The Erie County Legislature is entering 2012 as a downsized, more nimble body, and the Democrats will be holding a 6-5 majority. Along with the end of the ruling “reform coalition”, twoBuffalobased legislators are hitting the ground running to begin setting legislative priorities for the New Year.

On Wednesday, December 7th, from 5:30-7:45PM at the Merriweather Library, Legislator Betty Jean Grant and Legislator-elect Timothy Hogues will host a community forum, open to the public, to hear input from the residents and businesses on which direction they would like to see the county go in 2012.

A number of community leaders have been invited to serve as panelists, including George K. Arthur, Karima Amin, Charley H. Fisher III, Rev. Melvin Taylor, Eva M. Doyle, and Andres Garcia from the Latino community.

“The last two years have been challenging ones for the urban and inner city communities,” said Legislator Grant. “We have had to deal with an administration that has been indifferent or even hostile to the needs of our districts and city residents. Couple that with a legislature not in control by the Democrats and acting to the whims of the CountyExecutive.”

Grant added that this has all changed. “We have aCountyExecutivewho will have an open door to the people of the City ofBuffalo. We will have a Legislature that will understand the importance of maintaining cultural agencies, community services agencies and organizations that provide assistance and benefits to those who need them the most.”

“Tim Hogues and I represent District 1 and District 2, which if you look at the new district maps, represent the heart and soul of this city. We want to make a mark on spearheading economic development for our downtown and our neighborhoods, have an open door policy for our citizens, and identifying what needs are greatest. We also need to recognize that resources and funds are limited in these tough economic times. Therefore we would value the input from interested residents and taxpayers,” Grant said.

The Frank E. Merriweather Library is located at 1324 Jefferson Avenuejust south ofEast Ferry Street.