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Buffalo Co-Lab

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Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Courtney Sokol

Photo: Courtney Sokol
'15
Buffalo, NY
Clean Air Coalition
  •  Conducted outreach to community members to inform them about participatory budgeting to engage them in the process resulting from an environmental justice campaign victory and legal settlement. Helped to facilitate process by assisting groups craft ideas and staffing voting stations.
  • Organized protest outside NYS Department of Transportation regarding an expansion of the Peace Bridge which would negatively impact the public health of the local community.
  • Developed voter guides that have been distributed to political candidates throughout the greater Buffalo region. 

"I chose the High Road to gain a better understanding of community organizing at a grass-roots level. I wanted to work for an organization where I would be able to make direct positive impact.

Working with the Clean Air Coalition is allowing me to develop skills unique to community organizing. I am able to contribute both on the streets and in the office. I make phone calls, send mailings, attend rallies and meetings, and communicate with residents in order to protect the health of those living in Western New York.

The High Road Method is ensuring that genuine change is gained through solidarity and partnerships at a local level. It is keeping development in the hands of the residents of a given area. Interning with the Clean Air Coalition has allowed me to recognize the process of change in a city. I have learned the hard work that goes into mobilizing social movements. I came at a busy time when Clean Air was using the model of Participatory Budgeting to give residents a say in the use of resources. I am sure that I will use the skills and model that Clean Air uses in the future. "

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2013