Buffalo, NY--- Mayor Byron W. Brown today issued a call to action to all City of Buffalo residents to check on older relatives and neighbors this holiday season. Many seniors have been forced indoors for their safety during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. Mayor Brown is asking members of our community to ensure that seniors receive the social interaction they need to stay happy and healthy, especially during the upcoming holidays.
Mayor Brown stated, “Our reputation as the City of Good Neighbors is known worldwide. This holiday season, I am challenging residents to help us solidify our reputation by checking in on a senior every day. While we must continue to maintain our physical distance to protect ourselves, our families and our most vulnerable from this deadly virus, I am asking everyone to be creative in showing a senior family member or neighbor that you are here for them. A simple phone call can truly make a difference in the quality of life of our seniors, so please reach out today.”
Members of the Brown Administration today hosted its monthly Senior Connection Line, a telephone forum exclusively geared toward the needs of City of Buffalo residents. Seniors received the latest update on the City of Buffalo’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, information relating to health topics, exercise, and recipes, and advice on how to stay socially connected while being physically apart. The next Senior Connection Line will take place on Wednesday, December 23, at 11 am. To participate, please call 1-888-636-3807 and use the code 4777845#.
Mayor Byron W. Brown tonight will continue the annual tradition of lighting the City Hall Christmas Tree atop the portico. This year, Mayor Brown is dedicating the lighting to all essential employees who have worked tirelessly to maintain services and keep our community going throughout the COVID-19 emergency.
Mayor Brown stated, “In a year when many of our holiday traditions have needed to be re-imagined because of the pandemic, I’m proud to light the 2020 City Hall Christmas Tree in honor of Buffalo’s essential workers, including the thousands of City employees who continue to provide quality services to residents and businesses in Buffalo. Like this tree, they continue to shine brightly on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. Their hard work and dedication this year has been amazing and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer today announced that the City’s School Zone Safety program vendor, Sensys Gatso, mailed 10,000 letters out to motorists who received citations which were postmarked outside of the required 14-day mailing period. Earlier this week, the vendor reported a delay in mailing thousands of
citations due to severe weather, pandemic-related delays, and difﬁculties the United States Postal Service has experienced. As a result, individuals who received a citation that is postmarked more than 14 business days past the date of citation issuance will have their citation dismissed. Those who have already paid their ﬁne will receive a refund. Any residents with questions or concerns regarding a citation should call 3-1-1.
3,020 residents have signed up for the new 9am-4pm parking tool to assist residents during snow events in the City of Buffalo. Residents can sign up for the BuffAlert Parking Update initiative by texting JOIN PARKINGUPDATES to 30890. Once enrolled, participating residents will receive a text message or phone call 24 hours before the 9am-4pm Alternate Parking Restrictions need to be enforced for snow maintenance. The program provides residents with notice to move their vehicles in these zones during snow events.
Mayor Brown announced a new partnership between the Buffalo Police Department Behavioral Health Team (BHT), the Department of Community Services, Division of Citizen Services, and Compeer of Greater Buffalo that will provide virtual Mental Health First Aid training to members of our community. Mayor Brown’s Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) program kicked off on Tuesday, December 8th. 20 community participants, comprised of clergy, Buffalo Police Ofﬁcers, block club members, Buffalo Peacemakers, small business owners and youth, received a full day of virtual training by Compeer of Greater Buffalo Mental Health Services. Buffalo is the ﬁrst municipality in New York State to spearhead such an initiative.
Mayor Brown stated, “Mental Health First Aid training is more essential than ever, as our city, like other cities across the country, faces a wave of mental health issues as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 global health pandemic. I am pleased to provide members of our community, who interact with people every day, with this important training. I thank Compeer of Greater Buffalo for partnering with us and providing us with another tool that will expand our efforts in the area of mental health.”
Participants in the Tuesday training received a 3-year certiﬁcation in Mental Health First Aid. New training sessions will be scheduled for other community members in 2021. This initiative is another component of Mayor Brown’s Buffalo Reform Agenda, which was the City’s response to local and national calls to reform police practices and embrace a restorative model for local law enforcement. To learn more about these reform efforts visit www.buffalony.gov.
Buy Black Buffalo Week runs through Friday, December 11th and encourages consumers to shop at Black-owned businesses in Buffalo throughout the holiday season. Mayor Brown also encourages residents to tune in to The Lounge on his Facebook page at Noon every day this week to learn more about some of the amazing participating Black-owned businesses. Buy Black Buffalo Week is sponsored in partnership with AT&T and coordinated by The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center. For more information, visit www.buyblackbuffalo.com.
Mayor Brown and The Division of Citizen Services invites the community to a virtual Buffalo Wintermission meeting on Thursday, December 10th at 1:30pm. Wintermission Buffalo is collaboration between 8 80 Cities, the City of Buffalo, The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and GOBike Buffalo to reduce social isolation and support outdoor activity during the winter months, an effort that has become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual forum will provide an overview of the initiative, discuss past events and strategies and also include a preview of the upcoming 2020-21 season. To attend the virtual forum, visit: https:// atteetrial1.webex.com/meet/citizenservices.
The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding a community engagement meeting focused on resources for New Americans on Friday, December 11th at Noon. Jessica Lazarin, Director of the Ofﬁce of New Americans, is the featured speaker. Residents interested in attending the virtual event should email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, December 10th at 9pm.
Reminder: Document depository available at Buffalo City Hall
In accordance with the Mayor’s directive to reduce in-person services at Buffalo City Hall, the Department of Permits and Inspection Services has placed a “Plan Drop” in the Elmwood Avenue entrance lobby for residents and developers who need to deliver plans, schematics and other documents that cannot be submitted online for review. For permits and licensing needs, residents are encouraged to visit www.buffalony.gov/435/Permit- Inspection-Services. For license needs that cannot be met online, call 851-6583, 851-6594 or 851-4078. For permit services that cannot be met online, call 851-4935 or 851-5033. For general information, please call 851-4949.
Also as a reminder, in-person services are also suspended until further notice for the Department of Taxation and Assessment. Residents needing services may call 851-5733 and follow the queues to speak to the appropriate division. For Assessment Inquiries call 851-5733, Option 1 or email COBAssessor@city-buffalo.com. For Tax Inquiries call 851-5733, Option 2 or email email@example.com. For Exemption Inquiries call 851-5733, Option 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Brown reminds residents to visit covid19.buffalony.gov, a one-stop destination with the latest COVID-19 related news, policies and resources in the City of Buffalo. The website includes information for small businesses, how to access support for older residents, help for those seeking employment, health and mental health guidance, ways people can help others through volunteering and donating. The page also features data and dashboards that show the impact of coronavirus
Mayor Brown asks healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
Use BuffAlert to stay informed on important information like emergencies and cancellations. You can sign up by texting JOIN BUFFALERT to 30890.