Green Rochester's Reaction to the State of the City
May 6, 2013
Monday night, Mayor Tom Richards gave an exciting presentation about the State of the City. We, the candidates of Green Rochester, feel that the Mayor presented an excessively positive vision for a City that is struggling with some very serious issues. The speech was light on specifics and had virtually no mention of the underlying root cause of so many of Rochester's problems: poverty. Last weekend, Green Rochester candidates spent time at the Carl Street Urban Farm Project, on the city's northeast side. The residents of that neighborhood did not paint the same rosy picture.
We recognize that Rochester is a city beset by many systemic problems, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and a school system struggling to serve its most basic functions. According to Green Rochester candidate for Mayor, Alex White, "Investing $1.7 billion over 3 years in various development projects has not solved any of these problems. Poverty, homelessness, and infant mortality are all higher, while our graduation rate is lower."
City Council Candidate, David Atias added, "Everyone understands what the problems are. But the people currently running the show seem to think that the solutions need to come from outside our own community. We have the resources to do what needs to be done, but we keep giving them away to people who don't live here."
The candidates of Green Rochester are running on a platform that focuses on investing in people not projects. "There is a difference between building a building and building a business," says White. Green Rochester does not think that the current policy of tax breaks and assessment deals for big businesses is how Rochester can seriously address poverty, homelessness, or the problems in our schools.
Rochester has serious problems that need serious solutions. The Mayor's address, while hitting some good notes on education and providing some flash to the evening, did not lay out a realistic vision for Rochesters' future. Rochester can solve its' problems, but the solution is the new, vibrant, community-based leadership offered by Green Rochester, not the status quo policies enacted by the current political machine.