Susan Ryan is the Democratic candidate for Broome County’s 11th district seat on the Broome County Legislature. Ryan teaches at Binghamton University as an adjunct faculty member in the environmental studies department. She holds a degree from BU in geology and environmental studies.

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

“Neighborhoods are strengthened in many ways, beginning with people-friendly development like pathways that are designed for pedestrians and bicycles. One such example is extending the greenway path connecting Downtown Binghamton to Vestal Parkway and campus. Likewise, shared and open spaces, such as community gardens, trails and parks, will be a priority for me. At a larger scale, programs that alleviate poverty, homelessness, crime, addiction and blight will improve the quality of life for those most in need and for all of us. At the same time, we need to support small business[es], strengthen farm-to-market opportunities and cultivate entrepreneurship to grow our economy sustainably.”

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

“I will be proactive on issues that affect our community, not reactive. And I will always work across party lines to do what’s right for Broome County. Partisan politics are stifling local efforts on critical issues facing us today. To begin with, I will adopt the pledge for Broome County to become a climate-smart community, a program designed to help municipalities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayer dollars and plan for extreme weather events. Additionally, the opioid crisis was spiraling out of control under former county leadership. I will always vote for the people of my district, and Broome County, not my party.”

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

“I will work to encourage the cooperation between BU and the people who live in Binghamton and Johnson City. Each time we talk to our neighbor, go to an event or volunteer in the community, our neighborhoods are strengthened. Specifically, I will strengthen the connections between campus and the community through internships, workshops, applied research, volunteer opportunities, community events and, most especially, outdoor activities involving our parks, farms, trails and waterways. I will [also] make sure our nonprofits and other community services are supported and strengthened. I am actively involved in the Broome County Environmental Management Council, the Triple Cities Runners Club, Saint Patrick’s community outreach services and more.”

4. Why should students vote for you?

“I am a proud BU alumna (Harpur, Geology, ’90), an adjunct professor in environmental and evolutionary studies and have 25 years of experience at the local, state, national and international levels. I moved back to my hometown because there is potential here — the people, the natural resources and the unique culture of Broome County have so much to offer. I want to grow our community, one good idea at a time.”