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Harper SE Bishop

Coalition for Economic Justice

Harper Bishop is currently the Economic Development and Climate Change Coordinator at Open Buffalo, a community movement for social and economic justice. Harper comes to this position with over a decade's worth of non-profit management experience and progressive policy expertise. Since returning home to Buffalo from Washington, D.C., Harper has advocated for a new economy that puts people first and protects our environment. Harper is a 2013-2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellow for their efforts to champion Rust Belt localism. In addition to this work, Harper is a founder of Cooperation Buffalo, a worker cooperative development center, and Board Chair of Assembly House 150, an experimental art and architecture space that enhances the sense of wonder in everyday surroundings. They are married, and live with their partner on Buffalo's West Side.


  • Championed significant alterations to the trajectory of redevelopment at Buffalo’s historic waterfront to favor locally owned businesses.
  • Advocated for the successful passage of Benefit Corporation legislation in New York State.
  • Facilitated transfer of over $100,000 in community assets into local credit unions and banks in a single day.
  • Successfully advocated for governmental accountability and transparency, a living wage for part-time and full-time workers, and other high-road economic development principles at the Webster Block.
  • Significantly altered the shopping habits of community members during the holiday season and year-round.
  • Sits on the Private Sector Council of One Region Forward, a cross-sector partnership of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders in an initiative to increase coordination, collaboration, and sustainable growth across Western New York.


  • Future of Justice Award from the Coalition for Economic Justice, 2011
  • Going Good Award from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  • Green Business Award from State Senator Antoine Thompson