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Energy Democracy and Food Justice Presentation, December 4

Events, Newson December 1st, 2015No Comments

Please join us on Friday, December 4 for a presentation on two topics: energy democracy and food justice.  New York State is currently revising its energy policy, and the stakes are high.  Will our new policy prioritize corporate profits or sustainability and equity?  Meanwhile, how can we build on recent progress in bringing food justice to Buffalo?  PPG Co-Director Sam Magavern and a team of UB law students will present on a broad range of topics, including:

  • Targeting clean energy money to disadvantage communities;
  • Adopting a state carbon tax;
  • Scaling up weatherization and residential solar programs;
  • Bringing nutritious and local food to corner stores;
  • Greening the city’s affordable housing policy;

The forum will be Friday, December 4, from 10am to noon, in the first floor conference room at the Market Arcade building, 617 Main Street (between Tupper and Chippewa).  Free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please reserve a seat by emailing Sam Magavern,

Primo Levi Event at the Burchfield Penney, Friday, 7pm

Events, Newson November 17th, 2015Comments Off on Primo Levi Event at the Burchfield Penney, Friday, 7pm

Talking Leaves will host publisher Robert Weil and editor/translator Ann Goldstein in a conversation about The Complete Works of Primo Levi, moderated by PPG Co-Director Sam Magavern, at Burchfield Penney Art Center, Friday, November 20, 7 pm.  You can read Magavern’s review of The Complete Works in Sunday’s Buffalo News.

In collaboration with the Burchfield Penney Art Center and riverrun, Talking Leaves…Books is pleased to announce an evening with publisher Robert Weil of the esteemed Liveright Publishing, a division of W.W. Norton, and editor/translator Ann Goldstein, to discuss the landmark publication in late September of The Complete Works of Primo Levi, a beautifully designed three-volume set of the late Italian master’s work. The event will take place at the Burchfield Penney Art Center on the Buffalo State campus, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, at 7 pm on Friday, November 20. Buffalo writer and attorney Sam Magavern, author of a book on the work of Primo Levi, will join Weil and Goldstein on stage to moderate the discussion of the fifteen year project to bring all of Levi’s work into English. This event is free and open to the public; anyone wishing to have a copy signed by the publisher or editor is expected to purchase it from Talking Leaves, as an act of respect and support for the publisher, editor, and the store sponsoring their visit.


Primo Levi, the Italian-born chemist once described by Philip Roth as that “quicksilver little woodland creature enlivened by the forest’s most astute intelligence,” has largely been considered a heroic figure in the annals of twentieth-century literature for If This Is a Man, his haunting account of Auschwitz. Yet Levi’s body of work extends considerably beyond his experience as a survivor. Now, the transformation of Levi from Holocaust memoirist to one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers culminates in this publication of The Complete Works of Primo Levi. This magisterial collection finally gathers all of Levi’s fourteen books—memoirs, essays, poetry, and fiction—into three slip-cased volumes. Thirteen of the books feature new translations, and the other is newly revised by the original translator. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison introduces Levi’s writing as a “triumph of human identity and worth over the pathology of human destruction.” The appearance of this historic publication will occasion a major reappraisal of “one of the most valuable writers of our time” (Alfred Kazin).

This is one of the few events around this momentous publishing event—see early praise below–in which both publisher and editor will participate. We are honored they have chosen Buffalo for their appearance.

“Old school publishing on a grand scale. Once more, Robert Weil of W.W. Norton, now director of its Liveright imprint, has produced a magnificent edition of an important, if slightly neglected, author…. For such a gift as The Complete Works of Primo Levi, one should probably do little more than express thanks…. Whether as witness or imaginative artist, Levi stands high among the truly essential European writers of the past century.” — Michael Dirda,Washington Post

“Represents a monumental and noble endeavor on the part of its publisher, its general editor, Ann Goldstein, and the many translators who have produced new versions of Levi’s work. Although his best-known work has already benefited from fine English translation, it’s a gift to have nearly all his writing gathered together, along with work that has not before been published in English.” — James Woods, The New Yorker

“Levi, a scientist and deep humanist, vividly comes alive in this boxed set. A laudable, monumental effort to gather the work of a crucial writer of the 20th century in one voluminous package.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Wonderful…. You cannot forget [Levi]. He writes clearly, cogently, concretely, compactly. His is a scientist’s eye, and he often said (with his trademark dry humor) that the main model for his writing was the lab report. Yet in the best contemporary sense, he’s also stylish, laboratory-scrupulous in sentence, description, and word choice, always with a sense of the lively mind behind the words…. Levi is among the prime writers to emerge after World War II. This treasure trove will cement his reputation.” — John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer

Robert Weil is editor-in-chief and publishing director of Liveright Publishing, a division of independent publisher W.W. Norton. Over his career he has published six National Book Award (NBA)winners, three NBA finalists, sixteen Pulitzer Prize winners, and many more. He is the publisher of The Complete Works of PrimoLevi.

Ann Goldstein is an editor at the New Yorker, and acclaimed as a leading translator from the Italian, most recently of the widely heralded Neapolitan Quartet of Elena Ferrante. She is the editor and one of the translators of The Complete Works of Primo Levi.

Sam Magavern is a Buffalo born writer and public interest attorney, co-founder of The Partnership for the Public Good. He is the author of Primo Levi’s Universe, as well as of Noah’s Ark, a collection of poems illustrated by Monica Angle.

For more information, please contact Jonathon Welch at Talking Leaves, 716.837.8554, or email .


Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation, November 10

Events, Newson November 5th, 2015Comments Off on Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation, November 10

Robin W. Kimmerer is the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.  Join her for a reception, presentation, and book signing, Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.  Reception at 6pm; presentation at 7pm.  Free and open to the public.  Sponsored by the WNY Land Conservancy, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, and many more.

PPG Testifies on New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)

Events, Newson November 5th, 2015Comments Off on PPG Testifies on New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)

At a public hearing held on November 4 by the state’s Public Services Commission, PPG testified in favor of the proposals of the Energy Democracy Alliance, arguing that:

  • New York should move quickly to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing efficiency and the use of renewables;
  • Emissions reduction policies should be codified in law;
  • Every aspect of energy policy should include equity considerations.
    • Forty percent of the Clean Energy Fund should go to environmental justice communities;
    • Policy should make it easier for people with low incomes to own and benefit from renewable energy production, both as individuals and as community groups;
    • All energy programs should include high road labor standards that guarantee the right to organize and provide living wage jobs for local, disadvantaged workers;
  • The State should fully fund an expanded Just Transitions program that protects workers and communities from the negative impacts of power plant closings.

You can read the full testimony here.


The Public Good Speaks with Legislator Betty Jean Grant

Events, Newson November 2nd, 2015Comments Off on The Public Good Speaks with Legislator Betty Jean Grant

Tune in to the Public Good on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 1:00pm, as we chat with Legislator Betty Jean Grant about how we can make a better Buffalo on 1080am WUFO.

New PPG Brief on Costs of Marijuana Prohibition

Events, Newson October 28th, 2015Comments Off on New PPG Brief on Costs of Marijuana Prohibition

PPG has released a new policy brief, The Potential Impact of Legalizing, Regulating and Taxing Marijuana on Erie County and New York State.  The analysis concludes that the costs of prohibition far outweigh any benefits.  Highlights include:

  • New York made over 100,000 marijuana arrests in 2010, of which 97% were for possession;
  • Erie County made 4,991 marijuana possession arrests in 2010;
  • New York spent $678.5 million on marijuana enforcement in 2010;
  • Washington State forecasts $1 billion in marijuana tax revenue over the next four years;
  • African Americans in Erie County are arrested for marijuana at roughly five times the rate of whites, despite national research showing equivalent usage across races.

PPG is Moving on October 29

Events, Newson October 26th, 2015Comments Off on PPG is Moving on October 29

As of October 30, Partnership for the Public Good will be located in the new Cornell in Buffalo suite in the Market Arcade building.  Our new address is

Partnership for the Public Good

Suite 300

617 Main St.

Buffalo, New York 14203

Our main phone number will remain (716) 852-4191, but we will have some new direct dial numbers, as well:

Megan Connelly, Director of Policy Advancement, (716) 852-4193

Lou Jean Fleron, Co-Director,(716) 852-4192

Sam Magavern, Co-Director,(716) 852-4196

Tina Myers, Policy Analyst, (716) 246-1706

Howard Patton, Manager of Operations, Development, and Communications, (716) 246-1707

Roundtable on Worker Cooperatives and Economic Growth, November 5

Events, Newson October 22nd, 2015Comments Off on Roundtable on Worker Cooperatives and Economic Growth, November 5

Please join Assemblyman Sean Ryan’s office for a roundtable discussion on worker cooperatives and economic growth in the Buffalo region on Thursday, November 5th, 2015.

The panel will discuss what worker cooperatives are and how they can be used in Buffalo to revitalize the economy, drawing on best practices from Cleveland and New York. This discussion comes at a time when the wheels of economic renewal are in motion in Buffalo, but we must continue exploring ways for that growth to reach and benefit everyone in the community.

The event will be held at 5:30pm on November 5th, 2015 in the first floor conference room at Partnership for the Public Good. PPG’s new office location (as of October 29) is at Market Arcade, 617 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14203. Street and lot parking is available on Washington St., directly behind the building.

More details will follow, including additional information on the panelists who will be participating. We hope that you can join us for this engaging conversation!

If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact Rebecca at Assemblyman Ryan’s office, (716) 885-9630.



Thick Injustices: Buffalo, Baltimore, and Ferguson A Community Conversation with Todd Swanstrom

Events, Newson October 22nd, 2015Comments Off on Thick Injustices: Buffalo, Baltimore, and Ferguson A Community Conversation with Todd Swanstrom

Thursday, October 29, 6:00pm

King Urban Life Center, 945 Genesee St., Buffalo

Free and Open to the Public

Police brutality and racial tensions in Baltimore and Ferguson warned us that across America, inner city neighborhoods and poor suburbs are still struggling with a chronic urban crisis:  structural racism, inequitable distribution of metropolitan wealth, inadequate schooling, joblessness, low-incomes, poverty, bad housing, police brutality, and declining neighborhoods.  The noted urbanist, Todd Swanstrom, frames these issues as “thick injustices.”  On Thursday, October 29, Dr. Swanstrom will sit down with a group of Buffalo’s leaders and thinkers, along with community members, to discuss the relationship between Buffalo, Baltimore, and Ferguson.  The conversation will include a discussion of causes, solutions, and next steps.

Panelists:  Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., Moderator; Sam Magavern, L. Nathan Hare, Rev. Kinzer Pointer, James Pitts, and Rahwa Ghirmatzion

Presented by the Center for Urban Studies at the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning

Todd Swanstrom, Ph.D.

Professor Todd Swanstrom is the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri –St. Louis.  He specializes in urban politics and public policy.

Swanstrom is an award winning scholar, practitioner, and “deep” thinker on urban issues.  In 2011 he published a co-edited volume, Justice and the American Metropolis (University of Minnesota Press), which develops the idea of “thick injustice.”  His co-authored book, Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century (University Press of Kansas) is a must read for anyone concerned about metropolitan inequality, race and social class issues.  His provocative essays on Ferguson moved the discussion beyond the shooting of Michael Brown to the questions of “thick injustice” and structural racism, which led to that deadly encounter.   Swanstrom is presently doing research on neighborhood dynamics in weak market metros and the causes and effects of high levels of involuntary residential mobility.

This award winning scholar also views the world through the lens of practice. He worked as a neighborhood planner in Cleveland and as the Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Albany, NY.  In St. Louis, he assisted in the support of a network of community development corporations (CDCs) and is  working on reforming the community development infrastructure system and raising funding for grassroots neighborhood planning and community projects.

The RISE UP FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE Campaign is asking YOU to join another action!

Events, Newson October 19th, 2015Comments Off on The RISE UP FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE Campaign is asking YOU to join another action!

On Oct, 23, the eve on United Nations Day, we are sending a ‘thunderclap’ of hundreds of your facebook/twitter messages to President Obama – all will arrive at the same time!  We need to have hundreds of messages to make the White House pay attention.  If you don’t use facebook or twitter, you can still participate by sending this email to your friends, family and colleagues!

 Our message:  We want President Obama to lead the world to a universal, legally binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the 2015 Paris Climate talk (COP21) and to use the power of his office to mobilize public support for climate justice.

 We need you to



Let’s send a ‘Thunderclap’ of messages to President Obama calling for bold cuts in global warming pollution at the UN Paris Talks to protect people & the planet.

 Please take a moment to click on the link below to view our message and share it simply by clicking the Facebook or Twitter icon.

 With your support, our message will be greatly amplified and a ‘Thunderclap’ of messages will be released next week at the same time coinciding with United Nations Day.

Let’s do this!
The Rise Up for Climate Justice Campaign


Rise Up for Climate Justice Webpage