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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2015 Archives > July 2015 > Bishops Sign Buffalo Opportunity Pledge

Bishops Sign Buffalo Opportunity Pledge


Mayor Brown welcomes both bishops to Niagara Square, along with other bishops and prominent leaders of the local faith-based community, for Wednesday’s signing

July 29, 2015 – As momentum continues to build for the City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, Mayor Byron Brown was pleased to welcome support from Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and Bishop R. William Franklin of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York.  Both bishops, joined by other prominent bishops and interfaith-based community leaders, signed the pledge today in Niagara Square.

“As economic growth and opportunity continues in Buffalo, it’s important that all residents and business owners benefit from the city’s rising prosperity,” said Mayor Brown.  “I thank Bishop Malone, Bishop Franklin and the many prominent faith-based community leaders for signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, a reflection of their continued commitment to helping us build a culture of diversity, inclusion and equity in Buffalo.”
Bishop Malone stated, “We want the new hope that’s emerging citywide to continue and widen its embrace, offering hope that job growth and opportunity will reach all people in Buffalo and Western New York.”

Bishop Franklin stated, “At a time when our national dialogue is focused on language and Symbolism that is offensive, Buffalo is leading the way in creating a new culture of unity, represented today by the signing of this pledge by so many of our interfaith leaders.  My hope is we continue to move from talk to action as a community to make sure jobs and opportunity are open to all.”

Bishop Micheal Badger of Bethesda World Harvest International Church stated, “I thank Mayor Brown for all he’s doing to make our city an even greater city.  I believe that we are at a tipping point where we’ll see great change and we want that change to be for everyone.”

Imam Yahye Omar of Heal International, Inc, said, “We thank God, first and foremost, who brought us to this great country, giving us opportunity.  We also thank the leadership of Mayor Brown.  This opportunity gives a chance to work together as a brotherhood to help better the life of all citizens.”

Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein, President of Network of Religious Communities, stated, “The pledge makes me proud to be an American, proud to be a Buffalonian.  This is really the best of what we stand for, having this level of commitment to diversity.  I know God will bless us on our journey together.”

The Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, part of an initiative that is moving Buffalo toward the goal of shared prosperity for all residents, kicked into high gear earlier this month with the debut of the new logo for the pledge.  Since then, the number of individuals who have signed the pledge has quadrupled over a two-week period.  To date, over 1,000 people signed the pledge, with additional organizations requesting and scheduling ‘signing events’ with Mayor Brown in the weeks to come.

The pledge initiative continues Mayor Brown’s efforts to break down barriers for minorities and women that includes the hiring of the most diverse workforce in the city’s history, as well as incorporating community benefits into many of the city’s largest economic development projects.

The City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge encourages businesses, organizations and residents to commit to building a culture of inclusion and equality in Buffalo.  View and sign the pledge at: