PUSH Buffalo's Bartley decides it's time to step away

Nov 3, 2017

He co-founded People United for Sustainable Housing Incorporated, or PUSH Buffalo, back in 2004. Executive director Aaron Bartley says he will leave the organization next August.

Bartley says he has decided to step down from the organization to avoid "founder's syndrome," and let the organization be about its mission, not personalities.

PUSH Buffalo co-founder and executive director Aaron Bartley speaks in May 2017 at the groundbreaking ceremony at the former School 77 in Buffalo. PUSH Buffalo and its partners are converting the former school into a mixed-use center that will include affordable senior housing.
Credit WBFO file photo/Chris Caya

"I wanted PUSH to have dynamic leadership that represented folks coming up from the grassroots and really taking control of their destiny," Bartley said. 

PUSH Buffalo has worked to improve housing in Buffalo's West Side. Among its projects is the current conversion of former School 77 into a mixed-use center that will include affordable senior housing, a youth center, PUSH's new offices and the Ujima Theater company. Ground was broken on this project in May. Completion is anticipated next summer.

PUSH's other housing projects have placed emphasis on renewable and sustainable resources as part of their work.

"Renewables are the future and yet we have not adopted them widely enough in Buffalo," Bartley said. "Our attempt is to set an example of the economy that's to come. We know it's coming and for us it was important that frontline communities get a stake in that future."