Carolyn has been a part of the City of Albany since she was a small child. She has celebrated the successes and faced the challenges that Albany has seen over her time in public service. Driven by compassion and experience, Carolyn connects with all of the citizens of Albany and is committed to the future of our great city.

Carolyn’s vision for Albany is encapsulated below.  Click here for additional detail.

Fiscal Solvency and Economic Development

Instead of investing our resources in costly equipment with minimal benefit, Carolyn intends to streamline inefficient processes and invest in people. Carolyn believes that effective management of our tax dollars, strong and vocal advocation for Albany’s small businesses to gain increased access to capital, and sustainable partnership initiatives with our large industries will power Albany’s economic engine for the future growth.  Adopting this approach and cultivating a reputation for being business friendly and culturally inclusive, Carolyn believes we will create an environment for businesses of all types and sizes to find success in Albany. 

Jobs Creation

Carolyn is committed to increased Job Creation in the City of Albany.  Carolyn supports equal access to job opportunities, and Carolyn believes that more job creation means more prosperity for Albany residents.

Carolyn has a proven track record of creating new jobs for Albany residents.  As a member of  the South End Action Committee she worked with a team of public, private and non-profit entities to implement the Capital South Plan which is focused on work force development and building development in the South End.

Carolyn is a member of the Downtown Business improvement District which is also focused on supporting business growth which in turn supports jobs creation.

In recognition of the fact that the majority of new jobs are created by small businesses, Carolyn has also sponsored legislation to help to support the growth of women owned and minority owned businesses in the city of Albany while serving on the Planning, Economic Development and Land Use Committee of the Albany Common Council.

Carolyn is also a founding member of the Coalition for Economic, Environmental and Educational Justice, Inc. which is yet another organization dedicated to increasing economic development and jobs creation, in the City of Albany.

School District Control

When we talk about our community and what kind of society we want to live in, we can’t do that without recoginzing the importance of our children in shaping our community’s present and future state.  Many of our communities have been underserved and live with the daily consequences of education policies that have not completely addressed their needs. While the City of Albany does not set policy or adminstrate the cities’ schools, Carolyn strongly believes that city hall has an active role to play in the education of our children.

Carolyn believes that at a time when school funding is thin and our children’s needs great, city hall can influence the school board to help shape better policy, make connections between classwork and future job prospects and advocate that school district control remain at the local level rather than state run independent receivership.

Public Safety

Smart cities recognize the importance of protecting the public. Providing safety, security, and accountability are critical to a cities’ greatness. Carolyn supports Albany Law Enforcement, Fire Department and EMS and their committment to protecting us everyday.  They have tough jobs and we all know it.  A city cannot be great unless it’s residents feel safe! Carolyn supports and remains committed to working with the brave men and women of our cities’ Law Enforcement to bring our community together.

Carolyn believes that the foundation of good community relations is sincere and open communication. It is in that belief that she played a major role in the development of legislation adopted in 2000 by the City of Albany to establish the Citizen’s Police Review Board.

Increase the availability of Affordable Housing

Carolyn recognizes affordable housing is central to the health of a community. The benefits gained from investing in our community using housing as a platform for mobility and growth are countless. Carolyn is committed to increasing those opportunities by working with local builders on new and renovated properties in the City of Albany. During her time with the Housing and Development Committee, Carolyn helped secure nearly $1,000,000 in funds dedicated to the stabilization of Albany’s neighborhoods.

Senior Services

It has been said that the moral test of any government is how that government treats its children and elderly. It is our civic duty to provide our senior residents with social welfare services, resources and convenient access to recreational activities.

Millennial Engagement

Investment in community spaces, entrepreneurial networks and residential resources all encourage young professionals to both engage with and remain within the city of Albany. Creating millennial interest in our city’s future will positively contribute to our fiscal infrastructure for generations to come.

Strengthen Core Infrastructure

Too much of our core infrastructure, streets and neighborhoods are slowly decaying due to a lack of investment and long term strategic planning.  Albany’s ability to attract and retain residents is dependent on the state of our critical infrastructure. Improving our roads and aging infrastructure will be a top priority.

Youth Empowerment

We will create focused job programs that empower traditionally underserved and disadvantaged youth. Partnering with our private sector employers and unions, we can provide internship and apprenticeship opportunities to our city’s youth.   We will expand outreach of Parks and Recreation and Youth and Workforce Services to maximize the positive impact on our city’s youth.

Promote Digital Inclusion

To compete in the digital age and global economy we must ensure that every home and business is provided broadband internet access at an affordable rate. This will give our low-income individuals and families increased opportunity and access within their communities and on the national stage.

Environmental Concerns

Environmental advocates such as John Lipscomb of the Riverkeeper’s have been quoted as saying “The Albany region fails federal swimming guidelines more often than New York City and dumps more than a billion gallons of raw sewage into the river annually” [1]

Carolyn feels that this situation is unacceptable for wildlife and humans alike and Carolyn recognizes that this problem represents a health hazard and major impediment to economic growth since it detracts from the use of the Hudson as a recreational destination.

As Mayor, Carolyn pledges to use all of the resources at her disposal to acquire federal and State funds to further assist in the cleanup and protection of the Hudson, and to focus on ways to incorporate green solutions such as green infrastructure and porous pavements which have been shown to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering the river for a fraction of the cost of other conventional methods.

[1]Article appears in Politico New York:  An upstate plan to keep raw sewage out of Hudson
By Scott Waldman 01/16/14

Support for At Risk Groups

Carolyn knows that support for at risk groups, starts with early identification and intervention. Carolyn supports a visionary approach when dealing with this population. Carolyn supports increased program development, including after school programs, mentoring, summer recreational programs and family therapeutic counseling as the cornerstone for a strategy to combat the challenges facing at risk populations.

Carolyn is also a proponent of access to affordable childcare and senior services. Ms. McLaughlin consistently offers opinions, solutions and dialogue on issues and challenges faced by the community including women’s issues, the environment, education, HIV prevention, crime and drugs.

In addition, Carolyn has sponsored legislation to provide tax relief to disabled residents and senior citizens as a member of the Finance, Taxation and Assessment Committee of the Common Council.

Homeowner Support

Carolyn supports the rehabilitation, reuse and, where necessary, the removal of blighted properties from Albany’s housing stock in order to increase property values in the City of Albany.   Ms. McLaughlin also co-sponsored the Vacant Building Registry. In addition, Carolyn Chaired the Housing and Community Development Committee where she proved to be a strong advocate for quality affordable housing

Carolyn also plans to work with the banking community to help to develop programs provide more affordable loans for these rehabilitation efforts, and to provide more foreclosure protection for families that are truly committed to maintaining their homes.

Carolyn also supports balancing the budget without increasing property taxes.  Carolyn supports increasing the affordable housing stock, and has emphasized the importance of making sure millennials can afford to buy property in Albany.

The state has threatened to reduce funding – thereby causing a gap in the City’s budget.  Carolyn is prepared to do whatever is necessary to lobby the State to keep State funding intact.  Carolyn opposes gimmicks like the trash tax which would balance the City’s budget on the backs of Albany’s renter population.  Carolyn is a consummate budget professional with many years of experience overseeing budgets of up to $150 million as Senior Budget Examiner with the New York State Division of the Budget.  In this capacity she received a Budget Directors Distinguished Achievement Award – so Carolyn has the tools and experience to develop a responsible City Budget without overburdening homeowners or renters.