City attorney tosses hat into ring for City Council
A city attorney with her own law practice says her passion is to represent all residents of the city and to further the commitment is seeking the Democratic nomination for City Council in the May 18 primary.
Jeana Longo of 414 Depot St. in the Newberry section, is circulating a nomination petition as a Democratic candidate.
Councilwoman Liz Miele, a Democrat; Councilman David Banks, Democrat and Council President Randall J. Allison, a Republican have terms expiring.
Longo founded her own law practice, Longo Law, a small legal business in the city.
Longo said if nominated and elected she would be a “voice for all of us.”
“I am in this fight for all of Williamsport,” she said.
“We are the future of this region,” she said acknowledged these are challenging times.
“Council members must be
forward-thinking to get our city through these tough times and improve the quality of life for all of Williamsport residents,” Longo said.
Her goals will be to improve the lives of fellow residents by working for affordable housing solutions and those in technology and neighborhoods.
Longo said she would look for smart infrastructure upgrades to improve broad-band access, walkable and Americans with Disabilities-compliant neighborhood sidewalks and reducing storm run-off, while increasing property values by increasing the city’s tree canopy coverage.
Longo said marketing the city as a hub for modern and sustainable small manufacturing businesses, as an allied healthcare center, as well as the heart of a vibrant arts, crafts, and music industry were important tasks for her on council.
As a downtown lawyer, tackling Center City parking needs by demanding better roadway and traffic-calming plans, increasing pedestrian safety, creating a bike-friendly downtown, and gaining better cooperation with the Williamsport Parking Authority also were among her goals.
Longo said she believes council, working cooperatively with the new administration, must ensure that public safety has the best possible policies, training and leadership needed to appropriately serve all residents and businesses.
“I have specific issues but I would like to have more of a dialogue with the residents and see if there is a consensus there,” she said.
Longo brings legal expertise and years of experience working with small businesses and the environment.
She was attending school and working in Manhattan when the first hijacked airplane struck World Trade Center One, is one voters can consider as valuable.
“Yes, I am a tough, no-nonsense negotiator who will stand up for what is best for Williamsport neighborhoods and businesses,” she said, but she added that her heart for people’s needs went up a level on Sept. 11, 2001.
After the first plane his the World Trade Center, “I thought it was like Pearl Harbor,” Longo said.
“The whole day I could not leave because trains, subways and buses were not working. I wondered around the city aimlessly. I looked at everyone’s face and didn’t know them. I was living through this. But 9-11-01 impacted me and changed the way I looked at life and what areas of law I practiced in. I knew I wanted to live in a community and recognize the faces of people I saw and I found that in Williamsport.”
When she arrived in Lycoming County, the experience of the terrorist attack inspired her to devote most of her working life to public service.
Longo was asked about the recent city budget situation which resulted in a $50 a year tax hike during the pandemic.
“I think the issue is complex,” she said. “I think I don’t have all of the information. When you make a decision whether on taxes or critical decision that affects the city as a whole the solution can’t be worse than the problem. I would need for information.”
“I have the skill and experience to make a difference on council,” she said.
“While I think it is important to note that I may be a novice to council, if and when I get elected my plan is to represent the residents by developing a partnership with them,” she said.
“It is so I am working for them not governing at them,” she said.
Longo said she was raised in a working-class family with blue-collar values where she gained her strong work ethic.
Longo said she put herself through college, graduating magna cum laude from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and then worked her way to a juris doctorate from the Widener University School of Law.
A practicing attorney for more than 15 years and served as an assistant public defender for Lycoming County for eight years.
As a litigator, Longo has prevailed in courts and tribunals all over the commonwealth. Her practice has taken her from several magisterial district courts, county courts, the Environmental Hearing Board, to Commonwealth and Superior courts.
Longo welcomes anyone interested in helping her with her campaign by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting her campaign Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Longoforcitycouncil.
“Let’s get to work for a newer, more equitable, and sustainable economy for our city,” she said.