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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Urban Journal

Re: “The roots of our poverty

I don't have to do a thing to help my neighbors. Just by living here, the property values around me are increased. It is because I pay for food, rent, utilities, and car expenses from money I get from my job.

A few years back, I owned a house. When I stopped working, my neighbors worried that I would lose the house and a welfare family would move in. The next-door neighbors put forth a great effort to sell their house before I sold mine.

It's important to get people who aren't contributing to the problem of concentrated poverty to stay. Of course, I help my neighbors when I can; as long as it doesn't involve giving them money.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 02/21/2015 at 1:55 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

"Young people growing up in impoverished, segregated neighborhoods are less likely to have jobs available to them as teenagers."

Dr. Walter E Williams, who grew up in the projects of Philidelphia, reminds us that before the minimum wage laws there was higher unemployment amongst white teens than black, yet Mary Anna always advocates for a higher minimum wage.

Puzzling!!

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 02/20/2015 at 10:02 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

Well written opinion filled with facts Mary Anna ... and it tells all of us that we need to continue advocating for all people in Rochester Monroe County. Until all of us begin to regularly write letters to Cuomo, Gantt, Morelle, Funke, Robach, Warren, Brooks and Bronson not much will change.

We have to give concrete ideas for change that will work for the benefit of all !!!

With a $142 billion dollar budget proposed for NYS; a billion dollar budget for the County Of Monroe as well as a large budget in the City of Rochester... there has to be a better way to help make change in Rochester Monroe County. Our leaders are trying and it is no easy task unless we encourage, participate and actually take action by volunteering to get in there; roll up our sleeves and do some of the work with our representatives. Throwing more money is not the answer... but actual participation is the answer.


Since Brighton, Henrietta, Gates and Irondequoit directly surround the City of Rochester we need to begin to strategize together in legal finances and ideas to combat poverty. It is not just the City of Rochester's problem... we are all responsible in my opinion.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 02/20/2015 at 11:21 AM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

"In 1970, 2,693 residents of the city and close-in suburbs lived in census tracts with a high poverty level. In 2010, that number had grown to 37,670."

This pretty much follows the "war on poverty" initiative.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by johnny on 02/19/2015 at 8:16 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

Luxembourg: Single women with children need good jobs. That will make a dent in poverty.

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Kathryn Quinn Thomas on 02/19/2015 at 10:30 AM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

I'm curious to those who commented mentioning the influx of Indian families, people who were previously impoverished before relocating to Rochester in the last 40 years and single mothers as a main issue to the poverty rate in Rochester, what's your point?

If you were aware of the intersectionality of race and poverty you would understand the institutionalized structures in place, in our country, that keep these aforementioned groups of people impoverished and out of power.

For example, in the past 40 years which were stressed, minority families have been restricted to where they could live and what resources they could have because of a practice called redlining. A term coined in the 60s, redlining has dictated where specific races (hint - not white people) could live and invest their money. And on the issue of single mothers and births out of wedlock, I would take a hard look at gender equality in the U.S. before anyone say that the "birth problem" among African American women is preventing Rochester from handling the poverty rate.

But you know what really won't help the poverty rate in Rochester? IGNORANCE.

4 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Aiahr on 02/18/2015 at 12:34 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

You left out the latter part of the poster who commented on your previous article. He said that you wrote "We know what caused our poverty crisis. And we know the big steps we have to take to address it effectively." and then asked you to enlighten him as to the answers. You've addressed the first part of his question (what caused poverty) but not the second part (steps we need to take to address it). At least I didn't see that in your article ...

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 02/17/2015 at 8:39 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

Before the Indians decided to settle in the Genesee Valley, what was the poverty rate?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by McEvoy Campbell on 02/17/2015 at 5:24 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

Only 2,693 residents lived in poverty in 1970 and as many as 37, 670 lived in poverty, in 2010. I'm curious:
1- How many of the 37,670 impoverished people living here in 2010 were living here in Rochester in 1970?
2- How many are new to the area, that account for that increase over the 40 span?
3- Of the 34,977 increase in people living in poverty, does it mean that they were not living in poverty before 1970 or did they all become poorer over the 40 year span?
4- Over the 40 year span, how many of the 37, 670 people came to Rochester already in poverty from a different location? Is there info that?

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Don Sherman on 02/17/2015 at 12:55 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

Perhaps I should not have been, but I was amazed that you failed to mention the one factor that is most closely linked with poverty and children; the incidence of out of wedlock births. Perhaps recognizing it makes you uncomfortable, as it does not fit with the narrative of others being solely responsible for poverty.

Since the Moynihan study, roughly the same time as you used as a base, the out of wedlock birth rates for blacks have tripled to 72% of all black births. And 37% of single parent households live in poverty versus just 7% of those in two parent homes. Blacks are much more likely to have an out of wedlock child than whites (~25%) or Asians (~17%), and blacks now make up a large majority of the RCSD. Whites and Asians make up only 15%, so there has been a large demographic shift towards groups that make very bad birth decisions.

So push for more, better paying jobs for the city, but if you fail to address the birth problem, you will fail to make a large dent in poverty.

32 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 02/17/2015 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

If the five areas to be tackled are jobs, education/middle-skills training, housing health/nutrition and safe neighborhoods . . . . perhaps there's one more: youth leadership training. I have noticed that sixth graders especially are really motivated and full of potential. Might another component of addressing 'poverty' is to offer a county-wide "Sixth Grade Leadership Institute" at every school [public and private] in the whole county with a summer 'project' to be reported out at seventh grade. Almost every obstacle in my life I approached with 'less fear' because I had a lot of youth leadership training. I am forever grateful to those experiences. I would recommend ALL sixth graders be exposed and at differing levels, but the impetus, energy and enthusiasm be uniform. We need everyone involved. Everyone.

Posted by Barbra Ann on 02/17/2015 at 12:28 PM

Re: “The roots of our poverty

If the five areas to be tackled are jobs, education/middle-skills training, housing health/nutrition and safe neighborhoods . . . . perhaps there's one more: youth leadership training. I have noticed that sixth graders especially are really motivated and full of potential. Might another component of addressing 'poverty' is to offer a county-wide "Sixth Grade Leadership Institute" at every school [public and private] in the whole county with a summer 'project' to be reported out at seventh grade. Almost every obstacle in my life I approached with 'less fear' because I had a lot of youth leadership training. I am forever grateful to those experiences. I would recommend ALL sixth graders be exposed and at differing levels, but the impetus, energy and enthusiasm be uniform. We need everyone involved. Everyone.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Barbra Ann on 02/17/2015 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

Unfortunately for the publisher of this newspaper and like thinking people, "we" cannot solve the poverty problem as we know it. It is up to those that are in poverty to solve the problem themselves by first getting an education and then get a job, what ever that is and work hard and smart and most of all show up. "We" have "helped" too much, as sad and mean spirited as it sounds. Repeal the minimum wage laws is maybe one way we can help. Stop with the liberal "it's not your fault" lies. I don't for one minute believe that those on the left even want to solve the problem. It sure makes for great politics. If their "solutions" worked we would not have poverty anymore. As Milton Friedman said, capitalism is the only thing that works.

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 02/11/2015 at 7:24 PM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

So you're going to ask somebody in poverty how to get out of poverty sean? What do you know about the people who live in those "million dollar homes", or what the family history of Morelle or Mayor Warren is. For all you know they could have had a history of poverty within their own family and they pulled themselves out of it. I grew up myself in a dirt poor family and I'm far from living in poverty myself now. But I bet I know a thing or two about how to get out of poverty due to pulling myself up by my bootstraps.

I'd rather hear from business leaders and those who have the power to actually implement change then to go to the poorest neighborhoods and ask them "how" they can get out of poverty. The obvious answer they would give is "duh...food and jobs". But do they have the power to create those jobs or know where to even start? Obviously not if the vast majority still live in poverty. We elect officials for a reason. And that's because we do NOT live in a true Democracy. It's a REPUBLIC. We elect officials to represent us. How about we actually let them try to and represent us instead of criticizing at every turn and asking that every Tom, Dick and Harry have a say in every single decision made.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by jasonw12 on 02/11/2015 at 12:06 AM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

Is it possible that Rochester's poverty cannot be tackled? The multiple factors which maintain poverty can be found in every American metro area. Furthermore, poverty is almost always concentrated - have you heard of the metro area where poverty is spread evenly? It doesn't exist. These other metros have "tackled" the problem (largely one of statistics) in one of two ways:

1. "Younger" regions redraw city boundaries to include inner ring suburbs. Not surprisingly, poverty statistics drop significantly. In Rochester's case, including Greece, Irondequoit, Brighton, and Henrietta would drop the poverty rate under 20%.

2. "Older" regions have done a better job of attracting young professionals to their urban centers, thereby bringing up income averages and making their statistics look better.

Given that #1 is unlikely, I would say that maintaining a heavy focus on #2 would be the best use of tax dollars and quite possibly "solve" the poverty issue in the most expedient fashion.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by AVS on 02/11/2015 at 12:03 AM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

You say "We know what caused our poverty crisis. And we know the big steps we have to take to address it effectively."
Please share what caused our poverty crisis and please share what big steps have been taken to address it "effectively". I'm one of the few that needs to be enlightened to what you imply as common knowledge.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Don Sherman on 02/10/2015 at 5:55 PM

Re: “Are we really willing to tackle poverty?

There is poverty in the suburbs, too, it's just hidden under the surface. Job losses, overspending, insufficient income; any number of causes. The Brighton Food Depot serves over 800 families every week; almost 1 in 10 families in the town. Then you have East Ave and Sandringham Drive, with million-dollar homes. In the same town. If there's going to be an Anti-Poverty Task Force or Strike Force or whatever, perhaps they could try including someone who lives in poverty on the task force. Morelle has $120,000 income from his 'job' with the state, Warren is the highest-paid mayor of the poorest city in the state and Brooks is hardly suffering in her leafy lakeshore home. What do these people know about poverty?

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by sean on 02/10/2015 at 5:15 PM

Re: “The bus station and the fights

I see two (2) possible solutions:

1) bring back neighborhood schools where children go to schools without having to go downtown. No bussing.

2)any city bus that services a school does NOT stop downtown at all..

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wendy Schirmer Dingman on 02/04/2015 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Shelly Silver's sweet gig

Unfortunately Mary Anna I wish I could share your professed innocence. This is the same body (the Legislature) that are looking to raise their pay from $79,500+per diems for "living expenses" in Albany ranging from $71 to $165 per night, no questions asked, no need to produce receipts or evidence that they actually were in Albany. Many of them get stipends of thousands of dollars for chairing committees that seldom actually meet. Instead the chair of the committee gets proxies from all the majority members and the ranking member gets proxies from all the minority ranking members, they record the "votes" and the bill is given to the Speaker or Senate majority leader's office to work out with the other house and the Governor. The only reason we know the per diem game is going on, is because an FBI investigation caught Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland arranging from bribes from them, then turning around and charging the Assembly for having supposedly been in Albany when he was in New York City meeting with the FBI. The average income in NY, by the way, is $51,126. Also by the way, the State Legislature is supposed to be "part time".
Joe Bruno, a so-called "small government" Republican spent over thirty years taking a very nice government salary from the taxpayers and is now demanding that we give him $2.4 million to cover his legal bills from having been tried for corruption. I don't know from what rock you crawled out of as pure as the white snow but I am not surprised or shocked in the slightest bit. The people of this state are as dumb as the politicians they elect to office if not dumber. They can talk about smaller government and less tax money spent all they want except it seems when it's THEIR project or THEIR senator who's been there since most of them were in grade school. Then that person's as good as gold, trying to "fight" against the Democrats' incompetence or the Republicans' tyranny or what have you. Spare me. If people are dumb enough to elect the same people over year in and year out for 20 or 30 years, allowing them to pull down private no-show "income" from other sources, they deserve what they get.
No different here in Monroe County. Cheryl DiNolfo will claim to be "fighting" against "government" "waste" and "abuse". She's been County Clerk for a decade, taking over $800,000 in governmental salary in that decade. She's not going to trim the government, she IS the government. By the way, average income in Monroe County was $43,894 in 2011. Brooks hasn't saved taxpayers a dime, despite her profession to do everything for "the taxpayers", whoever they are. Rather she and her husband have made themselves public sector millionaires over her career. She hasn't worked in the private sector in 20 years.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bj911 on 01/27/2015 at 4:45 PM

Re: “The future and the race for the Cuomo Billions

Disabled and elderly people account for most of Rochester's poor. How Is fixing the schools going to help these people? And giving more money in support of generational poverty can only expand the problem.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 01/21/2015 at 10:39 PM

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