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Study and Advocacy

Education

2016: For the past year the Education Committee has focused on early childhood education and efforts underway to improve reading and basic skills in the early grades.

Activities:

  • Members studied and reported to the committee on the state of universal pre-K in greater Buffalo communities and on the the NYS guidelines, their implementation, and oversight of such programs.
  • Visited Read to Succeed.
  • Visited School 33 - Bilingual Center.
  • Presentation of a forum about New Education Bargain with Students and Parents, Superintendent Kriner Cash's program to improve basic skills in the early grades for the Buffalo Public Schools. Speakers focused on strategies and activities for teaching reading early, since statistics show that children who lack reading skills by the end of third grade do not graduate from high school:
    • Speakers included: Anne Botticelli, Chief Academic Officer, Buffalo Public Schools; Yvonne Minor-Ragan, recently retired president of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood; Anne S. Ryan, Executive Director, Read to Succeed; Miguel Medina, Principal, School 33 - Bilingual Center.
    • Key elements of these programs include: smaller classes; coaching teachers in teaching methods and outreach techniques; provision of wrap-around support services; positive test result from such efforts in Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.

The Education Committee will continue to:

  • Study and inform League members and the community about local efforts underway to improve reading and basic skills in the early grades
  • Keep informed of progress in Congress toward reauthorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)
  • Monitor compliance of New York Charter Schools Act and take action when necessary.

Concerned about education in our community and want to get involved? We meet the 4th Thursday of every month at 1:30 pm from September to June, at the League office beginning September 22, 2016. We welcome new members and new ideas about improving education in our Community.

9/2016

Local Government

If you're interested in local government issues, please join our committee.
We are active on these topics:

  • Encouragement of citizen participation and transparency in local government
  • Broader management of local government services
  • Examination of the Erie County budget, identifying city-town inequities
  • Support of a campaign to encourage local governments to adopt the state's Climate Smart Communities pledge (which involves smart growth and good land use planning)
  • Support of IDA (Industrial Development Agencies) reform.

We also monitor these continuing responsibilities and take action as appropriate:

We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at 1:15 PM in the League office. There will be exceptions. Please call the League office at 716-986-4898 or e-mail lwvbn@lwvbn.org to confirm the date of the next meeting.

9/2016

Money In Politics

LWVBN was one of 335 local leagues throughout the country that participated in the two year Money In Politics study and consensus process. In April 2016 the National League announced its new Money In Politics position. The updated position will enable us to take action on a broader range of federal campaign finance reform issues and compliments our work on state and local levels.

8/26/16

Social Economic Justice Committee

The Social Economic Justice Committee is currently inactive. You may find useful information in the references we have linked here.

01/02/2017

Transportation/Waterfront

The LWVBN is actively involved in policies concerning transportation and our waterfront. Waterfront development along the shores of Lake Erie and the Niagara River is intimately connected with development of transportation infrastructure. We support expansion of Buffalo's light rail rapid transit system (Metro Rail), which will have a direct impact on both the economy and the land-use policies of our whole WNY region. Our committee seeks significant citizen access to the government agencies that make decisions regarding these issues.

Currently, we monitor plans proposed by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation concerning potential development on the Outer Harbor lands which lay at the mouth of the Buffalo River and extend south on the edge of Lake Erie. We seek to ensure that all voices of the public be heard and included in these plans; we seek to ensure that these public lands be preserved as such. Transportation access to the Outer Harbor should include public transit.

02/19/2015