Grant: “A few days in jail won’t kill me”

BY BETTY JEAN GRANT, County Legislator

I have been told by two attorneys that the vote taken yesterday on the new train station may be illegal. Number one, they barred the taxpaying public from a meeting discussing public business even thought the previous meetings had been opened for public participation.

Secondly, they sought to have that same public ejected from the lobby of the building that was subsidizied with tax incentives and PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes). We who were assembled in the lobby were told to leave by the Buffalo Police and were threatened with arrest if we did not leave in two minutes.

According to the officers I talked to, those orders came from the chairman of the committee, Mayor Byron Brown and the building’s owners.

We left peacefully even though I wanted to stay and resist and maybe go to jail. Some thing are worth going to jail for. Our commuity has been neglected, our youth are dying in the street and we are blindly supporting and following a mayor who cares nothing about the eastside or those of us who live here. The train station belongs on the eastside, the residents of Buffalo have spoken.

The Mayor controlled the committee and thus the votes. That renovation of the Central Terminal would have provided jobs for our youth, spur economic development of the surrounding communities and shine a postive light on the area.

We must stop voting for people because of color.

If they are not doing right by us or our neighborhoods, they cannot and should not be elected or re-elected. Our young sons are dying because we have not done right by them. They are citizens, too and they deserve a chance to work in this city. Look at all the construction sites in this city, even those on the eastside of Buffalo. Who’s working? If they are not hiring minority workers, shut them down!

The next time I have to take a stand for this community and I am threatened with jail; I am sorry but I will go to jail. We have lost too much already; a few days in jail for the right reason will not kill me.

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