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  • Steve Patrick


Updated: Feb 23, 2019

Rochester leaders announce a new initiative to end racism in the city. If there is racism, are local leaders really the ones to end it and do they even want to?

In case you missed it, earlier this week Rochester leaders signed an “historic charter” to dismantle discrimination in our community. Calling upon themselves to make “smart policy decisions,” they committed to addressing institutional and structural racism. Noticeably absent from the event were examples of institutional and structural racism.

Got that? City leaders see a racist city and they see themselves as the ones to fix it.

Since most people probably don’t like to be called racist, one would think Mayor, Lovely Warren, City Council President Loretta Scott, and President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Bob Duffy, would be very specific on exactly where this racism exists. Not only would it eliminate the non-racist members of our community, but it would allow for many to join in the fight.

Of course, the community will also be footing the bill, so it only seems fair.

That’s right, there will be a cost. The Let’s Get REAL: Race, Equality, and Leadership initiative calls for grantsmanship as a key pillar to ending discrimination. In other words, city leaders plan to spend their way to racial harmony.

The project also seeks to eliminate racial inequities through education. Too bad there isn’t some sort of system in place now that could educate kids on how to treat one another, build character, and instill personal responsibility. Twelve years or so of something like that would undoubtedly eliminate this issue - and a whole bunch of others too.

Another ingredient in the plan for racial healing is a call for diversity. Promoting diversity and improving diversity. Diversity workshops and diversity training.

Diversity is quite the thing because if Rochester’s leaders see a lack of diversity as the problem, then Rochester has no problem at all! A quick glance at the folks running the place shows quite a diverse group of gender, race, and ethnic backgrounds.

However, if one is looking for diversity of ideas then Rochester is bankrupt. In fact, the ones championing diversity just may be the least diverse group you’ll find anywhere. Did you know…

Every single mayor since 1973 has been a Democrat. A Republican has never been elected mayor in the City of Rochester. Before 1986 mayors were appointed.

Every single member of the City Council is a Democrat. The last Republican to serve on the Rochester City Council was in 1987.

Every single member of the Rochester School Board is a Democrat. A Republican has never been elected to the school board. Before 1981 it was non-party affiliation.

Every single Rochester City Court judge is a Democrat. The last Republican to serve on City Court was in 1985.

Even Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy, who is working hand in hand with city leaders on this project, is a Democrat.

That’s over 30 years of pure unfiltered non-diverse democratic rule. Over 45 years of democratic leadership from the mayoral seat. Every decision on spending, education, race, discrimination, and diversity – for DECADES - has come from one of the most single-minded and least-diverse places in the entire country.

So, just to be clear:

The people who decreed upon themselves to make “smart policy decisions” in the name of racial equality, are the same people whose policy decisions helped make Rochester one of the worst cities in America for Black Americans.

The people who want to spend more of your money to create education policies, are the same people who spend more per student ($29,000 per year) then nearly any school district in the county... yet they can’t educate the kids.

And the people who’ve instilled countless anti-poverty programs are the same people who now oversee one of the poorest places in the US with the second highest youth poverty rate in the entire country.

But why stop there? In addition to creating new policy, new education initiatives, and spending your money - city leaders plan to extend their reach into workforce planning while examining business associations and public financial institutions.

Does this seem like a bit of an overreach to address a problem they have yet to define?

Regardless, in the end, here we go again, Rochester’s leaders expect you to believe that the same ideas will somehow yield different results. Where’s the evidence that will happen? Moreover, with this latest opportunity to grab more money and more power, where’s the evidence they even want different results?

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