Author: Henry Taylor

Reflections on Black-on-Black Violence

By Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. The causes of Black-on-Black violence are not really complicated. It results from under resourced and inadequate schools, limited recreational activities, substandard housing, rent and price gouging, dilapidated physical environments,...

Demands grow for Byron Brown’s ouster from Democratic National Committee

By Robert J. McCarthy

Read the full article from Buffalo News, here.

Demands that Mayor Byron W. Brown resign from the Democratic National Committee are growing, especially from a left-leaning group that this week heard India B. Walton vow to intensify her efforts to strengthen the party’s progressive base in Buffalo.

In her most extensive comments to date following her apparent mayoral loss to Brown on Nov. 2, Walton late Monday told a virtual meeting of the Our Revolution organization linked to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont that she will continue working to strengthen the local party’s progressive base.

The City of Buffalo’s Untapped Power to Discipline Police Officers

The City of Buffalo’s Untapped Power to Discipline Police Officers

By J. Miles Gresham, J.D.

Drawing on decisions from the New York State Court of Appeals, this brief argues that the City of Buffalo has an untapped power to discipline police officers, outside of the provisions in its contract with the police union. Both court decisions and Buffalo’s legislative history grant it this authority. However, elected officials have not pursued reforms through collective bargaining agreements, or created new disciplinary systems outside of the police contract—such as civilian oversight with disciplinary power. Taking full advantage of the legal powers that municipalities already have can help remedy some of the fundamental flaws in our criminal justice practices.

The history that explains why a democratic socialist may be Buffalo’s next mayor

By Sean Dinces and Derek Seidman

Read the full article from Washington Post,here.

Walton’s stunning primary victory made national news, no doubt because it signaled the persistence of the left-wing political insurgency growing within the Democratic Party since at least 2016. That year marked Bernie Sanders’s unsuccessful, but formidable challenge to party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.

Walton’s ascent into the political limelight has been fueled by the local appeal of Sanders-style rhetoric, including her assertion that “housing, health care, healthy food, and a quality education are basic human rights.” Her primary victory also depended on a coalition similar to the one that powered Sanders: working-class people, young voters radicalized by issues like rising rents, and relatively affluent liberals troubled by the growing gap between the rich and poor.

How to fix Buffalo’s poverty? Mayoral candidates differ but agree City Hall can’t do it alone

By Caitlin Dewey

Read the full article from Buffalo News, here.

Few would argue that poverty isn’t a colossal problem in Buffalo – a problem so entrenched and ubiquitous, in fact, that it’s almost taken as a given. When Walton’s opponent, incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, entered office in 2006, the citywide poverty rate sat at 29.9%. It has not changed appreciably since then.

But Walton and Brown differ sharply in their beliefs about the policies best suited to address it. Brown, who rarely uses the word “poverty” in interviews or public appearances, has bet that economic development and partnerships with nonprofit organizations will improve neighborhood conditions and generate new and better jobs for low-income residents.

Walton, a self-described democratic socialist who has made poverty the key theme of her campaign, advocates for what some progressives call “regenerative” economics – collective ownership, such as co-operative businesses and community land trusts, that she says will more equitably spread wealth and power.

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