The Citizens of Lackawanna’s Future (CoLF) is an information organization dedicated to maintaining an educated local voting populace in Lackawanna, New York, a small city of 19,000 people adjoining the southern border of Buffalo, NY. Though non-partisan in nature, CoLF members and guests to this website may editorialize or weigh in on particular issues. Guest e-mails are welcome, but will be screened for content, accuracy, and authenticity; the best effort will be made to vet postings in order to maintain a high journalistic quality standard.
CoLF will soon be applying for 501(c)(3) status. We will let you know when the process is complete (general membership and dues information to follow). A bit about 501(c)(3)'s:
Current CoLF officers are:
How we operate:
Civic participation in City Council meetings is of paramount importance. Please become familiar with the official Lackawanna City website:
Contrary to pedagogical dogma, the three branches of government are not the legislature, the executive, and the judicial. The de facto consolidation of power in local jurisdictions seems to belong to: a) the aforementioned 3 ring circus, b) the school board:
and c) the municipal housing authority, notably absent in cyberspace. Power consolidation, spanning these entities, is a touchy subject which will receive much attention in future articles on this website.
The question of protocol (e.g. proper procedure for permitting, zoning, executive session, conflict of interest, etc.) has been brought up on several occasions at City Council meetings. We have inserted this link in an effort to keep you informed on the laws and regulations:
Remember, government is intended to help you, the public. Those who participate, stay informed, and vote, usually win. If you do not exercise your civic rights and responsibilities, special interests will creep in and influence legislation to their advantage (often to your disadvantage). Make it your hobby to stay informed, and please vote for the greater long term good of the public.
Other relevant government websites (READ this stuff carefully, before you complain):
Erie County: http://www2.erie.gov/
Our Legislator: http://www.erie.gov/legislature/district01/index.asp
County Jobs: http://www.erie.gov/employment/index.asp
NYS Govt: http://www.ny.gov/
ECC / Workforce: http://www.ecc.edu/workforce/onestop
(It may be of interest to you that the NYS Senate and Assembly scramble and argue furiously about how to close the budget gap, yet no legislators seem to be making an issue out of the $16 Billion in Stock Transfer Tax immediately rebated to Wall Street… that should be our money, collectively.
You might want to ask any gubernatorial candidate about this issue, or the one about fraudulent investigation of Medicaid fraud in NYS.
CoLF also plans occasional fundraising cookouts. The intent is to eventually ratchet up in scale so that guest speakers may be invited.
Another major function of CoLF is information gathering and letter writing. Though the government websites listed above are useful, they can never be complete. (e.g. The Lackawanna website does not seem to include the “2010 ~ 2011 Operating Budget” which is available to the public for a nominal printing and binding fee.) We like to dig a bit deeper so that we can make intelligent statements, criticisms, and requests to help our legislators, business, and civic organizations better work for the public.
We highly recommend that readers check in periodically with the NY Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) website:
Other civic organization sites:
Public television and radio:
PBS receives roughly 1/6 of its funding from the federal government. This allows conservative pols, irritated with the content of some of PBS's documentaries, to threaten to pull federal funding. Considering the recent harassment -- censorship of the following Katy Perry and Elmo clip from Sesame Street -- supposedly for too much cleavage (that thin veil of fake Victorian morality), maybe complete financial independence would be a blessing in disguise. More Katy Perry, please.
Political and business websites:
http://lackawannarepublicans.com/about/committee.html -- Are they still the anti-slavery, anti-secession party of Lincoln, or the monopoly and trust-busting, national parks boosting party of Teddy Roosevelt ? We hope so.
http://ecdems.com/ -- Are they still the New Deal, FDIC, and CCC party of Franklin Roosevelt, or the Great Society party of Lyndon Johnson ? We hope so.
http://www.web.gpnys.com/ -- Have they matured past their hemp-based days to become a viable and responsible 3rd party, ready to challenge the "Big Two" on substantive issues ? We hope so.