Mayor Brown Hosts Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Ceremony
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, Pledge to Service and Recognition Ceremony, is an annual event where Mayor Byron W. Brown and the City’s Division of Citizens Services recognizes groups and individuals for their contributions to the community through service.
“Dr. King once said ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,’ Mayor Brown said. “ As we remember this civil rights icon, let’s honor his legacy by peacefully respecting one another and doing more to raise our community through volunteerism and service.”
This year’s honorees are:
• National Impact Award - Bishop Anthony Bronner – ELIM Christian Fellowship
• National Impact Award - Frank Mesiah – Former President, NAACP Buffalo Chapter
• Commitment to Service Award - Abdalla Mohamoud - H.E.A.L. International
• Commitment to Service Award - Rev. Dennis Lee – Pastor, Hopewell Baptist Church and President of Baptist Ministers Conference
• Commitment to Service Award - Brandi L. Haynes – Emergency Services Director, Community Action Organization of Erie County
• Commitment to Service Award - Nadia Pizzaro – Homeless Alliance of WNY
• Diversity Award - Rev. Brek Cockrell – The Renovation Church
• Racial Relationship Building Award - Captain Steve Nichols – Buffalo Police Department
• Posthumous Award – Windford J. Lucas – Honorary Past Grand Master, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge and Accepted Masons State of New York
Mayor Brown Unveils Phase Two of The Buffalo Opportunity Agenda
Mayor Brown will expand phase one of the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge by issuing a series of Executive Orders that strengthen the City’s minority and women business enterprise programs, promote inclusion and bolster City resident workforce goals
Buffalo, NY – Today Mayor Byron W. Brown announced the next phase of building a city of opportunity for all residents by launching the Buffalo Opportunity Agenda. This next phase focuses on improving conditions for minority and women owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE) and minorities and female workers. The Opportunity Agenda will also include several executive orders that bolster equity in contracting and hiring opportunities in New York State’s second largest city, as well as the formation of the City of Buffalo Contract Compliance Committee and the release of a request for proposals (RFP) for an operator of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center.
“A healthy and diverse business sector and ensuring employment opportunities for all City residents is critically important to continuing Buffalo’s economic renaissance,” said Mayor Brown, noting that a part of his Opportunity Agenda establishes a “First Source” hiring policy for major economic development and Public Works projects and encourages selection of professional services firms that have demonstrated efforts to partner with Minority and Women Business Enterprises and diversity in hiring. “The changes included in this plan reflect my ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion and equity in our City.”
The executive orders that Mayor Brown will issue create incentives for contractors who reach and/or exceed MBE/WBE goals in the city. These incentives will recognize businesses that demonstrate their commitment to hiring residents that live within the city limits and mentor MBE/WBE’s, by providing them with additional points on city bids.
The city will now employ a “First Source” hiring policy for public works contracts requiring contractors and subcontractors to make demonstrable efforts to meet or exceed the 25% residency hiring goals included in the City’s charter. Business utilization goals of 25% MBE/ and 5% WBE and work force utilization goals of 25% minority and 5% female will also be included for major economic development and public works projects. Mayor Brown’s plan also includes new procedures for subcontractor substitutions. In the event that the MBE/WBE subcontractor identified during the bidding process is unable to perform the work as needed, contractors are now required to submit a written request to the City for a replacement, detailing the inability of the subcontractor to perform and the good faith efforts to replace a MBE/WBE with another.
“Success among small businesses, including women and minority business enterprises, means more jobs and long-term prosperity for everyone,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen. “I applaud Mayor Brown’s decision to make these issues and concepts the focus of his next phase for the City’s Opportunity Agenda.”
Mayor Brown Announces Public Comment Period On City Of Buffalo's Proposed Open Data Program
Starting today, January 10 through January 24, 2017, residents are invited to review and comment on the draft Open Data policy which will guide the enhancement of government transparency through a new data program
Buffalo – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the opening of the 14-day public comment period on the City of Buffalo’s draft Open Data policy. The proposed policy will govern the City’s new Open Data program and guide release of public data in the future.
“This is an opportunity for our residents to give us feedback on the policy which will greatly enhance the City of Buffalo’s open data practices. Our goal is to engage the public as we make more city data easily accessible to residents and city staff to improve service, boost efficiency and increase transparency and accountability,” Mayor Brown said.
The Brown administration’s effort to launch an Open Data program is being aided by the Bloomberg Philanthropies National “What Work Cities” initiative, which is working with 39 cities in 25 states to use data to make government more effective, while improving lives of residents. In June 2016, Buffalo was one of 10 cities selected by the What Works Cities team for assistance in advancing its goals of Open Data and Performance Management.
Mayor Brown And Common Council Host Signing Ceremony of City's New Unified Development Ordinance
The “Green Code” is the first major overhaul of City zoning laws since 1953 and will have a transformative impact on the future of continued development in Buffalo
January 3 – After 242 public meetings, Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Buffalo Common Council today hosted a special signing ceremony of the City of Buffalo’s new Unified Development Ordinance. The “Green Code” is the first major overhaul to City zoning laws since 1953 and will serve as the City’s blueprint for zoning and development in the 21st Century. The Common Council unanimously approved the “Green Code” on December 27.
“Currently there is more than $5.6 billion in economic development activity underway, and that number will definitely increase with this new zoning reform in place,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “This law represents the best ideas, creates modern development standards, and preserves and builds upon Buffalo’s strengths. My administration worked closely with the City Council and the community to successfully develop this legislation that will continue to bring growth and progress to Buffalo.”
"Buffalo is about to step into its own through this code," said Council President Darius G. Pridgen, Ellicott District. "The last code was created to make Buffalo look like the suburbs. With the implementation of the Green Code, Buffalo is going to look like Buffalo."
Giving the Buffalo New Year's Eve Ball A Final Test Before Its Big Night
Buffalo Ball Drop returns to Downtown Buffalo on December 31, 2016 at Theodore Roosevelt Plaza in Buffalo
December 29 - The “ball” is ready for its New Year’s close up! Today, Mayor Byron Brown, joined by other sponsors of the 29th annual “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks”, was on hand as crews conducted the annual ‘Test Drop’ to ensure that the ‘Ball Drop’ on New Year’s Eve goes off without a hitch. Crews hoisted the specially designed ball to the top of Iskalo Development’s Electric Tower, testing the hundreds of special lights and timing of the descent. Mayor Brown also extended another invitation to city residents and visitors to ring in 2017 at the annual downtown event at Roosevelt Plaza. Roosevelt Plaza is located along the newly opened 500 Block of Main Street at the intersection of Huron and Genesee Streets.
“Now in its 29th year, the ‘Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks’ has become an annual tradition that keeps getting bigger and better and Downtown Buffalo is ready to celebrate the best New Year’s Eve yet,” said Mayor Brown, noting the many new and existing restaurants located within blocks of Roosevelt Plaza, along with skating at Rotary Rink and First Night Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. “I thank our new and returning sponsor organizations for their dedication to this event and to the citizens of Buffalo and Western New York. Their commitment to our city, and its many assets, fills us with a great sense of pride as we work to continue to build a city of opportunity in Buffalo, where everyone benefits from our city’s rising prosperity.”
This City of Buffalo is the largest funder of the annual Buffalo Ball Drop, requiring significant coordination between police, fire, emergency services, and DPW personnel to ensure the event is fun, festive and safe. This year, the ‘Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks’ is a collaborative effort between Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo (PAL), and Buffalo Place. PAL benefits from sponsorship proceeds.
Mayor Brown Announces Holiday Sanitation Schedule
December 21 – Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today that during the week of Christmas, because the holiday falls on a Sunday, there will be no changes to the garbage and recycling pick up schedule. In the same way during New Year’s week scheduled garbage and recycling pick-ups will remain the same.
Mayor Brown also reminded residents today that the City of Buffalo will hold a Christmas “tree-cycling” and electronics waste recycling event on January 7th at the City of Buffalo Engineering Garage located at 1120 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY. City of Buffalo residents are encouraged to properly dispose of electronic equipment between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Items accepted at this free-of-charge recycling event are computers, printers, toner cartridges, computer accessories, televisions, tablets, scanner, audio equipment, video equipment and circuit boards. Residents may also recycle Christmas tree lights, used clothing and clean white bulk Styrofoam. Participants must certify that their items are household generated, as commercial waste will not be accepted.
Mayor Brown stated, “After the holidays, we are pleased to offer city residents the additional opportunity to properly and safely recycle unwanted computers and electronic items. By participating in this event, residents are helping to reduce the amount of unsafe disposals in our area, which can be harmful to their health as well as the environment.”
In addition to electronics recycling, the City of Buffalo will also be accepting Christmas trees for recycling at the January 7th event. City residents can bring their natural Christmas tree to 1120 Seneca Street where it will be chipped on site. Residents can take chips with them for re-use as mulch. Trees should be free of ornaments and tinsel.
The City will also have curbside collection of naturally grown Christmas trees. The collection is scheduled to last from January 2nd to January 13th on residents scheduled garbage day. This will be conducted by the City of Buffalo’s Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets as a way to help the environment and reduce costs associated with taking the trees to landfills.
To participate in this collection, city residents are asked to place trees out on their curb before a scheduled garbage pickup and to not place them in garbage bags. Although they are scheduled on the same days, trees will be picked up separately from garbage, so city residents should not be concerned if they are left behind after garbage removal.
Mayor Brown Sets New Date For First Public Meeting For Input On The Selection Of A New Train Station
December 21 – After inclement weather earlier this month forced the postponement of the first public meeting for input on the selection of a new train station location, Mayor Byron W. Brown today set a new date for the meeting. The event will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2017, beginning at 10:00 am in the Buffalo Common Council Chamber, located on the 13th Floor of Buffalo City Hall. The registration deadline is Friday, January 13, 2017.
“We are pleased that there is so much community interest in the train station selection project and look forward to hearing testimony from residents on potential sites across the City of Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown.
Buffalo Ball Drop Returns to Downtown Buffalo For Its 29th Year
December 20 - Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown invited city residents and visitors to ring in 2017 at the 29th annual “Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks” at Iskalo Development’s Electric Tower, located in Downtown Buffalo’s Roosevelt Plaza. Roosevelt Plaza is located where Huron, Genesee, and Washington Streets meet.
“Now in its 29th year, the ‘Buffalo Ball Drop & Fireworks’ has become an annual tradition that keeps getting bigger and better and Downtown Buffalo is ready to celebrate the best New Year’s Eve yet,” said Mayor Brown, noting the many new and existing restaurants located within blocks of Roosevelt Plaza, along with skating at Rotary Rink and First Night Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. “I thank our exceptional sponsor organizations, including M&T Bank as it continues to celebrate its 160th anniversary, for their dedication to this event and to the citizens of Buffalo and Western New York. Their commitment to our city, and its many assets, fills us with a great sense of pride as we work to continue to build a city of opportunity in Buffalo, where everyone benefits from our city’s rising prosperity.”
The evening is produced by Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo and Buffalo Place, with major sponsors that include M&T Bank.
Mayor Brown and BPS Superintendent Cash Send Critical Lead Poisoning Prevention Information to All Students
More than 18,000 lead information flyers, in seven languages will be mailed to all Buffalo Public Schools families this week
December 20 – Mayor Byron W. Brown joined with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash today announced the mailing of more than 18,000 lead poisoning prevention flyers to parents of all BPS students. The flyers, in the District’s top seven languages, are part of an initiative unveiled in late October, at the heart of which is a comprehensive lead danger communications effort.
“This important message is purposely directed to families because infants, children under the age of 6, and pregnant women are most at-risk for harm from lead exposure. Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable, but once poisoning occurs, there is no way to reverse the physical damage,” Mayor Brown said.
“Buffalo Public Schools families, especially those with very young children, including babies and youngsters who have yet to start school, are our target audience. The earlier we can educate them about the dangers of lead and how exposure takes place, the less there is a chance of lead poisoning,” Dr. Cash said.
The Buffalo Public Schools plans to host free lead blood testing clinics at schools located in neighborhoods with historically high lead poisoning levels in the coming months.
By the end of the year, some 100,000 lead education flyers will have been distributed through Buffalo Public Schools, City of Buffalo Community Centers, Citizen Services, Youth Services and dozens of community organizations. The flyers, which are available in English, Spanish, Burmese, Somali, Karen, Nepali and Arabic, are also posted on the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Public Schools websites.
The City and Buffalo Public Schools worked jointly to create the translations, with the BPS generously providing translation services for the Burmese, Somali, Karen, Nepali and Arabic versions through its multi-lingual staff.
Mayor Brown Unveils Expanded Police Fleet
December 14 - Outside the future home of the Buffalo Police and Fire Headquarters at the Michael J. Dillon U.S. Courthouse, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda announced the expansion of the Buffalo Police Department’s fleet by unveiling the addition of 61 marked and unmarked 2016 All-Wheel Drive Dodge Charger police pursuit-rated vehicles. The first batch of cars hit the streets this morning.
“Public safety continues to be a priority in Buffalo and the new Dodge Chargers are just another way we are improving safety in our neighborhoods, while equipping our police officers with the latest equipment and technology needed to perform,” said Mayor Brown. “I’m confident that by continuing to build a mixed police fleet in Buffalo, we will make our City even stronger, and safer.”
Buffalo City Hall Lights Up For The Holidays
December 8 - Buffalo City Hall comes alive for the holidays! Tonight, Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by City Commissioners, Directors and employees, led the countdown for the second annual Outdoor Holiday Tree Lighting at Buffalo City Hall. The tree, located on the façade of the fourth floor portico of Buffalo City Hall, shimmers in white. To mark this special occasion, the Dome of City Hall was lit in festive colors of red, green and white.
“As the City of Light, we’re lighting up Buffalo City Hall this holiday season and pleased to show it in a whole new light as we illuminate the city skyline with special top colors on this historic building,” said Mayor Brown.
Mayor Brown Announces First Public Meeting on Sites for a New Train Station
Buffalo - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the first public meeting as part of the process to help determine the location of the new Amtrak Station. The event will take place on Thursday, December 15, 2016, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm in the Buffalo Common Council Chamber, located on the 13th Floor of Buffalo City Hall.
Mayor Brown Recognizes 97 Year-Old World War II Veteran
BUFFALO – In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mayor Byron W. Brown encouraged city residents to pay tribute to the over 2,000 Americans who lost their lives during that attack and the veterans who subsequently served in the armed forces as a result of the United States entering World War II. Mayor Brown also issued a proclamation in honor of World War II veteran Charles P. Blakely Sr., a Buffalo resident for over 60 years.
“We owe a great debt to Mr. Blakely and to those who served in our armed forces during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank Mr. Blakely for his time of service and the sacrifices he made to defend our country and our way of life. He is a true hero and serves as an inspiration to all of us.”
Charles P. Blakely served in the United States Army during World War II from 1943-1945. He moved to Buffalo New York in 1946 where he met Larusha Hester, they got married in 1950. After moving to Buffalo he held several positions at various companies before working for Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna. He retired from the company after 33 years.
Mayor Brown Unveils New City Snow Fighting Equipment
Mayor Byron Brown, joined by Department of Public Works Commissioner Steven Stepniak, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works for Streets and Sanitation Henry Jackson and Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, conducted the annual inspection of Buffalo’s snow fighting fleet at the Department of Public Works Broadway Garage.
“My message to city residents and business owners is this: Buffalo is ready for winter weather,” said Mayor Brown who was surrounded by new snow plows and other winter-combat equipment at the Broadway Garage. “Our snow fighting crew in the City of Buffalo does a great job preparing for any weather challenge that comes our way. We have among the most effective and experienced professionals in the nation. Our residents and businesses can feel confident in the abilities of our skilled professionals and the specialized equipment.”
Mayor Brown Announces United Way of Buffalo and Erie County to Develop City of Buffalo's Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative
December 5 – Today Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County (UWBEC) has been selected to assist the City in developing a work plan to reduce poverty in the City of Buffalo as part of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. Members of the selection committee that reviewed requests for proposals from local nonprofits including: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, New York State Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Mayor Brown announced that the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo were chosen.
“As the City of Buffalo continues to drive the most successful economic development period in recent history, we must continue to work diligently to ensure all of our residents have the ability to participate in our growing economy,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for providing us with the resources to help shape Buffalo’s poverty reduction efforts.”
During his 2016-2017 budget announcement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 10 cities would receive a total of $5 million in state grants and have access to a $20 million grant pool that matches private sector and foundation funding. The cities chosen, based on concentrations of poverty, include: Syracuse, Oswego, Utica, Binghamton, Oneonta, Buffalo, Utica, Elmira, Jamestown, Troy and Albany. Governor Cuomo modeled the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative after New York’s successful Anti-Poverty Program in Rochester; which is a broad coalition of state and local government, business and nonprofit representatives working together to redesign and coordinate efforts to address extreme poverty in the Rochester area.
Mayor Brown BUDC Kick off 2016 Holiday Edition of Queen City Pop-up
Mayor Brown also helps kick off Small Business Saturday, urging city residents to shop locally during the holiday season; city will suspend parking meter enforcement on Friday, November 25th, making parking free at all its metered spaces on “Black Friday
Buffalo –Mayor Byron W. Brown, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), Buffalo Place and Working for Downtown today kicked off the 2016 Holiday Edition of Queen City Pop-Up at 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 110 located along the 500 block of Main Street near the corner of Chippewa. Queen City Pop-Up is downtown’s first pop-up retail program designed to encourage retail activity along Main Street by creating new “pop-up” shops that feature local retailers. The project activates empty storefronts by filling them with retailers on a short term basis, free of charge. Key Success, LLC and Ciminelli Real Estate have agreed to sponsor the retail space for Queen City Pop-Up participants this holiday season.
“The city’s investment in the ‘Cars Sharing Main Street’ project, improvements to Fountain Plaza and the Queen City Pop-Up are program are attracting more people to downtown Buffalo, increasing economic opportunity for our local business community,” said Mayor Brown, as he also helped to promote Small Business Saturday, a day to support local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. “As a community, Small Business Saturday is another way we demonstrate our support for our small business owners, located in Buffalo’s business districts citywide. Everyone can find unique, special items from our city merchants, as well as our new Queen City Pop-Up participants.”
Mayor Brown, GSA mark the official transfer of the Dillon Courthouse to the City of Buffalo
November 22 – After recently acquiring the vacant Michael J. Dillon Federal Courthouse from the
U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), at a cost of $1, Mayor Byron W. Brown and GSA Regional Administrator Denise Pease, joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, Members of the Buffalo Common Council and other elected leaders, dignitaries and City Commissioners, today made it official during a special deed-signing ceremony inside the historic Court Street landmark. The building will be transformed into the new City of Buffalo Police and Fire Headquarters at the Michael J. Dillon U.S. Courthouse Building.
Mayor Brown stated, “I thank and proudly accept the U.S. General Service Administration's congratulations and best wishes for the continued use of the historic Michael J. Dillon Building as the new state-of-the-art City of Buffalo Police and Fire Headquarters; and further extend my appreciation to GSA Regional Administrator Denise Pease and her staff for their diligence and commitment to facilitating a seamless and efficient transfer of this historic site, allowing it to be adaptively and productively reused to further strengthen public safety in Buffalo.”
A new public safety building has been one of Mayor Brown’s top priorities and today’s announcement is another reflection of his continued commitment to preserve and re-purpose historic buildings, while stimulating additional development. The Dillon courthouse, a nine-story structure constructed in 1936, has been vacant since the Robert H. Jackson Courthouse opened at Niagara Square in November 2011. Under Mayor Brown’s direction, the City submitted an application to the Department of Justice in April 2016 seeking to gain control of the courthouse for a “Law Enforcement Public Benefit Conveyance.” The Department of Justice reviewed the application and ruled in favor of the request.
Mayor Brown Announces Committee to Consider Locations for New Train Station
November 22 - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the seventeen member committee that will work to determine the location of the new train station. Today’s announcement stems from Mayor Brown accepting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s challenge to spend six months leading the effort to find the ideal location for a new station to replace the aging structure on Exchange Street. The Governor’s administration will fund up to one million dollars for the complete study.
Mayor Brown stated, “I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for asking me to Chair the process to find the right location for a new modern train station in Buffalo and we’re moving full steam ahead in our search for the best location for the train station.”
Mayor Brown, The WNY Coalition for Homelessness Announce New Code Blue Collaborative
November 21– Mayor Byron W. Brown and The Western New York Coalition for the Homeless held a press conference at the Matt Urban Hope Center to announce a new “Code Blue Collaborative”, informing the public about significant changes this year to its Code Blue Shelter operations. Public support is also being sought.
Code Blue is the City of Buffalo’s emergency weather safety plan that provides outreach, engagement, case management, transportation, shelter and a warm meal to Buffalo's homeless population on evenings when temperatures and wind chill fall to 15 degrees or below from November 15 to March 15. Last year Code Blue served over 600 individuals and has reduced the death rate among Buffalo’s homeless population significantly since its inception in 2009. Code Blue is funded by the City of Buffalo and National Fuel, and is also supported by a collaboration of agencies under the WNYCFTH. It is open to anyone living on the streets and/or needing shelter, but especially targets the chronically homeless and those who live in uninhabitable or dangerous places during extremely low temperatures.
This year's Code Blue Shelters will be located at: The Matt Urban Hope Center- 385 Paderewski Drive, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy- 325 Walden Avenue and Harbor House- 241 Genesee Street. The shelters are in in need of cots, blankets and other basic essential items.
The Western New York Coalition for the Homeless is an association of over 50 service providers and concerned individuals who have joined together to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness in our community. For more information, please visit us as www.wnycoalitionforthehomeless.org
Mayor Brown Announces Final Phase of Genesee Gateway Streetscape Project as Paving is Completed
$3.5 million redevelopment project supports significant private investment by creating new landscaping, sidewalks and street resurfacing
Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by public and private partners, marked the final phase of the $3.5
million Genesee Gateway Streetscape Project by announcing the completion of paving. Resurfacing took place
along Genesee Street, between Washington and Elm Streets.
“Having state-of-the-art infrastructure is a key focus for any successful city and the completion of the Genesee Street Gateway Streetscape Project enhances the major private investment that’s underway along this important stretch of roadway in downtown Buffalo, helping to pave the way for increased economic growth and an improved quality of life,” said Mayor Brown, noting the city’s allocation of $1 million in city bond funds to this project.
The streetscape work along the Genesee Gateway corridor began this spring and complements the recently finished infrastructure work along the 500 block of Main Street. It also further positions downtown Buffalo to become more competitive for private investment after significant investment along this important stretch of roadway from Catholic Health, M&T Bank, Iskalo Development, Scherer Furniture and Genesee Gateway, LLC.
Mayor Brown and GSA Announce the City Will Take Ownership of Michael J. Dillon Federal Courthouse This Week
November 20 – After approval by the Buffalo Common Council today authorizing Mayor Byron Brown and the City of Buffalo to acquire the vacant Michael J. Dillon Federal Courthouse from the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), Mayor Brown was pleased to announce that the City is expected to take ownership of the historic Court Street landmark on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 when it closes on the purchase of the building, at a cost of $1. A special deed-signing ceremony between Mayor Brown and representatives of GSA will take place on a date to be announced, marking the official transfer of the building from the federal government to the City of Buffalo. After the purchase is completed, the city plans to turn the historic structure into a combined police and fire headquarters that also will house some of the city's data operations. This action is part of GSA's ongoing efforts to make more efficient use of federal real estate assets while saving taxpayer dollars and serving as an economic catalyst in communities throughout the country.
"This is the right location to house both Buffalo Police and Buffalo Fire headquarters,” said Mayor Brown. “With both the police and fire departments working out of older buildings and at full capacity, Buffalo has been considering a new public safety campus for the past year and with this transfer we increase efficiency and improve safety citywide, restore vitality to this downtown corridor which was impacted by the 4 year closure, and continue my goal of reducing the footprint of city-owned buildings, making some available for private development.”
Mayor Brown Attends White House Event on Effectively Ending Homeless Among Veterans
November 14 – After recently accepting an invitation by First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Byron W. Brown, along with mayors from around the country, today traveled to Washington D.C. for a special White House event, recognizing their work on reducing homelessness among veterans.
Mayor Brown stated, “Over a year ago, the First Lady issued a challenge to us through the U.S. Conference of Mayors to work with partners in our community on initiatives to effectively end veteran homelessness. I’m proud to say that the city of Buffalo responded to the challenge and succeeded in bringing an effective end to Veteran homelessness in Buffalo. Thanks to a strong collaboration between government agencies, our community’s service and housing professionals who assist veterans and our many other partners, Buffalo has demonstrated that ending veteran homelessness is achievable. I congratulate everyone involved who worked tirelessly to give our veterans a dignified home, setting an example for communities across the nation.”
Mayor Brown Observes Veterans Day by Honoring Local Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Commemorating Buffalo's Status as a Purple Heart City
Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today welcomed a group of Purple Heart recipients to City Hall to observe Veterans Day and to commemorate Buffalo’s Status as a Purple Heart City.
“It is a great honor to welcome these brave men here today as the Nation prepares to observe Veterans Day. Our military, whether at war, or aiding the nation at times of natural disasters or civil unrest, is the most important defense in safe-guarding our American principles and the belief that all people should be allowed to live in the pursuit of peace and happiness,” Mayor Brown said.
Mayor Brown Welcomes 75 New BPD Police Recruits In An Official Swearing-In Ceremony
November 4 - Continuing his commitment to diversify and further strengthen the Buffalo Police Department, Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda, today welcomed 75 new Buffalo Police recruits to the force during an official swearing-in ceremony. The new recruits, comprising of one of the most diverse classes in the history of the Buffalo Police Department, took the oath of office during a public ceremony at Waterfront Elementary School, attended by hundreds of friends and family.
“As part of my continued commitment to 21st Century policing, I’m pleased to welcome this next generation of Buffalo police officers, a diverse group of 75 police recruits who are ready to blaze a new trail to protect our city residents,” said Mayor Brown. “By adding more diversity to our police force, we continue to foster an even greater respect between the community and police. Additionally, I’m particularly proud of my administration’s role in the lives of the 14 new recruits in this class, the recipients of my BPD21C scholarship. To administer the oath of office to these probationary officers is meaningful, knowing they will make great guardians of our City when they hit the streets in just a few months.”
Of the newly sworn in probationary officers, 14 were among the first recipients of Mayor Brown’s ‘Buffalo Police Department 21st Century Scholarship Program (BPD21C), which enabled them to successfully complete the Erie County-Erie Community College Central Police Services Law Enforcement Training Academy earlier this year. As a result, these pre-credentialed police recruits only have three weeks of training left at the academy, followed by on-the-job training. The 61 other new recruits are scheduled to begin six-months of training on Monday at the police academy on the ECC North Campus. At the academy, the recruits will be trained in many areas including firearms, first aid, defensive tactics, community relations and legal issues.
Mayor Brown’s police officer scholarship program (BPD21C) was launched in early 2016 as a first-of-its-kind program, designed to further strengthen the City’s police force by adding more diversity and fostering an even greater respect between the community and police. 53 successful City of Buffalo residents received full BPD21C scholarships to the Erie County-Erie Community College Central Police Services Law Enforcement Training Academy. 43 graduated last spring, prior to taking the June police exam.
Of the 75 new police recruits, 75 are city residents and the first class of Buffalo police officers hired under a new contract which now requires Buffalo police officers to live in Buffalo at the time of hire and remain city residents for the next seven years.
As part of Mayor Brown’s commitment to fill the police ranks with qualified men and women who represent Buffalo’s diverse communities, this class of 75 includes 13 female police recruits, 21 African American police recruits, 7 Hispanic police recruits and 3 listed as other. In other words, over 50% of this class of 75 police recruits is made up of women and minorities.
The 75 new recruits bring the number of Buffalo Police Department Officers to approximately 763. Another new class of recruits is slated for January 2017.
Mayor Brown and Police Athletic League of Buffalo Offer a Sneak Peek at Silent Auction Items for 16th Annual PAL Auction
November 4 - Mayor Byron W. Brown today was joined by the Police Athletic League of Buffalo (PAL) Board of Directors and PAL Supporters, in offering a sneak peek at some of the items that will be up for bid at the 16th Annual PAL Auction. The nonprofit organization, which every year serves more than 20,000 children in Buffalo and Western New York, will hold its 16th Annual Auction on November 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center.
“Once again local businesses and organizations have donated fantastic items for PAL’s major annual fundraising event. This is an opportunity for the community to rally around a program that is vitally important to improve the quality of life for many youngsters in our City,” Mayor Brown said. “This auction is a great way to ensure PAL has the funds it needs to reach as many children as possible and win many wonderful auction items.”
“I am very excited for this year Police Athletic League’s 16th Annual Auction. This year we are focusing on the youth that we serve. PAL has had a rich history in WNY in sports for programming for over 60 years and we need your support in continuing our quality sports and enrichment programs,” said Nekia Kemp, PAL Executive Director.
This year’s Auction Chair is James Milbrand, Vice President, PAL Board of Directors.
Mayor Brown, City of Buffalo, UB Sponsor Shredding and Recycling Event - November 19, 2016
November 2 – Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today that the City of Buffalo, the University at Buffalo along with other community groups will sponsor a Community Shredding and Recycling Event on Saturday, November 19th from 9:00AM – 12:00PM at the University at Buffalo South Campus Main Bailey Parking Lot.
“I encourage city residents to bring their household and personal papers to this community shredding event that is designed to help fight identity theft,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “I am pleased that the city and the University of Buffalo are teaming up to provide this important public service to residents at no cost.”
Mayor Brown Submits 2017 City of Buffalo Capital Budget
November 1 - Mayor Byron W. Brown submitted today to the Buffalo Common Council his $20 million Fiscal Year 2017 proposed Capital Funding plan for the City of Buffalo. The 2017 Capital Plan includes targeted investments in major infrastructure for economic development, public safety, parks improvements citywide, and arts and cultural organizations.
Mayor Brown stated, “I am proud to introduce another Capital budget that is fiscally responsible and in alignment with my administration’s goal of growing Buffalo into a City of Opportunity for all people. In recommending individual expenditures, my administration has thoroughly reviewed the recommendations of the Citizens Planning Council (CPC), which evaluated more than $100 million in requests for capital spending. As evidenced by the attached budget, I have adhered closely to the recommendations of the Citizens Planning Council. I’m confident, if the Common Council accepts these recommendations, that these capital investments will enhance and strengthen our city neighborhoods, and the quality of life for our residents for years to come.”
This spending plan builds on Mayor Brown’s 2016 commitment to enhance infrastructure improvements to further promote economic development by setting aside $5.9 million for citywide infrastructure reconstruction. It also invests in neighborhood and community development projects by allocating $1.6 million to Arts and Cultural organizations, $1.2 million in improvements to Shoshone Pool, and dedicates over $1 million in parks improvements to further enhance quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the city. Since 2006, Mayor Brown has invested nearly $52 million in parks improvements citywide.