Answers from Corey Ellis

Corey Ellis

He's currently a member of the Common Council.

As promised, here are the video answers from our conversation with Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis. Answers from Shawn Morris, who's also running for mayor, were posted last week. We hope to get time with other candidates at some point, too.

We asked Ellis a bunch of questions -- including many that you suggested. The video is posted after the jump. It's arranged so that you can watch him answer each question individually.

This interview was recorded March 20, 2009.

Why do you want to be mayor?

Why should you be mayor?

What's the most important issue facing the city?

What are your accomplishments on the Common Council?

What's your professional background?

This question was suggested by Chris.

How would you make Albany safer?

Would you keep police chief James Tuffey on?

This question was suggested by Marggie.

What should be done about the ghost ticket investigation?

What should be done about the soon-to-be-full landfill?

What's the best way to pursue economic development?

What do you think about the convention center project?

What's your assessment of the city's fiscal situation?

This question was suggested by Chris.

How could the city's schools be improved

What do you think of the city's growing charter schools?

What should be done about the city's vacant buildings?

What should be done about flooding in some neighborhoods?

This question was suggested by Marggie.

How would you make city government more transparent and accountable?

What's your position on term limits?

This question was suggested by Emma.

Where do you stand on same-sex marriage?

This question was suggested by Cathy.

How would you increase development downtown?

This question was suggested by Summer and Vin.

How would you make the city more bike-friendly?

This question was suggested by Katherine.


So, I was checking out Corey's answer on same sex marriage and get from the tap dancing that he is for civil unions, but will not vote for same sex marriage if it were put to a vote. Why didn't you just come out and say that you wouldn't vote for same sex marriage. You dance just like a politician....

I wonder if he would really only stay mayor for two terms. It's really easy to find yourself at the end of a second term saying but I want to make sure my policies are followed through on effectively. Term limits is a great question.

He's got a ways to go . . . I'm looking for real answers - real solutions. There's a lot of work to be done in this city and I'm not convinced he knows enough about successful solutions to be effective. Also, in a city as politically progressive as Albany, his luke-warm support of "Civil Unions" is just not going to get him elected - misstep.

he seems like a real nice guy, with decent ideas and above average motivation, I just dont think he can get it done right now, I'm no political guru, but some more time proving himself in the council seems more appropriate
and Corey, I know you're reading this, thanks for the interview

Uh, guys, you do realize that the Mayor of Albany doesn't have a vote in the State Legislature, right? I understand wanting a mayor who will be in support of same-sex marriage rights, but shouldn't we focus more on the issues that actually apply to the office?

On another subject, his answer about community policing makes sense (and I agree, we should have it) but considering beat cops were only eliminated a few years ago, can crime problems really be blamed on that?

But let's not talk about real issues. This guy has a much darker tan than Jerry, so I think I'll vote for him.

To those upset at his civil unions answer... I understand your feelings on the matter, but...

1) He said he wouldn't sabotage the will of the people even if he disagrees personally 2) Since when do mayors influence marriage law? Isn't that a state issue? 3) Would you rather he lie just to get elected?

I'm just saying. I'm totally with you guys in your support for gay marriage. But I don't think his answer was as bad as you guys make it out to be.

Nice Malcolm X photo in the background...Does Corey also advocate violence, racism and anti-Semitism?

@ Bhleber: Thank you! I don't understand why there is so much focus on finding out this man's opinion concerning something that wouldn't be in his jurisdiction if elected.

Marriage Equality is important to me, especially in a Mayor. It says something about their outlook on equal protection and opportunity under the law.

More importantly, I don't think opposing boots on the ground just for the sake of disagreeing with your opposition on the topic of community policing is quite appropriate.

It seems like Mr. Ellis is already becoming well-versed in the practice of ignoring the sentiments of the electorate for the sake of politics...

I think he has been a good representative of the 3rd Ward, but that his run for Mayor is short-sighted, and now leaves his "home ward" in the hands of a Jennings hack. Corey, you couldn't even take the time to ensure a legacy strong enough to prevent Ron Bailey from taking over your post?

To those of you who don't get why all the 'hoopla' around gay marriage -- this is a basic civil rights issue. Do I want Corey to lie about his lack of support? No. Do I want Corey to understand that this is a basic civil rights issue? Yes.

My partner and I have been together longer than any married couple I know. And yet we're denied over 1,138 federal rights and 700 state rights because we're not legally married.

To anyone who says this isn't a local issue: EVERYTHING IS A LOCAL ISSUE. I like Corey and worked on his campaign when he ran for 3rd Ward Councilmember. But given the choice between Shawn and Corey, this is a no brainer. I'm working for Shawn.

I'm personally opposed to the baby seal massacre that is allowed by Canada every year. Why didn't you ask Mr. Ellis about that? His opinion on this very important issue of which he will have no influence is going to be what I base my decision of whether or not to support him on.

The comments made me think Ellis comes off as an inexperienced hack. He doesn't. He seems to get the major issues facing the community, and he returns to those he thinks most important: incl. revitalizing the city for visitors instead of residents. He was right on about the landfill being an issue for 16 years that was ignored, and I really liked his idea of a CC in downtown Albany - and maybe the CC has a large conference type space to accommodates some of those conferences (not conventions) that want to be in albany.

AOA - thank you for doing this. I encourage you to ask these questions of other mayoral candidates (including mayor jennings). I look forward to lively debates in this election cycle as well. Maybe AOA moderators?

@Mary: The 'hoopla' over the nonsense gay marriage question in this context has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with astroturfing by supporters of other candidates.

It would be a relevant question to pose to Sen. Breslin, Assemblyman Gordon or Assemblyman McEneny.

There are far more important, fundamental civil rights issues that a mayor CAN affect to waste brain cells on yet another gay marriage debate.

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