By Francis White
If you remember Little Nicky, the developer I was telling you about who's been all over the place trying to bring the Buffalo NY real estate market up to par to what's currently the market rate trend in places like Harlem and Brooklyn, he's been making some moves as of late.
He has been singing a different tune lately. I don't know if he's been seeing some of the moves we have been making and wants to be a part of it because there's value in what we're doing, he's up to something, or he sees something that could be a benefit to himself as well as this community. Whatever the case, his people have put out a few feelers in the papers and have attempted to contact my people a few times to talk business. Anybody that really knows me, knows that I'm as skeptical as they come. I gave him an audience for a teleconference the other day.
He said "Frank, what's up? We've got to stop meeting like this, we should make it an initiative to work together as a team, from the jump more often." "I wholeheartedly agree, I'm actually glad that we're getting a chance to talk again, I was wondering what a person has to do, to get a meeting with one of our up and coming rock stars in development." I responded. "As much as I often times disagree with the methods of your organization, I was raised in a household where I was often overlooked by my older relatives, so I've had to develop a work ethic that sometimes may make it seem like I have a hot mannered and overshadowing personality. I've developed this ethic from my rivalries with Beelzebub my older brother, and Legion an older cousin of mine, so I apologize if I come on too strong or heated sometimes. I have some interest in your ideas for #highroad wealth building, and creating opportunities for people who often go overlooked in our society. I do believe, as my family has been shown, that you'll reap what you sew. I've been through enough hell already and I don't need any more of it" he said.
"Here's what I have to say to you today; development in Buffalo is picking up, and maybe you're right in advocating that people from marginalized communities should have a greater part in the wealth building process that goes on in this country. What better way to participate in that process than by having access to the good paying, living wage jobs that the building trades field offers. I saw what you have been doing, the work involved in organizing some momentum around this issue and I want in. I have some projects on the table and I want your organization involved.
Buffalo is seeing a rebirth and the work that your organization (and others like the Outsource Center) does is very important to the future of this city. It takes a lot of courage trying to break into a field that has for many of the people you represent been a closed society. However, larger market forces are at work, and #gentrification on many levels has already begun in #BuffaloNY. There can be a balance, and maybe part of that balance could be access to wealth building opportunities via jobs. It's the least that I can offer at this time" he continued.
I told him that "we'd like to work with you to help the people we represent, because it seems like a very good opportunity. But, we are an affordable housing and jobs advocacy organization, and our position is that we'd like to see more of these types of projects, especially ones that are partly subsidized by public money to be affordable housing units."
After the teleconference, my organization decided that we'd meet and make a decision on Nicky's offer.
Posted on Thu, September 3, 2015
by Francis White