JAMESTOWN – Protestors once again took to the streets of Jamestown on Saturday calling on state, county and local officials to reopen our area.
Around 150 demonstrators gathered at noon in Dow Park sharing their stories about how their livelihoods have been negatively impacted by the New York on PAUSE shutdown.
This third of three demonstrations was notably more successful than the first two which were held on pervious Fridays and in dreary weather.
The first outing drew an estimated 100 people and the number declined to about 50 last week.
As many as two JPD patrol vehicles kept a quiet watch, but the crowd “peaceably assembled,” and officers never left their vehicles.
Gerrit Cain, the local spokesperson for Open NY, says that the current opening process is flawed in that our area is grouped in with the Buffalo Metro.
“The strategy of reopening by economic development region is flawed in that it ignores the significant difference between rural counties and counties such as Erie and Niagara with large metro regions,” explained Cain. “The data are clear that the virus is not impacting these regions equally. Therefore, we should have very different reopening strategies.”
Cain says there will likely be pushback by the State but believes the potential consequences pale in comparison to the damage to livelihoods that is caused by the shutdown.
This week, our area’s Congressional and State Representative held a press conference speaking out about the shutdown and throwing their support behind reopening.
Assemblyman Goodell made the boldest case calling for Chautauqua County to open in a “safe responsible manner” immediately.
On Friday, officials in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany County announced they are seeking to reopen as a sub-region.
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel says after speaking with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and others on the Western New York “Control Board,” he is confident state officials will hear his call.