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Our 2023 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends,

On December 1, one hundred social workers, lawyers, researchers, culture workers, and community advocates came together to set their collective priorities for policy change. They pitched, debated, and voted for our 2024 Community Agenda, which will drive PPG’s work with our partners throughout the year ahead. In their pitches, advocates brought some of the region’s most pressing, urgent, and ingrained challenges to the table, including our lack of healthy housing, human rights violations in county jails, and our chronically underfunded childcare system. And yet, we concluded the annual Agenda Vote with a renewed sense of our collective power and our shared vision for a better Buffalo Niagara. Our partners know what will make our region more just, equitable, sustainable, and culturally vibrant, and we will help them win.

As partners voted for our new agenda, we also celebrated our 2023 policy wins:

  • When the $1 Billion subsidy for a new Buffalo Bills stadium was announced, there was no framework for community benefits. Over two years, PPG and a coalition of our partners persistently advocated for community reinvestment as a requirement for the deal. In early 2023, we won a $100 million community reinvestment agreement.
  • The Erie County Language Access Law, drafted by PPG and advanced by our Language Access Working Group, continues to advance. It will be voted on this month in the Erie County Legislature, and we expect it to pass, requiring all public-facing county departments to offer interpretation and to translate essential documents into our region’s top six languages.
  • For two years, the UB School of Law Transparency and Civil Rights Clinic has brought to our Community Agenda a priority to invest in affordable housing across Erie County in suburban and rural towns that often have exclusionary zoning rules. Recently, Erie County awarded funding for six affordable development projects across the county, including in Hamburg, West Seneca, City of Tonawanda, Angola, and North Collins – following our plank’s direct work with lead county planners.
  • Last week, the Erie County Legislature approved the 2024 County Budget, including a new dedicated budget line of $400,000 for support and programs for foster care alumni. In Erie County, 30 to 50 youth age out of foster care each year and are expected to navigate the challenges of independence without a safety net. Currently, Erie County does not fund any programs exclusively serving youth after they age out of foster care. Changing this with a new dedicated funding line for foster care support was a 2023 Community Agenda priority.

With this appeal we have our Winter 2023 edition of The Public Good, our biannual paper of progress, where you can read about some of our recent work in greater detail. Of special note is our renewal of PPG’s founding principles, which a partner endorses to join PPG; this year, we updated them in a participatory process with input from more than one hundred of our partners. You’ll find the updated principles in the center spread of the newspaper.

To continue our work – convening issue-based working groups, completing community-based research, hosting civic education workshops and skills training for our partners, and advocating with elected officials to win policy change – we need your support.

Please consider a donation to support our work together with our 340 partner organizations. Together, we can continue to build a region where community groups and residents have a stronger voice in public policy and are better able to promote the public good.