David Amoia knows hard work.
He is a small business owner and construction contractor who has been successful with an old fashioned value proposition: offering high-quality workmanship and great service for a solid value.
Before he went into business, Amoia served as the elected union President of Local 110 at Rich Products, where he worked for more than 22 years at the company’s production plant on Niagara Street — before the suits across the street moved the plant to greener pastures in a low tax state far away, and with it, the type of working-class jobs that once sustained Buffalo.
His story is like that of many Buffalonians — defined by stoic resiliency, relentless adaptability, and the ethos of grit that has shaped the region’s blue-collar culture in the face of policies that enabled industrial restructuring, free trade, and the offshoring of manufacturing processes that have driven the region’s seven-decade-long decline and economic collapse.
That’s why he is running for County Legislature to represent Kenmore, North Buffalo, Riverside, and the Town of Tonawanda. He promises to be a “fierce and reliable advocate” for unions and working families.
“I’m running to be a strong voice for our neighborhoods – with a commitment to serving District 3 as a full-time legislator… I will be a strong voice for working families and small businesses,” he explains in one recent mailer to area voters.
“We can’t have the same people, that are in the same circle, doing the same thing – period,” he adds. “It’s time for a change.”
Amoia has been endorsed by Union Local 210 and he intends to actively campaign for the seat, whether or not he secures the Democratic Party nomination in the primary election held on June 25th. He thinks that the soul of the Democratic Party is worth fighting for, and it’s a battle that he knows — from knocking on thousands of doors and talking with folks from across the district — he can win.
In a year when voters are turned off by party headquarters, preferring instead candidates from outside the local political community, many predict a political upset is in the making.
Amoia prides himself on his independence.
His challengers are Lisa Chimera, who is backed by party bosses, and Cindi McEachon, a political newcomer.
Many in the district are critical of Chimera and her husband’s lucrative public salaries. Some perceive the couple to be ‘milking’ the state retirement system. Chimera works for the Kenmore-Tonawanda school district, salaried at $97,174 per annum in 2018, while her husband earns another $106,208. With another $19,452 salary from her part-time position on the Town Board, Chimera and her husband currently earn $222,836 on local taxpayers.
Now she is looking to add a $42,588 salary from the County Legislature.
Her critics cast her as “a triple-dipper going for a fourth scoop.” Some question whether one person is able to commit to such a substantial full time and part-time position simultaneously. They worry that her students will be negatively impacted, and question her motivations.
But Amoia isn’t worried that he’s running against the political machine’s candidate. Going door to door and speaking with thousands of voters, he knows that his community wants a voice for everyday folks — not another pawn of the party bosses.