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The importance of the youth voice at the Green Code meetings

Submission by Jessie Hersher:

At the upcoming Buffalo Green Code meetings, participants will be asked to answer questions like: what is great about your neighborhood?  How do you see it changing? How would you like to see it change?  Participants will also be asked the same questions about their street and block.  Others, including Buffalo Rising, have posted entries about the Green Code and the upcoming meetings.  Now we will appeal to a specific audience – Buffalo youth and their families.  

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities – Buffalo (HKHC Buffalo) has been working closely with its partners to determine the best ways to get Buffalo youth out to the meetings. We have met with many community groups and youth leadership groups – including the Buffalo Public Schools Inter-High Council and the Growing Green program at the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) – to talk about the importance of the youth voice at the Green Code meetings.

HKHC Buffalo youth representatives, Adriana and Robert, stated that students will need some help finding their voice around issues of land use and zoning. When asked how, they responded that a youth-led training could help students learn about land use issues and make connections to their lives, find buddies to attend the meetings with, and create talking points so they could convey a clear message. People listened.

A free training for Buffalo youth interested in participating in the Green Code meetings will take place this Thursday, February 24th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Dinner will be provided to all attendees, and the training is open to middle- and high-school students. The meeting will take place at the Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street.  The training will be provided by HKHC Buffalo and MAP. You can download the flyer here.

We know school is out this week – and that students are excited for time off and families are relaxing together. HKHC Buffalo and MAP have worked with the youth leaders to make this training fun – and students can count the meeting training and attendance toward their community service requirement for school! Plus, participating in the Green Code process is too important to pass up. We need to hear from youth and their families about what they want most in their city.

RSVP for the training to Erin at 716-882-5327 or  See you there!  Any additional questions?  Contact Jessie at 716-218-7163 or

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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