A couple months ago, when City Hallways checked Buffalo's ranking in the LGBT's Human Rights Campaign, Buffalo had a 74 score, a solid C, for 2014. The 2015 rankings came out this week. Buffalo's score shot up to 94. I looked at the score sheet for the two years. It looks like Buffalo got additional points for expanding the city's civil rights laws this year to include the transgender community, and for approving a housing complex for the homeless LGBT community. Beyond that, the city got credit for having openly gay members on Buffalo's Citizens' Rights Commission. The individuals were on the commission in 2014 also, but the Human Rights Campaign apparently didn't know that when the 2014 ranking was done. This time, some folks in City Hall got in touch with the Campaign to make sure it had accurate and updated Buffalo information on the Commission and other aspects of Buffalo's equal opportunity agenda.
Mayor Byron Brown expressed pride in the ranking.
“I thank the Human Rights Campaign for recognizing the City of Buffalo’s continued commitment to fairness and equality," Brown said. "Our score of 94 exemplifies our city’s commitment to serving all citizens, including members of the LGBT community. As mayor, one of my top priorities is to keep Buffalo at the forefront in the fight for civil rights. My administration will continue to work to recognize and protect the dignity of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The official oath of office for elected officials won't be until January, but a ceremonial oath was offered yesterday at St. Mary's School for the Deaf, attended by Buffalo and Erie County officials who participated in a real-life learning assembly for the students. It was full of pomp and circumstance. Flags draped across the stage. An "Oath of Office" program. Students using American Sign Language recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the "Star-Spangled Banner," which also was sung by one of the teachers. Then, with a student holding the Bible, the winners of the November election, including County Executive Mark Poloncarz, City Comptroller Mark Schroeder, City Court Judge JaHarr Pridgen and Common Council as well as Erie County Legislature members, were sworn-in by students reading the oath of office in ASL. The event was hosted by the school and Comptroller Schroeder, an active supporter of the Main Street school.
Joe Mascia's discipline hearing starts today. I have a story on it in today's Buffalo News and Buffalo News.com
Housekeeping: City Hallways is taking a couple weeks off (basically the rest of the year plus a few days). When I return, we'll be making some changes to City Hallways that we hope you like - more photos, more video, new content and a new logo. Until then, a happy holiday season to all.