PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Michael Black Seeks To Rip Through ‘Fabric Of Resistance’ With Mayoral Candidacy

Twenty-odd years ago, Michael Black looked around State College and thought to himself, “It would be really cool to be mayor here.” Now, after living in town for 27 years, getting married here, and starting a business here, he’s actually running for the post.

Black’s running on a platform unique from his opponents in that he wants to challenge the status quo that’s plagued the Borough for years. “Imagine what life would be like here if the fabric of resistance was a little further back, or we rip through,” he said.

For starters, Black is a self-described lifelong Democrat running for mayor on the Republican ticket, a nomination he earned with the highest number of write-in votes in the primary. But don’t worry — he hasn’t sold his soul.

“[When you run for mayor], you’re doing it for the betterment of the community, not because you’re tied to a political party,” Black said. “My ideals and my values have not changed. I’ve never switched parties. I’ve never sold my soul.”

One of the biggest issues marking this election is the Borough’s zoning code, which is being reviewed for the first time in decades. Black is ready to take a step back and start a community-wide conversation about who we want to be and where we want to go, and proceed from there to create a growth plan and zoning code that make sense and preserve the identity of State College.

“I don’t think State College really knows who we are — what we want to be — and what that entails,” he explained.

Most of all, Black emphasized tradition and innovation can and should coexist to shape the identity of State College. He’s especially supportive of the possibility of a pedestrian mall on the 100 block of Allen Street, and he says he’s taken the steps to make it a reality by not only speaking with business-owners on the block, but also with other successful business people in the State College area who are interested in funding the project.

Black has been most criticized for his mention of what folks are calling a $100 student fee or student tax, which was brought up during the Candidates Night sponsored by the League of Women Voters as part of a discussion on how the Borough can increase revenues. He acknowledges what he said didn’t come out quite right, and stresses he’s opposed to any non-optional or non-voluntary fine, tax, or fee placed on students specifically on account of their student status.

“This was a suggestion to think about how we can do things that are more opt-in friendly,” Black said. “In a true democratic process, you put everything on the table.”

What Black says he truly has in mind is a sort of optional resident’s package, where those living in the Borough — including students — could opt in to pay a fee in exchange for perks like on-street parking, better public wifi, or maybe even coupons or deals through a partnership with the Downtown Improvement District. Ultimately, the system could be housed in a mobile engagement app specific to State College.

Characterized as the “student-friendly” mayoral candidate, Black is endorsed by BugPAC, a political action committee by students, for students, that was created out of frustration with the current makeup of Borough Council.

At the end of the day, Black is glad he’s had the opportunity to make an impact on State College through his candidacy, no matter the outcome of the election.

“The destination is the journey. It’s not about the place that you get to — it’s about what happens on your way there,” Black said. “I want to see people, when they talk about State College, light up, feel connected, and feel like, ‘This is my home.'”


This is the third and final post in a three-part series profiling the candidates for State College mayor. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

Comments

State College Links
More by Elissa

Keegan-Michael Key To Guest Coach Blue-White

The Penn State alumnus-turned-Hingle McCringleberry was tapped to guest coach the annual Blue-White intersquad scrimmage this weekend.

Penn State To Go Tobacco-Free Beginning Fall 2018

Former Skeller Location Applies For Liquor License

Athletics

Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

The 2018-2019 season will feature a 20-game in conference schedule for the first time.

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Penn State Baseball Snaps Eleven-Game Losing Streak Against Mount St. Mary’s

Student Life

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Be A Part Of The 2018 Senior Class Photo Inside Beaver Stadium

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue-White 2018 Prop Bets

Step right up and place some bets, folks!

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend