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Building a Safer Buffalo: Invest in Communities, Divest from Police

Colleen Kristich — May 6, 2021

Across the country, advocates are calling to cut police budgets in response to widespread misconduct made visible by videos of police killing unarmed civilians, disproportionately Black Americans, Indigenous people and people of color. Many attempts at police reform have failed to meaningfully change the harmful culture and practices of policing, and even with outsized public investment in law enforcement, public safety problems persist. Concerned residents and advocates call for reallocating …

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The Cost of Incarceration in NYS: Erie County

Vera Institute of Justice — Apr 13, 2021

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Responding to New York's Budget Crisis

Sam Magavern — Feb 10, 2011

Wealthy individuals and big businesses have benefited dramatically from reduced taxes and increased subsidies, and they should make a fair contribution to resolving New York’s budget crisis.  Taxes on the very wealthy and reduction of corporate welfare will do much more to reinvigorate the economy and restore fiscal health than drastic cuts in health and education spending.

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Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority

Scott Mancuso — May 3, 2009

The BFSA is a “corporate governmental agency” and an “instrumentality” of the State of New York. It is run by nine directors.  Only one of these directors need be a citizen of the City of Buffalo.  The governor designates two of the nine directors as “chairperson” and “vice-chairperson,” who preside over all meetings of the directors.

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Erie County's Budget

Eric Vogan — Apr 30, 2009

Citizens have two opportunities to influence the budget publically.  The first is when the County Executive and the Director of Budget and Management hold their public meetings, and the second is when the County Legislature holds its public meeting.  Citizens can also write to the County Executive and County Legislature to influence the budget.  If during the year a department needs more money for a program, the Executive can appropriate funds from one part of a department to …

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The City of Buffalo Budget Fiscal Year 2008-2009

Harvey Asiedu-Akrofi — Apr 29, 2009

The City asserts that it has the ability to: afford three successive property tax cuts”, thereby reducing the overall property tax rate on residential properties by nearly 12%; maintain an unprecedented unreserved fund balance of $105 million with $76 million undesignated; set aside $30 million in City surplus funds and up to $15 million in a separate capital reserve to ensure the City never again faces a fiscal crisis; move the City from a fiscal control period to an advisory one; …

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The Control Boards: Time for an Objective Review and Real Reforms

Mark Poloncarz Mar 18, 2008

Justifications for the Buffalo and Erie County control boards usually depend on two false premises: (i) the problem is “bloated” and “inefficient” city and county government; and (ii) the solution is to add another layer of government composed of non-elected, state-appointed officials.  The typical commentary lumps all local elected officials together, ignoring large differences between different politicians and between the city and county.  It ignores the big …

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