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Erasing Red Lines: Epilogue - Where Do We Go From Here?

Russell Weaver — Jan 29, 2020

While the Erasing Red Lines reports spoke of “distressed communities” and places experiencing “decline,” the core message—threaded through all three reports—is that patterns of “distress” and “decline” are products of a flawed and discriminatory political economic system. The formal act of mid-20th Century redlining was chosen to animate this core message because it is tangible and recognizable, and because its legacy is …

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Western New York Census Toolkit

Anna Blatto — Jan 14, 2020

This toolkit provides information and actionable steps for getting involved with education, outreach, and support for Census 2020. It also offers specific information about local challenges and solutions .

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Poverty and Disparities in Niagara County

Anna Blatto — Nov 13, 2019

This Buffalo Brief provides an overview of the geography and statistics around poverty in Niagara County. 

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Erasing Red Lines: Part 2 - Systems Thinking for Social and Community Change

Russell Weaver — Oct 29, 2019

What, if anything, can be done to push back against persistently uneven geographies of opportunity in Buffalo and other post-industrial, shrinking cities? And why the focus on systems science and its technical jargon? A response to both of these questions is that vicious cycles and ways out of them cannot be fully apprehended without thinking about the systems in which they are produced—and systems thinking is rarely the default toolbox that policymakers and community change organizations …

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Distinguishing the Social Sector: A Buffalo-Niagara Labor Market Study

Sam Magavern, Kristin (Szczepaniec) Ksiazek, Russell Weaver — Sep 19, 2019

The study focuses on the two largest parts of Buffalo-Niagara’s social sector: nonprofit and government employers. 

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Erasing Red Lines: Part 1 - Geographies of Discrimination

Russell Weaver — Aug 28, 2019

Since at least the 1930s, the City of Buffalo, New York has been spatially and socially divided. While certain mixed use and residential communities across the map have shown remarkable resilience—and thrived—during the City’s history of deindustrialization and population loss, many communities of color on Buffalo’s East and West Sides have experienced persistent and increasing levels of distress. This series of brief reports examines those patterns and engages with …

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Census 2020: Making Western New York Count

Anna Blatto — Jun 10, 2019

This policy brief offers an overview of the 2020 Census: what it is and why it matters for Western New York.

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Rental Housing Costs in Buffalo

Sarah Wooton — Oct 15, 2018

With the renewed popularity of urban living, along with substantial public and private investment in the city, the value of property throughout Buffalo is on the rise. Certain neighborhoods, including Downtown, Allentown, Hertel/Parkside and areas on the West and East sides, are becoming hot markets – with many homes worth double or triple what owners paid for them. As property values rise in cities, rents do too.

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Labor Force and Unemployment Data

Department of Labor — Dec 31, 2017

NYS Department of Labor Data for New York State, Labor Market Regions, Metropolitan Areas, Counties, and Municipalities of at least 25,000 Population

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West Side Study

Clint McManus — Oct 1, 2016

Buffalo, New York is no stranger to spatial segregation along racial and economic lines.  Conventional wisdom throughout the region traces this historic divide along the length of Main Street, a north-south corridor.  It is widely believed that Buffalo’s affluent neighborhoods sit to the west, with low-income neighborhoods in the east.  While Main Street serves as an easy point of reference, Buffalo’s demographics are not binary.  Even dividing the city into …

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Buffalo Niagara - How Are We Really Doing

Lawrence Brooks — Jan 20, 2016

There has been a lot of good news lately in Buffalo: Harbor Center and Canalside, RiverBend and Solar City, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus expansion, new hotels and restaurants, even an uptick in employment and population.  But most of this good news is economic, and there is much more to our region than just economic activity.  These positive developments have prompted reactions such as “rebirth” and “resurgence.”  But perspectives on Buffalo vary …

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Immigrants, Refugees, and Languages Spoken in Buffalo

Deandra Fike, Subin Chung, Emily Riordan — Jul 14, 2015

According to 2000 Census Data, Buffalo ranked last of 48 major metro areas in gaining immigrants, and the percentage of Buffalo residents born in foreign countries remains relatively low.  However, from 2000 to 2010, the Buffalo-Niagara Metro Area saw a 33% rise in foreign-born population, growing from 4.4% of the total population in 2000 to 6.0% in 2010.  The main reason for this increase is the number of refugees being resettled in Buffalo.  Refugees are people fleeing war, …

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Eritrean Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia, but began a struggle for independence in the 1960s and finally became established as a separate country in 1993.  The civil war that preceded the separation lasted for approximately 30 years, beginning while Eritrea was still considered part of Ethiopia and continued until 2000, even after independence was granted.  Three waves of migration from Eritrea to the US occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees escaped the violent civil war, finding …

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From Central Africa to Buffalo: Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, and Burundi

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

For the past several decades Central Africa has been wrought with conflict, including both civil wars and international conflicts.  Many different ethnic groups are involved in various capacities, creating tensions within and between countries.  Do not assume that individuals from the same country are of the same ethnic group or religious affiliation.  There are important differences among the ethnic and tribal groups, and because of the longstanding tensions among some of the …

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Nepali Bhutanese Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Bhutanese refugees have a complicated history.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, an influx of undocumented Nepali immigrants into Bhutan occurred.  These individuals were settled in the southern region of Bhutan and referred to as Lhotshampas, meaning “southerners”.  The Bhutanese government enforced the Bhutanese Citizenship Act of 1958 as an effort to more closely control the immigration.  The government wished to promote cultural and national unity …

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Refugees from Iraq in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

The country of Iraq suffers from war and terrorism on a daily basis.  Currently the population of Iraq is approximately 28 million, of whom about 75% are Arab, 17% are Kurds and the remainder mostly Armenians, Assyrians and Turks.  The turmoil in Iraq includes violent disputes among Sunni Muslim and Shi’ite Muslim; persecution due to political allegiance; and targeting of vulnerable populations, such as women, by militias and insurgents.  Over two million Iraqis have …

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Refugees from Somalia in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Somalia is a country that has been divided by civil war since the 1980s.  It began due to resistance to the regime of Siad Barre.  Once he was overthrown in the 1980s, the resulting power vacuum led to violence.  Peace efforts from multi-national groups, neighboring countries, and the United Nations have been attempted, but violence continues and has forced many to flee the country for safety.  Somalia is one of the most homogenous countries in Africa.  Approximately …

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Refugees from Sudan in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Sudan is ethnically diverse and physically vast.  It has endured many years of violent civil war between the Arab/Muslim North and the Black/Christian South.  In 2011, South Sudan gained its independence from the North so that two governments now rule; however, the conflict has continued.  There are at least 10 different ethnic groups among the refugees from Sudan that have resettled in the United States.  Since 2003, New York State has resettled 897 Sudanese refugees, with …

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Yemeni Immigrants in Western New York

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

The country of Yemen came into being in May of 1990 when North Yemen merged with South Yemen.  Sanaa, the former capital of the North, became the political capital, and Aden, the former capital of the South, became the economic center.  Because of the less-developed economy in Yemen, many Yemenites (predominantly males) have emigrated out of the country seeking employment, often to send money back home.  In addition, a brutal police force and government have led to violence and …

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Afghan Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 7, 2015

Afghanistan is a diverse country with many different ethnicities, often differentiated by language or religious beliefs.  Many of the groups can also be found in the nations that border Afghanistan: Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China.  Since 2003, New York State has resettled 395 Afghan refugees, including 63 in 2013.  Many of these have settled in Erie County.  Many recently resettled individuals from Afghanistan have come with “SIV” …

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Burman, Karen, and Chin Refugees: From Burma to Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 7, 2015

Burma, officially known as the Republic of Myanmar, is a small nation in Asia, bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand.  For many years, the nation has suffered military dictatorship, inflicting violence and torture on various ethnic groups.  Burma is one of the most diverse countries in the world.  The largest ethnic groups, making up approximately 68% of the nation’s population, are the Burmans, also called Bamar.  Other ethnic groups include the Chin, …

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From Puerto Rico to Buffalo

Jun 22, 2015

Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated territory of the U.S.  There is much debate over the future of Puerto Rico, usually focusing on three major choices; statehood, independence, or remaining a U.S. territory.  Since 1917, its people have been U.S. citizens, and their movement throughout the states is therefore officially termed internal migration.  However, the transition made by Puerto Ricans who move to the continental U.S. can involve the same changes and challenges …

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Vacant and Abandoned Housing in Buffalo

Marc Masson — Dec 1, 2014

Buffalo has the oldest housing stock in the nation, with the largest percentage (67%) of homes built before 1940.  In Erie County in 2013 there were 275 cases of elevated lead levels in children.  The City of Buffalo has three of five zip codes in state with worst lead poisoning levels and accounts for roughly 95% of county lead cases.  As of 2008, 13%-22% of children in the City suffered from asthma.  In 2006, the City received 7,460 calls regarding housing violations and …

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Employment Data for Buffalo

Allison Considine — Sep 1, 2014

The types of jobs available in Buffalo have changed post-recession, with midlevel skilled jobs disappearing and high and low skill jobs growing.  The loss of jobs in fields such as teaching, office administration, factory work and construction work during the recession is exacerbated by the fact that many midlevel jobs, such as manufacturing, are being automated or sent to cheaper markets.  Growth has occurred on the high and low skill ends of the spectrum, however, with increases in …

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The Great Recession in Buffalo-Niagara

Ramon Garcia — Jan 17, 2013

At the end of the last decade, the U.S. experienced its most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.  The so-called “Great Recession” shocked the economies of virtually every metropolitan area in the nation.  Officially, the recession began in December of 2007 and ended in June 2009.  But for much of the country, recovery has been very slow; over three years since the expansion began the nation had gained back less than half of the jobs it had lost during …

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Health Data for Buffalo and Erie County

Sam Magavern, Jacqueline MacKeller, Jessica Bauer-Walker Nov 26, 2012

Health data for Buffalo and Erie County redacted from the Erie County Community Health Assessment from 2010-2013.

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Population Trends in Buffalo-Niagara

Ramon Garcia — Oct 2, 2012

Like a number of places in the nation’s manufacturing belt, the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area has been losing population over the past several decades.  This decline reflects the ongoing population shift from the Northeast and Midwest to warmer places in the South and West, as well as the considerable loss of manufacturing jobs in the region.  In recent decades, some large metros experiencing domestic out-migration have seen their populations bolstered by migrants from …

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Buffalo's Assets

Perry Choice Neighborhood Planning Team Jun 1, 2012

In its Principles for a Revitalized Buffalo, the Partnership for the Public Good calls for a strategy that starts from our assets.  This Buffalo Brief provides just a small sampling of our region’s assets.

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Geographies of Poverty: Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Area

Christopher Szczygiel — Mar 16, 2012

The local economy is often discussed in terms of the Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a multi-county area with a population of over one million.  While it is useful to take a regional perspective, it is also useful to consider individual cities, towns or villages.  The economic picture in the city of Buffalo (population 266,012) is so quite different than that of the town of Holland (population 3,430).  The poverty rates in the cities of Buffalo (29.6%) and …

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The Geography of Poverty: City of Buffalo

Robert Grimaldi — Mar 16, 2012

Between 2000 and 2010, several census tracts on the East and West Sides fell deeper into poverty.  Broadway-Fillmore’s poverty rate rose from 45.9% to 51.9%, the Niagara Street neighborhood immediately west of Downtown rose from 45.6% to 62.5%, and two tracts in Black Rock rose from 39.2% and 36.3% to 46.0%.  Also, several North Buffalo neighborhoods experienced significant drops in poverty rates, including Parkside falling from 28.2% to 15.8%, Central Park falling from 16.0% to …

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Profile of Buffalo and its Region

Open Buffalo, Partnership for the Public Good, PUSH Buffalo, VOICE Buffalo, Coalition for Economic Justice — Jan 30, 2012

Like many places in the nation’s manufacturing belt, the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area has been losing population over the past several decades.  This decline reflects the long-term shift of population from the Northeast and Midwest to warmer places in the South and West, as well as the considerable loss of manufacturing jobs in the region.  Population loss has been especially severe in the Buffalo area, however, mostly due to its obvious weather disadvantages and an economy …

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Buffalo, Amherst, and Erie County: Worlds Apart

Jonathan Baird Aug 31, 2011

Examines demographic, population, and economic markers between Buffalo, Amherst, and Erie County.

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Education Data for Buffalo

Jonathan Baird Aug 18, 2011

Fact Sheet Outlining Education Data for Buffalo.  Includes: Educational attainment of those over 25, four year graduation rate, and percent's of adults with Bachelor's degrees.

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Individuals Below the Poverty Level

Sam Magavern, Partnership for the Public Good Dec 31, 2009

Census Tracts in the City of Buffalo.

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Immigrants and Refugees in Buffalo

Louise Calixte — Nov 20, 2008

Many of the refugees were living in refugee camps until migrating to Buffalo.  In these camps, time was not regulated.  In working for an employer, many immigrants find the time-orientation very challenging. A similar problem involves calling employers in situations where the worker is going to be late or will not be able to make it in that day.  In many of the foreign countries that the immigrants come from, a worker needs only come in late or the next day and explain what had …

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The Geography of Urban Poverty

Wende A. Mix — Jan 1, 2008

The Census Bureau reports poverty statistics annually based on American Community Survey (ACS) data.  For the past two years this has included listing the ten places with the highest poverty rates and the ten with the lowest poverty rates.  This study considers the interpretation of these statistics when different geographies form the analytical framework.  As expected, interpretation of these statistics is influenced by the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) in geography.

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Poverty and Buffalo: Beyond the Headlines

Wende A. Mix — Dec 31, 2007

On August 28, 2007 the U.S. Census Bureau released statistics on poverty and earnings in the United States.  These statistics were based on results from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) which is an ongoing (continuous measurement) survey conducted by the Bureau.  The Buffalo News published a front page story on August 30, 2007 with the following headline “Buffalo falls to second-poorest big city in U.S., with a poverty rate of nearly 30 percent”.  The Census …

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Framework for Regional Growth

The League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara Oct 1, 2006

The absence of a region-wide vision for conservation, development, and public investment has become an increasingly central concern of the Region’s leaders.  For the past two to three decades—the last regional plan was completed in 1974—local and regional actions have occurred without the benefit of reference to a larger policy or planning framework.  Important decisions regarding the location and pace of development, investments in economic development, the …

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Losing Ground: Income and Poverty in Upstate New York, 1980-2000

Rolf Pendall, Susan Christopherson — Sep 1, 2004

Over the past several decades, Upstate New York has transitioned from a stable middle-income region to one with serious income and economic problems.  In 1969, per capita personal income (PCPI) in Upstate exceeded that of the United States, but by 2000, it trailed the national average by 11 percent.  These lagging incomes likely contribute to the substantial out-migration of mobile residents from the area—especially in the mid-1990s—which in turn is threatening economic …

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