Buffalo Commons

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Improving Teen Engagement in Buffalo and Erie County

Emily Bramhall, Hannah Sosenko, Sara Jablonski — Nov 13, 2018

This policy brief defines levels of youth engagement, considers why teens do not always participate in programs, highlights various teen-centered programs in Erie County, and shares details about programs that practice innovative teen engagement. It was created by Hannah Sosenko and Emily Bramhall, Cornell University High Road Fellows, and Sara Jablonski, Urban 4- H Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County.

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Women in Elected Office Challenges and Opportunities in Erie County

Erie County Commission on the Status of Women — Jul 26, 2018

"This report offers a snapshot of the political landscape in Erie County with a focus on women in elected office. Women comprise 52% of Erie County's total population , 49.5% of its labor force, and 53% of the county's registered voters. Women current comprise nearly 33% of elected government officials with men comprising nearly 68%." 

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WNY Girls in Sports

WNY Women's Foundation — Nov 27, 2017

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What If...Pathways to Progress Vol. 2: Women and Girls in WNY

WNY Women's Foundation — Nov 22, 2017

The original 2010 Pathways to Progress Report provided a foundation for moving forward, the start of an ongoing region-wide dialogue on supporting women and girls and a call to action to us all. Pathways to Progress Vol. 2 expands this dialogue with updated data that explores the barriers and opportunities that WNY women face throughout their lifespans. 

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"Locked in Buffalo's Socioeconomic Basement": An examination of Political and Institutional Racial Discrimination and its Effects on the local African American Community

Shanleigh Corrallo — Feb 14, 2017

This paper addresses the African American community in Buffalo, New York, and critically examines how local politics, interest groups and financial institutions negatively impacted the socioeconomic development of the city’s East Side.

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Utilization of Language Services for Clients with Limited English Proficiency Protocols

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. — Sep 26, 2016

The US Census Bureau, 2008-2012 American Community Survey, estimated that 29,786 people or 9.9% of the residents in Erie County speak English less than “very well” and speak another language at home; in Niagara County 5.1% of the residents speak English less than “very well” and speak another language at home; in Genesee County 4% of the residents speak English less than “very well” and speak another language at home; in Orleans County 6.4% of the residents …

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Access to Justice in Buffalo and Beyond: Making the Justice System More Welcoming for Refugees

Fidèle Menavanza — Jun 23, 2016

As an essential human right, much has been written about access to justice. Still, too many poor people lack this essential access all over the world when they face major life challenges. The issue confronts people experiencing poverty around the globe, as well as close to home. Access to justice for the most vulnerable is as encompassing as our country is diverse, affecting all races, ethnic groups, and ages. Victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, homeowners facing …

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Working Toward Equality

Sam Magavern — Jan 1, 2016

For all of the progress that our nation and our community have made toward equality, we remain plagued by severe racial disparities in many aspects of life.  Perhaps none is more troubling or more important than inequality in employment.  Access to a good job is, for most people, the key to a good life.  Something is sorely amiss when the black and Hispanic unemployment rates in Erie County are more than twice those of whites, and when people of color are earning just over 70 …

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Better Choices for Buffalo's Students: Expanding & Reforming the Criteria Schools System

Jongyeon Ee, Erica Frankenberg, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Natasha Amlani, Jennifer Ayscue, Gary Orfield, Brian Woodward — May 1, 2015

Today, the Buffalo Public Schools, which were national leaders in combining school choice and academic excellence in the l980s, retain only limited and very stratified public school choice. In the l980s, a very high level of diversity and academic excellence was achieved in the city. In the early l990s, the state department of education and national experts recognized the district’s high performance.  The report concludes that the city’s choice system has declined. After the …

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Initiatives for a Stronger Community

Mark Poloncarz — Mar 31, 2015

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Serving Limited English Proficient Clients

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. — Jan 1, 2014

When serving walk-ins, the goal is to provide the same services, information and referrals as we would provide to the English-speaking public.  This is true whether the walk-in ultimately turns out to be eligible for our services or not.  When in doubt, ask yourself what services, information or referrals you would provide to an English speaking person in the same situation.  Then make sure the Limited English Proficient person gets that same service, information or referrals.

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Alarming Disparities: The Disproportionate Number of African American and Hispanic People in Erie County Criminal Justice System

Open Buffalo — Nov 1, 2013

This study on the disproportionate number of African-American and Hispanic people in the Erie County criminal justice system reveals four findings for further analysis.  Representation of the African-American and Hispanic populations is disproportionately high in each stage of the criminal justice process, from arrest through sentencing.  The disparities grow worse at each stage of the process.  Violent felonies and drug felonies yield the greatest racial disparities.  The …

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Pathways to Progress

WNY Women's Fund — Jan 1, 2010

Pathways to Progress is a groundbreaking study and the first step in making a meaningful measurable difference in the lives of women and girls in Western New York.  Sustained improvement in these lives will dramatically benefit our entire community.  This initiative has been an 18-month journey that has been supported and guided by hundreds of strong, intelligent, committed partners.  We welcome the wider community’s active interest and participation.  In Western New …

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Beyond Food Deserts: Measuring and Mapping Racial Disparities in Neighborhood Food Environments

Changxing Ma, Pavan Yadav, Samina Raja — Jan 1, 2008

Given the emerging focus on improving food environments and food systems through planning, this article investigates racial disparities in neighborhood food environments.  An empirical case of Erie County, New York tests the hypothesis that people belonging to different racial groups have access to different neighborhood food destinations.  Using multiple methods—Gini coefficients and Poisson regression—we show that contrary to studies elsewhere in the country there are no …

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The Persistence of Segregation in Buffalo, New York

Daniel Trudeau — Jan 1, 2006

Debates about the causes of segregation continue to consider the role that own-race preferences have in understanding the persistence of racial residential segregation in American cities.  In this paper, I offer an alternative to the own-race preference model.  I argue that segregation of low-income Black households from Whites persists in Buffalo, New York, because the spatial rootedness of Blacks’ survival strategies leads households to choose housing in the central city, …

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