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More on that UB Letter…

denialConcerning yesterday’s blog post

Click here to see the actual reply that was sent to Veronica Hemphill-Nichols by UB Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations Michael Pietkiewicz on January 23.

It fails to address the requests made by Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens residents in this letter sent to UB Foundation chairman Francis Letro on January 15.

The January 15 letter was sent after face-to-face requests for the same information were made by George K. Arthur at a December 13 meeting with members of the Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP) that is supposedly interfacing with residents of the Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens. Although panel members promised to convey the requests to the UB Foundation and UB President Satish Tripathi, the January 3 deadline for a reply (imposed by Arthur) came and went with no response. Hence the need to send the request in writing on January 15 to the chairman of the private UB Foundation—who apparently punted and assigned the job of responding to state employee Pietkiewicz, who writes in his January 23 reply:

“As you know, the University at Buffalo is actively engaging multiple stakeholders around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens residents, on a variety of issues. Separately St. John Baptist Church has facilitated numerous meetings with tenants of the McCarley Gardens during this process and will continue to do so in the future. The Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP) has offered multiple opportunities for public input through dozens of individual and group interviews and meetings where residents and neighbors have been encouraged to voice their concerns.”

It’s one thing to hold meetings and let people voice their concerns. It’s another thing to communicate those concerns back to people in power—which the EOP apparently failed to do after the December 13 meeting. Either that, or they communicated residents’ concerns, and the people in power decided the proper response was to ignore them.

 

 

 

 

 

 


  • Jim_Holstun

    This is really important work, and hats off to Buck Quigley for sticking with it. 

    “As you know, the University at Buffalo is actively engaging multiple stakeholders around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens residents, on a variety of issues.”

    Whenever I hear the word “stakeholders” (which seems to be metastasizing among the bureaucrats these days), I check for my wallet. I wonder how Mr. Pietkiewicz would respond to, “The McCarley Gardens residents are actively engaged with a number of real estate developers and other East Amherst stakeholders on a proposal to kick you out of your home.”

    Fortunately, HUD won’t give the go-ahead unless the residents are happy with the plan: this is one of the points that the other “stakeholders” attempt to hide or downplay or nuance. In other words, the bulldozer junkies are going to have to satisfy the McCarley residents, not just “consult” with them.

    UB has a serious race problem: from 2003 to 2010, the percentage of tenure-track black faculty DECLINED 20% from 3.5% to 2.8%. The new proposal for an “intersession” would bring students into class on MLK day. And of course, UB’s Amherst location is a testimony to the propensity of white people to take the (NYS) money and run. Trying to pressure a group of mostly black people out of their homes and their neighborhood is not exactly going to help with this.