Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of June 7, 2021

Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of June 7, 2021

Date: June 11, 2021

By Orlando Dickson |

Each week, PPG summarizes important takeaways from the major Buffalo Common Council meetings. We also include information from Council meetings related to our Community Agenda items.

This week, the Common Council held two meetings. For this summary, we will focus on both the Caucus Meeting and the Regular meeting. A Caucus Meeting is where members from a specific political party, in Buffalo's case, the democratic party, meet, but official voting on issues does not occur. The Regular Meeting is the Common Council's primary meeting, where they make official decisions on issues.

During this week's Caucus Meeting, the Council sent Councilmember Nowakowski's ordinance amendment on lead paint hazards to the Legislation Committee. The amendment removes liability for claims from the Commissioner of the Department of Permits when certificates are issued that show owners have remediated lead-based paint hazards or that they do not exist, as long as the Commissioner made the issuance in good faith.

The Council scheduled a discussion about Councilmember Rivera's "Buffalo Living Wage Ordinance" at the next Legislation Meeting. Additionally, the Common Council also expects to discuss the right-to-know law at the same committee meeting.

During the uncharacteristically short Regular Meeting, Common Council recognized the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre with a presentation from Dewitt Lee III of The Black Wall Street Week Committee. Oklahoma and historians widely consider the two-day event the single worst incident of racial violence in American history. The Greenwood neighborhood was so prosperous that it became known as “Black Wall Street.” White supremacists attacked the district using explosives, guns, incendiary weapons, and even dropped bombs from planes. Some estimates show the mob injured over 800 and murdered more than 150 people. The massacre also caused over $1.5 million in property damage – $32 million in property damage when adjusted for inflation. The Council intends to proclaim the week of May 31 as Black Wall Street Week soon.

The Council intends to address community concerns regarding the American Rescue Plan funding. The Urban Think Tank met with county and state government officials and plans to meet with councilmembers and Dr. Cash, Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools, during next Tuesday's Education Meeting.

Common Council approved an amended version of the Buffalo Emergency Stabilization Fund, enabling the City to set aside a surplus of revenue for use during unexpected deficits. The amended version allowed the Comptroller's Office to have input before approval. Councilmember Wingo voted in the negative.

Common Council adopted a resolution to request federal and state authorities determine the feasibility of relocating the I-90 expressway to the Tonawanda Rail Corridor and convert its current location to a boulevard.

The Council also adopted a resolution to officially send a request to the New York State Legislature to grant retroactive retirement to Cariol Horne dating back to August 5, 2010.

The Council adopted a resolution expressing support for the “For the People Act” to the U.S. Senators representing New York. The For the People Act expands voter registration, voting access, limits removing voters from voter rolls, and establishes an independent redistricting commission to carry out congressional redistricting. The For the People Act already passed the House of Representatives.

Finally, the Common Council adopted a resolution requesting all government levels to reopen the US-Canada border as soon as possible.

Need more than just a summary? Contact us at info@ppgbuffalo.org, or find full meeting information and schedules here: http://buffalony.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx