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A Plea from Andrew Rudnick

Artvoice has obtained this email sent today from Buffalo Niagara Partnership President & CEO Andrew Rudnick, imploring the receiver to forward it to “colleagues, friends and family, especially those who are registered voters in the city of Buffalo – and ask them to forward it along to others.”

Even though it didn’t land in my email directly, we thought it would be a nice gesture to shine a light on it for all our readers.

This intimate appeal is in addition to the over $30,000 in assistance the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and/or their offshoot Buffalo Students First (which has yet to file a DBA, as we learned in court today) has spent promoting the incumbent school board candidates in tomorrow’s election. The incumbents did not authorize the support from Buffalo Students First, and the assistance they provided was over the $25 limit prescribed by law—by at least $30,000 as of April 30.

Tomorrow, May 5, elections for the Buffalo Public School Board will be held.

Please forward this email to colleagues, friends and family, especially those who are registered voters in the city of Buffalo – and ask them to forward it along to others. Buffalo School Board elections (given they are months from “general election day”) have dismal turnout, and races often have been decided by a few hundred votes. Thus, each vote can make a big difference.

The Partnership is supporting at-large candidates Dr. Catherine Collins, Florence Johnson and Christopher Jacobs. We believe these candidates are the best qualified to manage the schools’ $600+ million budget, will stand up in favor of reform in the system and are not beholden to the efforts of Buffalo Teacher Federation President Philip Rumore — which for too long have obstructed the change that is in the best interest of Buffalo’s school children.

Why should you care? Even if you don’t have children in the Buffalo Public Schools?

1). Buffalo is our region’s core  — and the success or failure of the Buffalo Public Schools is directly linked to how the city fares. Currently:

Buffalo is the nation’s third-poorest city, according to the U.S. Census.
The Buffalo metro area has the highest black male jobless rate (51.4 percent) among American’s 35 large cities, according to figures cited by Professor Marc V. Levine of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Nearly two-thirds of adults in Buffalo function at the two lowest levels of literacy, meaning they can’t function at the minimum level of literacy employers in our region require for any job higher than entry level.
Thirty-five percent of Buffalo Public School children don’t graduate high school.
2). At a time when many students are not graduating from high school prepared for postsecondary education and work, 60 percent of the new jobs being created require advanced training or a college education. If our region’s workforce can’t meet employer needs, we will lose existing companies, and will not be able to recruit new businesses to invest in our region.

3). The availability of high-quality human talent is a top issue facing businesses today. Nationwide, business leaders increasingly place improving public education at the top of their list of priorities because they believe the education system in the United States fails to produce graduates prepared to compete both locally and in a global economy.

Buffalo’s young people deserve a better future, and our employers need them to graduate from public school prepared to contribute to the local workforce – in order ensure their own businesses have future viability in our community. Public education in the city is one place to start, and the Buffalo Public School Board elections will play no minor part.

Please vote tomorrow for Dr. Catherine Collins, Florence Johnson and Christopher Jacobs. Thanks – a lot of our future depends on the outcome.
Andrew J. Rudnick
President & CEO
P:  (716) 852-7100
F:  (716) 852-1756

Jody Vohwinkel, Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
jvohwinkel@thepartnership.org

The Partnership extends its thanks to the member businesses in its Leadership Circle.
These companies represent the Partnership’s most significant financial supporters.

WIVB Channel 4 reporter Rich Newberg just reported on today’s lawsuit during the 5pm broadcast. Tune in WIVB at 6pm tonight for more details.

Buffalo school board elections are tomorrow, May 5. Don’t forget to vote.


  • Buck Quigley

    Here’s a link to Rich Newberg’s story on WIVB.com:

    http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/complaints_may_change_election_outcome_090504

  • HIOOC

    Excellent job, Buck. I really appreciate all the effort you have put into this and other articles. I’ll be voting in the school board elections for the first time tomorrow.

  • Larry

    Please VOTE and do what’s best for our students! Let’s not let big business and wealth guide decision making for students. We need positive change on the Buffalo School Board!

  • Eissien

    Thank you for doing some REAL reporting on this! Can’t believe the Buffalo News has an article on the elections today without even mentioning the partnership funding issues.

  • incredulous

    Add Buffalo Rising to the cabal behind the incumbents. Their “story” today is a repetition of Rudnick’s letter. If you can stomach it, see http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/05/reminder-to-vote-school-board-elections-today.html.

    What would any of the incumbent candidate’s mothers say about all this? blechh….

    Aren’t the Partnership (high paying dues) members sick and tired of Rudnick and his cohorts incompetence and dead-ended developer agenda? If the medical corridor and downtown housing didn’t fall in their laps they would have nothing to crow about.

    The Partnership is a noose around this region’s neck.