By Lisa Dumas –
Quante Wright is one of three candidates vying for Syracuse 4th District Common councilor. And, although Wright is currently a businessman, father and community advocate who has been successful in obtaining the Independence Party designation, his journey to becoming a political candidate has been a storied one.
The 32-year-old is a convicted felon who served six years in federal prison.
He was convicted under the controversial Rico Act, and pleaded guilty to charges including selling crack cocaine and attempted murder in 2008.
But, today, Wright said he is on a new path, and the Common Council candidate said he doesn’t plan on looking back toward the old one.
Just this year, Wright has earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant and Stratton College, and he’s also opened his own real estate investment firm, John Banks & Company LLC.
“I won’t let my past define me,” Wright said. “Prison was a training ground for me. I turned it into that. I said, since I’m here, I’m gonna’ make the best of it.”
Democratic candidate LaToya Allen, and Green Party candidate Serena Seals are also running for the same 4th District Common Council seat as Wright. But, it was Wright who recently scored the endorsement of the Syracuse Post Standard, the city’s local newspaper.
“Wright’s ability to turn his life around is inspiring, but we endorse him for his energy, drive and willingness to put forth new ideas,” the Post Standard’s editorial board said.
What is Wright’s assessment? He said he’s thankful for the chance to put his determination to use for the community.
“[Running for office] is more of a spiritual purpose for me,” Wright said. “I don’t come from a traditional background. As a teenager, I made a lot of mistakes, but now it’s all making sense. I have so much more to offer to the community.”
In addition to becoming a recent college graduate, Wright has also served as a youth mentor, community activist, and motivational speaker.
And, it’s this newfound knowledge and background he said he’ll use to inform his platform as a Common Council candidate, in hopes of winning the election.
Wright has currently laid out several ideas for the city in a manifesto that includes innovative concepts like increasing city revenue by allowing more advertising in city buildings, and attracting outside investments.
He’s also proposed holding four town halls each year, in every section of the district, in order to address the various community needs of each neighborhood.
“For a city like Syracuse to overcome its economic downturn and fight poverty it needs three elements: smart people, new ideas and collaboration,” the manifesto said.
And, no matter what the outcome of the election is, for Wright, his candidacy is simply one of the many new plans he has for his life.
“Politics is just a platform for me to utilize my gifts and strengths that have been built in me over the course of my life,” he stated. “I’m gonna’ get the job done because I’m not just a man of talk, but I’m a man of action.