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Democratic Syracuse Mayoral Candidate Khalid Bey: Authenticity And Command Of The Issues Resonate With Voters
Democrat Khalid Bey is hoping to capture the city's heavily democratic voting base in his run for mayor.

Democratic mayoral hopeful Khalid Bey says his priority in the final days is simply getting his message to the voters. Here's a transcript of our conversation:

I qualify elections as a full contact sport. It's tough oftentimes to determine authenticity in the blurs, you know. But we make a effort to make the most practical, most authentic argument to voters to demonstrate our understanding of the issues. And then most importantly, what we hope to do, should we be successful on the 2nd of November.

What have you learned from voters or maybe even other candidates during the campaign and has it changed your perspective or position on any of the issues?

No perspective changes, but you know, voters have confirmed is two things. One the understandable concern about the level of crime and in throughout our city, public safety has been number one, if not the only thing people have talked about as of late, what I already know about our need to improve employment in an effort to stabilize families. And so those things remain to the forefront of that and neighborhood revitalization and business corridor revitalization. You know, when I talk to people, those are the things that they're mentioning.

Also in there, I would assume poverty and housing kind of go hand in hand in some ways, police accountability tied in with maybe public safety, and and also making smart investments with the ARPA funds. Knowing all of these require a lot of attention, how would you manage balancing these competing priorities?

Well, I mean, we have to be clear that the mayor is not a one person machine; there are commissioners and department heads who would ultimately focus on many of these issues. What they would have to be clear on and what is what their vision and what the intent of a Bey administration would be. When you're talking about public safety: I've explained that thing multiple times during the course of this campaign, that proximity matters; that community policing is a model that I would use looking to reestablish police precincts, but more so along neighborhood business corridors. I recently mentioned an idea of community patrol of sorts, where people would walk their communities. And this will be kind of almost in addition to existing neighborhood watch efforts. They won't engage people who might be wrongdoers, but simply report what they see. I think it puts the power back into people's hands, but increases opportunity for community members to talk with police. When you're looking at housing and housing development, my focus is on neighborhood revitalization through cluster development. One and two family homes, targeting a block at a time that is grossly blighted and trying to resurrect neighborhood and provide people some real, tangible, noticeable results,

You're a democrat running in a city dominated by democratic voters. As we know, the incumbent is not a Democrat. Has the three way race blurred party lines in any way, or otherwise helped or hurt you in a run as a Democrat?

I think the lines were blurred prior to this mayor, which ultimately resulted in him having success in his last election. Certainly there is more concern and, or even disconnect from all three existing parties, even in this race where the person is a member of the independent, whether they are Democrat or Republican. it appears that people are most of voting the issues while some are sent along party lines. This is what creates what I mentioned as a level of unpredictability. You know, it's a new dynamic as we go forward. politically. Certainly for those of us who support and promote democratic values, it is our preference that a Democrat be in city hall, in that people become the priority authentically the priority. As opposed to people kind of hoping that the ideas that we create would eventually touch them, which is kind of been in my opinion, a characteristic of this administration. So ,that that's very important, but it certainly has an effect on the entire election.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at