Our Libraries Must Be Open Every Day
I will advocate for a budget that increases library hours.
Our goal should be to have libraries open 7 days a week. While libraries do enhance our quality of life, they are also enormous economic drivers. There are the obvious educational benefits to libraries, but they are also enormous resources for those looking for jobs and job training. Many libraries in Rochester also serve as community meeting places for groups. Read More.
Housing is a Human Right
Housing is a human right. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone in our community to be without a clean, safe, affordable place to live. With that, I will propose and/or vote for the following legislation:
*For every dollar the City of Rochester uses to promote the creation or rehabilitation to rental housing, the same amount must be used to promote single home ownership (not expensive condos). This includes but is not limited to grants, loans, and tax breaks.
*All new housing built in the City of Rochester must use Universal Design principles.
*Designate 30% of Community Development Block Grant money into a fund to retrofit houses for accessibility.
*A property and school tax cap for elderly and impoverished homeowners. Read More.
Right now, Rochester is participating in a form of Participatory Budgeting (PB) through the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI), though few people know about it and it does not go far enough. I advocate for a PB system to be enacted across the City with at least $1 million a year to be given to 16 sections of Rochester. These sections would be each quadrant divided up into 4 sections each.
Participatory Budgeting is a democratic way of using public money. Those interested in participating, develop and decide on projects that meet the needs of the people who live in that area. The planning and decision-making are done by the residents of each area. If there’s a project that two (or even more) adjacent areas want to share, all the better.
Ideas for safety, economic development, education, fighting climate change, food creation, and more are all on the table. Read More.
Reject the Mayor's Police Accountability Board
All over the country, we have been trained to believe that the police have our best interests at heart. But a thoughtful look at the reality reveals that this isn’t the case. Historically, police departments in the United States were invented to be slave catchers. Throughout our history, the police have been used to protect the elite and their riches. And just recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no obligation to protect citizens.
These national issues are mirrored locally. There are countless instances of police being abusive to citizens in the city – particularly in depressed areas where mostly people of color live. And when police are called out on it, nothing happens. Barbara Lacker-Ware & Ted Forsyth did an exhaustive study on this and it shows the need for a true citizen-run Police Accountability Board (PAB). Read More.
A Perfect Opportunity to Change the System
The two white adult racists who tore down the Frederick Douglass statue (John R. Boedicker, 20, of Endicott, Broome County, and Charles J. Milks, 21, of Kenmore) ... lets not "throw the book at them." Hear me out on this. We should use this as an opportunity to transform our criminal justice system. Why these white guys? Because we're all paying attention, that's why. We're all pissed, that's why. The media's paying attention, that's why. I'm sure all the status quo politicians are paying attention, that's why.
So we use restorative justice practices - not just to pay for the damage, but to make them interact with members of the black community who fight systemic racism on a daily basis. Make them leave the community they invaded to get their drink on better than they left it. And all the while, keep the cameras on them, so that they know that we all know who they are. Read more.
Dave responds to the investigations on elected officials.
Members of our city government are currently being investigated for corruption by Federal agencies. That is an appropriate way to find out what, if anything, is going on. But, to stem corruption and perceived corruption within out City Government, I will propose and support legislation stipulating that:
*No company, non-profit, union, PAC, individuals employed by such entities, nor unaffiliated individuals, will be allowed to do business with the City of Rochester if they have given political contributions of any kind within the last 10 years. Read more.
Dave's Stance on Corporate Welfare
I will not vote for a project that includes local corporate welfare.
Corporate welfare consists of government handouts to corporations (usually larger ones) to create and/or retain jobs. Tax breaks, PILOT’s (payment in lieu of taxes), and municipal construction of dedicated infrastructure are only some of the ways our elected officials undermine the fiscal health of our city. While this practice is by no means just a Rochester issue – virtually every municipality participates in corporate welfare in some way – Rochester has been giving away the store for decades. Read more.