On May 13, PPG offered testimony to the Independent Democratic Conference in support of campaign finance reform, including public financing of elections. Read the testimony here, and learn more about the issues and how to get involved at www.fairelectionsny.org.
A workshop with Deborah Puntenney, Ph.D,Associate Director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University
May 17, 2013, 9am to 11am
77 Goodell St., Buffalo, UB Gateway Building, Room 208
This is a workshop designed for faculty, graduate students, and non-profit groups, and community members with an interest in community based participatory research (CBPR). As an experienced practitioner of CBPR, Professor Puntenney will provide practical lessons and best practices, drawing on her research on social determinants of health in Rochester and cancer among native populations in Wisconsin. She will highlight the ways that an asset based community development approach guides her practice. There will be extensive time for question and answer with her. In addition, there will be very brief presentations from Laura Mangan on examples of CBPR at the University at Buffalo, from Sam Magavern on turning research into advocacy, and from Jessica Bauer Walker on the community’s role in CBPR. Free and open to the public; please RSVP to CeppRsvp@buffalo.edu.
Sponsored by the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo, Partnership for the Public Good, and University at Buffalo Civic Engagement and Public Policy Institute.
PPG’s latest report,The Niagara River Greenway: Fulfilling the Promise, reveals that of the roughly $100 million in Greenway funds allocated thus far, only about half has gone toward projects that actually advance the Greenway. The report also makes a series of recommendations on how funds may be better spent. The Buffalo News recently highlighted the report in an article and an editorial that strongly endorsed the report’s conclusions.
The Greenway Commission is accepting public comments on PPG’s report through the end of April. Comments can be submitted through its website. Please write in to support Greenway reform and help the region to avoid squandering the chance for a world-class system of parks, trails, and conservation areas linking Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
Issues to be discussed include:
• Public Education (standardized testing, neighborhood schools, metro-wide schools, and teacher residency requirements)
• Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (low-wage jobs, living wage policy, employee housing, and worker-owned cooperatives)
• Criminal Justice (guns in family violence, halfway houses, foreign language speakers, and driving while poor)
Free and Open to the Public
To reserve a seat, email Kyla Jaquish, email@example.com
Physical education is vital for health, and health is vital for learning. The Buffalo Public Schools should act immediately to come into compliance with state regulations and the BPS wellness policy regarding physical education and activity. Currently,K-3 students receive only 30 minutes of physical education per six day cycle, when state regulations require 120 minutes per calendar week. In other words, they receive less than 25% of the required physical education. Students in grades four through six receive only two forty-minute periods per six day cycle – less than two-thirds of the state requirement. Most students receive no recess, or only very sporadic recess,when the BPS wellness policy requires students in pre-K through sixth grade to have recess or other unstructured physical activity every day.
The Partnership for the Public Good unites 133 community organizations working to build a better Buffalo. Each year, the partner organizations vote on their top ten policy priorities for the coming year: their Community Agenda. The 2013 Community Agenda includes the following provision: “The Buffalo Public Schools should implement, operationalize, and allocate resources to support the District Wellness Policy, which was approved by the Board of Education in April 2012.”
Health, Poverty, and Learning
According to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the obesity rate among children and adolescents has tripled over the past 30 years. Among children ages 6-11, it has quadrupled. Reduced opportunity for physical activity has been a major contributing factor to this trend. Initial data from the Kaleida Health School Health Program found that 30% of kindergartners, 44% of 8th graders, and 38%of 10th graders in Buffalo schools had a BMI above the 85th percentile, which is considered at-risk. Twenty-seven percent of 5th graders had a BMI between the 95thand 99th percentile, which is considered obese. Such children can face serious health complications, including Type II diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease, among other health difficulties. These issues can have a tremendous impact on education and the ability of children to focus on learning.
Open Buffalo is a collaborative working towards a more democratic, innovative and unified Buffalo. The project is funded by the Open Society Foundations’ new Open Places Initiative, created to increase low-income and minority communities’ influence and access to economic, civic, and political opportunities in local areas. It aims to further the capacity of local communities to bring about lasting systemic change relating to equity, justice, and democratic practice.
The collaborative is hiring a dynamic team to embark on this five month planning process and series of conversations and events that changes the civic culture of Buffalo.
The deadline to apply varies for each position. All questions and inquiries can be directed to PPG Co-Director Lou Jean Fleron, firstname.lastname@example.org or 852.4191 ext. 118.
The Partnership for the Public Good is an equal opportunity employer.
PPG now has The Public Good radio shows on our YouTube channel.
Click here to see:
Erin Hatton of University at Buffalo
Luke Robinson and Gladys Gifford of CRTC and VOICE – Buffalo
Maritza Vega of the Hispanic Heritage Council
Karima Amin of Prisoners Are People Too
Community Carnival and RecycleFest to Take Place April 27
A Community Carnival and RecycleFest will be held on April 27th from 12 to 2pm at Community Charter School, 404 Edison Avenue. All are invited for a chance to play games, win prizes, learn about recycling, and enjoy food and refreshments. Expect to see SabreTooth, the mascot of the Buffalo Sabres, as well as local dignitaries such as Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes at the event.
A part of Global Youth Service Day, RecycleFest is a celebration of youth involved in recycling projects and programs. Global Youth Service Day is an annual event in which youth around the world do acts of service for their communities. This year, the Buffalo Recycling Alliance has made recycling a focus for Global Youth Service Day in Buffalo. Youth from schools and universities in Buffalo are joining together to spread the word about recycling at their schools, in their homes, and in their communities.
Prior to the Community Carnival and RecycleFest, teams of youth will be walking throughout the neighborhood around the Community Charter School – picking up litter, educating local residents about recycling, and inviting them to the Carnival.
There is still time for youth and adults alike to volunteer. To get involved, contact Kyla Jaquish from the Buffalo Recycling Alliance at Kyla@ppgbuffalo.org or 716-852-4191 ext 115. Like the Buffalo Recycling Alliance on Facebook to keep up to date with events.
The Buffalo Recycling Alliance is a volunteer group dedicated to boosting Buffalo’s recycling rate. It was founded by the Partnership for the Public Good, Olmsted Center for Sight, Sierra Club Niagara Group, Buffalo First, Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, and Ujima Theater, with the assistance of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Buffalo Sabres’ Green Team Partners with Buffalo Recycling Alliance
Watch this video to see how Sabre’s Green Team is helping us promote Global Youth Service Day and the Community Carnival and RecycleFest on April 27th.
Friday April 19th 1:00-3:00pm
102 O’Brian Hall
UB – North Campus
Jennifer Kimura – Esq., Buffalo HOME
George Hezel – Director, Affordable Housing Clinic, UB School of Law
Sam Magavern- Co-Director, The Partnership for the Public Good
Open Buffalo is a collaborative working towards a more democratic, innovative and unified Buffalo. Funded by the Open Society Foundations, the project is designed to increase low-income and minority communities’ influence and access to economic, civic, and political opportunities in local areas. It aims to further the capacity of local communities to bring about systemic change relating to equity, justice, and democratic practice.
Buffalo was one of sixteen sites asked to apply, and one of eight to win planning grants. Locally the collaborative is being led by four groups that the Open Societies Foundations asked to work together: Partnership for the Public Good, Coalition for Economic Justice, PUSH Buffalo, and VOICE-Buffalo. From April to September, 2013, Open Buffalo will work to craft a multi-issue plan to build the region’s capacity to bring about long-term change. The foundation will review the plans from the eight sites and award three to five implementation grants of up to $1 million per year for a minimum of three years and potentially a full decade.
Open Buffalo will employ an inclusive, arts-infused process to identify strengths and weaknesses in Buffalo’s civic capacity to achieve progress in three policy areas:
- Open Government, including public participation in budget decisions; improved transparency in public spending and political campaigns; and language access; and
- Equal Justice/Equal Opportunity, including alternatives to incarceration, reduced racial disparities in criminal justice, and lowered barriers to reentry; and
- Economy for the Common Good, including reinvestment in the urban core, subsidy reform, and community-based, green, neighborhood redevelopment.
Open Buffalo will explore two key strategies: Democracy Centers where residents become engaged with leadership training, direct action, and policy advocacy; and an Innovation Lab and Action Center where new policies are researched and drafted.
The Open Buffalo Planning Council, with representatives from the founding organizations plus three other experts, will oversee the planning. An Advisory Committee of leaders from non-profit, government, academic and business sectors will help develop an organizational framework that best leverages local resources and partners. Working Groups for
the three policy priority areas will prioritize the issues and craft the goals and strategies.
Multiple, arts-related strategies will be used to get input from diverse sectors of the public. Rather than a traditional planning process, this will be a five month series of conversations and events to start changing the civic culture of Buffalo.
Open Buffalo is: open to full democratic participation by all its residents, open to innovative ideas and policies; open to new leaders from disadvantaged communities; and open to meaningful economic opportunity and sustainable wealth creation for all.