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Letter: Bangladeshi families are reviving East Side

Bangladeshi families are reviving East Side

Thanks to The News for the enlightening and thorough reporting on the effect Bangladeshi families are having on Buffalo’s East Side. As a resident of the Fillmore Council District for the last 31 years, this is one of the most positive developments I have witnessed.

My abode at the corner of Emslie and Clinton streets is two blocks from Larkinville. While I certainly commend the efforts of the Zemsky family, their effort has had little effect beyond the immediate surrounding neighborhood. It’s more like a development for hip, young, white people who stop in after work, have a few drinks and head back to their homes in the suburbs. I have absolutely nothing against that, but it isn’t community development.

Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services’ efforts to save and restore a dilapidated, uninhabitable structure at the corner of Paderewski and Fillmore at a projected cost of over $1.2 million lay bare this organization’s poorly thought out development plans. To think that the NHS, which represents one of the poorest districts in the city, would even consider such a preposterous expenditure of public funds, especially in light of the efforts of the people portrayed in Emma Sapong’s article, is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Two things jump out at me from her writing: 1) That this is a grass-roots effort driven by immigrants and fueled by the American dream of affordable home ownership. I think these folks need a community organization to assist their efforts in developing plans, negotiating buyer’s clubs to purchase in quantity (furnaces, water heaters, supplies, etc.) One would think the NHS would fill this void, but it appears that is expecting too much. Its focus seems to be on much more grandiose schemes.

2) The statement by Fillmore Council Member David Franczyk that he had no idea this was going on in his district, let alone in a house directly across the street from his home, is bewildering. Perhaps, Franczyk, whom I consider a friend and have voted for, should get out into the community to get some sense of what’s happening here.

Bruce L. Beyer