Opening Day of Energy Assistance Program Brings Long Lines


This coming Monday, November 19th, is the opening day for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Here in the city’s central business district, hundreds of people – many of them the working poor – will be lined up in the streets of downtown Buffalo. Hundreds of people will stand in a line that will stretch down Main Street, and around the corner onto Huron Street. Here on this opening day of one of Western New York’s only government-funded energy assistance programs, those disconnected from heat and lights come en masse to desperately get reconnected.

Each year, the very long line at HEAP on opening day is a living symbol of our disconnection from decisions concerning our survival.


Music can make you laugh, make you love, make you smile, make you move, make you cry, make you think, and make people take notice. Quite often it has been used as a vehicle for bringing people together for communal enlightenment. Fuel the 99%, the Great Disconnect Part 2 is one such occasion. It is a concert for the people!


Coming to a stage set up across from the HEAP line, musical and performing artists from the Buffalo area will use their talents to make the powers that be take notice of our great disconnection. Local artists such as R&B performer Michael Prince, AJ Jordan (who was voted “Buffalo’s Best Hip Hop Act” of 2012 by Artvoice), conscious spoken word/hip hop artist “Missing Link” and others will lend their crafts to a noteworthy cause.

“Fuel the 99%, the great Disconnect II is about regular people who’ve been cut off, and have been greatly disconnected from the decision-making table. Hard-working families have been cut off from heat, warm housing, jobs, education, reentry for their loved ones, safe streets, clean water, healthcare, and a healthy environment. Now, it’s time to get reconnected!” says Brenda Miller of the National Fuel Accountability Coalition.

For the past five years,the National Fuel Accountability Coalition (NFAC), a coalition of groups (including PUSH Buffalo) dedicated to lowering heating bills, and reconnecting the disconnected to the process of building stronger communities, hasbeen trying to get National Fuel Gas to work with the community to invest more of the Conservation Incentive Program money – money that’s currently not being used as best it should – into homeowner and working poor weatherization. “This will be our second year in a row doing this concert to bring awareness to the problems of regular people being cut off from weatherization,” says PUSH Buffalo organizer Jennifer Mecozzi.

Join us on HEAP opening day as we peacefully make people take notice of this great disconnection through song and sound!

WHAT: “Fuel the 99%, the Great Disconnect Part 2” A Concert 4 the People!

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 19th, 10am-2pm.

WHERE: Main and E. Mohawk (across from the front of the HEAP office) in downtown Buffalo.

You can also read this post on the Goodneighborhood