Many community members are working to restore justice
On March 8 at Bennett High School, citizens from Buffalo and its suburban neighborhoods came together for a public meeting of Voice-Buffalo and NOAH (Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope) to discuss the critical issue of job training for minorities. On stage were Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, the keynote speaker, Rep. Brian Higgins, County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Mayor Byron Brown, WNY Area Labor Federation President Robert Lipsitz and pastors and leaders from every religious denomination in the area. It was a powerful convocation.
Perez spoke enthusiastically about the progress being made on the national level to increase job training and to hire minorities at ever-increasing numbers. Each public official who spoke promised to support the efforts of Voice and NOAH to modernize job training, making it more available, particularly to young people.
My friends and I returned home in high spirits, discussing the prospects of finally seeing a coalition of public, private and religious organizations working for a common goal.
What a disappointment to find out the next morning that although The News had indeed covered the event, there was no picture of the large and very diverse audience in attendance. Here was an opportunity to show the world that Buffalo is more than a city on the rise, but a city that is willing to work together with people of every color, creed, religion and age.
I am a suburbanite, but I care a lot about the city. As a member of Voice-Buffalo, through its connection with Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence, I work along with other members of our core team to restore justice to people in Western New York not by working for them, but by working with them.
Margaret S. Cusack