My grandparents Dick Fitts and Nancy Eckerson Fitts were instrumental in helping establish the Sister Cities relationship between Rochester and Novgorod in the 1980's. Amid the tensions of the Cold War, they and advocates for peace here in Rochester acutely identified that the conflict was not between the peoples of our two nations, but between posturing governments. Visiting the then USSR in 1984, their group found kindred spirits in Novgorod. The result was Linkages, a volunteer group devoted to increasing the "...understanding of the people, politics, and culture of Russia, with a focus on people-to-people relations". In 1989 the official Sister Cities relationship was established and remains one of the strongest connections that Rochester has through the program. My grandfather was also involved in establishing economic ties with Novgorod through the creation of Genesee-Volkhov Connection (GVCO), a firm that ran a chain of consumer photo processing labs in the Novgorod region that featured Kodak film.
This new controversy should remind us of these origins and the purpose of the Sister Cities Program. While I believe that Russia's LGBT laws are archaic and inhumane, calling off a decades old alliance over these injustices would send the wrong message. I know that while our elected officials may disagree on law, there are people in Novgorod who are fighting for change and supporting their LGBT neighbors. We must be a source of inspiration and unwavering support for our citizen allies around the world, or our advancements in social justice are for naught. If anything, we should reaffirm our connection with Novgorod and our support for their LGBT community in this trying time.
I would counter by saying that the mainstream media, undeniably in bed with the federal government, has deliberately crafted and downplayed the Snowden story to focus on him as figure in an effort to deflect attention from the real issues of 'government overreach'.
This is not a failure of Snowden's, but a victory of the media government complex.
I expected better from you City Newspaper...
i don't understand why MCC is leaving what is about to become a beloved and beautifully redeveloped central hub of downtown
Right around the corner from my apartment and so lucky to have it! I'm a huge fan of vietnamese and thai foods and it was so cool to see their intersection in the cuisine here.
Website powered by Foundation