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Jobs with Justice Rally

The Coalition for Economic Justice held a rally outside of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) on Oak Street Friday morning, demanding IDA reforms that would include suitable wage standards for laborers on government subsidized projects, among other things.

Speakers included Alison Duwe, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice, Lou Jean Fleron of the Cornell University School of Industrial Labor Relations, Sam Magavern, UB law school instructor and member of the Partnership for the Public Good, and Erie County legislator Maria Whyte.

The speakers stressed important points about our poor city. One, that while unemployment rates are between 5% and 7%, poverty rates are just shy of 30%. Because a local economy built on the shoulders of the working poor can’t thrive, the demonstration was intended to send a message that not just jobs, but good paying jobs are needed—and they can’t simply be pirated from the city to the suburbs to inflate job growth statistics around the county.

Magavern also pointed out the importance of reducing subsidized sprawl and rebuilding the 9,000 abandoned structures and 10,000 vacant lots within the city, while observing green building codes that will save energy and operating costs down the line.

Based on the cacophony of horns being blown by cars, trucks and buses, as drivers read the banner “A Living Wage for a Livable City,” the theme of this rally resonates with a broad spectrum of Buffalonians.

Learn more about the Coalition for Economic Justice here.