Who am I?
I am 42 years old born and raised in Albany , my life has been a testament to hard work, community, and getting results.
I grew up in Albany’s South End and Arbor Hill neighborhoods which are some of the most improvished neighborhoods. My parents worked at St. Peter’s Hospital, my mother as a housekeeper and my father as a maintenance man. They didn’t have much financially to give me, but my mother instilled in me a belief that education would open doors and make just about anything possible.
With the help of dedicated teachers, ministers and librarians, I excelled in the classroom and in sports, starring in football, basketball, and baseball. I went to Cathedral Academy, graduated from Bishop Maginn High School and became the first member of my family to graduate from college, earning my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fordham University.
I returned to home, as a union organizer for 1199 SEIU, campaigning to improve the lives of hospital employees. I served as Commissioner of the Arbor Hill Men’s Softball League, the same league I watched my father and uncles play in when I was younger.
In 2004, I entered local politics, working as Political Director for David Soares, helping Soares overcome the odds and win the race for Albany County District Attorney against the Democratic machine and David becoming the first African American to hold the office of District.
The following year, I ran my own grassroots campaign for a seat on the Albany Common Council, on the Working Families Party line, defeating a 12-year incumbent. I was a consistent voice for reform, speaking out for investing in our neighborhoods, fighting crime and blight, and creating a more responsive, transparent city government.
I have always believed real change starts in the community. I served on the Community Accountability Board of the District Attorney’s office, helped organize the “Bring it to the Courts” youth basketball program in partnership with the DA’s office, and worked as a volunteer coach in the program. I also served on the Board of Directors of Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP) and has participated in Catholic Charities’ mentoring program for young people.
The community has recognized Corey’s contributions with numerous awards, including Metroland Local Hero (2006), Hudson Valley Community College Humanitarian Service Award (2007), Metroland’s Best Public Servant (2008), NAACP Public Service Award (2008) and the Founders Day Award from the Albany City Council PTA (2008).
Why am I running?
In 2009 I ran for Mayor as a first term councilmember. I ran against the 16 year incumbemt Mayor, and was outspent 10 to 1, and I came within 1,500 votes of winning the Mayor's seat. I vowed the night of the election that I would run again in four years. My passion and love for my home town continues to and I do believe my vision for the city continues to be shared by the citizens of Albany. The Mayor has decided not run for a 6th term and I believe the momentum we created 4 years ago gives me a great opportunity to run a successful race, and become the next Mayor of Albany.
As city councilmember I immediately saw that councilmembers did not have much authority to have real change in the districts they represented. The city charter is a strong Mayoral city charter. I began to see the city government was not transparent and it was even more apparent, after a major parking ticket scandle. I made the council members subpoena witness to come in front of the city council to investigate the parking ticket issue. The city council never before in the histroy of the council every used their investigative powers or their subpoena powers, but I used my power to make the council put together an investigation.
My DFA Values
I will term limit the Mayor's postion. We have had 3 Mayors in the last 74 years. I will change the city charter and have the citizens vote on term limiting the Mayor's position. I will focus on neighborhood investment and revitalization of the most challenged neighborhoods. As a councilmember I did research on the 900 vacant buildings in my community and put a 12 point plan together to deal with our vacant building issue in the city. I was able to pass legislation strengthening our vacant and abandon building ordinances to allow the city to take a more aggressive approach, and made the fines and penalties higher. I co founded and am Vice President of the Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce which focused on minority business development growth around small businesses and rehabilitating abandon and vacant buildings in our most challenged neighborhoods. I also believe putting new home owners into buildings that are renovated will help strengthen our tax base.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I have always run a grassroots campaign. I have always believed the succes of any campaign is making sure that the most valuable resource are the members within the community. I have always been the person who wants change the political system and engage and have those who are mostly not engaged in the process. I continue to believe in the ability of the people to make the difference. I have always been a progressive canidate and continue to have strong support among the progressive community, such as union support. LGBT support, clergy support as well.