Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest 1 Share on Fark! 1 Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 1 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   5 comments

General News

Push Buffalo!!!! Empower the People and Their Families Within the Community

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 9/27/13

Become a Fan
  (38 fans)

Put People First by PUSH Buffalo

"My desires are like seeds left in the ground.  They wait for the right season and then spontaneously manifest into beautiful flowers and mighty trees, into enchanted gardens and magic forests" 

~ The Hindu Vedas ~

According to QuickWiki, Buffalo, NY originated around 1789 as a small trading community near Buffalo Creek.   Buffalo expanded after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, with the city as its western terminus. By 1900, Buffalo was the 8th largest city in the United States, and went on to become a major railroad hub, and the largest grain-milling center in the country.

The city's good fortunes didn't last: Great Lakes shipping was rerouted by the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and steel mills and other heavy industry relocated to places such as China. With the start of Amtrak in the 1970s, Buffalo Central Terminal was also abandoned, and trains were rerouted. By 1990 the city had fallen back below its 1900 population levels.

Today, the region's largest economic sectors are financial services, technology, health care and education. These continue to grow despite the lagging national and worldwide economies. This growth has been maintained, in part, by major expansions of the Buffalo Niagra Medical Campus and the University at Buffalo and State University of New York (SUNY). A recent study found Buffalo's August 2011 unemployment rate to be 7.3%.


Buffalo by Buffalo City

  Buffalo has a horrid reputation regarding weather.   Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, it is in a perfect position to be dumped upon, as this author's wife (a past resident of the town) can attest to.   Weather wise, Buffalo is not for the faint of heart.   It is for those WITH heart.

Indeed, Buffalo is a town of resilience and a town that should be labeled as one with a BIG HEART.   One reflection of that heart is the organization called People United for Sustainable Housing or "PUSH Buffalo."   According to their website, PUSH Buffalo "is a local membership-based community organization fighting to make affordable housing a reality on Buffalo's West Side."

PUSH Buffalo was established to:

  • Create strong neighborhoods with quality affordable housing;
  • Decrease the rate of housing abandonment by reclaiming empty houses from neglectful public and private owners and redeveloping them for occupancy by low-income residents; and
  • Develop neighborhood leaders capable of gaining community control over the development process and planning for the future of the neighborhood.

PUSH Buffalo's objective is to empower people within the community to become proactive in getting their needs met.   Is this the true look of democracy?   Or does our democracy only count corporations as people while neglecting blood and guts laborers, be they in the workplace, the home or in labor?   Do the unemployed have a voice?   Is it any wonder women traditionally were placed on their back when giving birth which is most disempowering?   Is it any wonder that the labor classes are on their backs in relationship to the corporations?

Corporations are people?   What of those of us composed of blood and flesh and not a legal doctrine?   Are we less than people since it appears corporations have the right to destroy our planet and our lives?   PUSH Buffalo puts the interests and needs of living, breathing people and a healthy environment ahead of those of corporations, governments, banks, and bigwigs.  

PUSH values are:

  • Member Involvement -- They base decisions on member participation and consideration of alternatives
  • Inclusiveness -- They encourage a diversity of opinions
  • Ownership -- They take advantage of opportunities to create and control community resources 
  • Results Oriented -- Their plan is an accomplishment -- They have outlined a series of measurable goals and outcomes that will ultimately lead to results
  • Relevant -- They respond to changing political and social climates by evaluating trends that are prevalent to the goals and objectives of our organization
  • Justice - They are committed to promoting social justice that gives real power to real people

The strategies they use to meet these objectives are:

  • Build a more democratic, action-orientated organization that addresses poor housing conditions and the lack of living wage jobs in our neighborhoods
  • Decrease the rate of housing abandonment by reclaiming properties from neglectful public and private owners and redeveloping them for occupancy
  • Lead direct action campaigns against corporations and government agencies whose practices contribute to the high poverty rate in our community
  • Create a replicable model of grassroots neighborhood organizing and redevelopment that can be deployed in other low-income communities throughout the Rust Belt

A true democracy is inherent in people actually taking charge in the management and care for the environment, jobs, education and other important tasks ordinarily surrendered to corporate owned governments.   PUSH Buffalo fulfills this definition better than the corporocracy we have come to accept as American democracy.    Is PUSH a ripple that can become a wave in our culture?   Can "we the people" place power and authority back into the hands of living, breathing, sexual beings instead of the Frankenstein monster of corporations whose personhood is declared via abstract legal documents?

Who truly decides if the Frankenstein monster lives or dies?   The Courts who are often bought and sold by Dr. Frankenstein?   Do we leave the management of this monster in the hands of his maker".the stockholders, corporate owners and corporate boards?   Or do we put the power in the hands of those that Frankenstein terrorizes?

PUSH Buffalo is living proof of the viability of the latter option.   As such, it fulfills its mission to "Create a replicable model of grassroots neighborhood organizing and redevelopment that can be deployed in other low-income communities."   Are the rest of up to the task of creating a renaissance of true democracy?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What's in a Seed?

Farmers File Suit Against Monsanto

Physicist Tom Campbell's Big TOE or Theory of Everything

Beyond Monsanto: Rekindling a Healthy Earth in the Face of Corporate Farming

Sex as Natural Process: A Primary Step to Healing Alienation?

The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

We often look to governments to legislate our welf... by Burl Hall on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 7:38:06 AM
I hope the word gets spread around effectively. An... by anna kakol on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 10:23:15 AM
This article speaks to a group that empowers Buffa... by Burl Hall on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 7:42:19 AM
Maybe your more in tuned with this than I am; but,... by anna kakol on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 10:44:27 AM
Anna, I live in rural Maine.  My wife lived i... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:11:30 AM