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Ward 6 candidate Collin gets Working Families endorsement; incumbent Moore focuses on campaign

Mar. 30—PLATTSBURGH — Amy Collin, a Democratic hopeful for the Ward 6 City of Plattsburgh councilor race, is the latest candidate to be endorsed by the Working Families Party.

"The Working Family Party inherently supports people coming together from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, abilities, religions and orientations. That's how I see Ward 6," Collin said.

"We're not as homogenous as some may think, and certainly, what matters to families living in the historic district down by the water can differ drastically from people who are living in apartments or houses downtown or near the college."

Collin moved to the city from Ann Arbor, Mich. in 2003 and has been a resident of Ward 6 since 2016.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Collin has spent years volunteering with the United Way of the Adirondack Region, specifically raising money for the partner agencies whose services support people who are in crisis.

Because of this experience, she said she is aware of the challenging situations that unexpectedly arise for working families across the community.

"The United Way works closely with ALICE families (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) who are trying to make ends meet or who have specific needs and don't know where to turn," Collin said .

"I have seen firsthand, and for years, how working families can bump up against difficult times. So many people are one crisis away from losing their jobs or homes or health. The beauty of our region's business network is that the connections between our agencies are rock solid. Rather than competing for resources, we work together in ways that I have been told are unprecedented in other parts of the state or in more metropolitan areas. The relationships are strong and so much good work gets accomplished when we lean on each other."

Between raising her children and providing nonprofit leadership, Collin has now spent two decades in service to Plattsburgh and the people of her community — which many local families can likely relate to.

"Most people have been part of a working family at some point in their lives," Collin said,

"We all know what it's like to balance getting kids off to school, getting to work on time, shuffling bills around during lean times and trying (to) make our homes safe and our families thrive."

Collin, however, understands the party represents more than the working families.

"This party recognizes the issues that underrepresented and vulnerable populations face, and their voice challenges systems that have historically contributed to inequalities," she said.

"The Working Family Party shines a light on how poverty affects marginalized groups and how those families struggle in unique ways."

MOVING CITY FORWARD

Because of this, Collin feels that all people, especially children, need to have equal access to programs and services that encourage healthy living, social responsibility and create opportunities to be part of the community and the Working Families Party values this inclusion.

"I've seen the good work done by the YMCA and places like Beartown Ski Area that are making sure kids from all backgrounds can go to summer camp and learn to ski, and how the Y is working so hard to make sure the new facility helps to address the mental health crisis, foster collaborations and partnerships and takes accessibility into account every step of the way."

She said a spirit of collaboration and work toward common goals is what will take the city forward.

PRIMARY

Running as a Democrat, Collin's candidacy, which she announced last month, has set up a potential primary against incumbent Ward 6 Councilor Jeff Moore, also a Democrat.

In order to force a primary, candidates need to gather the signatures of 5% of all of the registered voters within a party in the ward from Feb. 27 and between April 1 and April 4 when they are to be filed at the Clinton County Board of Elections.

The Primary Election is set to be held June 25.

Moore is hoping to secure his third consecutive term as councilor.

Before his time on the council, Moore's previous government experience included being the Village of Champlain mayor for three terms.

Being no stranger to running a campaign, Moore said he was not surprised to learn of Collin's plans to challenge him.

"I'm pretty neutral on that," he said Friday.

"I've run for public office seven times, and I've only ... run (unopposed) once, so not surprising."

Moore similarly didn't have much to say about Collin's recently secured endorsement from the Working Families Party.

"I don't ever approach those people," he said. "So it would not be surprising to me that they didn't endorse me."

Additionally, Moore, who received the Plattsburgh City Democrats endorsement in February, does not believe the lack of a Working Families Party endorsement will have any effect on his re-election campaign moving forward.

'EXPERIENCE REALLY MATTERS'

Instead, Moore is remaining focused on the residents of ward 6 and learning what he can do for them in another potential term as councilor.

"I feel I've represented my ward very well," he said.

"I'm easy to talk to. I talk to people on the street all the time and going around and getting signatures really worked well for me because I got to revisit some of the people that I hadn't seen in awhile. They're very, very much concerned about the tax rates."

Additionally, raised assessments are a common complaint heard from residents, he said, and he hopes to find a way to improve them.

"A lot of people have been hit hard with these greatly raised assessments. That takes away from your household income."

Other areas of concern for the future, he said, include the city's finances, increased debt service and recreation.

"Our debts increased over the last couple of years and I think we really need to get a handle on that. That's a very important part of the process," he said.

"And I think experience really matters."

Moore said establishing some continuity on the council will be a crucial piece in making headway on these important city issues.

He said there has been too much turnover on the council in recent years and if he and fellow councilor Elizabeth Gibbs (D-Ward 3), who is also seeking re-election this year, were to retain their seats, that would bring back much needed experience.

"In the best of circumstances, it takes you at least a couple of years before you figure out how the budget works, where all the money comes from," Moore said.

"I think that puts people at a disadvantage. I know everybody has to start somewhere, but it's unfortunate that we don't always have the people in there that have the experience."

Email: cnewton@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: CarlySNewton