Community Outreach Director for NYS Assemblymember Sam Hoyt
I can’t talk about my current job without talking about how I ended up in Buffalo in the first place. I moved here in May 1999 on the day I graduated from college with a plan to live here temporarily until I got married that September to a Buffalo native. I had this vague idea that I wanted to work in government somehow, and I chanced upon an internship with Assemblyman Sam Hoyt. To say I was a reluctant transplant to the Queen City is something of an understatement. I would have picked a dozen other places before I would ever have thought of moving here. And yet I have stayed for a decade now, and I love it here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I think part of my love for this city came from my first summer working in Sam’s office; you cannot work in his office without developing a love for this city. I know that’s part of why I decided, ultimately, to stay in Buffalo after that first summer.
Eight years after that internship ended, I jumped at an opportunity to become Assemblyman Hoyt’s Community Outreach Director. Being here gives me a sense of purpose, working with community organizations, businesses, and everyday people of this city. I interact with diverse groups of people on the West Side of Buffalo and develop policy and legislation that relates to everything from better housing to a more accessible waterfront. I also get to help individual constituents with questions and concerns. There is so much energy and excitement in Buffalo right now and I get to see firsthand what exciting and innovative grassroots work is moving this city forward. For example, I work with organizations like People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) or Buffalo ReUse, who are creatively rethinking our infrastructure and our vacant property crisis. My job is to work with those who have figured out how to move beyond a vision of what could be and create something special. Together, these projects are laying the groundwork for what Buffalo will become in the 21st century. With creativity and hard work, we can remake this city into something extraordinary. This is a city of hidden gems, and working together we can blow off the dust, invest a little elbow grease, and make Buffalo shine.