Buffalo Niagara Partnership Unveils 2019 Advocacy Agenda


Buffalo Niagara Partnership Unveils 2019 Advocacy Agenda

Regional chamber of commerce outlines federal, state and local policy priorities

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As the regional chamber of commerce and privately funded economic development organization, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership has identified more than 24 legislative policy priorities that are critical to fostering an environment that enables private-sector investment and job creation.

The policy priorities are at the federal, state, and local levels and are outlined in the Partnership’s 2019 Advocacy Agenda, which also provides context about why each priority is of critical importance to regional employers and taxpayers. The Partnership unveiled the Advocacy Agenda on Thursday during a sold-out event attended by more than 250 people—including elected officials and Partnership members—at Pub at the Park at Sahlen Field.

“Effective advocacy makes the Partnership unique amongst chambers of commerce,” said Dottie Gallagher, the President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Over the years, the Partnership has cultivated productive working relationships with elected officials, all of whom have been supportive of our overarching goal of advancing our region’s economic health. We look forward to continuing this important work throughout 2019.”

The policy priorities outlined in the Partnership’s Advocacy Agenda are driven by member input provided during a comprehensive annual survey, in addition to the policy priorities identified by the Partnership’s economic councils.

As part of the 2019 Advocacy Agenda, the Partnership is:

  • opposing the creation of a single-payer healthcare system in New York State;
  • calling for the state’s highly effective property tax cap to be made permanent;
  • supporting free trade policies that will strengthen the region’s vital trade relationship with Canada and calling for the ratification of the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and
  • calling for the creation of an incentive program that will stimulate infill development and spur the construction of walkable, complete neighborhoods in downtown Buffalo.

Among other priorities, the 2019 Advocacy Agenda also calls for comprehensive reform of the Scaffold Law; the expansion of childcare benefits to those participating in training and/or on-the-job upskilling; adequate federal and state funding for the repair of crumbling infrastructure; workforce development initiatives to help employers recruit and retain qualified workers; and a dedicated fund to address the shortage of shovel-ready sites with adequate infrastructure.

As the Partnership continues its collaboration with the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls and Erie and Niagara counties, its 2019 Advocacy Agenda also identifies five regional priority projects. Throughout the year, the Partnership will bring these projects to the attention of state and federal lawmakers and advocate for their support.

The 2019 regional priority projects are:

  • Construction of an agriculture industrial park with complete streets and intermodal connectivity (Erie County);
  • Completion of the Cars Sharing Main Street initiative (City of Buffalo);
  • Extension of the NFTA Metro Rail to the north and south (Buffalo Niagara Partnership);
  • Construction of a new roundabout connecting Hyde Park Boulevard and the Niagara Scenic Parkway (City of Niagara Falls); and
  • Construction of a detached outer harbor breakwater in Olcott Harbor (Niagara County).

“In addition to serving as our advocacy guide, the Advocacy Agenda drives all of the Partnership’s advocacy discussions and programming throughout the year,” Gallagher said. “It ensures that the Partnership’s work is focused on advancing the goals of our members—and that’s our highest purpose.”

The Partnership’s Government Affairs programming is presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (Title Sponsor); AT&T and National Grid (Presenting Sponsors); Alpine Films, Delta, National Fuel, and Waste Management (Event Sponsors); Zenger Group (Print Sponsor); LaBella Associates D.P.C. and Niagara University (Supporting Sponsors); and Rich’s (Venue Sponsor).

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.

For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at gloomis@thepartnership.org or 716-541-1736