by Pat Freeman
The long term strategic plan for Buffalo which includes the UB 2020 plan, Harbor Center, renovation of many abandoned old buildings, and new construction in the city of Buffalo has generated a new sense of hope for all of us in this once great city. We see not only all of this new activity but also commercials’ talking about the new Buffalo is ready to do business with all.
The one thing that is missing with all of this excitement is where is the plan for the existing poor, unemployed, and those shut out of the current job market? The Honorable Governor Andrew Cuomo has made Western New York one of his frequent stops, and has also promised one billion dollars in state aided economic expansion to spur job growth. The problem that I’m seeing is that the people who are directing the governor’s attention here in Western New York are doing so in a manner that his policies assisting in the displacement of Buffalo’s current poor residents, in favor of being displaced by wealthier residents. Thus higher property values and higher rents which will eventually force the exodus of existing poor residents to new designated areas rather than fixing existing problems that currently exist in these urban neighborhoods. This is a systematic failure of the governor’s Western New York appointments in fairly addressing the issue of fair urban renewal.
The first error in not properly addressing this issue begins with the proper education of all children in the state of New York . This has not been done here though I applaud the efforts of local leaders and parents to keep this demand front, and center. When has the governor or his appointments made this the number#1 priority in re-branding a new Buffalo ready to do business with the rest of the world by strengthening their public school education system for all children? Rather making plans to provide free education to New York inmates why not do more to make sure they never get to prison in the first place. The Bureau of the Department of Justice reported that 68% of inmates in state prisons never received their high school diplomas, and only 26% completed their GED serving in correctional facilities. So if you want to stop the cycle of repeat offenders it must start in pre-k through high school, not in prison.
The recommendations that are being enacted here in Western New York are not designed to cure the ills of the existing population, but to create an influx of a higher socio-economic class of migration inside the city of Buffalo . These are the basic fundamentals of the worst kind of gentrification policies which have been proposed by the state appointees through their wide web of elitist manipulation groups. They have decided they will not provide proposals that directly provide jobs, and opportunity to who needs it the most; those stuck in the cycle of poverty. Their recommendations are to attract the elite in the hope that they will create businesses, and meager opportunities will then trickle down to the displaced poor populations who will be moved to areas where property values are in steady decline.
Mind-boggling as it is there are forces in and around Buffalo who are actually working to not make this beautiful facility happen, and they got poor and middle-class whites agreeing with them. Your voice can see to it they don’t win-cs
This is why we have seen such a push back on the new downtown stadium complex proposal here in Western New York by people who hold positions in title dedicated for job creation, but they vehemently oppose a private investment project that would create 10-15,000 living wage jobs with 25% of jobs designated for people of color, and women. The dice have been casted down in a direct challenge to all elected officials, leadership, and those that care about the future of all here in Western New York to make a stand with justice for all, rather than a chosen socioeconomic few.
Definition of GENTRIFICATION:
The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.
The Erie Canal Harbor Corp. has refused to work with your elected leadership that supports the New Downtown Stadium Complex proposal which would create Thousands of Living wage Jobs in the Western New York Area!!!! Please Call the Buffalo Common Council and tell them not to renew their operation contract in the city of Buffalo. 10-15,000 Living wage Jobs are being stalled by this appointed authority!!!
Please Call the Buffalo Common Council and ask them NOT to renew the operating agreement with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
Buffalo Common Council Members
Lovejoy District- Richard Fontana (716) 851-5151
David Franczyk- Fillmore District (716) 851-4138
Darius G. Pridgen- Ellicott District (716) 851-4980 (Council President)
Christopher P. Scanlon- (716) 851-5169
Joseph Golumbek Jr.- (716) 851-5116
Michael LoCurto- Delaware District (716) 851-5155
David A. Rivera- Niagara District (716) 851-5125 President Pro Tempore
Rasheed Wyatt- University District (716) 851-5165
Demone Smith- (716) 851-5145 Masten District (716) 851-5145
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