I am a Resident, Small Business Owner,
Student, Husband, Father and Your Neighbor.
Question. Why do you want to be mayor?
Answer. After the 2016 election many folks myself included were left disillusioned with politics in general. It forced me to revisit how I wish to continue to contribute to the town I love. I really want the opportunity to give back to the community that has given my family so much. With my 25 years of academic, family, small business and community service relationship experience, it’s the RIGHT TIME with the RIGHT PEOPLE for the RIGHT REASONS.
As your mayor, I will stand for:
Protection is in lockstep with Preservation and Enhancement. Honor all structures. Respect and build diverse neighborhoods. Create affordable housing. Enact and show support of smart building. Preserve and enhance our green spaces, parks and outdoor meeting points. Support the ideal of having and maintaining quality schools and houses of worship. Acknowledge the benefits of first class municipal services. Sustain the privilege of safe village living.
Nurture existing our commercial businesses family. Encourage and support new business start-ups. Routinely explore, implement and evaluate innovations, creative strategies, and new ways of providing goods and services. Facilitate opportunities for our commercial family to experience and share next level growth. Coordinate with strategic partners within and exterior to the borough for planned growth.
Embrace the all residents and “micro-cultures” of our community. Demonstrate true inclusivity of the constituents of the borough. Invite, pursue and nurture new relationships. Create routine opportunities for engagement in and appreciation of visual, performing and culinary arts and artists. Ally with Penn State and our surrounding township partners, so that our initiatives are in synchronicity. Energize our state lawmakers and hold them accountable to support our needs.
Thanks Harshil Patel and FitSoul for your very mindful and needed work.
I came here 25 years ago as a Penn State graduate student and decided to make this community my home, and have forever since been firmly invested in the Borough of State College as a resident, homeowner, small business owner, husband, father and neighbor. I’ve been a community volunteer here since the day I arrived serving in positions including WKPS/WPSU radio host, youth coach, member of numerous committees and Leadership Centre County’s executive board. But I know I can do more. I’m running for Mayor because I know we can do better.
State College Borough is our quaint town, however it chugs away every day with many moving parts some being very delicate, sensitive and special. In my view, it’s the people of State College who are most important. Because the residents, work force and guests of our community are the heartbeat of our town’s very existence.
I would be honored to represent you and the best interests of State College. I want to talk with each of you about your interests, passions and concerns. Please tap me on the shoulder any time you’d like – on the street, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop, on the ball field or let me know what works for you. I know we can do better. I’m ready to be accountable to each and every one of you to build the vibrant community we all want.
Father. Husband. Creative. Coach. Changemaker. Life-long Learner.
Black earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Springfield College in 1985 and his master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He spent the next three years as a student affairs professional at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He moved to State College in 1991 to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Penn State Higher Education with a focus on Human Development. Black was very active in campus life as a doctoral student, serving as an on-air host for WPSU and WPKS; a coordinator for the Penn State Cross Cultural Health Program; a member of the Graduate Student Organization; and, a student representative on the Penn State Budget Committee.
While a graduate student, Black reinvigorated his creative and entrepreneurial talents and spirit. He started his own business, BLACK SUN studio, in 1994 and by 1997 decided to devote his full attention to being an advertising and editorial photographer, designer and creative director. In 2005, he designed and built the LABB, a 9,500-square-foot creative studio and arts space located on East Beaver Avenue.
Black is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Centre County and currently serves on the executive board. He had served on the advisory council of the Penn State Center for World in Conversation and is a youth coach for State College Little League, Centre Soccer, OLV HOOPS, Grow the Game, and SC AIR. His wife, Tonya, is a teacher in the State College Area School District; their son, Lake, is a student at the DELTA school.
"Life is all about relationships—with other people, the planet and ourselves. We must nurture these relationships and appreciate them for the gifts they are."
Then I personally recognized and felt this disconnect between myself as a Penn State student and the town of State College, one of the many problems Black would like to improve upon as mayor. “There’s this perception that students are not residents,” Black said. “I think we can do so much better with that, just by including everyone in that common voice.” [read the full story here: collegian]
Katie DeFiore, news and features writer
"A vote for Black won’t disappoint. I’ve known Michael Black for five years. He is a fantastic husband and father, he steps up as a community volunteer when needed, he is reliable, and he is the most passionate man I know when it comes to following through with what he believes in. Black has been a longtime resident of State College, a highly successful and professional businessman, and he truly cares about this community. Casting a vote for Black for mayor will ensure that your voice matters, and that his energetic character follows through to make the State College community a better place for everyone. I know he will strive for inclusiveness and transparency, and I urge you to vote for Black for mayor. You won’t be disappointed." [cdt]
Jeff Peters, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Deputy Director, The Penn State Cancer Institute
Black’s talents will enhance borough. Michael Black and I went to graduate school together and we have been friends ever since. After nearly 30 years of friendship (and life in State College), I really cannot imagine a better candidate to be our mayor — and I am grateful to Michael for his willingness to step up to this challenge.
I am not a Democrat (or a Republican), so I am not speaking at all from a party perspective — or even a political one. I just have the vantage point of seeing Michael Black, the whole person, not the candidate most of you will get to know publicly.
What I would want each resident and voter to know is that no matter what I have seen Black do, he puts his whole self into it — whether cooking, parenting, creating, coaching, working or playing. In fact, when making a decision, my husband and I often ask ourselves, “What would Michael Black do?” So it sincerely excites me to think how Michael’s talents will translate into “mayoring.”
I have no doubt that his vision for our community will help us to be a more vibrant and creative one. I’m so glad you’re offering your boundless energy to our community, Michael. [cdt]
Laurie Mulvey, Executive Director, World In Conversation
A democratic mayoral candidate guided by five core values:
• Inclusivity • Mindfulness • Empathy • Creativity • Vibrancy
I believe these five values will enable State College to be better and reach its full potential in every aspect of what we do, how we do it and why we do it. We must be honest, reflect on who we are and challenge ourselves to improve. I promise to listen carefully, to consider all sides of an issue, and to make decisions with the utmost integrity.
Most importantly, I want you to hold me accountable.
Setting a Vision
There is already so much that is good about State College. My goal as mayor is to work with all of our residents, neighborhoods, and businesses to make it even better. I want State College to be an even more attractive, vibrant and welcoming community—economically, culturally, recreationally, and logistically. I will reach out to Penn State and surrounding communities to help position State College and Centre County as premier locations to live, work, learn, and play.