Dear Mr. President: Buffalo needs 'freakin' jobs, billboard says - CNN.com That's the message on a billboard that went up in Buffalo, New York, just in time for President Obama's town hall meeting there Thursday. On CNN's American Morning, the creator of the billboard, Jeff Baker, said he was inspired to help pay for the eye-catching gimmick because he wanted to "refocus the national dialogue" back to "basic job creation." When the economy went south, Baker and his brother lost their 10-year-old textile business, which employed 25 people. Their family's woes are reflected throughout the city of Buffalo, which suffers from one of the country's highest poverty rates, with nearly 30 percent of its population living at or below the poverty line. Buffalo's unemployment rate is at 8.6 percent, while the national average is 9.7 percent. "Like many other businesses in the country, we got caught in the banking collapse and were basically forced out of business," Baker said of his family business. "So for the first time in my life, I found myself as an unemployed dad and husband and person."