Alfonso Davis says people ask him all the time why he stays in Syracuse. He says he tells them that Syracuse is a diamond in the rough, and that he wants to be the one to buff the diamond.
After 13 years working on the line at New Process Gear, he took a buyout offer last year, and is currently self-employed as a consultant. "I believe in organized labor," he says. "Organized labor built the middle class." Davis is running for mayor in hopes of representing the interests of folks he worked the line with, so many of whom have lost the manufacturing jobs which have left the area.
But Davis is also running for mayor for Charles Anderson. Davis was running Anderson's campaign when the former 4th District Common Councilor announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Council President. "Actually, Charles should have been mayor," Davis says now. "So now he's managing my campaign, so we'll get there after all." With roles now reversed, manager Anderson says he believes candidate Davis has a good shot at landing the Democratic mayoral nomination.
With all the announced prospective opponents being current or former elected officials, however, Anderson knows both of them will have to work extremely hard to be on the ballot in November.
You announced your candidacy in November, but your campaign seems low key. Have you been flying under radar?
We've been moving strategically, meeting with different people, particularly community-based people, particularly those people who have been disenfranchised or marginalized by city government, by city politics and the status quo. While we've been moving sort of low key, we're here. And it's known that we're here, and that I'm running. And I'm not running to get my name out. I'm running to win.
To win in politics usually means raising money, which depends on name recognition, which depends on press coverage. Are you getting any recognition for what you're doing?