Why I Care...

"As an immigrant, I understand the struggles that folks go through to do well in a strange land where you are seen as suspect. I spent many years in the service and restaurant industry, and worked full-time to pay for college. I earned my AA in Liberal Arts in 2007 and completed my Bachelor's in Political Science in 2010. Getting my degree was a difficult and long road, so I identify with everyday people who want to succeed and do well for themselves and their family. With 33 million people on unemployment because of a global pandemic, I want to be mindful of both keeping our community members safe and our economy sustainable and prosperous for businesses.”
VANGIE'S VISION
Public Safety

We need to fundamentally change how we approach public safety in Rochester. We have to focus on building community trust in law enforcement by direct engagement and outreach in the community, and implementing better prevention and intervention strategies. Over-policing and criminalization has harmed communities of color disproportionately than white communities. It is our duty to empower community members to demand more equitable policing and to work together with law enforcement to rebuild public trust. It is time for us to work towards reform when it comes to public safety. Times are changing, which is why we need leadership that will amplify the voices of residents who have been regularly silenced. Let’s focus our energy on addressing the root causes of crime, such as poverty, and work together to create a community where the entire public feels safe.

Infrastructure

We need to radically change the way we build our city as we move into the future.  We must strive to build roads, sewer systems and bridges that can be enjoyed for generations to come. Also we must ensure that our neighborhoods and public spaces are sustainable and accessible.

#BlackLivesMatter

As a person of color I've experienced racism on a regular basis. I understand how institutional racism has created disparities in the level of education people receive, in socio-economic status, in the neighborhoods families live in, and in the levels of happiness and safety we experience. Elected officials and the community need to work together to dismantle systems of oppression and create a new reality where all are truly equal. My time at the Diversity Council working with local businesses and agencies puts me in a unique position to achieve this goal. 

Diversity & Inclusion

The demographics in Rochester are changing every day. With the DMC, we must be responsive to the growing population and the needs of all the residents the city of Rochester houses. I’m proud to say that we are a city on the move, with a workforce that’s growing and diversifying. It’s your elected officials’ duty to ensure that policies created include the well-being of all, and plans are in place to serve our changing environment.

Governmental Integrity

We need to strive to maintain accountability, integrity, and transparency in Rochester’s government. I believe we can achieve this with open meetings, meetings that are accessible to all via live- streaming, and by presenting information to the community in a timely manner. We can only achieve integrity in our government if we elect honest, hard-working people who are not beholden to any corporation.

Holistic Health & Human Services

COVID-19 has altered much of our daily life and in order to keep our community safe and well, we have had to make a lot of changes to our daily routine. As we begin to re-open businesses and facilities we should enforce a mandatory mask ordinance to try and stop the spread of germs. In partnership with the County and State, Rochester has successfully kept our COVID-19 cases low due to safe-at-home orders and strict social distancing practices. In order to keep up this good work, we should dedicate resources to increasing the amount of testing and to additional contact tracing. 

 

But it’s not enough to be just physically healthy, mental health is important as well. We should provide funding and support for higher quality mental health services and resources. Better mental health services will lead to less criminalization of those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Affordable Housing

As a growing city, we need to make a conscious effort to ensure a portion of the housing stock remains affordable for our residents. I believe that a percentage of all new housing constructions should be affordable. I also want to work with the community to determine what the true level of “affordability” is for those in need of safe, cost-effective housing.

Environmental Justice

There is no Planet B. Rochester should implement policy that is focused on environmental sustainability such as higher density housing with less sprawl, housing closer to downtown, and increased public transportation. I also believe everyone has the right to easy access to green spaces, regardless of where their neighborhood is. Finally, we should invest in green energy and converting our city fleets to electric vehicles.

Destination Medical Center (DMC)

In order for the city of Rochester to ensure long-standing prosperity and economic growth that benefits every individual and local business; we must look at DMC through the lens of community partnerships, co-operation, and co-creating.

Fair Wages

I believe that everyone has a right to a fair, living wage. This is why I support a $15 minimum wage for all employees. This increase of wages will not only benefit the worker, but the increase in earnings will translate into increased spending, greater local business activity, and economic growth. I recognize that for smaller businesses a $15 minimum wage is not immediately feasible, which is why I believe the minimum wage increase should be implemented in phases over time based on the size of the business.

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© 2020 Paid for by Vangie Castro for City Council President Campaign