Alvin Sweat Announces Bid to Run as Independent

By Jennifer L. Warren

POUGHKEEPSIE – When Alvin Sweat is asked why he is running for the position of City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, his eyes light up, intensity and passion emerge, and he concisely and emphatically delivers the response.

“I’m running for the people, not from them,” Sweat affirmed as he explained the guiding mantra behind why he announced last Monday, in a parking lot, alongside a local City of Poughkeepsie grocery store, that he was officially seeking a bid as an Independent candidate for the 2023 City of Poughkeepsie Mayoral Race. Clad in white pants and a long-sleeved yellow-hued casual jacket, the energetic Sweat could be spotted enthusiastically circling the grounds, interacting with people as his wife of almost 20 years Pearlie and campaign manager, Reverend Daniel Evega, were seated at a nearby table registering voters. It’s this exact grassroots, hands on, people-centered approach that lies at the epicenter of Sweat’s philosophy and platform.

“More than anything, I want to be a voice for the people,” said Sweat. “I want their voices to be heard, so that positive change can be made.”

The need for those desperate changes has increasingly spiked in the City Sweat has called home since 1988. A graduate of Beacon High School as well as Dutchess Community College where he majored in Communications and Media Arts, Sweat has spent most of his life in Dutchess County, and all of his adult life in Poughkeepsie. With 16 years of experience running the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie as Director of Childcare and Agency Ordered Boarding Home on his work resume, Sweat and his wife Pearlie made the entrepreneurial move three years ago to their now owners status of Daddy’s Daycare Christian Center in the City of Poughkeepsie. It’s a background resonating with an ongoing priority placed on youth.

“A lot of youth in Poughkeepsie don’t have anywhere to go, things to do,” explained Sweat, a father of six adult children and seven grandchildren. “I have the background to help move youth to the next level.”

That upward youth mobility is rooted in an emphasis on education. Sweat is intent on improving the quality of the schools, increasing graduation rates as well as implementing thriving youth centers, providing engaging activities and keeping young people off the streets, away from drugs and crime. In addition to the futures of the youth being close to Sweat’s heart, so too are an assortment of other issues plaguing the City he loves and continues to believe in its limitless potential.

“The City of Pougkeepsie has long been overdue for change; there is a lot of division between the north and south sides, and I’ve seen a large decline in the quality of life over the last several years,” pointed out Sweat. “A lot has changed since 1998, and the current Comprehensive Plan cannot be applied to the City of Poughkeepsie of today.”

It’s a disheartening 2023 Poughkeepsie reality that Sweat describes as one laden with drugs and crime “infesting the City,” while making the streets unsafe, destroying and ripping down neighborhoods. The story further involves a lack of appropriate housing, unaccountability of landlords, lack of appropriate school bus transportation, public housing at-risk, especially at new, low-income housing places that are being destroyed and a Main Street strip (particularly blocks 400-66) he dubs “out of control,” chock-full of drugs, parking issues, unsafe shopping local conditions and streets in need of dire repair.

For Sweat, who maintains a deep faith and belief in Poughkeepsie, the answer to all these challenges lies in a real plan, one updated to meet the changing times, involving the residents on all levels, and insisting upon transparency and accountability at all costs. It’s a vision he is excited and confident to unveil.

“I want to rebrand the City of Poughkeepsie to promote economic growth and really clean up Main Street, creating a diverse business district, bustling with job creation, extending throughout the entire street,” said Sweat, who also stressed the critical need to address, crime- “particularly black on black,” mental illness, homelessness, developing positive relationships with police officers while increasing their street presence, and addressing housing on the south side of the City as well as an unwavering commitment to bringing all people together with the common goal of returning Poughkeepsie to the place it can and deserves to be on both the county and state levels.

“We have fallen short compared to the other surrounding cities, especially the Riverfront and Main Street parts; a divided community will not stand, and a division must be equal for the people to come together as we are stronger that way,” said Sweat. “The City once was, and can become again, a leader in Dutchess County, and I want to get us there with real transparency and community-driven governance.” The man who prides his platform on being people first, added, “The residents here need a voice, and I will be that voice for them as well as their ears to hear and eyes to see in City Hall.”

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