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By: Staff Reporter
Local teacher and resident Joseph S. Conti III has announced he is seeking to represent the constituents of District 1 in the Niagara County Legislature.
Conti was raised in Youngstown by his parents, Joseph and Irene (Boniello) Conti, and now resides in Lewiston with his wife and two children: who attend Lew-Port. He and his family are parishioners of St. Peter’s church in Lewiston, is a graduate of Lewiston Porter High School, received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Fredonia, and his Masters degree from Niagara University.
Conti has worked at Lewiston Porter High School for 19 years as a social studies teacher specializing in World History, Economics, A.P. European History, and Government. He coached boys and girls soccer at Lew-Port and Niagara Pioneer, is co-advisor of the Key Club, served as the “Voice of the Lancers” basketball program for 15 years, and represented his colleagues as Vice-President of the Lewiston Porter United Teachers union and as a union representative.
Conti, a registered independent and political newcomer has been endorsed by the Niagara County Democratic Committee and says he is running to bring a fresh voice of change to county government. Conti said, “I am not a Democrat or a Republican, or support any political labels for that matter. I vote for the issues and quality of the person running for office”.
Conti points to deep institutional incompetence, non-transparent hiring practices, and a toxic political culture that has taken root in county government: “I read the news, I teach government, I talk to community members, and I know that Niagara County needs better oversight and ethics within its governmental structure.” According to Conti, the legislature has lost sight of addressing the quality-of-life issues that truly matter to the residents. “We have a continuous problem with population loss, declining civic involvement, and increased unemployment rates (higher than national avg). Yet, we never hear about new projects or ideas”.
Conti continued, “Just drive around District 1 and you will notice vacant buildings, considerable poverty in other parts, while at the same time see a tremendous opportunity for growth. The resources and sense of community we have here are like no place else. However, as a teacher, I see many of my former students leaving the area for better opportunities, and those who stay settle for low paying jobs with few alternatives – it is time to turn this trend the other direction.” Conti believes the residents of District 1 deserve stronger representation, a more successful business climate, and he says it is his plan to meet with as many residents as possible through the next 9 months: online or in person.