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Buffalo Students First Has Pumped Over $30,000 Into School Board Election

money-flagAccording to documents obtained by Artvoice today, Buffalo Students First has spent $30,036 to advance the campaigns of Buffalo school board incumbents Catherine Collins, Chris Jacobs, and Florence Johnson, as of April 30.

Buffalo Students First is described by Buffalo Niagara Partnership Director of Government Relations Glenn Aronow as “a coaltion of businesses, community organizations and stakeholders, and school choice advocates that support progressive reforms and policies in educating Buffalo school children.”

Among the beneficiaries of BSF’s expenditures is Unity Coalition, Inc. The group received $4,000 from BSF between March 5 and April 3. According to records filed with the Erie County Clerk’s Office in 1995, Unity Coalition, Inc., was formed “to promote political action and awareness, and to do any other act or thing incidental to or connected with the foregoing purposes or in advancement thereof.”

The unity coalition incorporation documents were signed by Arthur  O. Eve, Jr., who is currently in line for the position of Democratic Deputy Commissioner of Elections.

In other important school board election news, the Erie County Board of Elections has indicated that any voters who have already submitted absentee ballots for disqualified candidate Fred Yellen may still cast a vote for another candidate by doing so at their designated polling place on the day of the election. We are awaiting word from elections officials on how else any such absentee voters can change their vote, now that their candidate is out of the running.

Yellen was scratched from the list of candidates last Saturday, April 25, after an objection to his signature petitions was filed by Herbert Bellamy, Jr—notarized by Aronow.

The Buffalo school board election is Tuesday, May 5—now just four days away.


  • Jay

    You have to love the Buffalo News editorial where they state that “the city’s business community” is involved in the Board of Education elections. I would like to know how many of the businessmen/women in the Buffalo Partnership live within the city or have their businesses located here. How many send their children to the BPS. Since they are a data driven organization these questions should be easily answered. Does Glenn Aronow who used his signature to challenge the petitions of some the challengers live in Buffalo or does he still live in Lockport in Niagara County. There are probably >100 school board elections in WNY this Tuesday and I would like to know in how many have the Partnerships executives chosen to be involved? When I look at their website, I cannot find guidance that they would give their membership on their local board elections in other suburban communities.

    I know through they will justify their actions but if they do not have kids in this system they ought to leave this election to the people who have the most to lose or gain by the representative chosen.

  • Becky

    However, thanks to the ad campaign (regardless of what one thinks of the candidates) people should be well aware that there is an election going on. Maybe they’ll even vote.

  • Rebekah Williams is #2 on the ballot
    at your regular Buffalo polling place
    ____________________________________

    There’s so much to be done!

    Our kids have got to be considered first! The Buffalo School Board is an extremely political, factionalized group. We need people serving on the Board who will not get involved with the side taking.

    Second, we need independent thinkers on the school board. People who will think critically about policies and make a decision with a mind to the best decision for our kids and for the whole community. Many school board members hold allegiance to one group or another, I would be serving Buffalo as an independent candidate.

    Third, we need someone with experience building collaborations and bringing groups together around common issues. For years, I have worked in non-profits and organizing community events and action. I have the experience it takes to be a neutral party able to collaborate with everyone, regardless of which side of the fence they sit on.

    My stance on many major issues:

    * Pro vocational schools
    * Pro alternative education
    * Pro neighborhood schools
    * Will insist the district honor contracts and engage in negotiations
    * Pro charter schools
    * Pro living wage for all BPS workers

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