Mayor Byron W. Brown took the Oath of Office as the 58 Mayor of Buffalo, New York on December 31, 2005.
Elected Mayor with over 60 percent of the vote in the November 2005 General Election, Mayor Brown came into office emphasizing greater accountability and efficiency in City Hall, improving the quality of life for all city residents and a commitment to strengthening and expanding the city’s economic development activities.
Since taking office, Mayor Brown has followed those three guiding principles by launching a Zero Tolerance Law Enforcement initiative targeting quality of life crimes, along with other criminal activity in the city; implemented the management accountability CitiStat Buffalo program, which monitors city departments’ service delivery activities on a weekly basis; and reconfigured the city’s economic development activities by creating the Department of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services, a change that has provided greater coordination and cooperation in all development activities taking place in the City of Buffalo.
A surge of economic development activity has followed Mayor Brown’s election, including over $4.5 billion in planned, ongoing or completed development projects occurring throughout the City since 2006.
During Mayor Brown’s tenure, New Era Cap Company opened its international headquarters in Downtown Buffalo; Labatt USA relocated its national headquarters from Connecticut to Buffalo; BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York relocated its regional headquarters, along with 1,200 employees, to downtown Buffalo; the $120 million new federal courthouse project has commenced opposite City Hall on the City’s historic Niagara Square; and the $275 million Inner Harbor waterfront mixed-use development project has been initiated, including a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail anchor store.
Complementing this economic development activity is the continuing decline in crime in the Queen City. Since January 2006, Buffalo has experienced a 7% reduction in overall crime, with the city’s homicide rate declining by 27% in 2007 versus 2006 and violent crime in general declining 12%.
Citywide law enforcement activities have been a priority of Mayor Brown’s, including the creation of the Buffalo Police Department’s Mobile Response Unit (MRU), which grew out of the highly successful Operation Strike Force. Targeting a variety of criminal actions, including gang-related activity, illegal drug trafficking, graffiti vandalism and illegal weapons possession, the MRU has contributed significantly to the City’s continuing reduction in crime. The Mayor has also overseen the installation of 100 surveillance cameras that will be deployed to various areas of the City in an effort to prevent and eliminate crime in City commercial and residential neighborhoods. This activity coincides with approximately 100 new police officers joining the Buffalo Police Department in July 2008.
Prior to his election as Mayor of Buffalo, Mayor Brown served five years in the New York State Senate. Sworn in January 1, 2001, Mayor Byron Brown became the first African-American elected to the Senate outside of New York City. He also made history by becoming the first minority member of the New York State Senate to represent a majority white district.
Mayor Brown was first elected to represent the Masten District on the Buffalo City Council in 1995. While on the Council, Mayor Brown was called "bright, creative and hardworking," in a Buffalo News survey and was recognized in 1989 by Ebony Magazine as one the “30 Leaders of the Future.”
Mayor Brown's official page can be found here.