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Sunday, June 26, 2016
Buffalo Selected To Join National What Works Cities Initiative
June 13, 2016 - Innovative Program Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies Supports Cities’ Use of Data and Evidence to Make Government More Effective and Improve Lives
Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that Buffalo has been selected as 1 of 12 new cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Work Cities initiative – one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector. Launched in April 2015, the initiative is now providing support to 39 cities in 25 states and will work with up to 100 mid-sized cities on a rolling basis through 2018.
“Our participation in the ‘What Works Cities’ national initiative will have a huge impact on our continued work to improve delivery of city services to residents,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “As we continue to grow Buffalo into a City of opportunity for all, free access to experts in data usage and performance will further my commitment to use fact-based and data driven approaches that will improve our ongoing efforts to deliver better results to Buffalo residents, business owners and visitors. In addition, our partnership with What Works Cities will help strengthen our highly effective CitiStat Buffalo initiative and complement our ongoing investments in technology to further open city data to the public and utilize city resources more wisely.”
What Works Cities collaborates with participating municipalities to review their current use of data and evidence, understand where they are utilizing best practices and identify areas for growth. Buffalo will work with the What Works Cities expert partners to expand the city’s use of data and evidence to greatly enhance the city’s ambitious agenda for increased economic development and job growth, and equal access to opportunity among all residents.
Having reviewed Buffalo’s What Works Cities statement of interest and self-assessment, and having conducted an on-site workshop with Mayor Brown and his staff in March 2016, the WWC’s team identified two opportunities for which WWC can assist Buffalo in advancing its goals: Open Data and Performance Management. Read More...
Mayor Brown Designates Portion Of Washington Street As Literary Corridor
June 7, 2016 - On Tuesday, June 7th, the Buffalo Common Council unanimously approved an executive proclamation submitted by Mayor Byron W. Brown. This proclamation designated Washington Street, from Clinton Street to Virginia Street, as the Washington Street Literary Corridor.
“The City of Buffalo has an extraordinary literary history and legacy, is home to one of the country’s top literary centers, and has an active and growing literary community,” said Mayor Brown. “I’m pleased to support the shared goal of bringing our city’s literary arts into full visibility by designating this section of downtown Washington Street as a Literary Corridor, fostering even more economic development and promoting Buffalo’s continued legacy as a world class literary city.”
Buffalo Common Council Education Committee Chair Hon. Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr. stated that he hopes that the corridor would inspire more literary activity in the city. He said, "Reading is the fundamental capability by which the exchange of information begins. Information brings about knowledge; knowledge builds capacity; and capacity brings about change. In order to instigate impactful change, we need to change perceptions, and what better place to start than in a book. ”
Done in conjunction with Just Buffalo Literary Center, Plur·al·ity Press, the Western New York Book Arts Center and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, this designation reinforces the hub of vibrant literary activity along downtown Washington Street.
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski said, “Old, new and rare books, writers, literary events, discussions, chronicles, documents, and print shops can be found along this section of downtown’s Washington Street which is blessed with amazing literary connections. Buffalo’s newly proclaimed ‘Literary Corridor’ is another intriguing and positive chapter in the story of our great city, Buffalo!”
“Just Buffalo Literary Center wants the entire community to share in the love of reading, the art of writing, and the power of the literary arts to transform individual lives and communities,” stated Laurie Dean Torrell, Executive Director of the Just Buffalo Literary Center. “We are delighted at this heightened visibility for what is truly one of Buffalo’s distinguishing assets. ”
The participation of more citizens in an already active literary center will create a highly visible identity for a core area. Shayna Israel, Editor-in-chief of Plur·al·ity Press affirmed, stating that, “Banners along the Washington Street Literary Corridor will work to showcase Buffalo's rich literary history while helping to engender a sense of pride among its residents. It inspires curiosity and a renewed attention to the joys of reading.”
Along with both Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald having lived in Buffalo, this city has been home to many historically significant poets, novelists, and playwrights including Lauren Belfer, Robert Creeley, Lucille Clifton, Ishmael Reed, Charles Olson, Emanuel Fried, Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein and Carl Dennis. The designation of a literary corridor along Washington Street will create a highly visible identity for a core area which contains central literary assets such as Just Buffalo Literary Center, Plur-al-ity Press, the Western New York Book Arts Center and the hub of our great library system, the downtown Central Library.
Mayor Brown, City of Buffalo Release RFP For Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative
June 7, 2016 - Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) calling on the locally-based non-profit community to assist the city in spearheading and designing a plan to reduce poverty in Buffalo. During his 2016-2017 budget roll out earlier this year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 10 cities will 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. As part of the first phase of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, Buffalo will receive $500,000 to develop a plan to fight poverty. The cities were chosen based on their concentrations of poverty and 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, part of 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.
In order to combat this very complex problem in Buffalo, Mayor Brown convened a Buffalo Poverty Task Force co-chaired by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and State Senator Timothy Kennedy.
The Initiative will be administered in two steps:
The City of Buffalo will accept responses from locally-based non-profit organizations. The organization must possess the capacity to coordinate, perform administrative activities, serve as a fiscal agent, facilitate discussions about the causes and impact of poverty, identify common challenges, and bring multiple stakeholders together to design a plan to reduce poverty in Buffalo.
The RFP can be found on the City of Buffalo’s website: http://www.city-buffalo.com/bids.
PUBLIC NOTICE - Mayor Byron W. Brown invites Buffalo residents to participate in a public hearing to discuss the city's anticipated 2016/17 allocations for the following federal programs: Community Development Block Grant; HOME Investment Partnerships; Emergency Solutions Grant; and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS. - Wednesday, June 29, 2016
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