By David Dancy
Photo by Sylvester Peterson
It was a cold day on James St. on Thursday March 7th but at The Power For The People Barber shop it was warm and cozy, some might say it was hot with anticipation as several local news outlets covered the event of former 5th Ward Councilman Jerome McKinsey announced his candidacy for at large Common Council for The City of Utica.
Mckinsey spoke with the Phoenix at length outlining his plans if elected.
Phoenix: “What did you do as 5th Ward Councilman to hang your hat on”
Mckinsey: “I introduced an initiative called ‘Worst Streets First’ which put a city wide emphasis on improving the roadways and creative ways of finding money to do it. The best part of my time was finding ways to equally distribute available funds instead of it all going to the same places.”
Phoenix: “At Large Councilman will have different demands. What are your plans if elected”?
Mckinsey: “I would like to continue what I started in the 5th Ward…during my time I hosted a number of Community Forums…The Shots Fired forums were in response to a number of high profile gun violence incidents…We invited law enforcement, other community leaders and most important , the parents of some of the victims….These town halls were effective at developing a constructive dialog between law enforcement and the Black community in Corn Hill…At Large I see an opportunity to make things happen all over the city …If we create a better Act Everyone will want to get into the act.”
Phoenix: “There are a lot of big issues coming up. How do you feel about The New Hospital Downtown”
McKinsey: “Honestly I don’t feel comfortable taking a side until I have all the facts bu,t one of the things I’m good at is gathering the info and weighing the pros and cons…after I do that I will make a decision that benefits all of Utica.”
The primary will be in June 2019. McKinsey put a lot of emphasis on the importance of getting out the vote and feels if the Black community comes out and supports him he will do well. A victory or good showing will earn him a place on the already crowded Democratic ticket for one of three At-Large Council seats November 2019.