Looking Back on 2008: A PUSH Retrospective

We know it because we did it, PUSH had an incredible year in 2008. As 2009 leaps out of the starting gate, we'd like to take a minute to step back and admire our handiwork over the past 12 months. Some of the highlights include: 7. On January twelfth the culmination of PUSH's yearlong "MBBA" Campaign resulted in a new state-wide 'block by block' initiative for Buffalo. Currently, over 2 million dollars has been awarded to the fund. 6. On February 7th, PUSH members assembled at Waterfront Elementary School to take part in the public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant program. We took over the meeting as city officials were clearly not expecting the level of public involvement we brought to the table. Props to the PUSH Players for putting on an excellent skit. 5. Citizen Citations! On March 6th, we kicked off our Citizen Citation Initiative where PUSH folks and community members posted 'Housing Violation' tickets on city-owned abandoned properties all across the West Side. 4. Perfectly in time with the beginning of Spring, PUSH unveiled our second rehab, 129 Chenango. With its cathedral ceiling, bamboo floors, and below market rate rent, 129 Chenango is a preeminent example of how to build decent and affordable housing on Buffalo's West Side. 3. In the beginning of May, Buffalo's alternative newsweekly Artvoice came out with an excellent piece of investigative journalism on City Hall's gross misappropriation of HUD money. This article helped echo our call for the necessity of our Anti-Poverty Platform. 2. PUSH's second NYC Party, 'Bringing Buffalo Back' was a huge success! Over 350 Buffalonian expats, lovers, and transplants attended. With food from places like La Nova and McFadden's, music from the Honorable DJ Capps, DJ Lopro, and Rabbi Darkside, as well as beverages from Flying Bison & Labatts, party-goers had a spectacular time. We're all eagerly anticipating the next one! 1. And then, on October 8th, we won our biggest victory to date: MAYOR BROWN COMMITS TO PUSH ANTI-POVERTY PLATFORM. 500 rehabs over 5 years plus 50% local hiring & 90 day check-ins with the Mayor's office. The culmination of PUSH's yearlong Jobs and Housing Campaign proved that real people have real power and that we know what we need where we live. As this is only a sample-sized bite of the many things we've been up to in the past year what we can accomplish in 2009 is only limited by the scope of our imaginations and our willingness to do the work and get our hands dirty. Whether it's making phone calls, knocking on doors, or just showing up to a mailing. PUSH needs YOU for 2009 if we're going to win our Green Jobs, Green Housing Campaign. We're looking forward to seeing YOU in 2009. -PUSH Buffalo