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Yea or Nay? Adding At Large members to the Buffalo Common Council

The Buffalo Common Council has adopted resolution to explore the idea of adding At Large members to its governing body. An At Large member would be elected by a city-wide vote, instead of by district. There were once At Large members, but those positions were eliminated via referendum. But now that the city is rebounding, with growing census numbers, the resolution – “Pridgen – Exploring at Large Council Member Positions” – instructs the Common Council members to identify the potential benefits and concerns of reinstating the positions.

According to the 2020 census, the City of Buffalo has seen its first population growth in over 70 years. 

“There have been many people who have come to this Council or called and have at least asked us to look at the benefit, if there is a benefit, if there is not a benefit to the City of Buffalo residents, when talking about At-Large,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen, who points to the ongoing resettlement of immigrants and refugees in Buffalo as one of the reasons for the recent population growth. “This is just a conversation. In this resolution it talks about opening up a period of public discussion. I think it’s timely to talk about is it time for the Council to explore at large members who then are not necessarily beholden to one district but to the city.”

As Common Council members explore the potential of adding At Large members, they are also asking for the public to weigh in.

The Common Council is asking residents to go to www.buffalony.gov/AtLarge to fill out the survey and provide their feedback on this matter.

Lead image: Signs of growth on the city’s West Side – Providence Farm Collective’s new farmer’s market on Grant Street

The post Yea or Nay? Adding At Large members to the Buffalo Common Council appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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