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 families. With 33 million people on unemployment (at the time of writing this) 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 and working people.
My vision for a new party that supports the Social & Economic Progressive views which includes social progress, the process of a society lifting itself out of ignorance, injustice, and inequality, toward a future that promises enlightenment, prosperity, equity, plurality, and environmental sustainability. We are a community on the move and we need leadership that reflects that. In an ever-changing environment economically, socially, and politically we need leaders who can shift and change with the times and needs of ALL people.
The current two-party system is both old guard and regressive. If we want to move away from party politics we need to introduce a viable third wing that challenges our current political party status quo. A movement that is more responsive and reflective of community needs. Advancing leadership that looks like us and wants to uphold the values of our democracy and work towards strengthening it and not undermining it. Taking in the changing demographics and political landscape we can support and uplift new leaders who best represent the people in our community.
“A great democracy has got to be progressive, or it will [either] cease to be great or cease to be a democracy.” -- Teddy Roosevelt, 1910
ROCHESTER PROGRESSIVES PROJECT PLATFORM
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 have 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.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Leadership
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 in the city of Rochester. We are 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 putting plans in place to serve our changing environment.
Social equity starts with advancing diverse leaders and having equitable representation in all levels of leadership in public and private institutions. To move this forward we must recruit, support, and provide resources for diverse progressive candidates for elected leadership positions.
It’s not very popular to advocate putting more pressure on poor people, economists argue that the current U.S. tax code is regressive in its effects due to loopholes, capital gains taxes, and extremely limited inheritance taxes.
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.
As Black, Indigenous, People of color we've experienced racism on a regular basis. We understand how institutional racism has created disparities in the level of education people receive, in socioeconomic status, in the neighborhood's 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 racist policies, so we can create a new reality where all are truly equal.
As a growing city, we need to make a conscious effort to ensure a portion of the housing stock remains affordable for our residents. We believe that a percentage of all new housing constructions should be affordable. We 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. Housing is a human rights issue and all people deserve safe and affordable housing.
Environmental Justice Sustainability & The Green New Deal
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. We 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.
We need to strive to maintain accountability, integrity, and transparency in Rochester’s government. We believe we can achieve this with open meetings (which is already a state law), meetings that are accessible to ALL via live- streaming (other technology), 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, organization, or have a personal or political agenda centered around greed and capitalism.
Mitigating Income Inequality
We believe that everyone has a right to a fair, living wage. This is why we 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 we believe the minimum wage increase should be implemented in phases over time based on the size of the business. Eventually, when all employee based businesses reach the $15 hr. minimum wage we can move towards raising it to livable wages. Rising tides lift ALL boats, yachts, and dingys equally.
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.
The organizations and groups involved in DMC would benefit from community partnerships when putting forth plans for new construction and street designs. When we are not focused on the health, wealth, and vitality of the city residents we are moving away from what makes Rochester great and focusing efforts and resources in disconnecting Rochester's downtown from its residents, who support and help the city grown.
Because of natural disasters, such as COVID-19 communities around the world have been uniting via mutual aid networks—grassroots, volunteer-run local initiatives—to connect those who can help with those who need help.
“Mutual aid groups are about organizing…under the notion that everybody has something to contribute, and everybody has something they need,”
Be part of our "Mutual Aid Society" and let's support one another!