Buffalo Commons



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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Temp Work and Poverty in Buffalo

J.A. Dewald Jan 1, 2015

There are many kinds of temp work, but this report focuses on the most common type, in which a worker is employed by a temporary service agency and placed at one or more work sites.  The temp agency typically charges its client business roughly twice the worker’s hourly wages.  Temp agencies create a triangular relationship in which the worker works at the host business but for the temp agency.  In other words, it is the temp agency that typically recruits, screens, hires, …

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Casino Gambling will Create More Costs Than Benefits in New York State

Michael Cimasi, Alexis Leonard — Oct 16, 2013

In November 2013, New York State voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to expand casino gambling.  Currently, the state has five casinos run by Indian tribes.  The proposed amendment would allow up to seven non-tribal casinos in areas not including New York City and not including areas, such as Western New York, where the state is bound by an exclusivity agreement with an Indian tribe.  A law expanding casino gambling has passed the state legislature, but, …

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How the Seneca Gaming Corporation has Violated its Contract and Broken its Promises to the City of Buffalo

Michael LoCurto — Jan 31, 2013

The Seneca Gaming Corporation promised the City of Buffalo, in a legally binding contract, that it would construct a tourist destination casino in a park-like setting, market it to out-of-town visitors, and employ large numbers of Buffalonians.  However, the idea of a tourist casino in downtown Buffalo was never realistic.  The SGC has violated nearly every term in its contract, showing blatant disregard for the City, and its current plans reveal the casino for what it was always …

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Casino Briefing

Citizens For a Better Buffalo — Dec 31, 2012

Presentation by the Citizens for a Better Buffalo on casino.

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Poverty and Casino Gambling in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Elaina Mule — Jan 19, 2011

The Buffalo Creek Casino will exacerbate Buffalo’s poverty.  Casinos, especially urban casinos, attract many gamblers living at or near the poverty line, and problem or pathological gamblers often fall from the middle class into poverty.  Proximity to casinos is a major factor in problem gambling.  The Buffalo Creek Casino is located in a high-poverty zone.  Population’s already facing high poverty rates and inequalities, such as African Americans, have higher …

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Comparing the Economic Competitive Advantages of Indian Run Casinos Located on Sovereign Lands in Western New York Over Other Hospitality Operations

Steve Siegel — Jan 1, 2010

The Seneca Gaming Corporation has constantly attempted to convince the citizens of WNY that their casinos will provide long-term economic benefits to the area.  The local “mainstream” media has, with few exceptions, repeatedly quoted the statistics that the SGC’s public relations people have provided them.  The mainstream media has rarely if ever done an independent analysis of the numbers or sought answers to some of the more disturbing statistics.

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Informal Economies

Chris Berardi — Nov 20, 2008

The informal economy comprises the parts of the economy that are not regulated.  These parts include illicit activity like the sale of drugs, architects doing work under the table, hairdressers who operate in cash and don’t report their income, businesses employing illegal workers, and businesses operating without government required licenses.  Informal economic actors are often self-employed, or are employed elsewhere and operating an informal business on the side as a means …

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Predatory Business Practices: Automobile Financing

Rachel Jones — Nov 12, 2008

Poverty is an ever-growing problem affecting much of the country.  People fall into financial holes and certain industries make sure that they stay there.  Low-income individuals are targets for businesses that make their money by providing needed benefits now with an exorbitant cost later.  Jacob S. Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, has said that low-income people are forced to live beyond their means by businesses that target them.  According to a series in The …

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Proposed Agreement with Seneca Erie Gaming Corporation, Seneca Gaming Corporation and Seneca Nation

Byron Brown — Oct 12, 2006

Letter from Mayor Byron W. Brown regarding the Seneca Erie Gaming Corporation.

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