Submitted by James Abbondanza
James Abbondanza (D) will seek a seat with the Niagara Falls City Council this election cycle. Abbondanza, who ran in 2021, is a vocal advocate for governmental transparency, financial responsibility, and quality of life issues for the people of Niagara Falls.
Abbondanza stated, “The efforts and resources of our local government are being spent in the wrong places. Our needs are straightforward: The residents want a cleaner, safer city. I know it will not happen overnight – it will take a lot of work on a lot of different fronts – but I also know City Hall isn’t even trying to address this. The focus from City Hall is elsewhere on projects with no real plans, like Centennial Park, that are going to sink us financially. Start with rebuilding basic services for the people who live here, and the rest will come in due time.”
One of Abbondanza’s key platform points is working to improve the quality of life of his fellow residents by focusing on policy and smart, well-formed legislation that will benefit the residents and address problem areas such as illegal dumping, blight, nuisance laws, lack of community programs, and crime.
Another point in his platform is transparency. In May 2022, Abbondanza was responsible for helping organize a protest to bring awareness to the fact that City Council had cut the ability for the public to be heard on the issues being voted on at council meetings. The protest was also focused on bringing to light what the candidate called “the mayor’s special meetings, in which the public was not allowed to speak.”
Abbondanza said “Corruption, dishonesty, and greed thrive in the dark. Transparency in government is the light we need to keep our leaders in check and on task.”
He said, “My interest in government has always been civic rather than political. It was an eyeopener to see things from a political perspective during my campaign run in 2021. I learned a lot about the process of elections and campaigns, and the different people and groups that are involved. It brought home to me the belief that, although I am running on
the Democratic ticket, it is not the parties that matter – it is us, the people. I stand with the people of our city and not with groups that put their own interests in front of those of the citizens.
“The citizens of Niagara Falls should be the first consideration when our leaders make choices. Unfortunately, the only time our representatives seem to think of us is when they need more of our hard-earned money to fill in the deficits caused by their mismanagement.”
Abbondanza is a graduate of The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and an IT professional of more than 25 years. He is currently the president of the Weston Avenue Block Club as well as chair of the Niagara Beautification Commission. As an advocate for community groups and community involvement, Abbondanza has said he sees the immediate benefits to building relationships with your neighbors and fellow residents.
“We all live in this city – together. We are family, friends and neighbors, and we need to have one another’s backs,” he said.
In addition to raising his three sons in Niagara Falls, Abbondanza is an avid photographer and a recent winner of a 2023 New York State Council on the Arts SCR Grant.
For more information on Abbondanza’s campaign for City Council, or to contact him, please visit www.voteabbondanza.com.