by Betty Jean Grant
The Brown campaign for Mayor of Buffalo is mailing out campaign literature with pictures that Byron Brown ‘stands with women’. Nothing can be farther from the truth as the Mayor’s record on hiring and retaining minority ( & one transgendered white female) women is shameful! The Mayor’s relationship with certain ethnic women is so bad, he has to press his female employees, friends and business associates to take a picture with him with a sign stating, “Byron Brown stands with_______.”
The Mayor’s campaign literature is saying one thing but for over 12 years, Mayor Byron Brown and his ‘ax man’, Deputy Mayor Steve Casey were doing something else! Here is the Mayor’s history on ‘diversity’ in city hall’s top level jobs:
Name Position Status:
1. Angela Jordan * 2nd Deputy Mayor * Resigned (3 mos.)
2. Cariol Horne * Buffalo Police Off. * Fired
3 Michele Barron *V. Pres. BERC * Fired (scape-goat).
4. Karla Thomas * Human Resource * Fired (scape-goat).
5. Karen Fleming * Dir. Urban * Fired (scape-goat)
6. Judy Smith * BMHA * Fired (scape-goat).
7. Donna Brown * 2nd Deputy Mayor *Resigned. (2012).
8. Rita Robinson *Civil rights Comm *Resigned.
9. Tanya Johnson * Comm. Services *Resigned scape-goat.
10. Donna Brown * BMHA Comm. *Fired (2017).
11. Ellen Grant Bishop *2nd. Deputy Mayor * Resigned.
12. Betty Jean Grant * Compl. Officer *Resigned.
13. Camille Hopkins * Comm. Svcs.* Resigned or retired (Harassed due to being in a male to female transgendering status).
What do all these women have in common: They are all educated, professional, self-assured African American women who were treated horribly by the Brown Administration by Deputy Mayor Steve Casey while Mayor Byron Brown did absolutely nothing to come to their defense. Some of these women resigned or were fired because they refused to take the blame or ‘take the bullet’ for incidences such as the failed and illegal ‘One Sunset Restaurant’ deal, where certain city officials and council members were illegal partners in the restaurant; refused to take the blame for using city computers, telephones and resources to demand employees to work on the Brown reelection campaign of 2011; refusing to allow a police officer to choke a citizen to death; and not being allowed to do their job as it was written or being encouraged to ‘look the other way’ when what they were asked to do an action that was either improper,unethical or illegal.
I was encouraged to not report General Contractors who were in violation. I was told to not ‘sanction’ contractors by withholding their pay when they were in violation. The Buffalo contract compliance officer has the ability to stop payment to any contractor regardless of how big they are, if they are in violation. 1st deputy Mayor, Steve Casey discouraged me from doing exactly that. That is the primary reason I left the employ of the Brown Administration in 2007, a few months after I solicited and received the appointment to the Erie County Legislature.
Yes, 1st Deputy Steve Casey did all these terrible things but Steve Casey was not elected our mayor, Byron Brown was and he sat by while Casey demonized all these women, including this writer. The political campaign poster, with all those women, implies one thing; his record with minority women speak for itself.
My priorities for the city of Buffalo:
1. Hiring a new Police Commissioner to address rising crime and gang violence & the worst percentage rate for solving homicides in the country.
2. Articulate a reason and supportive data for the discriminatory CheckPoints that are being conducted primarily in neighborhoods on the East side of Buffalo.
3. Putting mechanisms in place to formally address and search for a remedy to slow down the fast movement toward gentrification of complete neighborhoods in certain sections of the city. (# The rent is too damn high!).
4. Executive Order or Common Council approval of an Ordinance to mandate complete compliance of the city’s 25% and 5% MWBE hiring goals.
5. Charge the BHMA Board of Commissioners to develop a Comprehensive Plan to address the issues of rodents, roaches, litter and substandard housing units, occupants of public housing have to endure.
6.Expanding job training, mentoring and education/tutorial opportunities in community centers and volunteer religious institutions.
7. Allocating more Community development Block Grant (CDBG ) monies to fund citywide, residential housing rehabilitation, foreclosure prevention and streets & sidewalks repairs (# Gentrification).
8. Locating the new Amtrak train station @ the Central Terminal as where 98% of the residents surveyed, wants it.
On Primary Day vote line 10A. We need Volunteers! Reply or call Esther D Smothers 716.697.6034.
Grant is a longtime city official looking to become Mayor of Buffalo.