(Buffalo, N.Y.) – After last year’s tragic shooting on Minnesota Street that took the lives of two young City of Buffalo residents, Democratic Leader Betty Jean Grant organized an anti-violence rally where she announced her intent to form an ad-hoc committee. After a year of deliberation and meetings, the 25-member Erie County & Buffalo Safe Neighborhood Committee has filed their report of recommendations with the Erie County Legislature that they hope will reduce the chances of seeing a repeat of last year’s tragedy.
Speaking to the recommendations that were put forward by the Committee, Democratic Leader Betty Jean Grant said, “This committee has recommended a number of thoughtful points. I hope that they will continue with their good work. It is helpful to have them guide the Legislature on what the community would like to see to keep their streets safe.”
“One of the more important points that we will be taking up right away is reinstituting the Erie County Conditional Release Program. We need to make sure we keep minor offenders away from hardened criminals, and get them educated. It’s what is best for them and what is best for our community. We need to get them contributing to our society.”
In addition to the issues of the criminal justice system, the Committee also highlighted the opportunity gap created in impoverished communities by a lack of transportation options. Inadequate busing hours, together with long travel times on the bus, leaves many without a chance to reach educational facilities like ECC and neighborhoods in Buffalo, Amherst and Cheektowaga where there are jobs.
“A real look at the public transport system will be necessary to make sure everyone has access to the opportunity to build a better life,” Legislator Grant added.