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Standing in our power: India Walton announces run for Buffalo Mayor

Thomas O'Neil-White

A life-long dream is coming a little closer to reality for India Walton as the activist and former Fruit Belt Land Trust Executive Director has made known her candidacy for next year’s mayoral election in the City of Buffalo.

“I have been, ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “Just dreaming about what my city would be like if I were Mayor, and things that I would do different. And I mean I started from a very young age just wanting to see more investment in my community, where I grew up.”

A registered nurse and Fruit Belt neighborhood native, Walton’s name gained traction over the summer for her work in organizing social justice actions within in the city. She said she will continue with that same grassroots approach as Mayor to solve problems plaguing Buffalo’s poor and minority communities.

“I believe that the people know what we need,” she said. “And those that are closest to the problem are closer to the solution. The number one priority for me would be to reinvest in our communities.”

Walton will face an uphill battle for Mayor, especially if incumbent Byron Brown runs for an unprecedented 5th term. Running as a Democrat, she said she doesn’t expect any support from local party leadership.

Win or lose, Walton believes her candidacy can be a launching point for other activists to run for local office.

“This campaign is not about India becoming Mayor,” she said. “This campaign is about the people realizing and standing in our power, and to send a message to the establishment that you’re not safe.”

Brown has yet to make a statement regarding his aspirations for a 5th term.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.