Buffalo, NY – As the City of Buffalo approaches a new year, one Common Council member has an aggressive agenda for 2005. Masten district lawmaker Antoine Thompson says he's getting set to tackle several issues in his district.
One of Thompson's first priorities is to work toward safer city schools. Starting next week, Thompson says he will kick off an aggressive campaign pushing for school uniforms to be worn in all Masten district public schools.
"I want all the schools in Masten to have uniforms," Thompson said. "That is going to be a very big push to help reduce school violence, to increase attendance and to reduce the barrier that students face with the competitiveness of how they dress for school."
Thompson says he will continue his fight to improve public safety. He worked aggressively with the Stop-the-Violence coalition last summer during a swell of shootings and murders. Thompson and the organization demanded that the Buffalo police force work to solve violent crimes quickly. In response, the police department brought back its homicide unit. Thompson says that is a big step in making his district a safer place to live.
"The homicide unit will help solve cases. We also have the special police that will be walking a beat," Thompson said. "And if Buffalo police officers could also walk a beat that would also help us solve crimes."
Thompson says he will also work to improve city services. But he says more jobs and economic development are needed in the inner-city.
"We have to do more to get people access to jobs on redevelopment, both large and small," Thompson said. "Putting people to work cuts the problem in half."
Thompson says while there was some progress in 2004, there is much work ahead. He delivers his "State of the Masten District" address to residents January 8th.