The Grassroots Rules!
Community organizing is the lifeblood of the Green Development Zone. Since 2005, with the success of the Block by Block campaign, PUSH has called on neighborhood residents and allies to participate in half a dozen direct-action and legislative campaigns that have brought new resources to the West Side. These campaigns target all levels of government as well as corporations like banks and large utility companies.
Targeting a Big Corporation and a Multimillionaire While Getting a State Agency to Line up with the People
The National Fuel Accountability Campaign: PUSH’s most ambitious, ongoing, direct action campaign is directed at the West Side’s gas provider, National Fuel Gas (NFG). In November 2011, the campaign won a major victory when the New York State Public Service Commission ruled in favor of PUSH’s program, moving millions of dollars out of NFG corporate advertising and into low-income weatherization projects.
Passing Laws in Albany and Bringing Money Back Home to the West Side
Green Jobs – Green New York and PUSH Green: In 2009, PUSH Buffalo won a big victory when New York State passed the ground-breaking Green Jobs – Green New York Act (GJGNY). PUSH members tirelessly organized support for the bill along with partners across the state. To implement the act in Erie County, PUSH Buffalo founded PUSH Green to expand the demand for household energy-efficiency upgrades and create quality local jobs for West Side residents.
Encouraging the Mayor and Local Officials to Come Through
The Mass Ave Park Campaign: In 2011 West Side residents persuaded local elected officials to free up funds for a spectacular renovation of a neglected city park in the heart of the Green Development Zone.
Getting the Governor on Board
The Sustainable Neighborhoods Program: In partnership with New York State housing agencies, PUSH helped create the Sustainable Neighborhoods Program, which offers grants to organizations that demonstrate coherent and multi-faceted approaches to community-run redevelopment projects that focus on the rehabilitation of existing homes.
Targeting New York State Government and Wall Street
The Block by Block Campaign (2005-06): The Block by Block campaign was PUSH’s first organizing campaign. It was aimed at a New York State housing agency that was using its control of vacant houses in Buffalo to speculate on Wall Street. By targeting this agency with a militant grassroots campaign, PUSH convinced state officials to start the Block by Block program to rehabilitate houses in neighborhoods like the West Side.
Putting the Pressure on the Feds and the Big Banks
National campaigns: PUSH also advocates for similar community-based, green redevelopment policies on the national level through its membership in organizations like the National People’s Action and Green for All.