We all know the sad stats... Buffalo has lost half its population over the past 50 years, yadayadayada...

But those hundreds of thousands of people did not simply disappear. They went elsewhere, creating an immense diaspora, a powerful expatriate population. Many of those with Buffalo roots still root for the Bills, shout for the Sabres, crave wings and long for 'weck. They follow Buffalo news, many subscribe to this eLoveLetter. They care about Buffalo, some are starting to give back, and many are even coming back. Others get together with fellow expatriates to celebrate their hometown, particularly during football season. There is a Buffalo bar right inside Fenway Park. Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern is a Bills bar in Herndon, VA - one of hundreds listed on the Bills Backers Locator Map.
But Buffalo Nite in Washington, DC trumps all Buffalo expat endeavors. Started 36 years ago when someone in Jack Kemp's office brought in some wings, it has grown into the largest party of its kind. More than 800 expatriates of the thousands living in DC wait in line to get in the door to honor someone who exemplifies the values of Buffalo with a DC connection. Think Tim Russert. Door prizes donated by Buffalo businesses are distributed and vast quantities of beef on 'weck by Charlie the Butcher, LaNova pizza and, of late, beef on 'weck sushi by Mike Andrzejewski, are consumed. 
Buffalo Citybration has participated in Buffalo Nite for the past several years, and Buffy has been invited back this year! The big white buffalo with the red hearts on her sides will be a guest celebrity again. The road trip from Buffalo to Washington DC and back is amazing. Trucks honk at the little Prius pulling the big, white buffalo, people wave, we are flagged down and must pull over to share the Buffalo story. There are Buffalo enthusiasts everywhere! And Buffalo Nite itself is not only fun, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to get the word out about Buffalo.
Helping to bring our DC expats up to speed on the true turnaround taking place back home will be a whole new slide show featuring the Then & Now Google Streetview photographs compiled by The Public, revealing the resurgence that is taking place in their hometown. You just never know what that might lead to, especially as a change in the administration in DC looms. 
Citybration has also been invited back to Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon, VA for Friday night fish fry and for the Bills vs the Patriots game on Sunday. This rowdy crowd packs the place with team spirit and Buffalove, and everyone wants a picture with Buffy to post. Again, many conversations about coming home ensue. It's been interesting to see the hope meter rise over the past several years, and to watch plans to finally move home emerge.
The Buffalo diaspora can and should be a powerful part of Buffalo's resurgence. Some are able to come home, and are doing so. Others can't come back but could make a difference in our community from wherever they are, investing in new ventures, supporting good causes, contributing know-how and expertise from afar.
We need to build our community from near and far, one person at a time.