Our first meeting for the day was with the Honorable Mayor Brown – a dynamic, articulate leader who made us feel very welcome and gave us wonderful insights into his vision and ambition for the City of Buffalo. He and his team have 3 guiding principles: i) improving the economic climate; ii) improving quality of life and iii) making the delivery of services more accountable and efficient.
The city of Buffalo is in the midst of significant economic investment and development – the most it has seen in decades – and Mayor Brown wants to ensure that all of his constituents benefit – especially Youth.
Our team has been tasked with how the City can leverage data to increase youth employment in high risk neighborhoods.
This was the backdrop for the official kick off which happened immediately afterwards, during which key stakeholders and media were present.
But it was back to business after the obligatory formal photos were taken. We met formally with a number of the Mayor’s senior leadership team including Otis Barker Deputy Commissioner Community Services; Oswaldo Mestre Director Citizen Services, Brendan Mehaffy, Executive Director Office of Strategic Planning and key stakeholder, CEO of Buffalo Urban League, Brenda McDuffie. Each gave their unique perspective regarding the issues and challenges facing youth employment today and a run down on the programs available today.
Despite it being a long and demanding day, we were pretty pleased with what we learnt and how forthcoming everyone is with sharing their insights.