Suzie B. Anthony

Rochester's revolutionary protecting and promoting her favorite city!

Category: politics

A Lovely Victory…?

Lovely Warren

Lovely Warren

For those living under a rock, City Council President Lovely Warren won a primary victory against Mayor Tom Richards on the Democrat ticket.  Because Rochester is so heavily saturated with Democrats many believe that the Democrat who wins the primary will ultimately win the election.  That topic is grist for another day as the one-sided politics of Rochester is definitely worthy of further discussion.

What I want to talk about today is the convergence of race and politics in our community.  We come from a rich heritage of social activism, but we have recent examples of extreme bigotry directed at people of color by those in positions of authority.  In the same month that Ms. Warren won the primary a young African-American woman by the name of Brenda Hardaway made news when videotape of her arrest was made public.  In the video the pregnant Hardaway is punched multiple times by a police officer before being thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

Earlier this year Benny Warr, a wheelchair bound African-American man, was assaulted by police and charged with disorderly conduct and other charges while he was waiting for a bus.  This is nothing new to people of color in Rochester, New York.  The Rochester Police Department has officially cracked down on minority groups with Zero Tolerance and Operation Cool Down; two programs designed to disrupt criminal activity, but end up harassing poor men and women of color.  These two programs are also very similar to the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program which was recently struck down in federal court for violating people’s civil rights.

Ms. Warren is qualified to be mayor in all respects and if elected will be the first African-American woman to be mayor of Rochester, New York.  The question I pose is will her election make a difference to those who have been disenfranchised by previous administrations?  As City Council President Ms. Warren voted with the mayor and the majority of City Council over 90% of the time.  If her views are the same as the mayor’s based on her voting record will her tenure as mayor be more of the same or the breath of fresh air that our city needs?

I’m interested in your thoughts and comments to create a fuller dialogue on this and other complex issues.  Feel free to comment below.

-Suzie B. Anthony

10 Questions Every Rochester Candidate Should Answer

Almost two weeks ago I sent a questionnaire to all the candidates currently running for office within the city limits.  These questions were developed with the help of city residents and with city issues at its heart.  Insist that all candidates fill it out.  The only way you can make educated choices is by asking good questions.  The questionnaire is below.

1.  In recent years the issue of police and official misconduct has become a prominent concern among the citizenry.  What have you done to hold officials accountable for their actions and what do you intend to do as an elected official to ensure the equitable treatment of all citizens?

2.  The issue of education has become the cornerstone of the current mayoral campaign even though the mayor has little input on school operations.  What are your thoughts on the issue of education and what do you believe is the role of mayor, city council and the school board in regards to education policy?

3.   Other municipalities are using imminent domain laws to claim foreclosed properties.  Should Rochester use imminent domain as a tool in its arsenal to fight the foreclosure crisis?  For more information see http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/07/30/richmond-threatens-eminent-domain-to-address-foreclosure-crisis/.

4.  Poverty is rampant in Rochester with the average household income at $30,000.  How can our school system educate children whose main concerns are food, clothing and shelter rather than reading, writing and arithmetic?

5.   Rochester residents often speak of being over-taxed and others complain of the tax incentives given to large corporations.  What is your answer to the issue of taxation?  Are tax incentives useful in attracting new businesses to the area, do residents suffer when others are awarded these incentives and is the current taxation rate for residents fair?

6.  Rochester was home to many historical figures who helped to shape local and national issues.  How do you see the legacy of this city and what are your thoughts on the historic preservation of areas of local, regional and national importance?

7.  Rochester is home to many institutions of higher learning yet many of these students do not remain in the area after graduation.  Also,  many local residents leave for college and never return to Rochester post graduation.  What can you do to stop the “brain drain” currently going on in the area?

8.  There are many cameras throughout the city designed to ticket drivers who run stop lights.  These cameras and the law allowing them is currently being challenged in court.  What is your opinion of these cameras and their effectiveness?  Would you want to continue this program or have the use of these cameras discontinued?

9.   What qualifies a candidate for the office you are trying to attain?  Why should anyone consider running for public office in the Greater Rochester Area?

10.  There are many candidates running for office.  Choose a candidate other than yourself and speak to their qualifications.  What makes them worthy of the public’s trust and what can they offer the community that other candidates cannot?