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Photobank: Education Cooperation Buffalo Academy - Pt I

Buffalo Commons Photobank — Jan 14, 2020

Guidelines for using photos from the Buffalo Commons Photobank The Buffalo Commons Photobank is an issue-based Photobank for use by our partners and the general public. The purpose of making these photos publicly available is to enhance the work of the social sector in Buffalo-Niagara. We believe that our partners’ work will be more effective when it features high-quality and artistic images for any number of occasions: an event, a fundraiser, a report, etc.

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Photobank: Education Cooperation Buffalo Academy - Pt II

Buffalo Commons Photobank — Jan 14, 2020

Guidelines for using photos from the Buffalo Commons Photobank The Buffalo Commons Photobank is an issue-based Photobank for use by our partners and the general public. The purpose of making these photos publicly available is to enhance the work of the social sector in Buffalo-Niagara. We believe that our partners’ work will be more effective when it features high-quality and artistic images for any number of occasions: an event, a fundraiser, a report, etc.

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Photobank: Education Cooperation Buffalo Academy - Pt III

Buffalo Commons Photobank — Jan 14, 2020

Guidelines for using photos from the Buffalo Commons Photobank The Buffalo Commons Photobank is an issue-based Photobank for use by our partners and the general public. The purpose of making these photos publicly available is to enhance the work of the social sector in Buffalo-Niagara. We believe that our partners’ work will be more effective when it features high-quality and artistic images for any number of occasions: an event, a fundraiser, a report, etc.

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Erasing Red Lines: Part 3 - Building Community Wealth

Russell Weaver — Dec 20, 2019

Erasing Red Lines of discrimination and inequality from our map is a monumental task that will require transformational systems-change. As community-based organizations are demonstrating the possibilities of alternative systems in specific geographic places, the questions of (1) how to bring those efforts to scale, and (2) how public policies might change in response to the lessons learned from those efforts, require greater attention. Building on the previous installment of this series, this …

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The Eastside-Airport Metro Rail Extension

Citizens for Regional Transit — Aug 23, 2019

This policy brief provides information regarding the expansion of NFTA metro-rail services in east-side Buffalo to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 

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Workers on the Brink: Low-Wage Employment in Buffalo and Erie County

Nicole Hallett — Apr 12, 2018

In 2017, Professor Hallett, winner of a public research fellowship from Open Buffalo and PPG, conducted a survey of 213 workers in Buffalo to learn more about the challenges they are facing. 

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Town IDAs in Erie County: 2011-2013

Sam Magavern — Nov 14, 2014

In addition to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Erie County has five town IDAs: Amherst, Clarence, Concord, Hamburg, and Lancaster.  In this policy brief, we review the performance of the five town IDAs from 2011 to 2013 and find that most of the projects that they have approved have involved restaurants, retail businesses, hotels, speculative office parks, or other projects that are highly unlikely to grow the region’s economy and create a net gain of jobs.

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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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HUD Report on Buffalo Community Development Block Grant Program

Edgar Moore — Dec 13, 2011

Audit report from Edgar Moore to William O'Connell.

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Generating Waste: Problems with NYPA and the IDAs and How to Solve Them

Robert Grimaldi Oct 1, 2011

New York State is spending billions of dollars on economic development programs without reaping significant public benefits.  Too often the State is subsidizing sprawl, pollution, and poverty level employment.  An examination of the State’s two largest economic development programs, the industrial development agencies and the New York Power Authority, reveals numerous problems – but also ready solutions that will save the taxpayers money and lead to real, sustainable …

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Canal Side: How Will the Community Benefit?

Owen Field Apr 1, 2010

For the last two years, PPG partners have voted to make a community benefit agreement (CBA) for the $300 million Canal Side development a plank in the PPG Community Agenda.  A CBA would include binding guarantees about quality jobs, green design, local businesses, local and minority hiring, and mixed income housing.  Each year, PPG leads its partners and other citizens in crafting a Community Agenda: ten policy actions that government can take in the course of the year to revitalize …

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Erie County Industrial Development Agency

Patrick Fitzsimmons — May 3, 2009

The ECIDA is a public benefit corporation created by the New York State Legislature for the purpose of attracting and retaining private sector business development in Erie County.  That development creates local job opportunities and improves the overall economic environment for the people of Erie County.

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The Erie Canal Harbor Development: Building on Community Assets for a Sustainable Future

Carrie Weremblewski Apr 21, 2009

This policy brief frames the redevelopment of the Erie Canal Harbor as a tool for building on our existing assets and addressing our chronic challenges.  Ultimately, development of this vital and historic district will be accomplished on public land and with additional public resources and subsidies.  As such, Buffalo's Inner Harbor redevelopment, like and development receiving public funds, should have clear and achievable goals that advance public purposes.

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IDA Reform

Sam Magavern — Mar 9, 2009

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on IDA reform.  I teach at the University at Buffalo Law School in the areas of affordable housing and community economic development.  I am submitting these remarks on behalf of the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG).  PPG has united over 40 Buffalo-area non-profits around a 2009 Community Agenda, which includes this plank regarding subsidy reform: Reform New York State’s Subsidy Programs New York State should reform its major …

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Missing the Target

Sam Magavern, Daniel Webster, Anthony Armstrong — Feb 6, 2009

Buffalo is the nation’s third most impoverished city.  Buffalo’s East Side and West Side neighborhoods are two of Buffalo’s most impoverished areas.  If any two neighborhoods are in need of economic development, it is these two.  And yet, despite spending billions of dollars on economic development programs each year, the State, County, and City have largely ignored these neighborhoods and their increasingly desperate residents.  Programs, funds, and …

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The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

Michael Mettille — Dec 8, 2008

The ECHDC is currently developing the Inner and Outer Buffalo Harbor, most notably where the historic terminus of the Erie Canal is.  The ECHDC is also developing some of the surrounding area including the old Memorial Auditorium and the Donovan State Building.

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IDA Consolidation

Michael Mettille — Nov 20, 2008

Multiple IDA’s confuse businesses and force them to navigate too much red tape.  There are too many IDA’s and they have overlapping areas of responsibility.  Multiple IDA’s contribute to the region’s economic decline.  Multiple IDA’s foster a spirit of intramural competition among municipalities rather than fostering a spirit of cooperation to compete at the varsity level (i.e. national and international level.  No real growth is generated by …

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Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau

Irene Pijuan — Nov 16, 2008

The CVB is currently drafting a five-year strategic plan that will guide its sales and marketing efforts on behalf of the local tourism industry.  The plan, when complete, will serve to refine the CVB’s mission as a destination marketing organization and the official tourism promotion agency for Erie County.  Focus groups have been conducted with a variety of partner organizations representing the hotel, restaurant, retail, attraction, sports, cultural and philanthropic …

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Community Development Block Grants and Buffalo

Amy Kaslovsky — Nov 16, 2008

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a federal program run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  CDBG grants are provided to state and local governments for the purpose of addressing community needs such as affordable housing, job creation, and retention and expansion of business activity.  Grants are available for projects lasting from one to three years.  Seventy percent of the funding must be used for the benefit of low and …

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Brownfield Cleanup and Development in Buffalo, New York

Caitlin Connelly — Nov 8, 2008

Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties for which expansion, development, or reuse may be complicated by environmental contamination, such as the presence of a hazardous substance or pollutant.  Examples of brownfields include the former sites of factories, mills, rail yards, gas stations, and dry cleaners.

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Historic Preservation

Rachel Jones — Nov 6, 2008

Historic preservation is the physical rehabilitation of historical buildings and neighborhoods.  The United States began its campaign for preservation in the 1960s.  Historic preservation has been a concern for the United States for a long time.  In 1966, the federal government established the “National Historic Preservation Act”.  The purpose of the act was to insure that the cultural and historical foundations of the country were preserved in the face of …

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Professional Sports Subsidies

Irene Pijuan — Oct 24, 2008

The subsidies to franchise owners take two forms—tax breaks and the availability of arenas at a very low cost.  Public subsidies take the form of new stadiums and arenas provided by local authorities and financed by taxpayers or by issuing state bonds.  The subsidy starts with the federal government, which allows state and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to help finance sports facilities.  Tax exemption lowers the interest on debt and so reduces the amount that …

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The New York Power Authority

Chris Berardi — Oct 3, 2008

The Power Authority gives subsidies in the forms of discounted power to municipalities, industrial customers, and through various means to residential customers.  Until recently, power leftover after sales to industrial customers went to National Grid, a private entity, which then passed on some of the savings to residential customers.  Now the Power Authority keeps that leftover power that they can sell at normal rates elsewhere.

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Erie County Office of Economic Development

Louise Calixte — Oct 2, 2008

The OED has constant challenges in getting enough financial resources.  Since there is no specific budget allocation, the OED must compete with other priorities of the Department of Planning and Economic Development.  Another challenge that the OED faces is complicated ownership issues, specifically with brownfields.  In order to remediate the sites, legal ownership issues have to be resolved.  At times, this process is arduous and time consuming.

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Buffalo's Tourism

Robert Goodwin — Dec 31, 2007

Erie County created the Office of Arts, Culture and Tourism (ACT) in 2001, which operates within the Erie County Planning division.  The purpose of this group is to oversee the distribution of an approximate $9 million annual investment among Erie County’s cultural tourist attractions.  This money is dispersed under two grants.  One of these grants, the Public Benefit funding, awards money to not-for-profits that focus on the region’s economic development and engage …

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Sprawling by the Lake: How IDA-Granted Property Tax Exemptions Undermine Older Parts of the Buffalo/Niagara Metro Area

Allison Lack — May 1, 2007

An examination of the geographic distribution of property tax exemptions given to businesses in 2005 by the nine state-regulated Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in the Buffalo/Niagara metro area reveals they have subsidized job creation outside of the region’s oldest, most densely populated and most transit-accessible areas, despite the fact those areas are most in need of jobs and reinvestment.  The exemptions’ sprawling, pro-suburban bias is especially evident in Erie …

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