Maria Whyte (D-Buffalo) is currently the Erie County Legislator for the 6th District. January 2006 marked the first time Maria ever sought or held elected office and she was re-elected for a second term that began in January 2008. Some of Maria’s Legislative agenda items include the fight for youth and senior programmatic funding, promoting access to our beautiful parks and waterfront for recreational use, and the struggle against blight and vacancy in our neighborhoods.
Prior to becoming the 6th District Legislator, Maria served for five years as Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ). There, she coordinated CEJ’s programs including health care reform, living wage campaigns, and workers’ rights initiatives. She also worked to maintain the financial integrity of the organization.
Maria has a strong activist background, even as a student organizer for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) at Syracuse University (SU). In May 1999 she earned a B.A. in International Relations with Honors from SU. Prior to working with CEJ, Maria worked as Assistant to the Director at the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC) in Washington, DC. At GHRC she worked with torture survivors from around the world to form the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Committee (TASSC). Maria worked with TASSC to convene Congressional Hearings on the use of Torture through the Human Rights Caucus of Congress.
Maria currently lives with her husband and four year old son on Buffalo’s West Side. In addition, she is expecting a baby girl and is due in July.