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Council African-Americans Support Cutting Two Seats

Buffalo, NY – Common Council President James Pitts announced late Friday that he and other African-American members are supporting an alternative plan for reducing the Council's size.

Pitts said that plan, put together by a special reapportionment commission, would eliminate one at-large seat and one district seat.

Seven other Council members, all white, favor eliminating four seats, instead of two, which would reduce the Council's African-American representation by half. The African-American members say that plan is "racially motivated."

Masiello has said he will sign the reapportionment plan eliminating the Council's three at-large seats and the Council presidency.

Pitts says they are not against downsizing, but questions the Masiello's motives in supporting a plan that would remove African-American lawmakers.

"I'm appealing to some of the council members to change their minds and not allow the kind of strife could happen in this city," Pitts said.

The Common Council holds a reapportionment public hearing July 22nd at 6pm. City lawmakers must pass a plan by the end of this month.