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Election 2010: the local political scene, blacks/latino alliances in the freedom party

August 10, 2010

Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant always a political maverick is working arduously these days for the Freedom Party, building alliances  in the local African-American and Latino community to support  three African-American and Puerto Rican candidates for State-wide offices in the up-coming elections this fall.

Last Saturday, she sat at a table hoping to woo folks  to sign the petition for the Freedom Party candidates at the Olivencia Center on Swan Street after attending the funeral of local African-American photographer Simba Mlee (1933-2010) who died on August 2, after struggling with  cancer.

Mayor Byron W. Brown, Sen. Antoine Thompson, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples and  Masten District  Council Member Demone Smith  stood together earlier at  the altar of the True Bethel Baptist Church on Swan St. on Saturday to pay their respects to Bro. Simba Mlee,  while  Eva Doyle a candidate for  lieutenant governor ironically  spoke on the same podium  about the Freedom Party.

The Rev. Darius Pridgen and Council Member Dr. Curtis Haynes also shared the same alter both forgetting if only for the moment the contentious battle for the Ellicott Council seat.

Mrs. Doyle is a local retired school teacher, and columnist for the Criterion Newspaper whose message about the Freedom Party’s work in Buffalo and the important role it’s playing in the black and latino communities in the State received some acknowledgement  among the mourners when she told them Bro. Simba Mlee would have approved it.

Political discontent  continues to increase among some sectors of the Latino and African-American community  dissatisfied with the NYS Democratic Party all-white ticket for all the up-coming seats in the November elections.

Some view the Freedom Party as providing a reprieve for  local Latinos  separated through redistricting into different  council and senate districts  the division used in the battling political camps that have developed in the local Democratic Party  between Assemblyman  Sam Hoyt and Mayor Byron W. Brown to support either   Hoyt or  Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., as they both  go at it again in a political fight that  threatens the re-election bid of Niagara District Council Member David Rivera  aligned with Hoyt .

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