Seth's Campaign Launch Speech
On October 16, 2018, I officially announced our candidacy. We kicked off the event with a community clean-up in Lasalle and ended it with Joey’s pizza. It is a night I will always remember and the right start to our grassroots campaign. I have included my announcement speech video and text for you to check out. By far, it is the longest speech I have ever made at nine minutes. I did my best to explain who I am, what “WE” means, our focus issues and how much I love this place.-Seth.
Seth’s Campaign Announcement Speech Text
Good Evening family, friends and neighbors:
Led by a heart full of excitement and gratitude, I officially announce that we are running for mayor of Niagara Falls is 2019.
Sincerely, thank you all so much for being here, and spending some time with us tonight. If life adds up series of snapshots, this will certainly be one of mine.
Tonight, I will speak about why we are running and what we can accomplish together. First, I will talk about my family.
Niagara Falls is home and my love for this place started with all my grandparents, Ernie and Josi Fera, and Al and Josephine Piccirillo, as part of four unique bonds. That love was molded into a call to service for me and my brother Aaron, by my truly amazing parents Al and Marsha. Aunts, uncles, cousins, unrelated relatives helped teach us that you can create community with around our shared bonds because community is life’s greatest gift.
That life actually started the moment I met my wife, and best friend, Kelly. I owe a debt to all of them than can only be paid by handing that legacy of love, service and community to our daughters Tessa and Nola.
Now is the place in the typical political speech where I’m supposed to make a joke about my wife letting me run and my family standing by me. That just would not apply to us. We stand back to back. We hold each other up. I am running as a son, husband and most importantly, a father. My first commitment is that every word and moment of campaign will make my family proud.
Who here knew Ida Massaro? Her name on tonight’s registration table. We lost Ida one year ago. I am a proud student of the Ida Massaro School of Niagara Falls Politics. I always felt that if I was near Ida, I occupied the high ground. This campaign would have been planned at her dinning room table. So, as long as I have a table with my name on it, her name will be on it too.
This campaign is my about my family, your family and our shared home. When I say we are running for mayor it’s not my slogan, but an affirmation of what I know to be true and certain: complicated problems must be solved with community.
If we are going to get more done in our neighborhoods, we need to all believe in that power of community, and put that belief into action.
We can change our local tax structure to avoid calamitous budgets like the one that we find ourselves in now, while also making it harder to land-speculate for generations.
Our budgets can be planned by the mayor and city council, together, starting with real public participation. We may not have the power to eliminate theatrics for national politics, but I think we can do better locally.
We can reform the housing court process and the IN-REM tax foreclosure auction because they are broken and its common sense. Just because change may step on some toes, doesn’t make it less necessary.
We can welcome residents to proactively make budget decisions. I have seen it work. The results are remarkable.
We can negotiate a financial arrangement with New York State that is simply based on revenue and expenses rather than a perpetual attempt to be part of the political in-crowd.
We can find nontraditional funding sources to make quality of life improvements for our children, because not only do our kids deserve dynamic spaces and programs, but they also deserve leaders that can find new solutions to old problems.
We will not just make general statements in this campaign and rely on the old political models of communication. I respect all of you too much act like a typical politician just because I am a declared candidate. We have a specific course of action for all points I just mentioned, with more information available at sethforNF.com.
This room is filled with people that I have relied on, and I hope have relied on me, throughout my life. St. John’s is my polling place, and I wish we could just take the vote now based on the turnout, but we cannot.
The primary is 11 months away. The general election is 13 months away. I announced this early because we need every one of those days for this style of campaign to work.
Our announcement caught the attention of some people who have their own political plans for this position, and a casual relationship with the concept of fact checking, or even google. Good.
This will be one of the only times that I will speak in I instead of We:
I will not compromise my ethics or truth in this campaign, especially on the tough days and trust me, there will be tough days.I will also not pander to those who do, for political comfort. I am prepared for that decision to make victory more difficult.
The path to finally abandoning those embarrassing elements of our history that continue to hold us back is traveled on the high road.
Just as I am certain that community is the ultimate problem solver, I know that in leadership, temperament is the great divider. Along with our issues, this election will be about composed, reliable and professional leadership. Who’s capable of it and who isn’t. Who’s faking it, and who’s got it.
As I close, I need to ask you for something, even though you have already been so generous with your time.
If anyone you know has a question about this campaign or me as a candidate, please tell me. I will go to them. This campaign is a conversation, and I need to make my case, and much more importantly, listen.
More than that, if they ask about my background and qualifications, please tell them that every decision during my 13 years in local, state and regional government has led me to this moment.
If they ask you what my policy approach is please say, neighborhood quality of life investment, professional public management and leadership Niagara Falls can be proud of.
If they ask what I am about as a person, please tell them that my actions will always speak loudest and that I am bringing everything I have to this campaign: My career. My livelihood. My name.
And finally, if they ask who is running for mayor – please tell them we are.
I will never be able properly thank you all for being here tonight and all the good you do in the community, but I will try by running a campaign that does right by you and our home.