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Letter: Kensington Expressway should receive public funds

Letter: Kensington Expressway should receive public funds

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I applaud Gov. Kathy Hochul’s support for decking the portion of the Kensington Expressway that runs through the East Side, the first step in righting a horrible wrong that destroyed a beautiful parkway designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and divided a mostly Black neighborhood. Because public funds are often scarce and there are many projects competing for funding, public officials must make sure that they have their priorities in the proper order. Specifically, they must make sure that the Kensington project is of a higher priority than public funding for a new proposed stadium for the Buffalo Bills. After all, the Bills are a profitable private entertainment business owned by billionaires who play in a league that generates huge profits for its franchises, most of which are also owned by billionaires. The NFL has the funds available to fully fund a new stadium for the Bills without public support. There are no billionaires available to fund the Kensington project.

I call on all of our public officials to pledge that they will require funding for the Kensington project at least equal to the amount allocated to a stadium project. The importance of the restoration of the East Side outweighs that of the stadium project by a large margin. It is time to put our neighbors’ interests ahead of those of the profits of NFL billionaires. This injustice has existed for more than 60 years. It is time for it to end.

Michael Willett


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