Matthew Ricchiazzi

27 Aug

Last week, I interviewed Buffalo Mayoral Candidate Matthew Ricchiazzi at our Niagara Street offices.

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Matthew is a young guy who is clearly well-educated, bright, and possessed with the ignorance of youth. I don’t mean that derisively, the kid is audacious in what he believes and ignores obstacles put in place by those who disagree. I was impressed by his grasp of the issues and the thorough campaign platform he has constructed.

Matthew is running as an independent candidate after he was unable to secure the support of the Republican Party. I think that actually works out better for him in the long run as he can now be seen as what he is without the negative perception filter people in the city apply to the Republican Party.

The first few questions were about the lack of strategic vision laid out by the Democratic candidates in this election. It seems that Brown and Kearns are focused on provisioning of services rather than setting a big picture agenda for the city and region. It’s the smallness of our politics that hold us back and the lack of ambitious goals which ultimately results in us failing to move forward. Incremental improvements to previous failure is not a plan for success.

Ricchiazzi might be young and he might be politically inexperienced, but he’s the one candidate who is talking about the future and applying lessons learned in other emerging cities.

Clearly, I liked him, but I realize the enormity of the task in front of him in the general election. He is underfunded and lacks the organization behind him to run a traditional city-wide campaign and sophisticated GOTV effort.

Even if he fails to make a significant dent at the voting booth, he can become and advocate for positive change and introduce big picture ideas into our collective politics.

I’ll post the rest of the videos later as I want to discuss some of his ideas in-depth, but take a look at his plans and let me know what you think. It’s an interesting mix of tax reduction, market based strategies, urban planning, and traditional left wing issues of social/economic justice.

We’re scheduling interviews with Mickey Kearns and Byron Brown for next week to answer many of the same questions.

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One Response to “Matthew Ricchiazzi”

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  1. Twitted by buffalogeek - August 27, 2009

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