James Abbondanza

James Abbondanza

One of the two 2021 Democratic candidates for the Falls City Council will try for a second time to win a seat in 2023.

James Abbondanza (D) announced this week that he will run in the Democratic primary on June 27, hoping to capture one of the two available party endorsements for the general election. He’ll challenge Brain Archie and James Perry, who were each previously endorsed by the Falls city and county Democratic committees.

In his 2021 campaign, as an endorsed Democratic candidate, Abbondanza ran on a platform that highlighted governmental transparency, financial responsibility and quality of life issues for the people of Niagara Falls.

“The efforts and resources of our local government are being spent in the wrong places,” Abbondanza said in making his announcement. “Our needs are straight forward, the residents want a cleaner, safer city. I know it will not happen overnight, it will take a lot of work on a lot of different fronts, but I also know City Hall isn’t even trying to address this. The focus from City Hall is elsewhere on projects with no real plans like Centennial Park that are going to sink us financially. Start with rebuilding basic services for the people who live here, and the rest will come in due time.”

Abbondanza said his campaign will again focus on ways to improve the quality of life of his fellow residents by focusing on policy and “smart, well-formed legislation that will benefit the residents and address problem areas such as illegal dumping, blight, nuisance laws, lack of community programs and crime.”

The council candidate has also been a relentless advocate for government transparency. In May 2022, Abbondanza was responsible for helping to organize a protest that sought to bring awareness to a move by the City Council to cut its number of regularly scheduled meetings in half.

Abbondanza argued that effectively “cut in half the ability for the public to be heard on the issues being voted on at council meetings.”

The protest was also critical of the use of special meetings, where members of the public are not, by rule, permitted to speak.

“Corruption, dishonesty, and greed thrive in the dark,” Abbondanza said. “Transparency in government is the light we need to keep our leaders in check and on task.”

Abbondanza, is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and an IT professional of more than 25 years. He is currently the president of the Weston Avenue Block Club as well as chair of the Niagara Beautification Commission.

“My interest in government has always been civic rather than political,” Abbondanza said. “It was an eye-opener to see things from a political perspective during my campaign run in 2021. I learned a lot about the process of elections and campaigns, and the different people and groups that are involved. It brought home to me the belief that although I am running on the Democratic ticket, it is not the parties that matter, it is us, the people. I stand with the people of our city and not with groups that put their own interests in front of those of the citizens. We all live in this city — together. We are family, friends and neighbors and we need to have one another’s backs.”

In addition to raising his three sons in Niagara Falls, Abbondanza is an avid photographer and a recent winner of a 2023 New York State Council on the Arts SCR Grant.

“The citizens of Niagara Falls should be the first consideration when our leaders make choices,” he said. “Unfortunately, the only time our representatives seem to think of us is when they need more of our hard-earned money to fill in the deficits caused by their mismanagement.”

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