Dear Members of Working For Downtown,
It is with a mix of emotions I announce that the board of Working For Downtown has come to the difficult decision to call for a vote to dissolve the organization. If you are a current member (we waived renewals for 2021) we need you to attend a special Webinar (virtual) meeting on December 2nd, 2021, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm to vote on a board resolution to dissolve Working For Downtown. It is VERY important that as many members as possible can attend to reach a quorum to hold a vote. Register for this meeting by clicking the register button below.
If you are not able to attend on this date or do not have the technical means to do so and still would like to participate in the vote, call our number at (716) 854-2314 and leave a message and we will send you a proxy vote form that will need to be mailed back to Working For Downtown, P.O. Box 173, Buffalo, NY 14205-0173. Forms must be received by December 2nd, 2021.
Since WFD was formed in 1980 (then known as Women for Downtown), WFD members have taken an active role in downtown issues and have created various programs and partnerships to foster an interest in civic and downtown development. Some signature programs include Buffalo Bricks, Main Street Farmer’s Market, Buffalo Walks, Thursday in the City, Buffalo Talks, Buffalo Meets, Queen City Pop-Up and many others. WFD has partnered with many public and private groups over the years to make these programs successful.
Today, there are many new organizations and outlets doing similar work that we were proud to pioneer. These (welcomed) competing organizations are providing additional options for those interested in downtown activities and revitalization efforts. This has caused falling membership and attendance over several years now with a precipitous decline in revenues and interest in WFD despite our best efforts. Therefore, the board has made the difficult decision to make 2021 the final year of a fantastic 40-year run.
First, for us to do this we needed to find a new home for Buffalo Bricks. Buffalo Place has graciously agreed to take over the stewardship of the Buffalo Bricks site. Once all the bricks are re-installed, this site will continue to be a wonderful dedication to so many people in addition to the original 100 women that had profound contributions to early Buffalo. It also will remain a physical tribute that represents all the years of hard work our past and current boards, members and volunteers have made to the betterment of downtown Buffalo.
Second, we will definitely be celebrating our success with a party when appropriate. We will also be asking our members to get involved with the organizing of this special final event. Stay tuned for those details in early 2022.
This is a bittersweet moment for the board but there is no other way to see this decision but in a light of celebration. It is a very rare thing for a non-profit organization to be able to see its goals realized so beautifully. One only need compare photos from 1980 to today’s reality of downtown Buffalo to see that success.
Shannon Sutton, President of WFD