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 husband, father, homeowner, small business owner 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 Center County executive board. But I’ve 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.
As your mayor, I will stand firmly for:
The honoring of all structures in the borough. The respect of diverse neighborhoods. The need for affordable housing. The rationale for smart building. The necessity for green spaces, parks and outdoor meeting points. The benefits of first class municipal services. And, the privilege of safe village living. ####This is just another sentence or two to help build out the length of this column so that it aligns with the other ones here. I'll just keep writing until it all lines up nice and neat with the other columns, dang son. This is just another sentence or two to help build out the length of this column so that it aligns with the other.####
The nurturing of existing commercial businesses. The encouragement and support of new business start-ups. Routinely explore, implement and evaluate innovations, creative strategies, and new ways 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. ####This is just another sentence or two to help build out the length of this column so that it aligns with the other ones here. I'll just keep writing until it all lines up nice and neat with the other columns, dang son.####
Through empathy, deeply involve ourselves with the overall culture as well as all “micro-cultures” of our community. Demonstrate true inclusivity of the constituents of the borough. Invite, pursue and nurture new relationships, for the sake of a healthy relationship. Create routine opportunities for engagement in and appreciation of visual, performing and culinary arts and the talent behind it. Align with Penn State, so that our initiatives are in synchronicity. Coordinate our efforts with our surrounding township partners. Lean on our lawmakers in Harrisburg and hold them accountable to support our needs.
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."
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.