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Mayor Brown's Biography
The Honorable Byron W. Brown is the Mayor of Buffalo, New York. He was reelected to a second four-year term as Mayor of New York’s second largest city following a landslide victory in September of 2009, extending his stay as the 58th Mayor of Buffalo.
Reelected as Mayor with over 60 percent of the vote, Mayor Brown continues to strengthen and expand the city’s economic development activities, improve the quality of life for all city residents, and emphasize greater accountability and efficiency in City Hall.
Since taking office, Mayor Brown has championed the renaissance and tremendous progress that is taking place throughout Buffalo. Today, there is $1.7 billion in economic development activity underway citywide and investment continues to build in Buffalo. Mayor Brown’s plan to transform two surface parking lots, including the Webster Block that was formally owned by the city, into two major development projects will be responsible for bringing a quarter billion dollars in private investment to the Buffalo waterfront.
Other downtown development includes the return of two-way vehicular traffic to downtown Main Street spurring new investment and job growth, the emergence of new downtown housing that is making downtown the fastest growing residential area in the city, Catholic Health’s new $46 million headquarters, the ongoing development of the $40 million Tishman Building and the $50 million Larkin District Redevelopment. At the same time, the continuing expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will soon see the arrival of the University at Buffalo Medical School and the $200 million John R. Oishei Women and Children’s Hospital.
Mayor Brown’s commitment to prudent and conservative budgeting has also made Buffalo more competitive for investment, safer for residents and visitors, and fiscally stable. Since 2006, he improved Buffalo’s credit rating to its highest in history, reduced residential property taxes by 15%, commercially by nearly 28%. Buffalo now has one of the lowest effective tax rates in the region and the lowest permit fees within a 500 mile radius.
During Mayor Brown’s tenure, the following are among the companies that relocated their corporate headquarters to downtown Buffalo: New Era Cap Company; Labatt USA; BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and First Niagara Bank. Other signs of Buffalo’s continued growth and progress include the completion of the new $140 million U.S. District Courthouse, ECMC’s continued $200 million plus redevelopment, the continued redevelopment of Statler City, Hotel Lafayette, $62 million redevelopment of the Richardson Olmsted Complex and LP Ciminelli’s projected $30 million development of the former Central Park Plaza.
Complementing this economic development activity is a continuing decline in crime in the Queen City as a result of Mayor Brown’s zero tolerance anti-crime policy. Since January 2006, Buffalo has experienced a nearly 20% reduction in overall crime. Mayor Brown has also overseen the installation of 202 surveillance cameras that are making a difference in both commercial and residential neighborhoods. This activity coincides with the addition of 225 new Buffalo police officers and 159 firefighters, hired since 2006.
Mayor Brown continues to offer strong support for Buffalo’s great educational system of colleges and universities, which generate a $3.2 billion annual impact on the region, complementing a public school system that has been strengthened by a $1.4 billion investment in renovated buildings and new technology.
Mayor Brown continues to implement highly effective initiatives that have helped to further support youth educational and workforce programs in Buffalo. He led the effort for the City of Buffalo to become one of the first financial supporters of Say Yes to Education Buffalo, committing $500,000 over three years to this program. He also created and expanded a School Police Resource Program and added funding for additional attendance teachers in the Buffalo Public School system. Since 2006, more than 17,256 city youth have found meaningful work opportunities through Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Employment program, while nearly 7,500 children have completed his annual summer reading challenge.
Mayor Brown has spearheaded and sponsored a number of neighborhood revitalization projects. Since 2006, the city has invested more than $31 million to improve and beautify its park system, including a $4.5 million state-of-the-art splash pad at Martin Luther King Park. In 2012, Mayor Brown introduced a citywide enhanced recycling program that has already dramatically increased the collection of recyclables, a huge stride in greening Buffalo.
Mayor Brown’s career in public service is marked with many historic achievements. He was elected the first African-American Mayor of Buffalo. He served five years in the New York State Senate. Sworn in January 1, 2001, Mayor Brown also became the first African-American elected to the State Senate outside of New York City. Mayor Brown was first elected to represent the Masten District on the Buffalo City Council in 1995.
He has won dozens of awards during his decades of public service. Mayor Brown was recently named one of 13 members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Works Task Force. He also serves on the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council, which is charged with implementing the plan for the Governor’s billion dollar pledge to Buffalo. Mayor Brown was twice named one of the most influential people in Western New York by Buffalo Business First. Mayor Brown is a Silver Life Member of the NAACP.
Mayor Brown is extremely proud to serve the citizens of the City of Buffalo.
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios