Jobs and Economic Development
On jobs, I supported Rochester’s first Project Labor Agreement. This agreement not only advances significant investment in our community, like the redevelopment of Midtown, but also invests in our people, providing jobs and the essential training to maintain those jobs for a lifetime.
Similarly, I supported a bond measure not only because it made financial sense by reducing borrowing costs, but because it invested in key projects, like the demolition of dangerous, abandoned houses. These projects put people to work now, while making critical investments in our neighborhoods for the future.
This is a forward-looking agenda for growth and economic development. While other cities across upstate and this Country have simply stopped investing in our infrastructure, we are preparing for a bright future.
In spite of tight budgets, Rochester is ensuring our Public Safety—the Police and Fire Departments—are equipped to meet the needs of our citizens. That’s why we are investing resources to modernize our firehouses, recognizing that they are there not only to put out fires, but, in many neighborhoods, to play a critical role in bringing neighbors together by their mere presence.
I supported the growth of our Rochester Police Department to one of the largest number of uniformed officers in its history. That said, you can have all the cops you want, but it means little if there isn’t trust in the system. That’s why my service on the committee overhauling the Civilian Review Board is meaningful. The overhaul provides greater transparency and accountability to our policing, including a new advocate position to help citizens bringing complaints. Trust in the system equals a greater partnership between citizens and their police department. That equals a partnership in fighting crime.
Youth and our Schools
Four years ago I saw that City Hall and the School District had a troubled relationship. It’s hard to solve problems when adults aren’t speaking with each other. That’s why I’m proud to chair the newly revived 3 on3 meetings between City Council and School Board. We aren’t solving all our problems, but we’ve solved one—we’re talking. And it’s paying off. The City recently signed an agreement with the School District that saves more than $300,000 now by streamlining and sharing fuel facilities for our fleets. Additionally, it will save $20,000-$30,000 annually well in to the future because of reduced maintenance costs. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars that can now be spent to support our youth, in Rec Centers and After School Programs rather than fuel tanks. That is the right investment.
Finally, I don’t spend a lot of time inside City Hall. I spend my time in neighborhoods, working with residents to solve problems, like advocating for more community engagement in the School Facilities Modernization Project. When neighbors were concerned about proposed changes to School 17, an outstanding neighborhood school, we worked together with District and City officials to get the process back on track and ensure the school continues as a neighborhood resource.
When the LGBT community shared that a Transgender person could be kicked out of Rochester Housing Authority property, simply for being Trans, I worked with RHA to change that policy.
When special interests, looking to save money, threatened the City’s rental inspection policies—which have led to dramatic drops in childhood lead poisoning—I went to bat with community health advocates to ensure that the health and safety of our children remained first and foremost, not special interests.
This is an agenda formed by listening to neighbors like you:people who care deeply for our community. It’s also what we accomplish working together.