Fox 40 Councilwoman Sophia Resciniti (R)

Councilwoman Sophia Resciniti is the Republican candidate for Binghamton’s 2nd district in the Binghamton City Council. Elected in a special election in January 2018, Resciniti is the director of field education at Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs and is a licensed social worker.

1. Under your leadership, how can Binghamton strengthen its neighborhoods?

“We can continue to focus on the root causes of deteriorating neighborhoods — substandard housing and crumbling infrastructure. Residents deserve decent affordable housing. The more units of quality housing we can provide through state grant-funding and local development incentives — like the 435 State St. and Crandall Street redevelopments — the less in-demand poor housing will be. I’m proud to support these projects. Residents also deserve paved streets and walkable neighborhoods. Public infrastructure investments are often matched by private investment from businesses and property owners in the immediate area. I will continue to advocate for Binghamton’s share of state and federal infrastructure funds, as each dollar spent in our urban core impacts more families than in less densely populated areas.”

2. What are your biggest concerns in your district? How do you propose to fix them?

“High property taxes are hurting home values and squeezing residents on fixed incomes. The city’s financial position has greatly improved these last few years, and I voted for a 1.01 percent tax cut for residential homeowners as part of the 2019 budget. In my district, taxes are the No. 1 concern I hear. Public safety issues, which include dangerous housing conditions, leave our most vulnerable populations at risk. Proactive measures from the Binghamton Police Department and Binghamton Code Enforcement to engage residents will build neighborhood pride and a sense of community. BPD’s Community Response Team (CRT) is a shining example of the kind of proactive police work that needs to be expanded that’s making a difference reducing crime.”

3. How do you envision engaging with the community and addressing concerns it may have? More specifically, what would you do to engage Binghamton University students in these community issues?

“It’s direct contact with voters. I’ve gone door-to-door to thousands of homes and spoken personally with as many residents. I embrace these discussions on front porches and kitchen tables. While my district does not have the number of students as some other neighborhoods in the city, I view each BU student as a future permanent resident and young professional in our community. The Town-Gown Advisory Board is a working model of positive community engagement, which, as a member of the Binghamton City Council, I will advocate to expand and grow.”

4. Why should students vote for you?

“I’ve built a professional career as a social worker and educator at BU. For years, I’ve worked with students to help them realize their career and academic goals while raising my own kids and building my family’s story in this community. I’m accessible and independent. My experience and qualifications are an open book. In addition, my message to female voters, BU students or otherwise, is that for too long, women have lacked a strong voice in local government. It holds us all back and it is time to change the status quo.”