Buffalo, NY--- Mayor Byron W. Brown today directed the dome atop historic Buffalo City Hall to be lit in its signature white color in honor of the 500,000 American lives lost to the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Flags in Niagara Square will also be lowered at half-staff in solidarity with President Biden’s proclamation to lower flags at all federal buildings and military posts for five days in remembrance of the victims of the virus.
Mayor Brown stated, “This grim number serves as a reminder to us all that this health emergency is far from over. As a nation and as a community, we remember each and every life lost to the Coronavirus. We must continue to work together to reduce the infection rate to protect our precious medical systems and save lives. Please remain careful. Continue to wash your hands regularly, practice physical distancing and wear face masks properly. The vaccines are helping to turn the tide in this fight, but we still have to stay together to ensure that our community makes it through this crisis.”
According to the Erie County Health Department, 1,635 Erie County residents have died from the virus.
Appointment scheduling will begin at 8am on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, for residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the new community-based vaccination site at the Delavan Grider Community Center. The first week of vaccination distribution at the site, located at 877 E. Delavan Avenue, will be only open to eligible residents of the following zip codes with low distribution rates:
Scheduling will expand to eligible Erie County residents beginning March 3rd. The new FEMA vaccination site is part of an ongoing commitment to ensure equity in the distribution of the vaccine here in the City of Buffalo. Mayor Brown encourages all residents to take the vaccine to bring this public health emergency to an end. To find out if you are eligible to receive the vaccine, visit am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
On Wednesday, February 24th, Buy Black Buffalo and Leadership Buffalo will present “Black Business Leadership Perspectives: Reimagining the Culture of Doing Business.” This virtual town hall will feature a panel of Black small business owners who will address the needs and concerns of Western New York’s small Black businesses, followed by a question and answer session. The forum starts at Noon, for more information visit www.leadershipbuffalo.org/event/100380/connecting-conversations-the- lounge-townhall-black-business-leadership-perspectives.
At today’s monthly Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) board meeting, Mayor Brown, BUDC Board Chairman, announced the retirement of BUDC President Peter M. Cammarata. His retirement will be effective April 2nd, 2021. Mr. Cammarata has served as President for the last 14 years and has been a significant contributor to the city of Buffalo’s economic development initiatives.
Mayor Brown stated, “As BUDC President, Peter Cammarata has helped bring several major projects online that have been key to the City of Buffalo’s economic progress, including the transformative Northland Workforce Training Center. Peter’s knowledgeable, determined and steady leadership has been critical to our City’s economic development and vitality. Peter will be greatly missed when he retires.”
In addition to the Northland project, Mr. Cammarata’s economic development portfolio also Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, RiverBend, and various brownfield and downtown developments. Mr. Cammarata also spearheaded Mayor Brown’s vision for the dramatic transformation of the Northland Beltline Corridor on the City’s East Side, supported by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo through funding from the Buffalo Billion initiative.
Mayor Brown and BUDC Vice Chairman Dennis Penman are leading a team that will determine a successor in the near future.
Applications are now being accepted for Mayor Brown’s new Small Business, Tenants, And Neighborhood Development Underwriting Program or “STAND UP Buffalo” Initiative. The initiative is comprised of a series of direct assistance grants and programs that will allow residents and business owners to respond to the unique challenges the global Coronavirus Pandemic has caused in Buffalo and cities across the nation. The City of Buffalo received $11 million from the CARES Act and other funding sources to fund the STAND UP Buffalo. From that grant, BURA proactively developed new programs to assist residents with eviction prevention, foreclosure prevention, fair housing, owner & rental housing rehabilitation, microenterprise assistance and digital inclusion analysis. Eligible applicants must have incomes below 80% of the area median income. For more information on how to apply, call 3-1-1, 2-1-1 or visit www.buffalourbanrenewal.com.
The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding a Virtual Block Chat on Friday, February 26th at Noon. Terry Alford, Executive Director of the Michigan Street African American Corridor, will discuss how to utilize strategic planning to create a unified tourism destination. Residents can attend the free virtual event by visiting https://buffalony. webex.com/meet/citizenservices.
The Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. (Buffalo PAL) encourages families to attend its series of free educational programs designed specifically for youth. The first session of “Passport to the World Club: Virtual Cooking Program with Patti Green” is full, but Buffalo PAL is accepting registration for session II, which begins on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6pm. The program empowers families to come together to learn to prepare fresh meals. The program runs 2 days a week from 6pm – 7:30pm and teaches families how to master recipes and learn lessons in science, history and math through cooking. Fresh grocery ingredients will be provided each week for each meal and youth participants will receive a chef hat and apron. Space is limited, to register visit buffalopal.com.
Automaker Tesla has announced that it is ramping up hiring at its Gigafactory in South Buffalo to support self-driving capabilities in its new automobiles. They are seeking qualified candidates to fill Data Annotation Specialist positions, to learn more about the job or to apply, visit www.tesla.com/careers/search/job/data-annotation-specialist-8083.
To find the closest COVID-19 test site near you, visit covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites throughout the City with contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription for testing.
Mayor Brown encourages healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and social distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment or if you are interested in holding a blood drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
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