To Scott Wagner and concerned resident: You guys always go to the "Just b/c I criticize a person of color doesn't mean I am a Racist." Then you smooth it off with blacks always pull the race card, "It's reverse Racism." It's not only what you say but also when you say it only when there's a person of color is in the position. In the era of reconstruction the black political leaders where scrutinize as politicians who didn't have the intelligence to run government but the white southerners to them was qualified despite more than 90 percent of the white southerners who took there place after being illegally thrown out of office were 90 percent illiterate. Obama wasn't qualified he was just a community organizer despite he was a constitutional lawyer and the first Black president of Harvard law school and many in America felt fine with a vice president like Sarah Palin who couldn't answer one debate question. Mayor Warren wasn't qualified despite she's an attorney and has serve on city council as a member and president for many years. mayor Richards was qualified but he was out of touch with the minority community the majority population in Rochester. In addition, they were no controversy or scandal when former mayor Richards went against state ethical laws by holding the job as corporate council and serve as Mayor or when Democratic head Joe Morelle use his position to put his son in office. They were no controversy or scandal when Maggie Brooks hired her husband at the airport and hired all her friends to run county LDC's they were no controversy or scandal. So, as I stated in the beginning "It's not what you say but also when you say it when there's a person of color is in the position."
This has nothing to do with race. Speeding has nothing to do with race. Hiring your uncle has nothing to do with race. Hiring someone clearly in conflict of interest for a position has nothing to do with race. Having African American reporters coming these stories wouldn't change anything if the reporter just reports the facts.
TO ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PARENTS, AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS WITH WHOM I WORK, AS WELL AS THE
BROADER ROCHESTER COMMUNITY IN GENERAL
First, I would like to apologize for the lateness of this correspondence. It was my intent to communicate about this --- way before now. In any case, I will make every effort to report updates in a timely fashion.
I am writing to inform you that I have decided to participate in one of the ad-hoc advisory committees ("parent engagement") mentioned in the article at the link below.
As many of you know, I have probably been one of the biggest, and most consistent critics of the Rochester Board of Education's "leadership" and members. Thus, I assume that some would question my participation in this sort of initiative.So, I wanted to explain my reasons for doing so.
I have always maintained that I am ready, willing, and able to work cooperatively and collaboratively with anyone who is serious about actions designed to produce much-needed, and much-deserved, widespread, permanent change and improvement for Rochester City School District (RCSD) students and families. Whether this particular initiative has the potential to accomplish this --- is yet to be seen. I have also (for many years) maintained that until, and unless WE establish a well organized, and well financed / resourced, broad-based, mass movement of parents, guardians, students, educators, activists, and anyone else who is really serious about academic and general change and improvement --- it will not happen. The latter point is articulated in our 2013 Board of Education Election Platform, and has been articulated in all previous Election platforms that I have been a part of. Rochester Board of Education President Van White knows that this is my belief, which was reiterated during a phone conversation earlier this month concerning my participation in this initiative.
As noted in the article at the link below:
"White also said he has reached out to every candidate who participated in the 2013 [General] school board election to offer an opportunity to serve on one of the advisory committees."
“These people represent constituencies; had thousands of people vote for them, and spent the better part of last year listening and learning from the people of our city. It only makes sense that we would tap into that resource as we look to develop a list of solutions to address the district’s most pressing issues.”
With regard to the quotes above, I had informed Commissioner White that I take very seriously the responsibility of attempting to represent those who give me permission to do so, and that (with regard to my participation in this initiative) I would make every attempt possible to identify, and communicate with, and seek input from those who supported me in the Election and/or otherwise. Therefore, this represents my first effort to do so.WITH REGARD TO THOSE WHO SUPPORTED ME IN THE 2013 GENERAL ELECTION, OF COURSE, I DON'T KNOW WHO ALL OF YOU ARE, BUT I DO KNOW THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST 2,194 OF YOU, AND I DO KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU ARE HERE ON FACE BOOK. If you know of others who supported and/or still support me, but are not here on face book --- please share this correspondence with them.
I also articulated to Commissioner White during the above referenced phone conversation that my participation is dependent on the condition that there will be ample opportunity for what ever recommendations these ad-hoc committees come up with --- to be vetted (subjected to examination and evaluation) via the broader community --- BEFORE they are formally submitted / recommended to the full Board of Education. He agreed that this is an important step, and that it will happen.
Thus far, the parent engagement ad-hoc advisory committee has two meetings scheduled. THE FIRST ONE IS THIS EVENING, AND THE SECOND ONE IS SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 18TH. I sent Commissioner White a note expressing my belief that it is NOT realistic that any committee could come up with quality recommendations in the course of two meetings. His response was that he is leaving it up to the various committees to determine additional meeting dates. Thus, this represents one of the first issues that I will put on the table this evening, i.e., the need to schedule additional meetings. AGAIN, I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR THE LATENESS OF THIS CORRESPONDENCE, BUT PLEASE KNOW THAT (FROM THIS POINT ON) --- I WILL MAKE EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT TO KEEP YOU ALL INFORMED --- IN A TIMELY MANNER.
At this point, I am not aware of who other members of the parent engagement committee are. However, I will report this information as soon as I know. Nor am I aware of who any members are of the other three ad-hoc committees (student achievement, student and community safety, and concentration of poverty). However, in my view, as part of keeping the broader parent / family / general tax-paying community informed, and maximizing opportunities for broad-based input, support, and buy-in --- I would suggest that the names of all committee members should be made public.
I KNOW IT'S LATE, BUT IF THERE ARE PRESSING, SPECIFIC, CLEAR ISSUES THAT YOU BELIEVE I SHOULD TAKE TO THE TABLE THIS EVENING, AND / OR ANYTIME IN THE FUTURE --- PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO LET ME KNOW.
The Struggle Continues...
"Mitt Romney", I am offended by your implication of racism and / or sexism. For what it is worth, I supported Lovely Warren's candidacy and primary success in print (go read the City Newspaper archives for confirmation of this assertion). I am proud to support public servants in their endeavours where it is deserved, without respect to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other personal preference. I am similarly unrestrained from criticism where it is deserved, without respect to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other personal preference. To do otherwise in either case would be to display bias.
I stand by my comments about Lovely Warren. I believe she has made mistakes, and that she has inappropriately implicitly used the race and gender defense to attempt to silence criticism of those mistakes. I also believe that she can and should acknowledge those early missteps, learn from them, and go on to realize her potential to be a positive and unifying mayor for all Rochestarians.
I think Scott Wagner is spot on.. and as for "Mitt Romney," why is it not right for City residents (regardless of color) to question the conduct of the Mayor the last month without being labeled racist? We all have a vested interest in seeing Mayor Warren do well, but I think that we have a right to be disappointed about the lack of judgment and honesty
“And wouldn’t a new downtown movie theatre hurt the Little Theatres? “
This question sums up this entire debacle. The Little Theatre is one movie theatre, and it has its own character and atmosphere. Why can’t there be another theatre with a different character and atmosphere? Why wouldn’t they be able to not only coexist, but thrive together? What if people watched movies at both theatres together regardless of what quadrant of the city they live in? *Gasp*
Rochester is a good city, but it will never be a great city until we can ask these difficult questions and eliminate the deep-seated fear of “the other side” that all Rochesterians experience.
In addition, The City Newspaper along with the D&C and several Broadcast news outlet in Rochester needs to add much more persons of color to positions where they have more power on how the stories are written and reported because they all sound like media organizations of the segregation era. When are you guys going to come to the conclusion your representing a city that's 85 percent minority. Who are you guys writing news story for because it doesn't reflect the view and perspective of the majority population. Don't be like Kodak. They missed the technological curve in their profession don't miss the viewership curve in the media; specifically in the City of Rochester or you will be sorry. The minority communities are tired of this and just last week (the news is not reporting) many prominent community members, organizations and political office holders met in unification to somehow send a signal to Rochester media that they have to start becoming true journalists and stop reporting in ways to form an imaginary false depiction of Rochester instead of the reality.
White residents are still suffering from seeing a person of color rise to position of substantial political power- You call it White Backlash, commonly known as Racism. In the 1800s' after during the era of Reconstruction- Whites formed organizations like the Ku Klux Clan where they used terriosm, including lynching, intimidation and Jim crow laws to remove blacks from political power after they won their seats rightfully and legally. When Obama became President they formed The Tea Party (modern day Ku Klux Klan) as a guise to ridicule the President with racial undertones and scrutinize his ideas and efforts as soon as he got in office. The things scrutinize were of such needed attention; sounds familiar. Bill Johnson had to endore being called names like gorilla or orangutan. Lovely Warren received so many racial threats to her life and to that of her family because the people of Rochester chose her to be their mayor, she done nothing else. Whites have always demonstrated that after a person of color rise to a position of significant political power- White Backlash is sure to follow but the sad thing for them is that Lovely is here to stay and you either get with it of continue to be on the sideline with the rest of your racist buddies. Rochester is a city with a lot of upside and we all should work as one, no matter what is your ethnicity to reach its apex.
In less than one month in office, Lovely Warren has managed to amass an alarming number of ethical concerns - more than most elected local officials accumulate in an entire career. She has deflected, ignored, and mishandled most of these, and in doing so has incurred questions about her integrity and suitability for the office she holds.
At a cost of many times the average annual income of the people whom she pledged to serve, she created a personal "security" force comprised of personal family members and acquaintances. Her justification is based upon threats which she has failed to make public. She has escalated, rather than quelled, divisiveness by implying that those threats are based on race and gender bias - a direct violation of her campaign pledge to unify Rochester.
In a community accustomed to open government and accessibility, she alone has no published email address. "email@example.com" is unacceptable - just as with every other city official, publishing and responding to "firstname.lastname@example.org" is the only responsible way to serve the city.
I was very hopeful that a Warren administration would be a progressive and positive move for our City, but so far I have been overwhelmingly disappointed. Mayor Warren, your office represents a pledge to serve us, not a pedestal of privilege upon which to elevate yourself above us. You are expected to be responsible and responsive to us, and to earn our trust and respect. It's time you began to do so.
@John K, thanks for the laugh! On the other hand, Rob Ford has simply set the bar too low for pretty much everyone; put another way, he's wrecked the curve. Is it true that Canadians are taking perverse pride in this?
Former Rochestarian here, considering moving back home. Currently living in Toronto.
Does Mayor Warren...
a. Smoke crack on video?
b. Have a substance abuse problem?
c. Drive drunk?
Is the Mayor?
d. Cavorting around with drug dealers?
e. The suspect of an extortion/murder plot?
f. A joke in the international media?
If the answers to all these questions are NO (and shocker! they are!), then I'd be happy to give her the benefit of the doubt to these incredibly flimsy excuses for a "scandal" and give her the customary "first 100 days" in order to judge her leadership.
In the meantime, I'm almost certain that everyone in Rochester has actual things that they really should be spending their time worrying about.
I wrote Chris Thomas but meant Andrew Brown.
Upon the implementation of this budge cuts, hopefully, child care quality won't suffer.
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Here are my thoughts as I read this:
About 8 years ago, I was part of a group interviewing for part-time jobs. There were enough jobs for everyone there. A criminal background check was required. One person didn't get the job because the background check revealed he had lied on the application.
Even though I consider myself to be a very safe driver, there have been occasions as both driver and passenger that I also prefer not to talk about.
Lawyers are not ethicists. And vice versa.
Sheppard wanted to stay, but he had to go.
Police reorganization will cost more.
We're all patiently waiting for the red-light program to end.
I very much doubt that even one person from our neediest neighborhoods will be getting on a bus to go to work at Costco.
The "Undercover Boss" idea would have worked great for walking around the city without security.
Education........More money to be spent.
Don't worry downtown, neighborhoods won't be getting much.
Performing Arts Center?!! Movie Theatre?!! Waterpark?!!
The mayor seems to have a good understanding of what the neediest need.
This was an extremely interesting presentation. It did much to dispel the myth that somehow the guns being used in crimes in Rochester are other than those owned by "law abiding" citizens. It turns out about 80% of the guns used here are legally purchased here. And that doesn't even touch on the number of children injured every year by the mishandling and improper storage of guns.
Sorry, but this interview was over for me with the answer to the first question. Yes, Lovely this is about you and your actions. How could your actions not be about you?
The rocky start is about Warren's lack of good leadership. She had to know hiring her uncle would be controvesial. She had to know being stopped for speeding TWICE was nothing but stupid. She had to know appointing Chris Thomas would be controversial because of the conflict of interest.
Warren and the people of Rochester need to remember the important fact that the people hired Warren. Taxpayers pay her salary. Warren is just an employee of the citizens of Rochester. People have every right to question her judgment and her actions.
Lovely is starting these fires and she is getting burned along with the people of Rochester.
What kind of educational system will it take? One that replaces a 19th century model based on government monopoly with a 21st century model based on innovation, freedom, and choice. One that empowers families and taxpayers, and dis-empowers unions, politicians, bureaucrats, "experts", and the rest who have failed so spectacularly and miserably.
And what's keeping us from providing it? The corrupt influence of the same vested interests named above.
This is ridiculous as anyone knows that someone can't simultaneously defend and be against the City of Rochester. It just looks like a bunch of lawyers helping each other out while us taxpayers continue to pay. How much did we shell out to two different law firms for the same answer?
This is a great example of meeting the letter of the law while clearly creating an image of impropriety. This stinks. Brown should remove himself from consideration if Warren doesn't have the sense to withdraw the nomination. We're just one month into this administration and there are already too many ethical issues coming to the fore. Even if they all meet the minimal legal requirements they really, really look bad.
Smugtown is not at a tipping point in regards to segregation of educational opportunity. Lines drawn for school districts mean some of the best education in the country or some of the worst is available for our regions children.
I do not hear the political will, disgust, or greater good leading the discussion. Instead infighting and finger pointing which serves those with quality educational options very well, remains the debate parameters.
Not sure what will allow difficult questions to be answered through regional change.
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