Open Letter to The Community

Thank You For Standing With The Buffalo Urban League!

I am writing to thank the community for coming together in support of the Buffalo Urban League.  Your prayers, assistance and showing up in unprecedented numbers at the Erie County Finance and Management hearing on the Erie County Comptroller’s Report shows our strengthen.  It speaks volumes for the impact the League has in taking risk to provide help and hope to the most vulnerable.

The League’s unwavering commitment and excellent service to this community has never been in question.  Not even in the Comptroller’s Report or the Legislature’s hearing was this disputed. Yet, Comptroller Mychajliw and Committee Chair Lorigo, in their media comments and public behaviors, showed a total disrespect and disregard not only for the Urban League but every resident they are elected to serve. Both have directly attempted to hurt and harm through their mean spirited, malicious unsubstantiated statements about the League and its leader. A basic civic lesson teaches all citizens deserve transparency, honesty and fairness from their elected officials.   The League and its leader, have earned the respect and reputation for addressing the inequalities that have prevented opportunities for all people, especially African Americans, other minorities and underserved individuals. The League’s advocacy and programs for responding to this community’s most pressing challenges is constantly demonstrated and sought after throughout the county and the nation. This leads to the following questions:

•Why did the Comptroller’s Report differ significantly from the inflammatory media statements of fraud, systematic mismanagement, and dysfunction when these words do not appear anywhere in his Report?

•Why did the Comptroller say he followed Generally Acceptable Government Auditing Standards for his review of the League when the League clearly documented that he did not?

•What was the cost to the Erie County taxpayers’ for the Comptroller to conduct an investigation lasting over a year based on a letter from whistleblowers who failed to make their complaints to   my wife or use the League’s internal whistleblower policy?  And why did the Comptroller fail to mention in his Report the whistleblowers complaints were investigated by State and Federal agencies and were found to be untrue?

•More importantly, what did the Comptroller Review cost the League in the repetitional damages, staff and expert time to provide documentation in response to the Comptroller’s   extensive requests over the past year?

With all the attention to the economic comeback and opportunities in the community, this has only shown and reinforced that now more than ever, we must have astrong Buffalo Urban League.   We must have the Leagues voice at the table. Thank you for standing with the Buffalo Urban League.                      

Standing Strong and Still Here,

Gerald McDuffie