Alex White’s New Deal for Rochester isn’t about keeping a promise to the next generation of politicians, it is about keeping a promise to the next generation of Rochestrians. The schools we all want will not come from yet another restructuring plan or mayoral control, but from investing the money we need to put more teachers in the classroom. The economy we all want will not come from simply replacing Kodak and Xerox with a handful of wealthy land developers, but from making it easier for Rochestrians to run a local business and to hire local people. And the safe streets we all need will not come from cameras and harassment, but by putting more police officers on the streets patrolling in our neighborhoods.
The change we want will not come from outside our community, but from the people within our own city that have for too long found city hall self-absorbed and unresponsive. Join Alex White’s campaign for a New Deal for Rochester and let’s work together to build a Rochester we can all be proud of.
Educating Rochester’s next generation should be a top priority, but for too long, city hall has been providing a minimum of support to our schools and we have all seen the minimum results. Mayoral control, elite segregation or private charter schools will only further starve our public schools by taking more money out of the public school classroom. How can we ever hope to solve our city’s problems if our children have a worse education than we had?
Alex White’s New Deal for Rochester calls for fully funding our schools by increasing city hall’s contribution to education and putting more teachers into our classrooms. In reality, there is only one thing a mayor can do for our public schools and that is to pay for them. The New Deal for Rochester does just that by fixing our property tax system so that our children don’t have to suffer just so that wealthy landlords can get tax breaks.
Rochester is no longer a company town, yet subsequent administrations seem stuck in the past, looking to rekindle the big business boom of yesteryear with big developers, big colleges or big health care companies. Even after years of trying, it still hasn’t worked because our economy has changed. How many more stories about skyscrapers that turn into three story buildings must we go through before we adapt to the new economy?
Alex White’s New Deal for Rochester shifts the focus of our economic future to the local business and the entrepreneur. The New Deal for Rochester calls for an end to the failed nuisance point system that harasses local businesses and a complete overhaul of city hall’s permitting process to allow Rochesterians to more easily start and run a local business.
The crime rate in Rochester is higher than 95% of the cities in America and it is clear that our community has lost faith in the police. Patrol officers have been trained to patrol, yet many have been reassigned to administrative, maintenance, or public perception tasks. Restoring confidence in the police department is paramount to reducing crime in Rochester. Though it has taken years of mismanagement to get to this point, we can turn this around and make our city safer by getting back to basics.
Alex White’s New Deal for Rochester puts these patrol officers back on the streets doing what they do best- patrolling our neighborhoods. With police on patrol, we can prevent crime and conflict before it happens.
The New Deal for Rochester would also establish an independent civilian review board to provide citizens a mechanism to have their concerns heard and addressed quickly. This board will have the ability to independently investigate complaints against the department or individual officers and provide an independent arbitrator to rule on their findings. Years of mismanagement may have created an antagonist relationship between residents and the police, but together we can restore confidence in the police department and reduce crime in Rochester.
Paying the Bills
Simply put, Rochester’s biased and inaccurate property tax assessments have created this city’s structural deficit and prevented investment in our schools and neighborhoods. We can not afford to spend our tax money on
Alex White’s New Deal for Rochester calls for a reassessment of all city property to their full market value. We lose millions every year from these assessments with little to show for it. The New Deal for Rochester puts an end to the failed trickledown approach to economics in our city and returns funding to our schools and neighborhoods. No more tax breaks for wealthy landlords. No more public funding for projects without a public purpose. And no more giveaways until our schools improve, our citizens have jobs and our streets are safe.
About Alex White
Alex White is not a career politician, but a former public school teacher, small business owner and Director of the Rochester Good Business Alliance. For nearly two decades Alex White has been a leader in our community working with neighborhood and business groups throughout Rochester to find practical solutions to real world problems. He will bring his business and community development experience to the mayor’s office and a new direction to the city of Rochester.