Rochester City Council will vote on Sanctuary City legislation when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The legislation, which was introduced by Mayor Lovely Warren, will reaffirm Rochester’s status as a sanctuary city, which it’s been since 1986. In short, that means the city’s police will only cooperate with federal immigration agents in ways that are required under law. Communities across the country have been recommitting to their sanctuary status in the aftermath President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration executive orders.
Roc/ACTS, a coalition of urban and suburban congregations of different faiths and races, wants members of the public to pack the meeting and ask council – as well as Monroe County – to back an expansive vision of sanctuary cities. In an e-mail sent out over the weekend, the organization laid out an 11-point agenda.
The group wants the city and county to deny jail holds for federal immigration authorities, refuse to deputize local police for immigration enforcement, and create a city Office of New Americans, among other things.
The meeting will be held at City Council’s chambers in City Hall, 30 Church Street. BY JEREMY MOULE
City Council member Adam McFadden will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 22, on housing discrimination. McFadden introduced legislation last summer that would prohibit landlords and property managers from discriminating against potential renters based on their actual or perceived source of income.
The discrimination locks people into poor neighborhoods, McFadden said then, preventing them from improving their lives. It also ensures that the city's concentration of poverty continues, he said.
“I want to be clear, because there is a lot of misinformation circulating about this legislation,” McFadden said. “In no way does the legislation mandate that people receiving assistance are guaranteed a specific rental. This legislation is about access; it’s about giving people a chance. The way our current system is set up, people who are receiving income assistance for housing can be denied or refused before they apply for an apartment.”
In the past, landlords have said that the problem has to do with the system, not discrimination. Landlords can be left holding the bag if the renter’s source of income suddenly gets cut off, they’ve said.
The legislation has been sitting in committee since July 2016. Wednesday’s hearing is at 5:30 p.m. in City Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN