India Walton and The End of The Longest Buffalo Winter
an opinion poem by Liz Mariani
Buffalo is a Democratic town and though it may be hard for the state’s Democratic party or even Governor Hochul to admit it, India Walton as Mayor is undoubtedly the most certain and inevitable future for this gorgeous, powerful and unique city. Corporate Democrats or Demublicans, as I like to call them, know it’s true. They even sing about it or perhaps they cry about it — one or the other. We all know they certainly aren’t laughing.
They blamed it on the weather. They said the storm would never ever end. Winter after winter after winter, they said the weather would never — it couldn’t possibly — ever-ever change. Winter never ends, huh? Well, they were almost correct. But, you know — climate change.
And, as everyone in Buffalo knows, nobody and no single thing can control the weather — not an ice boom or 10,000 Maniacs with Natalie Merchant singing about it. No amount of complaining, commenting, joking or cursing the weather changes it.
Seasons come and go as they please and on their very own customized schedule. The soon-to-be former mayor of Buffalo Byron Brown’s season is over. This reality persists despite all the well-intentioned weather predictions from corporate media like channels 2, 4, 7 etc. and the most impossible uncle — The Buffalo News.
These Corporate Democrat Demublicans are professional neutral zones, medians on the thruway. They aren’t even sure which way they’re going. They thrive as portals for the Republicans and lifelines for the Trump-Right.
They are arteries for greed dedicated to a promise of consistent instability and more of the cascading, unacceptable same. These superhero-level status-quo-defenders reek of inauthenticity. They are obviously and indisputably completely terrified.
They’re the ones shivering. For us, it’s getting warmer. Luckily, we believe everyone deserves housing and heat, human and civil rights. We demand this not just for our children and not just for ourselves but for everyone.
I know. It’s a lot. But we know where there’s more equity, there’s more space for healing. Where there’s more equity, there’s more capacity for safety and growth. And we will utilize the brilliance and empathy of the arts and all creatives to get there. We have so much healing to do.
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People are fed up and not just in Buffalo. Too many human beings including human beings with families in this whole entire country go to Doctor Google, MD for their medical healthcare as sometimes their only attempt to find medical expertise.
Who knew this country’s Go-Fund-Me-For-Profit-Pharmaceutical-Friendly Health Care System would surprisingly continue to collapse during a multi-year pandemic? Healthcare in the United States of America may even be in full avalanche mode.
I get it. It’s scary for Corporate-Capitalists, Demublicans and Republicumicrats alike but India Walton does not work with or respond to the type of currency union-busting corporations, predatory landlords, predatory pharmaceutical companies, predatory banks, predatory developers and predatory men require and demand. The party is over.
This whole situation for these corporate zombies is super frustrating for them and not just because Halloween is coming. It’s a nightmare even more so for their children and their children’s future children who will be impacted the most.
There’s a new currency at hand. There is a swifter and more brilliant current in the Niagara River these days. If you stop and look up at the beautiful sky, I bet you can smell the water in the river moving differently. A new season is upon us. Everybody knows it’s true.
The elephant in the room isn’t just soon-to-be former mayor Byron Brown, it’s the threat of Buffalo becoming Trump’s Town, a Paladino Playground where elders are tipped like chess pawns only to find out, after they bleed, that they were human all along. Regret is a powerful drug.
Moderate Democrats in the Buffalove on the fence about voting for India Walton, writing-in Brown or voting at all are revealing to many they aren’t so sure if they care about the elders and the children (the future) in Buffalo. They’re not so sure about change because they have what they feel they need.
Are they just comfortable enough to perform for the elite a wicked, brutal and murderous game? I’m asking. They don’t want to answer. But no answer, just like neutrality and silence, no answer is still a communication.
Demublicans | Corporate Democrats | Republicans — whatever you want to call them — can certainly attempt to play with fire with their Trump-Puppet — soon-to-be former mayor Byron Brown write-ins. They can attempt to delay what they can’t.
But what is next? Ivanka for Erie County Executive? Watch out Hamburg! Your dreams could come true. It could happen quickly. Eventually, when an iceberg melts, it turns, flips in an instant and reveals its underbelly.
An India Walton loss could open the floodgates for total Republican control of Buffalo and Erie County. Luckily, the actual people of Buffalo can handle storms of all kinds including sports-related-storms, thunder snow surprises and, yes, political storms.
Corporations have more human rights than actual humans in this country thanks to Citizens United. How do they have more? They get to be zombies all year round, not just Halloween.
Corporations are considered so human, extra-human in this country — so human, they can die, come back to life (like zombies) assume another name, keep all their hoarded wealth and purchase weak leadership used to play their endless endgame.
The next soon-to-be former mayor Byron Brown sold his integrity repeatedly with his aligning with and responding to the needs, fears and wants of Big Money/Corporate Democrat/Republican Interests. He did so in the name of greed, violence, white supremacy, anti-semitism and patriarchy. Don’t let Buffalo become another reality star on Steve Bannon’s new series, Borderless Fascists Take The World. There’s enough weather in Buffalo without Paladino-sponsored puppets like Byron Brown freely destroying everything beautiful and growing in this city.
I have a personal investment in the next Mayor of Buffalo, India Walton’s administration in City Hall. Someone I love died of an overdose which could have absolutely been prevented. He was not even 30 years old. It broke me.
The pandemic has only compounded the detrimental and ever-increasing mental health and addiction crises in Buffalo and the country. I believe an India Walton administration will lead the charge by example to impact and implement overdue policy changes. These changes will result in saved lives and addiction prevention. I know this.
The people have had it. I can feel it. We don’t have the privilege of playing with fire (or water), with playing with the lives of our youth, children and elders. We no longer have the time. Republicans are waiting, wishing and working for the Democratic party to collapse in Western New York. Another Byron Brown term is the portal to that grim reality whereby the city will become more segregated, increasingly unaffordable and frankly unrecognizable. I ask the voters of Buffalo to vote embracing a spirit of love, healing and equity for India Walton for Mayor.
Liz Mariani (she/they/lei) loves their home and once crossed paths with the soon-to-be former mayor Byron Brown and his bodyguards at the Elmwood Avenue Blockbuster sometime before cell phones had personalities but after VHS tapes were the norm. *Gratitude to Lorraine Ozeri, Rosie Delgado and Iman Abdul-Hakim for their support with this piece. Thank you to Buffalo photographer, Tito Ruiz for the photographs of Cariol Horne, Martin Gugino and Neal Mack.
Here are the contact links for some prominent politicians who have either endorsed the soon-to-be former mayor Byron Brown (corporations, Republicans/Paladino-Trump) or pretended to be neutral. They especially love getting letters, emails, phone calls and being tagged on Twitter/Instagram by the citizens of Buffalo.
Buffalo Common Council Members (all men) make $75,000/year or about $38/hour. The Erie County Executive salary is $118,000/year or about $59/hour. The State Senator / Assembly Member salary is $110,000 or about $56/hour. The Governor’s salary is $225,000 or about $115/hour if you’re looking for work.