A “sewer socialism” for Buffalo

I read a fantastic article from Barcelona en ComĂș, a participatory democracy movement that arose in Barcelona in the wake of the financial crisis, that calls for the creation of “a network of rebel cities to stand up to Trump.” Describing a strategy of engaging in city-level politics to empower working class Catalonians to resist austerity, the article invoked the “sewer socialism” that governed the Rust Belt city of Milwaukee for almost 50 years.

The name “sewer socialism” immediately caught my attention since the criminally abject state of Buffalo’s sewers (if you didn’t know, due to their combined overflow architecture, every time it rains they literally spew shit into the Niagara River) and the dire necessity of their reconstruction is a favorite topic of mine.

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Some good things going on in Buffalo

From UB2020 and the BNMC to Andrew Cuomo’s Solar LED Green Tech Riverbend Jamboree, I’ve been accused of hating on everything that generates headlines in Buffalo, which is only a slight exaggeration. I think most of the big ticket economic development projects in Buffalo are far better deals for the area’s elites than for most of the people living here, I think that attempts to market Buffalo have been dopey, and I think that local desperation for outside approval is unseemly.

That being said, I love Buffalo and its people (and its bullshit) and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. There are a ton of things that have developed and are still ongoing that make Buffalo such an amazing place and that are contributing to make it even better. Some of them have generated local headlines, some haven’t, but all of them deserve a far greater share of recognition than they get compared to the billion dollar blockbusters like the Medical Campus and the hotels at the waterfront. These projects are set apart from the ones that get all the media shine in that largely they’re bottom-up initiatives that have simmered below the radar making small gains that have cumulated to large strides in improving Buffalo’s resiliency and quality of life.

Here’s six things going on in Buffalo that are actually cool and good:

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