by Betty Jean Grant
All across the country, in local, county, state and even in Congress, women are standing up, running and getting elected. All across the country but sadly, here in Buffalo, especially in the common council races, women have not been supported for even one of nine district council seats!
With the pending retirement of both Fillmore District councilmember, David Franczyk and Lovejoy District council member, Richard Fontana, the committee members of these two districts could have voted for females to be endorsed and still maintained the status of the seven remaining seats to be in the hands of the incumbent occupiers of those elected positions. But instead of handing out olive branches to qualified female candidates in those two soon-to-be vacant districts, they did the non-inclusive move and endorsed members of their own staff to be selected for the vacancies.
Buffalo will never have female candidates rise to the level of a long past of era that gave us a Shirley Chisholm and our own, Beverly A. Gray or even the now, explosive, emergence of a young, in your face, political superstar like Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. We will never have the wisdom, compassion and strength of women candidates gracing our local, city’s legislative body unless women, who clearly are the majority gender in Buffalo, fight for inclusion and the opportunity to be treated as worthy candidates running for elected offices within the Democratic Party.
The year 2020 has been declared as the Year of the Women! We, as a city with a majority of women from diverse backgrounds, cannot wear that title well if we keep on excluding intelligent, educated and community-minded females from participating in the governance of Buffalo. I am also happy to report that the exclusion of Democratic-endorsed female candidates for common council seats has not deterred their desire or enthusiasm for running. There are already women candidates running for council seats in the Fillmore, Lovejoy and Masten District. More females might get bitten by the political bug and throw their ‘Sunday Best’ hat into the mix and compete for the other six council seats.
Go women; run for those common council seats and win!