Recognizing the Life and Legacy of Joy McDuffieby Representative Brian Higgins
Posted on 2015-12-08
of new york
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to recognize and
honor the life and legacy of Ms. Joy Wiley McDuffie, whose death on
November 21st, 2015 at age 59 was a loss not only to her large and
loving family and friends but to my hometown of Buffalo, New York where
she was a true champion for fairness and equality in the city she loved
A woman of courage and conviction, Joy McDuffie will be long remembered as a highly respected and motivated community activist dedicated to social justice, fair housing and a better future for Buffalo's children.
Born and raised in Buffalo, Joy was the third of twelve children. She personified her belief in the value of life-long education as she earned her associate's and bachelor's degrees and eventually received her master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Buffalo at age 50. Her work ethic was indisputable as she served as a business analyst in the private sector, and put her experience and social skills to great success as the owner and operator of ``Club Joy.'' She would later use her experience as the owner of a development company that purchased and restored homes as a GIS analyst and housing counselor with the Western New York Law Center. In this capacity, Joy McDuffie brought real data and a real commitment to ensure increased opportunities and greater access for all those wanting to own their own home.
Her passion for stronger neighborhoods and no-nonsense approach to problem solving made her an ideal Chairperson for the Distressed Properties Task Force in the City of Buffalo. She was a force as, under her leadership, this committee was re-energized with a renewed focus on reducing vacant and abandoned properties in the city she fought for and helped make so much stronger.