Moments ago, Assemblyman Sean Ryan’s office passed along news that the NFTA would no longer be entertaining the notion of allowing a Chick-fil-A to open at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
“Earlier today I spoke with the vendor of the Buffalo Airport food court project, and they informed me they will not be opening a Chick-fil-A as a part of their airport project. A publicly financed facility like the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not the appropriate venue for a Chick-fil-A restaurant. I applaud the decision that has been made to remove Chick-fil-A from the plans for this project.
In a controversial move, the NFTA initially allowed Chick-fil-A to entertain opening at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The decision was deemed controversial because of the restaurant chain’s stance towards the LGBTQ community.
“I was disappointed to learn of the NFTA’s decision to introduce Chick-Fil-A as a restaurant option at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport,” stated Assemblyman Sean Ryan in a recent memo. “Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting and funding anti-LGBTQ organizations. In fact, the San Antonio City Council recently rejected a plan to open a Chick-fil-A at the San Antonio International Airport due to the company’s discriminatory advocacy (Texas Attorney General is investigating). As a state entity, the NFTA has a responsibility to avoid doing business with corporations who fund hateful and divisive groups.”
A strong faction of the WNY community backed Ryan’s sentiments. The feeling is that while the chain restaurant has a right to open anywhere it wants, it’s a different story when the location is a municipal facility. Chick-fil-A’s presence at the airport would have sent the wrong signal to visitors to The City of Good Neighbors.
“As you may be aware, New York State currently has a state-funded travel ban in place for travel to North Carolina due to a law allowing for transgender discrimination that is on the books until 2020,” stated Ryan. “Recently, several SUNY swimmers were unable to stay in North Carolina for the DIII championship because of this travel ban. It sends the wrong message to allow a state entity to do business with an anti-LGBTQ corporation when our SUNY system worked to remain in compliance with the travel ban. All of our state agencies and entities need to be held to a higher standard.
I don’t believe the leadership of the NFTA
intends intended to help spread hate and discrimination, but allowing a corporation like Chick-fil-A to do business at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport will help to fund continued divisive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. New York is a welcoming state that celebrates diversity. The views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community, and businesses that support discrimination have no place operating in taxpayer-funded public facilities. ”
It just so happens that a LGBTQ Cultural Competency workshop is being held on April 2. Maybe this might be a good time for local businesses and organizations to send a representative who might be able to nip these types of issues in the bud, before they become politically problematic, and public relations nightmares.
On April 2 there will be a workshop on how to build and support a more equal, affirming, and productive work environments focused on LGBTQ Cultural Competency. Rachel Parrino, Engagement & Education Specialist at The Pride Center of WNY will cover a range of topics including the basics of appropriate language, definitions of terms, deconstruction of stereotypes, and more specialized issues, as needed. It addresses considerations for your office policies and culture, such as improving communication, creating safer space, and enhancing learning and work environments.
The workshop will take place in the Buffalo Commons Classroom at 617 Main Street, Suite 300 on Tuesday, April 2, from 12:30 to 2:30pm. It is free and open to the public but advance registration is required. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshop is presented by the Buffalo Commons, a collaboration between the Partnership for the Public Good and Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab. Future workshops from the Buffalo Commons include the following:
- FOIL Fiesta: Freedom of Information Law and Getting the Info You Need, Wednesday, April 17, 2019
- Working with Census Data: Learning to Ask Questions and Tell Your Story, Thursday, May 2, 2019, 12:30-2pm
- Disability and Difference in WNY Competency and Inclusion Training, May 15, 2019, 12:30-2:30pm