are making a difference in our community every day, ” said Walton. “It speaks to how broad the desire for change truly is in Buffalo.”