I’m Gary St. Fleur. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Haitian immigrants. I was raised by my single parent mother in one of the harsher parts of Brooklyn. We lived in a dangerous neighborhood in the height of the New York City drug epidemic. At that time, New York had the highest murder rate in the country.
Not only did I have to deal with the violence around me, but I had to deal with failing public schools. From a really early age, I taught myself how to read by picking up a book and determining to finish it no matter how long it took. For some reason, I knew that reading was important. Also, my older brother, who is only three years older than I am, took on the responsibility of looking after me since our mother had to work all day.
He made sure he kept me away from the danger that surrounded our home. He took me to New York’s libraries and museums long before I was even a teenager. But most of all, he and my mother pressed upon me the importance of achievement despite our circumstances. That anyone, no matter who they are, could come to this country and make something of themselves.
I came to Scranton to start a tech concern that I believed would revolutionize the way data was collected and processed. I chose Scranton because I believed it would be a place, with little distraction, and I heard it had a growing tech sector. Thinking it is better to be in a smaller pond than a huge ocean, I set out for Scranton.
When I got here, I was told by locals that I made a serious mistake and that I should leave immediately. I was confused, but still pushed forward. However, I continued to hear Scrantonian after Scrantonian declaring their town as the most corrupt place in America! I was told it was a place filled with nepotism and malfeasance. Most of the people I encountered dreamed of leaving.
I decided to be proactive and lend my services to the local government. While speaking to two different Council members, I was given straight talk: Scranton is controlled by a “political society” and it has been this way for a long time. I was told that there was nothing I could do about it.
Despite my objections that the City’s finances were in terrible shape, I was still told that nothing could be done. And that if I felt so strongly about it, I should do something about it.
So, I did! I went on to found the blog Save Scranton.
Save Scranton has been responsible for bringing national coverage to Scranton’s financial condition. It has been fighting for the interests of abused taxpayers and struggling business owners. Also, it has brought two lawsuits against the Scranton government on behalf of the People of Scranton. This was done at no cost to the People!
I have always said that the town can be saved, but that the outrageous taxes, fees, and corruption have got to stop! So, I have taken my position public and have decided to run for mayor on the platform of bankruptcy!
I argue that the City of Scranton owes so much debt that the only way to save the City from certain financial ruin is through bankruptcy. I am running a campaign to champion the People of Scranton. I want to be the voice for those who warned me about this area.
But I need your help.
Our voice must bring national attention to what goes on in Scranton. Because the local establishment cannot control our lives anymore.
My election will be the end of the status quo once and for all. We, the People of Scranton, will determine our own future.