We Remember Beverly Gray
Former Common Council Member Beverly Gray died on Wednesday Feb. 18, 2004 in Buffalo General Hospital after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 53. A fighter for the people and a true community activist, whenever there was a need, she was there. Even from her hospital bed she was busy looking out for others.
Ms. Gray, who served as an at-large Council member from 1996 to 2004, will be remembered for her outspoken activism on a variety of issues, her trademark stylish hats and her strong will in the face of her illness.
In 2000, Ms. Gray was elected to the State Democratic Judicial Committee. She was the first African American woman in the history of Buffalo politics to be elected as an At-Large member of the City Council. and the first woman to run for Mayor in Buffalo’s history, as well as the first in opposition to an incumbent Mayor (Masiello) in 2001.
While campaigning against Masiello, a veteran politician with a $1 million war chest and widespread support among Democratic Party leaders, she often struggled to breathe. But she ran the race. The revitalization of Jefferson Avenue was one of her most endearing goals.
The East Utica Library/ Beverly A. Gray Business Services Incubator Project, located in the old Jefferson Library on Utica and Jefferson was named in her honor. Last year, thirteen years after her death, it was finally opened. But Beverly Gray’s dream of a revitalized Jefferson Avenue has yet to be realized.