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City Hallways (Oct. 6): Joe Mascia resurfaces, elected to head tenant group

Joe Mascia just got elected by tenant leaders to head up a Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority-wide tenant organization. He was kicked off the BMHA board of commissioners earlier this year by Mayor Byron Brown for making racist comments about city leaders.

Mascia's pretty happy about his new post.

"It's sort of a vindication," Mascia said following Wednesday's vote. "When residents elect you to a position, to represent them, it shows they believe in what you've been doing in the past."

The vote, Mascia said, also indicates residents forgive him for a racist rant that was secretly recorded and released to the media, which is what led to Brown kicking Mascia off the BMHA board of commissioners.

Mascia is now president of the BMHA's Resident Advisory Board.

He said he was among six people running for the post. He said he got 14 of 21 votes cast by other tenants representing BMHA buildings. It's a three-year term.

The Resident Advisory Board is charged with reviewing and commenting on the BMHA's annual budgets and its five-year plans.

Mascia predicted the board will be more vocal under his leadership than it had been in the past.

As a side note, the RAB vote was initially scheduled for June, but delayed after another tenant leader, Leonard Williams, said Mascia was ineligible for the post because the Housing Authority apartments Mascia lives in are state-funded, rather than federally-funded.

But Mascia researched the issue, and presented evidence that Williams, who is now a BMHA commissioner, was wrong. Tenants from state-funded apartments are eligible, his documentation found. Thus, the vote was held Wednesday.

Today's calendar items:

  • Final Food Truck Thursday of the season in Niagara Square
  • Common Council holding Green Code workshop this afternoon

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