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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n51 (12/23/2010) » Five Questions With...

Dr. Curtis Haynes, Jr. - City Councilman, Professor

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Dr. Curtis Haynes, Jr.: City Councilman, Professor

Dr. Curtis Haynes, Jr. was appointed to fill the Ellicott District seat on the Common Council, which had been vacated by Brian Davis, on January 14. The contentiousness of the process by which the Council’s majority chose him was soon belied by Haynes’ demeanor on the Council during his brief service: deliberative, calm, reasonable, intelligent. He seemed a reluctant politician, which may be why he’s leaving office. Come January, he’ll be replaced by the Reverend Darius Pridgen, who trounced Haynes and all other candidates in the special election this fall. We wish the Reverend Pridgen much good luck. In the meantime, we depart from the usual format of this column to allow Haynes to offer these Christmas wishes to the district he represented in 2010, which encompasses Buffalo’s downtown, the lower East and West sides, Allentown, the Fruit belt, and the Medical Corridor.

My Christmas wish is for a blanket of health, happiness, and prosperity to nurture Ellicott District and all its potential in the coming year and years to come.

For the Fruit Belt, a long-delayed renaissance in housing and amenities, stimulated by a successful Medical Corridor, providing local employment and entrepreneurial opportunities stimulated by the efforts of unified block clubs, the St. Johns’ Business Academy, and the UB 2020 initiative.

For the Hispanic community and HUB, the Belle Center, and the Olivencia Center, growth and sufficient funding to match an increasing and vital population.

For the business districts from Chippewa to Broadway, Allen Street to Elmwood, the corner stores, plazas, and entrepreneurs, an economic boom that never looks back.

For Allentown, a growing cultural destination for locals and out-of-town tourists who appreciate this historic neighborhood.

For the lower East Side, strides in rehabilitation and construction of new housing and needed services to make neighborhoods bloom again.

For the Michigan Cultural Corridor, a flood of visitors eager to appreciate all Buffalo has to offer in black history as the past flows to the future.

For LaSalle Park, a well maintained and beautiful haven for all the people of Buffalo.

For School 36, children in the classrooms by September.

For Chippewa Street, new parking hours signage by December.

For the Statler, public sector support for private sector innovations that together show how a practical and funded plan linked to calculated risk-taking, faith, and vision can bring luster back to this fallen jewel,

For Main Street, “sold” and “open for business” signs replacing “for sale” and “vacancy.”

For the many fine organizations from the Moot Center to Heart of the City and Ellicott Housing Services to the YMCA and so many more, the funding and volunteers to ensure their missions are never threatened by budget cuts.

For the residents and stakeholders, decent jobs for all who seek them, fine schools for all who attend them, secure housing for all who purchase or rent, and most of all, I wish for our leaders, a definiteness of a strong vision, fixity of purpose, steadiness of faith, and a depth of gratitude as they pursue solutions that are in tune with a new age, and reflect a pursuit of human perfectibility, that can be transmitted to all, as we each fill our important roles in making Buffalo’s future all that it should and can be. Peace.

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