Our series of previews of contested Binghamton City Council races continues tonight with a look at District 4.
It covers downtown and the Northside and pits Democrat Aviva Friedman against Republican John Cordisco.
Friedman first moved to Greater Binghamton to attend B-U in 2010 and she’s lived in the city since graduating in 2014 with a degree in environmental science and anthropology.
She currently works as an educator with Family Planning of South Central New York.
Friedman says a major issue facing the district is the disparity between the amount of investment and development that has occurred in downtown in contrast with what she sees as neglect toward disadvantaged neighborhoods.
While she supports removing blighted buildings, she’d like to see the resulting vacant lots put to productive use, hosting gardens, parks, public art displays or even possibly mini solar farms.
Friedman’s campaign slogan is Bridging the Gap which she says refers to the gap between college students and non-students, between downtown and the rest of the district and between residents and City Hall.
She says she understands the perspective of students and non-students, and that as someone who chose to live here rather than growing up here, she’s bringing fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm.
“I’m a good listener. I’ve been talking to people at their doors and listening to the issues that are important to them. And I think that being able to accurately represent what people would do if they were in the position of being an elected official, I think that’s what makes a good City Councilperson,” says Friedman.
John Cordisco has lived in Binghamton his entire life.
For the past 22 years, he’s operated Cordisco’s Corner Store which is located at the corner of Chenango and Robinson Streets.
Cordisco previously served on Council as a Democrat from 2000 to 2007 and was the Council President in 2006.
4 years ago, he switched his party to the GOP and lost a race for this same seat by only 76 votes to Conrad Taylor who chose not to run for re-election.
Cordisco says the biggest concerns facing the district are quality of life issues such as garbage, dilapidated houses and other code enforcement issues.
He says residents tell him they’ve felt neglected and haven’t had their constituent concerns addressed.
Cordisco says there’s been too much focus on social justice debates and not enough on bread and butter issues.
He says he has the know-how to solve problems.
, “I’ve got so much experience. It takes you a good year, year and a half, just to get the lay of the land downtown. All of the department heads, who to call to get things done, who not to call to get things done. That’s a big deal when you’re trying to solve problems is knowing who to call to fix the problem. And I can do that from day 1,” says Cordisco.
Cordisco adds that he has pledged not to vote to raise taxes.
He says the city’s high property taxes hurt seniors, the poor and small businesses disproportionately.
Early voting is already underway.
Broome County residents can vote at the Public Library in Binghamton, the Oakdale Mall or at the Endicott Public Library.
To to BroomeVotes.com for a schedule of times.