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Community Groups Unveil their Policy Agenda for 2018

Earlier this week, Partnership for Public Good (PPG) along with its 276 community group partners, unveiled a Community Agenda for 2018. Now that the agenda has been made public, the group will be taking the wide-ranging reform measures to various community leaders. Topics put forth include:

  • Ensuring non-discriminatory and affordable housing
  • Improving public transit
  • Limiting the use of solitary confinement
  • Legalizing marijuana
  • Ending lead poisoning
  • Certifying Buffalo as a “welcoming city”

“This is a collective vision of a more just and vibrant Buffalo,” said Partnership for the Public Good Deputy Director Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, as the group unveiled its 2018 Community Agenda in a festive event at the Merriweather Library.

“Over 276 community groups, ranging from block clubs to social service agencies, from theaters to environmental advocates, have come together to identify the top ten policy actions that state and local governments can take in the coming year to build a better region,” Ó Súilleabháin explained.

With so many different groups coming to the table, with one voice, the chance to affect change is that much greater. In years past, the group has fought hard to bring attention to the following issues:

  • Paid family leave
  • Raising the age of criminal responsibility
  • Creating Buffalo’s first community land trust
  • Increasing minimum wage

“Engaging in local and state policy arenas gives us the opportunity to directly influence the decisions that affect our communities most,” said Sarah Wooton, PPG Policy Analyst. “Our Community Agenda process encourages collaboration between community groups across the region. They voice their top policy priorities for the next twelve months, and we move to advance those priorities as a collective—with the voices of those directly impacted at the forefront.”

Moving forward, the ten planks identified by the group are:

  1. Reform Solitary Confinement in Erie County
  2. Expand Community Policing, Increase and Improve Police Training, and Reduce Arrests in the City of Buffalo
  3. Ensure Fair and Affordable Housing in Erie County
  4. Certify Buffalo and Erie County as Welcoming Communities and Create Comprehensive Language Access Plans
  5. Establish an Accessible Office of the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities in the City of Buffalo
  6. Invest in the Fruit Belt Neighborhood
  7. Make the NFTA Work for Western New York
  8. Pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act and End Arrests for Low-Level Marijuana Possession in Buffalo
  9. Ensure that Banks Fulfill Billion-Dollar Community Benefits Agreements with Western New York
  10. End Lead Poisoning of Buffalo’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Assembly Member Sean Ryan said: “The Partnership for the Public Good is once again leading the way in setting a bold progressive agenda for 2018. From criminal justice reform, to investing in public transportation and neighborhood redevelopment, to tackling the lead crisis in our communities, PPG’s list of priorities for the coming year addresses many of the most pressing issues facing Buffalo and Western New York. I look forward to working with PPG in the coming year to advance this important agenda.”

Common Council Member David Rivera said: “As a local lawmaker, I look forward to the annual Community Agenda to hear what policies are important to Buffalo and Erie County. I know these issues come straight from the neighborhoods and I thank PPG for providing space to assist residents and organizations turn their concerns into solutions.  I am hopeful in 2018 we can continue to strengthen the partnership between neighborhoods and government to solve these policy issues.”

The full text of each plank is available at PPG’s web site,

Lead image: Dani Johnson of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc.and Open Buffalo‘s Justice and Opportunity Coalition making the case for more community policing, better training, and fewer arrests in Buffalo–a joint pitch for the Community Agenda from Open Buffalo, the WNY Peace CenterVOICE-Buffalo and more. 

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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