Buffalo recovery a Tale of Two Cities

Jim Heaney makes his debut as a columnist for City & State this week with a piece that puts Buffalo’s improved economy in perspective.

Heaney notes a great and growing divide between “the haves and have-nots.”

Yes, there is the psychological boost thanks to the Buffalo Billion initiative, and construction cranes denote progress at Canalside and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

But other aspects of the economy lag.

“Any way you cut the numbers—poverty rate, unemployment rate, actual number of city residents working—they lag behind where things stood prior to the Great Recession of 2008–09,” Heaney writes.

Meanwhile, the public schools are in shambles, poverty is pervasive and Mayor Byron Brown is mostly hands off when it comes to tackling the city’s woes.

“Like the Greyhound Bus commercial, he’s left the driving to others,” Heaney writes.

Investigative Post and City & State recently announced a partnership between two of New York’s fastest growing news organizations.

As part of this collaboration, Heaney will write a monthly column in City & State magazine about politics and government in Western New York. In addition, City & State will publish other Investigative Post content, including original reporting developed exclusively for C&S, as well as articles originally written for Investigative Post’s website.

The first joint effort resulted in this story about an aborted Moreland Commission investigation of possible violations of state campaign finance laws.