I am a Delaware district voter. If Mayor Byron Brown wants my vote and, I would hope, the votes of others he will have to correct the inner city housing problem I witnessed as I drove from South Buffalo to North Buffalo along Bailey Avenue. I wasn’t shielded by traveling Route 198 or another highway that bypasses this part of town. I was especially remorseful on the block between Doat and Genesee streets. It is a short block with homes in chronic disrepair.
I was saddened when I saw three elementary-aged students, backpacks in tow, entering their front door. The porch was falling into the ground, plastic was covering windows and it looked like a miserable place to come home to. However, if it is all that you know, it is your castle. This is not good enough for the citizens of Buffalo, the city Brown touts as having a renaissance. This renaissance must also occur for the children who live in the inner city. This eyesore is his eyesore. He has the ability to use his corporate connections, the laws, policies and developers to correct the living conditions for many Buffalo Public Schools students and their families.
I am one of the founders of a charter school whose goal it is to teach children to read by the end of first grade. Reading by the end of first grade predicts graduation from high school and then the possibility of a college education. Living in dilapidated inner city neighborhoods with a high school diploma diminishes the chance of using that diploma for college entry. I want these children to have what my children had as they lived in the Delaware district, attended the best elementary schools and graduated from college.
In order to get my vote, Brown must assure a way for families living in any part of Buffalo to have the pride of home ownership, streets paved, sidewalks without cracks and neighborhood safety. I believe he has the governing skills and I believe India Walton has the right vision for the 31% of the residents living in poverty. Take on her vison and run with it.