Rochester 2034- The City of Rochester's Plan For The Next 15 Years

Rochester 2034 is the City of Rochester’s proposed plan for the next 15 years- taking us to the 200th anniversary of the City of Rochester.

I’ve just finished reading the plan (its a 500 page document) and I want to encourage you to take a look at it! Visit the City of Rochester’s website to either view it online, or download a pdf.

The plan is in draft format, and there has been one public input session so far, with four more scheduled.

  • June 11th, 6:30-8, Frederick Douglass R-Center Gym, located at 999 South Ave

  • June 17th, 6-7:30, Phillis Wheatley Community Library, located at 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

  • June 18th, 2-3:30, Phillis Wheatley Community Library, located at 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

  • June 19th, 6:30-8, David F. Gantt R-Center conference room, located at 700 North Street

Your input can also be submitted online here.

The document is a long read, but worthwhile digging into! I think we, as residents of the City of Rochester, should understand the direction our City could be taking for the next 15 years, and provide input.

The plan is broken down into six sections:

  • Laying the groundwork

  • The placemaking plan

  • Reinforcing strong neighborhoods

  • Sustaining green and active systems

  • Fostering prosperity and opportunity

  • Planning for action

I believe this plan to be full of hope, creativity, thoughtful ideas, and a solid path forward for our City. But, as the plan notes, this will take all of us- to be vocal, engaged, critical, and involved.

To quote the plan, “Rochester 2034 is a community-wide plan, not a City plan. There are some Strategies identified in the Action Plans that the City may implement on its own. However, most Strategies will require collaboration, funding, resources, and commitment from the public and our community partners.”

Voting For a New Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner

(updated on 8.6.19 with more information about Ashley Gantt’s candidacy; updated portion is italicized)

On Thursday, August 8th, the Monroe County Democratic Committee members will vote to select a new Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner- this person will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of current Commissioner Tom Ferrerase, who has served 4 terms, and started a 5th in January. Per state law, county Democrats have 45 days to vote on a permanent replacement.

The meeting starts at 6pm, with credentialing starting at 5pm, and will be held at Workers United, 750 East Ave.

Both the Republican and Democratic county committees choose a Commissioner for their own party, and the appointment is confirmed by the County Legislature.

There are three declared candidates:

Current Board of Elections Deputy Commissioner Colleen Anderson- she notes in the letter sent to committee members that she has 10 years of experience as Deputy Commissioner, and that given upcoming changes like early voting, experience is necessary.

Nicole Hushla Re- Nicole brings with her a lot of campaign experience, currently serves on the Irondequoit Town Board, and as MCDC’s Executive Vice Chair. Nicole notes in her letter that she is committed to the integrity and security of our elections, transparency, and accessibility, as well as impartiality, and bridge building. She also notes that she believes “the Board of Elections Commissioner should be neutral on internal party politics. If elected, I will step down as Vice Chair at MCDC and refrain from engaging in primaries outside of my duties at the BOE.”

Ashley Gantt (no relation to Assemblymember Gantt)- I’ve not received a letter from her as of the time of this writing, and have reached out to her for a comment, which I’ll add here once I’ve heard from her. I received a copy of Ashley’s letter via email on 8.6.19. Ashley notes in her letter that “It is crucial that the next commissioner promote and implement inclusiveness and fairness, so that the party can benefit from the best and broadest possible selection of candidates.” I’ve met Ashley a number of times, from rallies, to political events, and she brings campaign, and organizing experience to the table.

If you are a committee member, and unable to make the meeting on Thursday, you are allowed to name a proxy, to vote for you. The form can be found on MCDC’s website and can be downloaded and filled out, and given to your proxy, who is only allowed to be a proxy for one committee member.

This is about why to get involved with your Democratic committee.

When people ask me about how to get involved with local politics, other than voting, I mention a few things:

  • Volunteer for a campaign

  • Join the Democratic committee in your area

As a committee member, you’ll attend meetings, vote on which candidates should receive the Democratic nomination in the race they are running, elect new committee leadership, and new party leadership, help support candidates financially, attend some fun social gatherings, vote for new Board of Elections Commissioner- ultimately, impacting all of us with your voice, and vote. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

How do you get involved? Contact MCDC, and ask about joining your Democratic committee. There needs to be a vacancy in order for you to added to the committee (or you can carry petitions to primary for a seat)- so keep that in mind.

Whether or not you join a committee, now is the time to get involved. Let’s go!

Thank You!

Tonight, the voters of the 23rd legislative district made their choice, and while I didn’t win, I’m grateful for all the support I received since my campaign was launched.

I’d like to congratulate Linda Hasman on winning the primary this evening.

I need to thank a lot of people, who without them, this campaign would have never been possible.

Thank you to:

  • My campaign treasurer- Martin, who has served as my treasurer twice!

  • Everyone who supported me during designation, campaign events, petitioning, and canvassing. Your hard work ensured I was on the ballot, and that several thousand Democrats were contacted.

  • Everyone who was a part of the two different host committees.

  • My donors- your generosity made this campaign possible.

  • To those who signed my petitions, ensuring I was on the ballot.

  • To those who voted for me.

  • My friends, and family.

  • Those who endorsed me.

I’d also like to thank Linda Hasman, and Todd Grady, for running positive, issues-based campaigns.

Now that this race has been decided, we have work to do! We need to work hard to turn out the vote for Adam Bello for our next County Executive, and Shani Curry Mitchell for our next District Attorney. We have an amazing opportunity to move our county forward by electing Adam and Shani.

Thank you.

Roc/Acts Community Forum

Thank you to Roc/ACTS and Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church for hosting a candidate’s Q&A session last evening, and to Tiana Mañón, Editor in Chief of Open Mic Rochester for moderating.

There were a couple of questions asked that I wasn’t able to answer due to time constraints- those questions had to do with marijuana, and solitary confinement.

So, I’ll answer them here.

1) I am the only candidate for the 23rd legislative district that has decriminalizing marijuana as part of my platform. We know the current DA is still prosecuting low level offenses, and as Shani Curry Mitchell, Democratic candidate for District Attorney stated last night, when elected, she would not prosecute those offenses. We also know that for every 10 black people arrested, only 1 white person has been arrested. (https://www.wxxinews.org/post/new-data-rochester-drug-arrests-10-times-higher-black-people).

This is a social justice issue, that must be addressed so we can work to make our society more equitable. When elected, I’ll do the following:

- advocate that the DA doesn’t prosecute for low level offenses

- advocate that the state legalizes

- fight to ensure Monroe County opts into legalization

I also believe that the tax revenue derived from cannabis sales needs to be reinvested into poor communities that have been affected by the criminalization of marijuana.

As an elected representative, I’ll partner with organizations already doing the work, and work with my colleagues in county government to advocate for these issues.

2) The second question had to do with solitary confinement. Solitary confinement has a negative impact (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-chemistry/201902/the-effects-solitary-confinement-the-brain) especially long-term solitary confinement, and I believe that people deserve to be treated with respect, and dignity. Instead of resorting to what’s been compared to torture, we need to be looking at other restorative options (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/rethinking-solitary-confinement.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share).

We need people elected who will bring the fight for a more transparent, equitable government to the county- and that’s what I’ll do when elected.

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Pride Month

photo by Scotty Ginett- taken in 2018, at the Pride kickoff event at Rochester City Hall

photo by Scotty Ginett- taken in 2018, at the Pride kickoff event at Rochester City Hall

Pride Month Is Here

Every June, we celebrate Pride Month- both in the US, and around the world. Its a month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, and its diversity. This year is particularly momentous, considering it is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

What Pride Means To Me

I’ll have come out 10 years ago, this year, on December 24th. I grew up in a conservative, Christian home, and so realizing I was gay, wasn’t an easy realization to come to. I remember praying, “God, change me, or kill me.” I had to challenge the belief system, and worldview I was raised to believe in.

The LGBTQ+ community isn’t made up of one skin color, one sexuality, or one tax bracket. Our diversity is our strength, and as we strive towards a more inclusive community, we’ll see the beauty that we are. Pride isn’t just a parade, or festival- to me it is a way of living.

Visibility

Recently, a report came out that almost half of LGBTQ+ employees fear that being out at work will hurt their careers. I’ve been out in every job I’ve held- and yes, I’ve dealt with homophobic comments. But isn’t that the burden of being visible? You have the opportunity to challenge biases, and reiterate the fact that we are here, and aren’t going anywhere. We don’t just come out for ourselves, to accept ourselves, but we come out so that future generations will have an easier path.

Campaigning While Out

As the openly gay candidate in the primary race I’m in, I bring my most authentic self to the doors I knock, the conversations I have, and the platform I put together.

My campaign volunteers were told by a voter that he would never support a gay candidate, and I was told by another voter that she would never support a progressive candidate- using the example of Governor Cuomo banning state travel to North Carolina over the anti-transgender bill that was passed.

They made a choice not to support me, but my sexuality won’t stop me from representing them.

I campaign with a record of volunteerism, and leadership, and am the only candidate in this race that has that long history of involvement. I think its important not only to have LGBTQ+ voices elected, but to have representatives elected that have a history of service. Don’t tell me that you care, show me that you care.

Allies

We’ll see corporations selling Pride merchandise, candidates for office march in their first Pride parade ever, tweet “Love is Love” with a rainbow emoji, as usual. What are you doing the rest of the year? Do you volunteer for, or donate to LGBTQ+ causes? Do you challenge transphobic language? Do you choose not to eat at fast food places that donate to anti-LGBTQ+ causes?

Allies are important. Its how we move forward the struggle for human and civil rights.

Don’t be a part time ally.

Let’s Celebrate

I wrote that to me, Pride is a way of life. It is. Being out is amazing, celebrating our diversity is beautiful, and being a more inclusive community will make us stronger. To my LGBTQ+ family, those out, and those who aren’t out yet, be you. Be Pride, Live Pride.

Happy Pride Month.

Campaign Update

Campaigns run on the kind donations of those who are willing to invest in a candidate. And I’m incredibly grateful for the 49 donors who have played such an integral part in my campaign for Monroe County Legislator.

While required to report donations up until a certain date, for the 32 days prior to the election, to the Board of Elections, this post is current through Sunday, 5/26. You can view the board of elections report, by searching “Friends of Scotty Ginett” here.

Donor/Donation Details:

$4680- total dollars raised through Sunday

49 donors- several have donated twice

Avg donation: $95

Donation range: $10 - $600

Most donations have been received online

I’m incredibly grateful to all those who have donated, and worked on my campaign. With less than a month left, additional support is needed, to ensure we can reach the maximum number of voters in the 23rd legislative district.

If you are able to donate, please visit www.ScottyGinett.com/donate to support my campaign.

Thank you,

Scotty

Endorsement by Rochester City Councilman

Councilman Mitch Gruber, has endorsed me for Monroe County Legislator, and I’m grateful for his support. His statement is below:

“Happy to support my friend Scotty Ginett, who understands the important role of local government in people’s lives. He will be a great advocate for the 23rd LD and the people of Monroe County.”

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Endorsement by Rochester City School Board Commissioner

I’m grateful that Natalie Sheppard, Board of Education Commissioner, has endorsed me for Monroe County Legislator. Her statement of support is below:

“The types of attributes I want my government representative to have are passion, dedication, knowledge, community connectedness, and integrity. I support Scotty Ginett for Monroe County Legislator because he possesses all of the things I mentioned and more.”

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Endorsement by Rochester City Council Vice President

This morning, I’m humbled to share with you, that I’ve been endorsed by Rochester City Council Vice President, Willie Joe Lightfoot. His statement of support is below:

"Scotty Ginett has my full support and will make an excellent County Legislator.  His passion, leadership and commitment to this community is exactly what the County Legislature needs.”

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I'm running for office.

I’m running to represent the 23rd Legislative District in the Monroe County Legislature, because of two reasons:

  • We’ve had a lack of active representation for our district

  • Our county government can, and must do better

I believe our county government can build better relationships with partners in government, so we don’t continue to have an underfunded, and understaffed CPS, that leads to an awful tragedy like the one our community witnessed, or because of a lack of planning, create a waiting list for those seeking early intervention services. Why is spending up in other areas of the county government, when we have crises like these that need more support?

Can’t we be more creative with how we support small, MWBE/LGBTQ+ owned businesses? And not turn successes like I-Square into a political football? We need to be more transparent with decisions made by Imagine Monroe (COMIDA), and track results- so our residents know how the county is investing, and what that return is.

We can continue to support the response to the opioid crisis, and improve access to beds for inpatient treatment, support what the Sheriff is doing in the jail, with addiction units, and look at other options- like safe injection sites.

Our county needs to act- not react. And that’s why I’m running, to bring Accountability, a focus on Community, and a dedication to Transparency to the county government.

Join me, on February 26th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, at Dragonfly Tavern (725 Park Ave), as I kick off a campaign to represent our district in the county government. The event will be ASL interpreted, and if you live in the 23rd legislative district, you’ll be able to add your signature to a petition to get me on the ballot.

You can learn more about me, my campaign, donate, and contact me, on my website- www.ScottyGinett.com.