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Updated Buffalo Briefs Now Available

Events, Newson December 15th, 2014No Comments

PPG’s Buffalo Briefs are the best place to go when you need the most important data for local trends and issues.  We’ve recently updated the briefs on education, employment, housing, poverty, racial disparities, and immigrants and refugees.  You can find them all here.

Save the Date! Movement Dance Party 2014

Events, Newson December 8th, 2014No Comments

The annual Movement Dance Party fundraiser will be held on Friday, December, 19 at 9 p.m. at The Foundry, located at 298 Northampton in Buffalo. Come enjoy live music spun by some of the hottest local DJs, plenty of locally brewed beer, and the chance to dance and mingle with Buffalo’s favorite movers and shakers. Admission limited to those age 21 and over. Look for updates and more details on our PPG Facebook page.

2014 Movement flyer (JPG)

Creators of Vent on the Public Good

Events, Newson December 1st, 2014Comments Off
Have you ever wanted to vent about life in Buffalo?  About racism and inequality?  The lack of opportunity for young people?  Jamiah Mootry and Savion Mingo are dynamic young entrepreneurs who have created Vent: a publication that is focused on giving the local residents of Buffalo’s East Side and more a safe space to vent about issues affecting themselves and their community in hopes that after venting, they will become a part of the solution.  Hear them on the Public Good, Tuesday December 2 at 1pm on WUFO AM 1080 and

Buffalo’s Green Economy: Present and Future

Events, Newson December 1st, 2014Comments Off

A Presentation by Sam Magavern and a Team of SUNY Buffalo Law Students

Friday, December 5, 10am to Noon

237 Main St., Suite 1200, Downtown Buffalo


Join PPG Co-Director Sam Magavern and a team of law students as they present on the current state of Buffalo’s green economy and the public policies that can help it grow.  Topics include:

  • The future of the Huntley power plant
  • Greening the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficient buildings
  • Smart growth and preservation
  • Parks, gardens, and sustainable landscaping
  • Transit, biking, and walking
  • Water quality
  • Food sustainability
  • Waste and recycling


Free and open to the public.  To reserve a seat, please email

Community Agenda Process Underway; Still Time for Your Organization to Become a Partner

Events, Newson November 21st, 2014Comments Off

Each year, PPG crafts a Community Agenda, which identifies our partners’ top policy priorities for the coming year. The Community Agenda is a useful tool for education, advocacy, and collaboration, and it also guides the work of PPG’s staff and volunteers throughout the year – shaping our research, forums, radio shows, and other efforts.

PPG and its partners are in the midst of the process to craft the 2015 Community Agenda. All partners are encouraged to attend the Partner Vote to hear pitches on a variety of issues from community organizations on December 17 at 9am here at 237 Main Street, Suite 1200. Partners will then cast their final vote on the planks for the official 2015 Community Agenda.

Only PPG partners are eligible to participate in the Community Agenda process. Interested in having your organization lend its voice to PPG’s 175 community partners? Fill out the partnership_form or email for more information.

Mark your calendars for the annual Community Agenda Roll-Out: Friday, January 16 at 2 p.m. at the Frank E. Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo. The Roll-Out is a celebration of the previous year’s successes and a kick-off to our 2015 advocacy efforts. Press and elected officials will be present, along with representatives from PPG and its many partner organizations.

The event is free and open to the public.

New Policy Brief on Suburban IDA Performance

Events, Newson November 17th, 2014Comments Off

PPG has released a new policy brief, Town IDAs in Erie County: 2011-2013.  In addition to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, there are five town based IDAs in Erie County, with an operational cost of nearly $1 million per year.  PPG looked at the 287 town IDA projects active in 2013 and found that they represented nearly $10 million in tax exemptions.  PPG then examined the 32 projects done by the town IDAs in 2011-2013 and found 27 of them to be of questionable value to the public, including three restaurants, two fitness centers, a veterinary practice a car dealership, two hotels, and a movie theater – none of them the type of projects that typically grow a region’s economy and produce a net gain of jobs. PPG Co-Director Sam Magavern said, “Based on their performance in the last few years, the five town IDAs are wasting very large amounts of taxpayer revenue on projects that do not grow our regional economy.”

The M.A.N. Program on the Public Good

Events, Newson November 13th, 2014Comments Off

Join us this Tuesday, November 18 at 1pm for the Public Good, when we speak with Jerome Wright, Founder and Director of The M.A.N. Program to discuss how they are mentoring and nurturing at risk individuals in WNY. You can hear the Public Good on WUFO AM 1080 or at

A True Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers: New PPG Policy Brief

Newson November 13th, 2014Comments Off

On November 13, PPG offered testimony to New York State’s Wage Board and released a new policy brief: “A True Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers.”  The brief points out that the 20,000 workers in Western New York serving as wait staff, bartenders, and hair stylists have a median annual wage of under $20,000 per year, and that restaurant servers suffer from three times the poverty rate of other workers.  The brief argues that giving tipped workers the same minimum wage as everyone else will reduce poverty, racial disparities, and gender inequality (72% of tipped workers are women).

Citizen Action to Discuss School Discipline, Attendance, and Funding on the Public Good

Events, Newson November 5th, 2014Comments Off
How do we improve our Buffalo Public Schools?  Citizen Action lead the fight to completely revamp the BPS student discipline policy, which has led a to major reduction in suspensions.  Now they are working on implementing restorative justice programs, improving school attendance, and winning more equitable funding for high need districts.  Learn more about their efforts on this week’s Public Good, Tuesday, November 11, at 1pm on WUFO AM 1080 and

PPG Releases New Report, Talking Proud: Telling Buffalo’s Stories

Newson November 5th, 2014Comments Off

How does Buffalo talk about Buffalo, and what impact do our stories have on public policy?  In this new report, PPG examines Buffalo’s history and current conditions and some of the different narratives used to describe them.  In particular, the report critiques a negative mythology of Buffalo as a dysfunctional mess in need of “adult supervision” and highlights the ways in which this misleading story can lead to bad policy outcomes. The report highlights recent, community-driven success stories and argues for ways of telling Buffalo’s stories that are both accurate and energizing.  PPG’s Innovation Lab prepared Talking Proud for Open Buffalo, a new civic initiative for an equal, just, and free city driven by a united and empowered community