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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2009 Archives > July 2009 > Mayor Brown Announces First Annual Citizens Empowerment Conference

Mayor Brown Announces First Annual Citizens Empowerment Conference for the City of Buffalo

Contact: Peter K. Cutler

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the first annual Citizens Empowerment Conference entitled, “Making a Difference One Block at a Time.” The all-day event is scheduled for Saturday August 1, 2009, 8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.

“I’m very pleased to offer this great opportunity for residents to learn about available city programs and initiatives that will enhance the quality of life for their families and their neighborhoods. I urge all residents to attend and take advantage of the broad range of information that will be available from various participating community-based organizations, health care providers and other social service entities,” said Mayor Brown.

The planning for the Conference has included much citizen involvement from block club representatives, a citizens’ advisory committee comprised of the Mayor’s Citizens’ Participation Academy participants, City of Buffalo personnel, and a variety of partners and sponsors. 

Oswaldo Mestre, Jr., Director of the Division of Citizen Services, stated, “In bringing this information to the residents of the City of Buffalo and the Western New York area, it’s imperative to collaborate with residents, block clubs, and public and private institutions. There is a wealth of information that will be available to attendees of the conference.”

Participants will be able to attend workshops based upon five focus areas, including Neighborhood Beautification, Government Policy, Community Involvement, Social Networking, and Health and Wellness. The presenters for workshops are experts in their respective field and include city officials, Conference sponsors, and community leaders. Participants will also be able to receive information from various community-based vendors, as well.

The day’s events will include free health screenings, daycare services, and prize giveaways; a breakfast panel discussion, a luncheon featuring a keynote speaker and entertainment, and a community awards ceremony.  The awards ceremony will include categories such as Agent of Change, Block Club of the Year, Best Business Beautification, Official/ Department of the Year and Youth of the Year. It will also include a community advocate of the year award that will be given in memory of Rosa Gibson, the late longtime community activist in the City of Buffalo.

“The Independent Health Foundation is pleased to sponsor the Citizens Empowerment Conference and partner with the City of Buffalo and many other organizations to present this valuable community event,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation. “The Foundation is committed to improving the health of our community by offering programs focused on targeted health priorities. We’re grateful for this opportunity to reach out to more members of the community who are in need of services and look forward to working with all of you in “making a difference, one block at a time.” The conference is also  sponsored by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, University at Buffalo, Community Action Organization of Erie County, Board of Block Clubs of Buffalo and Erie County Inc. and Western New York Prisoners Re-Entry Coalition. The conference is free and open to Western New York residents, yet pre-registration is preferred.

For more information or to pre-register, please contact the Mayor’s 311 Call and Resolution Center by dialing 3-1-1 or (716) 851-4890.