Erie County Legislator Howard J. Johnson, Jr. Honors Two Pillars of Greater Buffalo Community

Modified: October 21, 2020 11:00am

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Casimiro Rodriguez and Brenda McDuffie receive proclamations for their tremendous efforts to support Erie County’s minority communities

Buffalo, NY – 1st District Legislator Howard J. Johnson Jr. presented two proclamations during the October 8th session of the Erie County Legislature. The first presentation was made in honor of Hispanic Heritage month, celebrated nationally from September 15th through October 15th, and former President of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, Casimiro Rodriguez, who also founded the organization.


Cas has worked tirelessly to advance and preserve the rich Hispanic culture of Buffalo’s West Side and the Niagara Street corridor through his advocacy for the creation of Buffalo’s Hispanic Heritage District. He also spearheaded the construction of the Hispanic Veterans’ Memorial and helped raise over $250,000 for the cause. His volunteerism is unmatched as he has served on SUNY Buffalo State’s Community Advisory Committee, Roswell Park Community Advisory Steering Committee, and the Erie Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition. He was joined for the presentation by his family including his wife of 38 years, Bedzaida.


In an additional presentation, Legislator Johnson presented Brenda McDuffie, longtime and now retired President of the Buffalo Urban League, with a proclamation commemorating her many years of service to young people of color and minorities in the Buffalo area. Mrs. McDuffie currently serves as the Chair of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and has received many accolades for her community organizing, including the NAACP Community Service award and the United Way’s Volunteer of the Year. As noted by Chairwoman Baskin, Mrs. McDuffie has taken her fight for wage equality and minority self-sufficiency all the way to Washington, D.C. and serves as a role model for many of Buffalo’s young minority leaders in the non-profit and public sector.


“Both of these individuals truly exemplify the best of Erie County and the City of Buffalo, in particular. Their dedication to the communities they serve has been demonstrated in countless ways over many years, culminating in well-earned and deserved retirements. I know neither will ever truly stop advocating for the people of this great city, and I am just happy the entire Legislature was able to thank them both properly for all they’ve done and given,” said Legislator Howard Johnson.