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Mascia vows to stay in Fillmore race

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Joseph Mascia says he isn't going away any time soon and will use his campaign for Fillmore District councilmember to open a community conversation on race and economic injustice.

Flanked by Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority tenants in front of the Marine Drive complex where he lives Wednesday afternoon, the retired construction company owner and worker says he is not going to quit as a BMHA tenant commissioner and won't abandon the Council campaign.

Mascia's election chances took a hit when an audio recording showed him making racist remarks about city leaders like Mayor Byron Brown and Council President Darius Pridgen.

Mascia says public housing needs his strong voice against bad authority management.

"Many serious issues that we have undertaken to resolve together are still of critical importance. Public safety in some developments is a matter of life and death," Mascia said.

"Fiscal mismanagement, corrupt practices have pushed the agency to the brink of receivership. In the past month, I was able to reverse a 40% rent increase that was going to be imposed on new tenants at Marine Drive."

Asked about the traditionally poor turnout of voters in the heavily-minority Fillmore District, Mascia says voters are turned off by nothing being done and says he will run a get-out-the vote campaign for his issues on race, class and economic inequities.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.