Dan Livingston is the Democratic candidate for Binghamton’s 2nd district in the Binghamton City Council. Livingston has previously served as an appointee to Binghamton’s Community Development Advisory Committee, and has worked with AmeriCorps. He is a founding member of Binghamton Urban Farm. Currently, Livingston works as an independent consultant offering technical and marketing services to farmers.
1. Under your leadership, how can Binghamton strengthen its neighborhoods?
“The city of Binghamton needs to engage in a more meaningful way with the people in its neighborhoods. Proactive engagement means more ideas and better ideas to solve our most pressing problems. A more engaged community builds better social infrastructure and enhances our ability to come up with lasting solutions to critical issues. Ultimately, the people who live here are what makes Binghamton unique, resilient and vibrant.”
2. What are your biggest concerns in your district? How do you propose to fix them?
“Binghamton has the highest municipal tax rate and the highest municipal poverty rate in New York state. When a municipality is the highest or the lowest, the best or the worst at something, it’s a sign of local policy. Our city has a combination of local tax conditions [that] make it difficult for homeowners to stay afloat, renters to pay their bills and businesses to get started. At the same time, our economic development practices have failed to take the needs of low- and moderate-income residents into consideration. As a result, developers in the city are enjoying windfall profits at the expense of ordinary citizens. The homeowners and renters of this city can thrive at the same time that Downtown [Binghamton] prospers, and it all starts with policies built on the principle of fairness.”
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?
“Upon taking office, I plan to begin livestreaming and archiving meetings inside of City Hall. While city business is being researched and conducted, I plan to reach out to impacted populations and key stakeholders who will be affected by the city’s plans, and make sure that they have a seat at the table. I also plan to organize community forums throughout the city on topics of critical importance.”
4. Why should students vote for you?
“As a young person with extensive experience in the technology sector, I am keenly aware of the challenging nature of our modern economy, and I am interested in transforming Binghamton into the kind of place that folks from our generation would want to live in. Additionally, as a technology consultant, I have an enormous amount of flexibility in how I spend my time. Because of this, I will be able to put an extraordinary amount of time and effort into fulfilling my duties as a city councilperson for the 2nd district of Binghamton.”