Zeneta Everhart, mother of Buffalo mass shooting survivor, wins City Council primary

Everhart defeated India Walton, another prominent activist who in 2021 upset Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in a Democratic primary, only to lose to him in the general election.

The two Black women had vied for a seat on Buffalo’s Common Council, representing an area of the Rust Belt city still healing from a white supremacist’s attack that killed 10 people at a neighborhood supermarket just over a year ago. That mass shooting was followed by a punishing December blizzard that killed 47 people in the city and its suburbs, with a disproportionate number of the victims coming from Buffalo’s Black neighborhoods.

“This is for y’all. It is for the community. This is for my community mommas. This is for everybody,” Everhart told supporters in her victory speech.

“This is about fixing our community and just showing people that there is hope,” Everhart said. “I don’t want people to lose hope.”

Walton was gracious in her concession speech, saying that she would be “graceful in defeat.”

“I think Zeneta is going to do a great job,” Walton said of Everhart.

But Walton said she would continue her activism. “My intention is to keep doing what I’ve been doing: speak truth to power, to continue organizing,” she said.

Everhart is no newcomer to politics. She had been on the staff of state Democratic Sen. Tim Kennedy for five years when she received a call on May 14, 2022, from her son Zaire Goodman, then 19, telling her he had been shot while working at the Tops Friendly Market near their home.

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