The Partnership for the Public Good has a weekly radio show, The Public Good, which airs on WUFO 1080AM every Tuesday at 1 p.m. Our co-director, Sam Magavern, talks with representatives from local non-profits and grassroots organizations who are contributing to the public good in their community and discusses some of the hottest issues.
Listen to the Public Good on Tuesday, July 22 at 1pm on WUFO AM 1080 and www.wufoam.com for our conversation with some of the Cornell University High Road fellows who have been working at several of PPG’s partner organizations throughout the summer on various development projects.
On Saturday, May 17, 2014, thousands of people of all ages and creeds linked hands along the length of Ferry Street from Niagara Street to Bailey Avenue, in an effort to promote racial unity and to better understand race and poverty. Ferry was chosen because it crosses several racially and economically diverse neighborhoods and because of its rich history, including the Underground Railroad. The human chain portion of the event was supplemented by workshops held across the city that helped participants to learn more about Buffalo’s assets of diversity and the sources of its poverty.
The official video footage of the human chain participants and interviews with representatives from the Hands Across Buffalo steering committee has been posted on youtube. To view, click the following link:
To learn more about Hands Across Buffalo, visit www.handsacrossbuffalo.org.
•on July 1st, 2014
Join us for yet another party with Buffalo’s movers and shakers – this time we’re doing it Shakespeare style.
This year’s third annual Shakespearean Idol will take place on Thursday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, located at 1300 Elmwood Avenue. Local luminaries and civic leaders will compete before a panel of distinguished judges to determine who will be crowned this year’s “Shakespearean Idol”.
Audience members will cast their votes to crown this year’s winner. Our judges panel includes Victoria Perez of Raices Theatre Company, Colin Dabkowski from The Buffalo News, and Saul Elkin of Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Contestants include:
- Franchelle Hart
- Pastor James Giles
- Bruce Johnstone
- Bruce Jackson
- Diane Christian
- Harry Katz
- Ed Cardoni
- Jax Deluca
Doors open at 7:00pm, and the contest starts promptly at 7:30pm. After the contest, the audience is invited to stay for drinks and light dessert.
All proceeds go to benefit the Partnership for the Public Good. Donations start at $25 per person.To purchase tickets online in advance, click here.
Walk-ins welcome! To RSVP, please contact Sarah Maurer at 852-4191 ext 115, firstname.lastname@example.org
•on July 1st, 2014
A series of pre-planning meetings will take place at various locations throughout the City of Buffalo to discuss the development of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. The public is encouraged to attend and share their opinions about what they would like to see at Buffalo’s waterfront.
The schedule for meetings is as follows:
Wednesday, July 9
WNED Studios: 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY 14203
Thursday, July 10
Makowski Early Childhood Center: 1095 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14208
Saturday, July 12
Old First Ward Community Center: 62 Republic Street, Buffalo, NY 14204
For more info, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com
Keep in mind our partners at 21st Century Park’s vision for the revitalization and development of the Outer Harbor creating a world class destination for cultural and eco tourism in our region.
In partnership with Great Lakes Experience, Riverkeeper and Green Options Buffalo, 21st Century Parks urges the following guidelines be used for the entire waterfront campus:
- Assure continuous public access -from the water’s edge
- Dedicate parkland to protect against over-development
- Assure lake related uses
- Provide public transportation to Outer Harbor including
multimodal options such as bikes, water taxis and electric trolleys
- Eliminate industrial zoning
- Establish limits for parking for all new development
- Zone for building height limits to provide vistas or buffers
- Use sustainable energy sources and practices throughout
- Complete Olmsted’s legacy by connecting our greenways from Downtown to the Waterfront
- Dedicate this park to Olmsted; celebrating his prescient concepts in the revitalization of Buffalo’s Waterfront.
•on June 27th, 2014
The Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task force have announced a public forum concerning the Medical Campus Community Benefits Agreement. The Community Forum will take place on Monday, June 30 from 6-8 p.m. at 292 High Street.
Why you should learn about Community Benefits Agreements
By Veronica Nichols, Coordinator Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force, June 24, 2014
Buffalo’s emerging medical corridor has as a purpose the transformation of the Fruit Belt community and adjacent housing developments McCarley Gardens and Pilgrims Village. Considerable public dollars that you and I have contributed through our income, payroll, sales, and property taxes, lottery ticket purchases, and bets placed at the OTB, are funding this construction that benefits whom? Developers who live in Clarence? UB faculty and staff who live in Amherst? How does this disruption and change of building the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus assist those who live in the Fruit Belt and other east side communities? This is where a Community Benefits Agreement comes into play. A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is an inclusive, negotiated, legally enforceable understanding that holds developers accountable to the communities it is disrupting. Its “undeniable premise: if taxpayer money subsidizes development, all communities should see clear benefits. “ (from Partnership for Working Families)
A successful and legitimate CBA truly involves the affected entire community. Negotiation between an appointed few who are in the pocket of the power elites does not constitute community engagement in a legitimate Community Benefits Agreement. To have a legitimate CBA means that the community must make itself heard. That means you must come out and be vocal. This is not the time to be cynical and to feel that your opinion does not matter. This is not the time to believe that UB and Ciminelli Construction are too big, too powerful, too untouchable to question and to engage in a conversation that creates optimal outcomes for those of us who live in the Fruit Belt. We live here and we know what we want and what we need. And a CBA will help assure that we the residents benefit from optimal outcomes on our terms and not just those of power elites who know us not and care nothing of us. Know this: there are no done deals until the community agrees.
Think of the story of David and Goliath: David the shepherd defeated the giant because he, David, was prepared—he was armed with five stones he knew how to wield, he was not distracted by the insults and blustering of the giant Goliath, and he had right on his side. Let’s emulate David. Come and learn about Community Benefits Agreements and you, Monday, June 30, 2014, 6-8 p.m., Moot Senior Center, 292 High Street.
•on June 25th, 2014
Join PPG, PUSH Buffalo, WNY Law Center, Community Action Organization, and Buffalo Community Reinvestment Coalition on Thursday, June 26 from 9 am to 2 pm on the first floor of 237 Main Street for a conference on how to keep banks accountable to our community.
Learn more about the responsible banking ordinance and its potential impact on unequal lending practices in our community. The ordinance will require all banks that are depositories of City funds to adopt Community Reinvestment Plans to specify how they will make greater efforts to meet our communities’ needs and will require reporting and constant evaluation with strong public input to ensure that banks live up to the written plans they develop.
There will also be workshops on first time homebuying and improving credit worthiness. Included on the list of speakers are:
- Ernie Hogan – Executive Director, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
- Joy McDuffie – Director, Buffalo Community Reinvestment Coalition
- Aaron Bartley – Executive Director, People United for Sustainable Housing
- Nathaniel A. Hare – Executive Director, Community Action Organization
- Councilmember Demone Smith – Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader
- National Community Reinvestment Coalition – CRA Team
For more information, contact Joy McDuffie at (716) 828-8413.
•on June 18th, 2014
On Tuesday, June 17th, High Road fellows Zakiyah William-Wells, Allison Considine, Subin Chung, and Lelenia Moutray traveled to Albany with members of PUSH Buffalo, WNYCOSH, the Working Families Party, Citizen Action Network, and others to rally for a higher minimum wage.
Arriving at the state capitol, they met up with groups from around the state, representing unions, faith groups, community groups, Fight for $15 fast food workers, and the Working Families party. Hundreds gathered at the Great Western Staircase as our chants of “Low pay is not okay”, “Raise the wage!” and “si se puede” reverberated throughout the capitol building. The Buffalo and Syracuse groups then gathered in the Senate lobby to speak to legislators about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in New York and the positive effects it would have on our local economies. The rally continued throughout the building, ending with the reminder to legislators that “we’ll be back.”
The passion and commitment of the workers and activists who gathered at the capitol highlighted the need for New York to mandate a fair wage for a fair day’s work, and end the poverty wages that negatively impact so many workers in Buffalo and across the state.
For more information:
Open Buffalo is hiring for the following positions:
Open Buffalo values diversity and inclusion throughout our city and within our organization. People of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, June 23, 2014. Please submit a cover letter and resume to:
Open Buffalo Search Committee
c/o Partnership for the Public Good
237 Main Street, 12th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14203
Or via e-mail to email@example.com
Click here for full job descriptions.
•on May 30th, 2014
VOICE-Buffalo is calling upon County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Legislature to support reinstating the conditional release program and to attend VOICE-Buffalo’s June 10th public meeting at 7 PM.
“As people of faith all across Western New York, we are called to address the horrendous conditions of our criminal justice system. We can no longer tolerate our neighbors – youth, young adults, veterans, elderly – suffering after being imprisoned for nonviolent offenses or because of treatable mental health or addiction issues.
We call on our representatives to help heal our communities by:
(1) Reinstating the Local Conditional Release Program for Erie County
(2) Joining us in person at our public meeting on Tuesday, June 10th at 7PM at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary RC Church in Williamsville
The conditional release program would give our neighbors a second chance at life – the opportunity to return to our communities and their families with the treatment and support they need. It’s our vision of liberation and restorative justice in Erie County!”
Click here to read the full proposal and sign the petition.
The Buffalo Common Council introduced and approved a resolution to establish a task-force to explore setting up a practical system of public financing of elections in the City of Buffalo.
In response, Common Cause/NY Executive Director, Susan Lerner, issued the following statement:
“The Buffalo Common Council has achieved what the New York State Legislature could not: a significant step toward a meaningful system of public financing of elections. Public financing holds public officials accountable to the people who elect them, not big donors who line their pockets. Common Cause/NY applauds Buffalo lawmakers, Majority Leader Demone Smith and CM Golombek in particular, for prioritizing the public interest, and working to empower voters to participate fully in our democracy.”
The Fair Elections resolution establishes a task-force of Buffalo residents, representing various organizations, to develop a “plan for a public finance system” for elected positions in the City of Buffalo.