February 27, 2012

Cornell Alumnus Will Run For Mayor of New York City

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Tom Allon ’84, president and CEO of Manhattan Media, will prepare to launch his campaign for Mayor of New York City. He will be running on a platform of education reform, job creation and economic development. Allon said he decided to start his campaign two years before the election because he is politically inexperienced and has never held public office. Allon announced his candidacy last summer.“I am not a political incumbent who can dispense favors to the elites and potential donors over the next year,” Allon said. “This is, ultimately, a strength because voters are fed up with ‘pay to play politics.’”He pointed out that his campaign will take place as the University develops plans for its tech campus on Roosevelt Island.“It is serendipitously coincidental that a Cornell alumni might be running the city where Cornell is planning to expand more with its new tech campus,” Allon said.Allon said that his biggest strength is his “outsider” status, which he said distinguishes him from the other candidates for mayor.“I am the only non-career politician in the race,” he said. “My background as a public school teacher, reporter, editor, publisher and entrepreneur gives me a unique set of skills and experience to lead the great-est city in the world.”Allon said his decision to run for mayor was spurred by his concern for the future of New York City’s schools.“Watching New York’s education system continue to drift into perpetual mediocrity, and wanting to make a difference in fixing it, motivated me to run for mayor,” he said.Allon said he will also strive to implement economic and education policies that benefit all New Yorkers.“I want everyone to benefit, not just the 1 percent, or the 10 percent,” Allon said.Susan Kittenplan ’85, a former Sports Editor of The Sun who worked with Allon while at Cornell, praised his decision to run for mayor. She added that Allon’s previous work gives him with a unique perspective on city issues.“The fact that he has run micro-local newspapers [City Hall, The Capitol] and covered local stories throughout the five boroughs means he knows the constituents of these neighborhoods very well — their concerns, their hopes, their delis,” Kittenplan said. “He’s been listening and giving citizens a place where they have a voice. When he becomes mayor, he’ll be able take it a step further and really help his fellow New Yorkers.”Allon said his main goals at the outset of the campaign were to gain recognition through various media outlets, including newspapers and television stations, and obtain the support of the Democratic Party. He was endorsed by the Liberal Party on Jan. 27. Allon was a Senior Editor and Sports Editor for The Sun.Allon said he believes that his time at The Sun gave him a solid foundation for a future in politics.“The Sun taught me about the intensity and brutality of the political process and the importance of putting on thick skin when you go into electoral combat,” he said.Allon will be running against Scott Stringer, Borough President of Manhattan, and Bill Thompson, former New York City Comptroller and Democratic Party candidate for Mayor in 2009. Incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg is term limited and thus unable to seek re-election to a fourth term.

Original Author: Utsav Rai