Read our  PlayROCs the RCSD report about the state of active play in Rochester.

The Healthi Kids Coalition, with input from the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute Alumni, based this 2019 questionnaire around our advocacy agenda for Whole Child Health.  Each candidate for Rochester City Council and School Board was given an opportunity to respond. 


The Healthi Kids Coalition is a grassroots community collaboration and initiative of Common Ground Health that advocates for healthier kids in the City of Rochester and Monroe County. Our change agenda calls for every child to be happy, healthy, and supported in the place they learn, for expanded access to services that build healthy minds and healthy families, for our communities to promote equity so that all kids can grow and thrive, and for the promotion of the power of play in the life of every child and in every place.

As a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, we cannot support or oppose any candidate for public office. The purpose of this questionnaire is to inform the community on where each candidate stands on the whole health of children in the City of Rochester.

School Board

Kids Physical Health

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

This is appears to be a straightforward matter of leadership in schools. I am aware that not all schools comply with this policy and I expect the superintendent to correct this.

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

I understand that play is an important part of education and child development, and is an important connection to school climate. I would support learning standards that are better in terms of play than the standards in place in recent years (common core).

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

Health education is required in elementary school but many schools are not complying fully. I would start by learning about state requirements for health education and then learning about how RCSD has been implementing them. Professional development is an important tool for many areas of improved teaching, but it is also necessary to ensure that staffing is adequate and that teachers are supported in terms of time and resources devoted to health education.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

I would work with other board members and the superintendent to make sure that healthy meals that children will eat are a priority. Health education about healthy eating could also increase the chances of students making healthy choices at lunch and breakfast.

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

I would work with board members and the superintendent to ensure ongoing commitment and expansion of trauma informed practices, and ongoing professional development, in RCSD. Partner agencies must clearly understand expectations with respect to all student centered practices including trauma informed approaches.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

As a founding member of the Community Task Force on School Climate, I absolutely support and have actively, continuously and strategically advocated from deepened quality where restorative practices are in place, and for expansion of restorative practices into all schools. I know and value the restorative practices coaches, and collaborate with them often.

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

RCSD can do a better job of communicating with community agencies who want to help, and who have resources to offer. At the same time, it is important that board members monitor the cost effectiveness and outcomes of programs that are run by contracted agencies. As community leaders and financial stewards, board members play an important role in developing long term, financially responsible collaborations to benefit students.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

I support culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy. I know that some very high quality materials and professional development resources are ignored by some of our educators - I would like to see the board and superintendent work with school chiefs (and unions if necessary) to ensure that cultural knowledge and culturally responsive pedagogy are required and non-negotiable. This is consistent with restorative practices because you cannot be restorative without strong relationships. You cannot build relationships if you are disconnected from the students you are trying to teach.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

I am a member of the Whole Child Health Action Plan team, representing Dr. Walter Cooper Academy.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

Respondent skipped this question

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

Respondent skipped this question

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

Respondent skipped this question

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

Respondent skipped this question

Did not complete the questionnaire.
Did not complete the questionnaire.
Did not complete the questionnaire.
Did not complete the questionnaire.

Kids Physical Health

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

As a commissioner I would work closely with superintendent and building staff to make sure this policy is being rolled out and adhere to.

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

Keeping our students engaged is very important to me, in order to implement any curriculum I first would do my own research and them allow parents (students)and school staff to vote on what they would like in the district.

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

Understanding the role that the district plays in our children lives is very important, In many cases the school has become the primary provider. Health Ed is Essential to the development of our students I will lead the charge on making our students receive a comprehensive curriculum on health/wellness. Great Segway to professional development the more Exposure our children get to any positive development closes the gap on drop-out rates and teen pregnancy and gives them a leg up in society.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

I would like meals to reflect our children/students and equipment classroom with snacks and supplies closet.

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

Enhance restorative practices and more community partnerships with churches hospitals and agencies such as ABC Center for youth Ibero.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

Yes

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

Being apart of the agency network I know a little bit about access it. So I would make it my personal responsibility to seek out partnerships in the community.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

Yes, it important curriculum reflects our Demographic.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

I have been a youth development Facilitator and I have been a community asset navigator I have been a football and basketball coach and a advocate for youth voice and choice in government.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

I believe in best practices and being parents informed.

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

Enhance the office with more field support

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

I Believe in neighborhood schools and parents choice the neighborhood school will not thrive if the community around it is not thriving.

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

I have a child in rcsd and Countless niece is a nephews I know that parents being engaged is pivotal to the success of student education and graduation .

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create policies and incentives to ensure diversity in the district workforce (I.e. From building level staff, teachers, and those at Central Office).

    1

  • Ensure all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms in the districts have access to and implement a play-based curriculum.

    2

  • Ensure adequate funding for all paraprofessionals to receive professional development appropriate to their role.

    3

  • Increase funding for culturally appropriate and trauma informed professional development for all adults who work with children in the district.

    4

  • Develop a school board policy that commits to prioritizing parents for open positions in RCSD.

    5

  • Allocate funding to modernize and install water bottle fillers in every school to promote healthy habits.

    6

  • Ensuring the community has access to school building seven days a week by implementing with fidelity the Community Use of Schools policy.

    7

  • Create a district-level position specifically to support the implementation of whole child health in the district's wellness policy.

    8

  • Promote the development of school vegetable garden programs to teach nutrition education and develop lifelong healthy habits.

    9

  • Work with NYS to pilot busing within 1.5 miles as part of a neighborhood schools initiative.

    10

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

Respondent skipped this question

Kids Physical Health

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

I will ask for every school to produce reports on this matter and will introduce a budget that increases the funding for restorative practices.

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

I will fight to ensure teachers have the proper tools to participate in this curriculum. I will also work to roll out this initiative in the professional development teachers receive.

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

I will ensure the district forms better partnerships with community agencies who can help provide these services to students, families, and staff. Professional development plays a huge role in this because we can give teachers the proper tools to participate in this endeavor.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

I believe the school district should work with Food Link to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks.

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

Trauma-informed practices is a huge part of my platform because kids cannot succeed if there are social factors that prohibit them from being in class or focusing on their school work. Again, we must work closely with community agencies to ensure the school district is versed in these practices.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

Yes, restorative practices are huge to ensure every child has a quality education. Much research shows restorative practices has an impact on student achievement.

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

I will present a budget that will decentralize the school district and invest more funding in school buildings. Social-emotional health is huge because this district desperately needs more social workers and other staff tending to the emotional needs of students and families.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

Yes, I support culturally responsive curriculum. I will work hard to ensure the district implements the curriculum. In fact, I presented at the Teach to Lead Conference, sponsored by the US Department of Education, on this topic when I was a longterm substitute at Vanguard High School and Leadership Academy for Young Men.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

I hold a Bachelors and a Masters degree and am working on my Ph.D. at University of Rochester in Education. With this experience, I am ready to be data savvy as it relates to the information board members read every day. I answered the call to serve as a leader at Metro Justice, pushing the school district to improve school climate with a new code of conduct because far too many kids were suspended for small mistakes. They were crying for teachable moments rather than punitive consequences. I’ve taught kids full of vast potential at Leadership Academy for Young Men and Vanguard High School. I saw first-hand how many kids were falling through the cracks because our system is broken. Our system doesn’t engage them and give them opportunities that their homes and neighborhoods might not be able to. I left the district to go onto higher education to serve low-income Black and Brown students and families through The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program at Keuka College. We stepped in to mitigate all of the problems they faced at home, prepared them for the college world, and directed them to all of the resources on campus to help them be successful. However, they still weren’t equipped for college because the K-12 education system did not prepare them properly. My job was an uphill battle having to correct a decade of the system failing these students in the days and weeks they were enrolled in college. These experiences will greatly help me to be a servant leader to the families in Rochester.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

Rochester should reach out to families more aggressively. I'd like to see more home visits to ensure schools are providing the services kids actually need.

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

I will make sure my colleagues agree to my ideas so we can work as a team to implement them in the district. I see many social factors as barriers to parent and family engagement.

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

I agree with neighborhood schools. We must work toward this idea.

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

My students are my family. Being an educator has impacted my approach to parent engagement.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create policies and incentives to ensure diversity in the district workforce (I.e. From building level staff, teachers, and those at Central Office).

    2

  • Ensure all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms in the districts have access to and implement a play-based curriculum.

    6

  • Ensure adequate funding for all paraprofessionals to receive professional development appropriate to their role.

    4

  • Increase funding for culturally appropriate and trauma informed professional development for all adults who work with children in the district.

    1

  • Develop a school board policy that commits to prioritizing parents for open positions in RCSD.

    7

  • Allocate funding to modernize and install water bottle fillers in every school to promote healthy habits.

    10

  • Ensuring the community has access to school building seven days a week by implementing with fidelity the Community Use of Schools policy.

    5

  • Create a district-level position specifically to support the implementation of whole child health in the district's wellness policy.

    3

  • Promote the development of school vegetable garden programs to teach nutrition education and develop lifelong healthy habits.

    9

  • Work with NYS to pilot busing within 1.5 miles as part of a neighborhood schools initiative.

    8

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

Respondent skipped this question

Kids Physical Health

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

I am aware of this policy and have had to address this directly with staff at one school where i was told that this was the form of discipline being used. i not only addressed it with the staff member, i did talk to the chief and superintendent about sending staff a reminder of this policy. however as with any policy there has to be reminders about policies and this is a training issue for anyone still utilizing this method of discipline. i will keep advocating for the superintendent to remind staff of these policies through all channels.

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

100% support play for children. it should be encouraged in all curriculum's throughout the district. I will support by ensuring resolutions around curriculum's before me as a commissioner have a play component to it. i will also continue to educate others on what play itself really means, it does not mean that kids are just playing however they want. it means that they have a structured way to learn and move, and "play" while learning with a specific objective and outcomes for every lesson.

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

As a commissioner i will work to ensure that all health related topics are integrated in supplemental curriculum's as well as main curriculum. health can be incorporated in an ELA lesson for example and used in reading comprehension lessons. health related topics can also be incorporated into computer/lab learning time so there is no reason that it should have to take a back seat when topics related to health can be also incorporated in various topics of learning.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

I would love to see schools and students be able to create their own menus for the school year. despite that some believe you can't eat healthy on a budget that is not the case, but it does require some creativity. even with the state reimbursement rates being low that does not mean food services as a department can't be creative. schools can create fruit and salad bars, opt for grilled chicken, turkey, shredded cheese, low fat dressings, yogurt for fruit dips. this would require re-training for food service workers, have minimum cost impact as we would essentially be re-arraigning the foods schools already have access to. In addition i would replace beverages of milk selections and increase access to water by having reusable coolers and pitchers that can be brought out for lunch and kept in classrooms.

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

I support restorative practices and believe in it's principals. restorative practices are not intended to re-victimize anyone nor force anyone into a disingenuous process. it is an opportunity for adults to really exam the whole child and find ways within themselves to better support them. for peer to peer it is meant to allow communications during conflict and allow both sides to be heard and if possible made whole through forgiveness and understanding. it is also not something that can forced upon someone to practice. I supported the restoring of all the restorative practice positions this last budget cycle (2019-2020 budget). with that said i have personally witnessed staff from various agencies continue their training and education in restorative practices and it is an ongoing learning experience for the staff who participate. change can't be forced upon people but the data strongly supports that restorative practices reduces out of school suspension and decreases the learning lost from suspensions. i will ensure that our partner agencies continue to get the training necessary to help ensure that they are equipped to do restorative practices as it is intended to be done.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

yes. the data shows a significant amount reduced in out of school suspensions which again allows students to remain in school, and minimizes learning lost. when kids are not in school, they can't learn, and often times catching up is difficult especially when they are coming from traumatic experiences or situations.

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

I would love to have all our organizations in Rochester support the same kids they are receiving funding already to support. there should be a systemic approach to this similar to HMIS (homeless management information system). this will require a great deal of conversations, understanding and work. prior to this system existing shelters were not communicating with one another and also had limited resources, funding, often competing for the same resources and they had to figure out a different way to approach the problem and not as competition to one another but as allies in the fight for the same cause and this is what our community partners and agencies must do for the families we are all serving here locally.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

yes but it has to also be able to meet the nys standards for curriculum. as noted in the D.E report we had one that was not. i do however know that there are some incredible staff members in the district working very hard to ensure that culturally responsive curriruclum and learning does happen in schools, but also that it addresses many cultures and is taylored to the needs of the student population they are serving. while we have a large majority of black and Latino students, we also have to acknowledge our refugee and immigrant populations, and they can not be left out.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

I currently and have for the last four years coordinate children s leadership program that teaches children how to use their voice, be advocates, learn about the power of media, networks and their community. it teaches them about budgets, and government while also allowing them to learn at their pace it is literacy based and focuses on creating a nurturing environment for the child as whole as well. i am also currently part of a new collation that is looking to teach young students ages 14 and up who get their first job, about money management, savings and assisting them with opening their first bank account when they get a job so that they can start building credit as early as possible. I also support students in the arts, and increasing opportunities for them to be paid for their talents as often our students are asked to display their art talents but never showed how to translate that into money for themselves. This year i am co-sponsoring the Winton arts festival commissioned art work for their promotional materials by having connected them with a student from RCSD, but also providing half of the stipend for her time and art. her art will be featured on posters, fliers, t-shirts and billboards throughout Rochester this fall. there are a number of ways that i can continue to support children and be a champion for them through collaborative efforts of healthy partners throughout this community and i plan to continue to do the work.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

I have seen two efforts that i am working on currently to launch in august 2019. one involves authentic conversations with parents in the community and an opportunity to engage families who are not engaged at all. the other involves utilizing social media platforms to create content that is easy to digest, understand and re-engages parents in the process of decisions being made at the board level. as far as policies i am committed to ensuring that our parent advisory council is compromised of parents from every school, with leadership, guidance and support from administration, that they have an inclusive to all parents model that is followed. i also would like the district to explore the use of video conferencing for parent engagement for teachers, staff and the district as a whole the same way we can now telemedicine doctors and therapist, we should be able to revamp what engagement looks like utilizing the technology that already exist. I believe these things would be effective because we have allowed only a select few voices of parents minimize the voices for all parents. i believe that we have to engage parents where they live and allow them to access staff through more convenient ways. i also believe that if we were to sytemically address how the community organizations are aligned in their efforts to support families in this community, then that also allows for stronger parent and family engagement as a whole since we would be able to collaborate on efforts we create and support.

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

I have been advocating for changes in the office of parent engagement i would love to see more parent support specialist there, less top heavy management, a leader of that department that is from this community, understands the needs of our parents is collaborative, creative and supports our families because they understand them. i also support that our parent groups are supported and given leadership through this office. one of the barriers for families is time and access to transportation. families have competing priorities and coming out for a workshop on a week day for one hour isn't going to bring families out especially if they have to catch several buses to get there. so we have to look at this office as one that provides programming in the community and that is a traveling department. and although it does travel to events as requested, the programming and staff should be hosting events themselves and workshops in various parts of the city year round.

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

i support choices for families, so if a family lives near a school and selects that as their first choice they should have priority to attend their neighborhood school. i support community schools too and support the buffalo model of community schools, which is aligned by sectors/ quadrants of their city, offers Saturday programming, events and school for the whole family and aligns community agencies to serve the families.

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

I have 2 girls who have graduated from RCSD, and a current 2nd grader. and i know from personal experience at various ages and stages in my life what engagement looked like for me when i lived close to my girls school and i could walk there i was able to get to more events, when their school closed and they were moved across town, i had to catch two buses to get there (pre transit center time) and in the winter that was a major issue especially having a child who had chronic asthma. as a working mother now juggling multiple hats engagement is difficult despite now owning a car, i have to miss special events at my daughter school because i may have to work or i have board meeting, however her school offers school briefings and these are well advertised and you know if your child is performing and typically are done early in the morning, so while i may miss an evening performance i know i can catch it during the day. her school also utilizes facebook and has a private page for it's school and i am often able to watch videos or see pictures of their trips and this is something i wish for all schools to be able to do. again utilize social media to ensure parents can still be a part of their child's education experiences even when they can not be there physically

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create policies and incentives to ensure diversity in the district workforce (I.e. From building level staff, teachers, and those at Central Office).

    6

  • Ensure all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms in the districts have access to and implement a play-based curriculum.

    5

  • Ensure adequate funding for all paraprofessionals to receive professional development appropriate to their role.

    2

  • Increase funding for culturally appropriate and trauma informed professional development for all adults who work with children in the district.

    1

  • Develop a school board policy that commits to prioritizing parents for open positions in RCSD.

    7

  • Allocate funding to modernize and install water bottle fillers in every school to promote healthy habits.

    3

  • Ensuring the community has access to school building seven days a week by implementing with fidelity the Community Use of Schools policy.

    8

  • Create a district-level position specifically to support the implementation of whole child health in the district's wellness policy.

    9

  • Promote the development of school vegetable garden programs to teach nutrition education and develop lifelong healthy habits.

    4

  • Work with NYS to pilot busing within 1.5 miles as part of a neighborhood schools initiative.

    10

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

i believe all of these are priorities but i organized them based on short term goals versus long term goals as the long term ones require advocacy, time, and commitments from other state elected officials as well as implementation time.

Kids Physical Health

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

Our governance role as a board gives us the power to help mandate curriculum, and ensure that this is carried out. I am committed to ensure that students have a minimum of 20 minutes of recess and physical activity each day.

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

I have always been a huge supporter of play-based learning. Nothing kills a future of life-long learning like teaching to a standardized test, which is one of the many reasons I opt my own children out of these abhorrent exams. Play-based and experiential learning models result in true inquiry, both personally and academically.

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

This will be a top priority for me. Healthy kids learn, and have the sustained focus they need for success. As a board member I will continue to mandate through governance with my fellow board members to ensure that this is a prioritized learning area in our district curriculum.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

Having lived overseas, I see a true lack of appealing meals for U.S. students in comparison with their European counterparts. We are capable of redesigning breakfast and lunch programs by incorporating a change in culture around meals/food. One of the best things we can do is bring back set lunch hours, allowing students to slow down, and change eating habits. Our culture is currently geared towards overeating (often in a hurried manner). Access to processed junk food or sugary beverages continues to be an issue. We must commit ourselves as a board to helping to change eating habits.

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

I will collaboratively work with my fellow board members and school administration to use research-based practice as we consider providers and services for trauma informed instruction and care.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

Yes! Restorative practices are teaching & learning practices, with proven, evidence-based results. It is crucial we remain steadfast in our commitment to properly implement and provide training for instructors on restorative practices. They work when staff is trained well.

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

Many of schools in more affluent neighborhoods might not require the same level of funding as our more marginalized neighborhoods. The community school efforts in these most marginalized parts of our community will need continued support and funding. However, all schools need better student-counselor ratios, as I see mental health support lacking district-wide.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

Culturally responsive curriculum helps us all: students, teachers, families. administrators. My own children have enormously benefited from such programming within their own school. A district-wide initiative is needed in RCSD. If we ever hope to address our nation's tragic past and reconcile, we must be willing to truthfully examine the ways in which our institutions can contribute to implicit bias and institutionalized racism.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

I have championed restorative justice, speaking truth to power, a culturally responsive curriculum, as well as a physically active learning environment within my own classroom. By actively advocating for students and providing opportunities to challenge the constraining systems under which they operate, I continue to be a proponent of whole-child health, and will continue to do so if elected to the board.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

I see many groups that have already been established within RCSD. It's not just about creating new initiatives, but rather, just as important to ensure that the groups we already have are working properly. Our focus should be a complete audit of the systems we already have before beginning any new initiative.

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

The biggest barrier to parent engagement is cultural in nature, and affected by generational poverty. However, as a board we must also look at how the structures we have in place can be elitist, and unwelcoming to newer parents (or parents who perhaps only have a limited amount of time to give due to work constraints etc). We owe our families a welcoming atmosphere. I will work to challenge our Office of Parent Engagement to address these issues, with the goal to create a more user-friendly and welcoming environment.

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

Community schools should be one of our, if not THE most important areas of focus for RCSD. Community schools help rebuild neighborhoods, and an overall feeling of community responsibility for educating our kids by putting the schoolhouse at the center of the community.

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

All four of my children attend RCSD, and I wouldn't want them anywhere else. However, I have sometimes felt that because I'm a busy working parent, I don't always have the time to be as involved as I wish I could be. As a parent, I wish there were opportunities on the weekends or outside of school hours to be more involved. I know I am not alone in this desire.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create policies and incentives to ensure diversity in the district workforce (I.e. From building level staff, teachers, and those at Central Office).

    5

  • Ensure all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms in the districts have access to and implement a play-based curriculum.

    8

  • Ensure adequate funding for all paraprofessionals to receive professional development appropriate to their role.

    1

  • Increase funding for culturally appropriate and trauma informed professional development for all adults who work with children in the district.

    7

  • Develop a school board policy that commits to prioritizing parents for open positions in RCSD.

    2

  • Allocate funding to modernize and install water bottle fillers in every school to promote healthy habits.

    6

  • Ensuring the community has access to school building seven days a week by implementing with fidelity the Community Use of Schools policy.

    9

  • Create a district-level position specifically to support the implementation of whole child health in the district's wellness policy.

    3

  • Promote the development of school vegetable garden programs to teach nutrition education and develop lifelong healthy habits.

    4

  • Work with NYS to pilot busing within 1.5 miles as part of a neighborhood schools initiative.

    10

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

This was difficult, certainly because every area is of great importance. However, our current busing of students is not economically or environmentally sustainable. Ensuring kids have guaranteed busing within 1/2 mile of their home can have a chain reaction effect on all other issues. We will see less absenteeism, followed by a draw from local neighborhoods for community school models. Creating water bottle cultures district wide will help us eventually save on packaging/lunch costs, and is better for the environment. Students will arrive at school to be met by culturally responsive teaching, and elementary students will enjoy play-based instruction: all of which contribute to a more positive connection with their learning environment, and academics, in general.

Kids Physical Health

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to ensure oversight and implementation of the mandated 20-minute recess policy and that recess isn't taken away as a form of punishment?

Withholding recess goes against our current Wellness Policy. The Board relies on our school community to be our eyes and ears when it comes to enforcing many of its policies, so we need your help.

If ever a school principal says the don’t have the support staff to supervise student during recess, the Board needs to know so we can find the necessary resources (funding).

 

Research shows that children often learn best through play. How will you support the implementation of play-based curriculum through NYS Next Generation learning standards?

 

I believe this statement, and especially believe our Pre-K through Grade 2 curriculum must be play-rich. (We cannot give in to the pressure of pushing reading instruction into kindergarten grades, when pre-reading skills need to be taught and honed.

The need for play does not stop at Grade 2, however. Movement based learning needs to be encouraged throughout elementary grades, and extracurricular activities must be available for every child who wishes to participate in the middle and high school years.

 

How will you as a School Board Commissioner make sure that children are receiving comprehensive health education in elementary schools and that it doesn't take a backseat to other core subjects?  How will Professional Development play a role?

Health Education can be infused into other subjects, especially ELA/reading time as part of “desk work” or independent reading. This is what we mean when we say kids learn to read, then read to learn.

Professional Development of our workforce is essential to the above solution. Teachers must be reminded to present their students with a wide variety of reading material.

But it is also important that teachers be aware of the current state of health science, and have been offered developmentally appropriate ways to present health facts to students in an engaging way.

 

What specific innovations or programs would you push forward to ensure every child has access to healthy and appealing school meals and snacks?

Getting kids to eat meals that meet Federal lunch guidelines is a real challenge. i couldn’t get my son to eat anything served at school.

The Board frequently gets updates from our Food Service department, detailing how they have attempted to make the food more appealing by making it more culturally relevant. While they can’t make the food as sweet or as salty as kids are used to getting at home, they are more likely to eat it when it looks like something that is offered to them at home!

 

Kids Social Emotional Health

What specific programs or funding would you introduce to provide trauma informed practices in the Rochester City School District? How will you ensure that partner agencies are well-versed in these practices?

Our Professional Development offerings increasingly include trauma informed practices and implicit bias awareness. Historically, we haven’t been able to insist that teachers include these subjects in their personal professional development plans, however, we are working on union contracts that will give more control over what yearly training each teacher is required to take.

As for partner agencies, we have to insist that they obtain this training for their employees as part of our partnership agreements. It isn’t our job to train agency employees... not at District expense on top of negotiated fees, at any rate. But we can make it a condition of getting or renewing a contract with us.

 

Do you support long-term funding for restorative practices coaches in our schools?  Why or why not?

I do and I have. Interim Supterintendent Dan Lowengard presented a 2019-20 budget without this positions and I insisted on restoring the coaches along with a majority of my Board colleagues.

 

As School Board Commissioner, how would you leverage existing community resources to support the social emotional health of all kids in the district? How would you promote collaboration among these resources?

I am very much in support of community resources such as Center for Youth and Hillside Work Scholarship in our schools and for our kids. However, in all honesty, I am concerned that these not-for-profit endeavors are attempting to balance their budgets entirely using the School District’s resources instead of fundraising from philanthropies as community partners in other school districts do.

 

Do you support the use of culturally responsive curriculum? If yes, will you work to ensure it is implemented? If no, please explain.

Yes, I do believe we need culturally responsive curriculum. I am not sure there is a comprehensive (K-12) curriculum currently available, because text book publishers haven’t felt the need to provide such a thing, nor has the State’s EngageNY (TM) curriculum met any meaningful standard in this regard.

That leaves it to RCSD to create the curriculum. The Board has supported efforts to write such curriculum in the past, with mixed results. All we can do is keep trying.

 

What have you done to champion children and whole child health within Rochester?

This is not my area of expertise, so my answer may disappoint. However, I have wholeheartedly supported the work and recommendations of the Wellness Committee through the creation of the Wellness Policy and regulations under Commissioner Campos and then Commissioner Adams.

 

Parent and Family Engagement

What models and policies for parent and family engagement have you seen in similar districts across the country that you would like to bring to Rochester? Why do you believe they would be effective in RCSD?

When I was new to school board service in the 1990s, the Board received the recommendations of the School Choice Task Force, and the Parent Preference/Managed Choice Policy grew from that.

One of the goals of the policy was to empower parents to select the school that was best for their child for Kindergarten (the entry point) with the goal that they would continue to be engaged in their child’s education and be “demand parents,” that is, parents that would hold the school accountable to them for future engagement and student success.

 

What will you do as School Board Commissioner to support the Office of Parent Engagement to adopt and implement your ideas?  What do you see as barriers to parent and family engagement?

I will continue to advocate for constructive engagement for parents at all levels, whether it be PTO/SBPT at the school level or with a district-wide parent organization. The district-wide parent organization must, however, be democratic and truly open to all interested parents.

Likewise, I will always support parent engagement staffing, whether it be at the Central Office level or in the form of Parent Liaisons and Home School Assistents.

 

With the lack of neighborhood schools, parent and family engagement can often be a challenge.  As the neighborhood school (a majority of students attending a school coming from the surrounding neighborhood) and community school (coordinated community resources to meet the needs of the school community) models gain popularity among RCSD families - where do you stand on the issue?

Contrary to popular belief, our school choice policy supports neighborhood schools by giving walk zone preference to neighborhood children. To make this more viable, I champion three things: (1) elementary school principals must become cheerleaders and sales persons for their schools within each neighborhood. A neighborhood school is only truly a neighborhood school if/when families are actively choosing to be there, (2) expanding the radius of the walk zone to include more households, (3) do a better job getting families to enroll prior to the lottery deadline.

 

Did you attend or have you had children enrolled in RCSD? How has this impacted your approach/views on Parent Engagement?

All four of my children attended RCSD schools. My youngest is in High School now.

In fact, my School Board “career” started on what I call the “Parent Track.” I was a PTA member, then PTA President while my oldest attended School #3. I represented School #3 at DPC (District Parent Council - the district-wide parent organization at that time), and became the parent representative to the Personnel Committee of the Board of Ed. I saw many ways the Board of Ed and Central Office could be more parent friendly then, and it should be today as well.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create policies and incentives to ensure diversity in the district workforce (I.e. From building level staff, teachers, and those at Central Office).

    3

  • Ensure all Pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms in the districts have access to and implement a play-based curriculum.

    1

  • Ensure adequate funding for all paraprofessionals to receive professional development appropriate to their role.

    8

  • Increase funding for culturally appropriate and trauma informed professional development for all adults who work with children in the district.

    2

  • Develop a school board policy that commits to prioritizing parents for open positions in RCSD.

    9

  • Allocate funding to modernize and install water bottle fillers in every school to promote healthy habits.

    4

  • Ensuring the community has access to school building seven days a week by implementing with fidelity the Community Use of Schools policy.

    7

  • Create a district-level position specifically to support the implementation of whole child health in the district's wellness policy.

    10

  • Promote the development of school vegetable garden programs to teach nutrition education and develop lifelong healthy habits.

    5

  • Work with NYS to pilot busing within 1.5 miles as part of a neighborhood schools initiative.

    6

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

My first and second choices were focused on getting our children off to a good start.

My next priority grouping was based on what might provide the greatest good to the most student, at potentially the least cost (using state aid formulas to best advantage).

By default, the most potentially expensive options or most difficult to implement fell to the bottom of the list.

City Council

Did not complete the questionnaire.

 

Did not complete the questionnaire.

 

Did not complete the questionnaire.
Did not complete the questionnaire.

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

I believe in placing youth first. I will focus on education and poverty, and I will continue to support youth initiatives such as Teen Empowerment and the Rochester Youth Violence Partnership. TE empowers youth and provides them with skills to engage their peers in constructive, non-violent strategies for interaction. The Rochester Youth Violence Partnership is a holistic, community health-based program that addresses youth injured by violent trauma.

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

I have proposed using the $118,000,000 we are mandated by the state to provide to the school district to enhance our children’s ability to perform successfully in school. This would include funding to support adult/family education which will empower our youth from within. I also propose we fund a City of Rochester Youth Council to collaborate with the City on matters pertaining to our youth and their development.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

I’ve already brought one such program here when I introduced Bigs and Blue as an engagement strategy for the Rochester Police Department. Bigs and Blue originated in St. Louis, MO and is Big Brother / Big Sisters specific for law enforcement. It is designed to foster a positive relationship between an officer and a “Little”, countering some negative opinions of policing that may exist. The program has been very successful where it has been adopted.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

I propose we enhance the Rochester Youth Violence Partnership and ensure that the Rochester community is aware of its existence. This type of approach to youth trauma is being adopted throughout the country and has been proven to lessen the instances of reoccurrence. Also, I would expand the Rochester Police Department’s dispute resolution strategy which is designed to address a dispute before it turns violent.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

I’m very excited about the Arts & Culture portion of the Reinforcing Strong Neighborhoods section of the City’s plan. I strongly support the arts in our community and believe we can do much more to promote Rochester as one of the premier arts communities in the country. I view the arts as critically important to the educational development of our youth.

 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

I propose we launch a multi-faceted campaign to keep our street safety foremost in the minds of everyone traveling through Rochester. This should include enhancing our neighborhood identity program, signage for our youth playing in their neighborhoods as well as RTS, radio, television and social media advertisement reminding us that we share our streets. We should also support neighborhood watch groups and continue our enforcement efforts for parking and traffic violations.

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

Enthusiastically, yes.

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

Our diverse population requires us to consider the needs of all our residents and visitors. I will continually push to evaluate our streets for this policy’s compliance, especially on our residential streets where our citizens live. This will include ensuring our sidewalks are smooth, our street surfaces are always cleaned and repaired, and our speed limits are well posted and visible. I will also insist on appropriate accommodations when construction impedes our neighbors with disabilities.

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

The City of Rochester has embraced a policy of community policing for the Rochester Police Department. Community policing is a relational, collaborative effort between a police agency and the community it serves to ensure the equitable enforcement of the law, and to address public safety and quality of life issues. I understand this to be the best practice for law enforcement, and I will always insist we adhere to this policy.

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

I fully support the development of neighborhood community kitchens such as the one in our public market and the recently unveiled Education Success community kitchen on Lakeview Park. Programs that teach good nutritional habits and culinary skills will enhance our youth’s ability to feed and take care of themselves. Additionally, I fully support the development of a commercial kitchen which will assist our entrepreneurs in realizing their culinary dreams.

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

I believe establishing community gardens throughout our neighborhoods where herbs and vegetables can be grown and shared among us can be transformative. We will eat healthier and grow together as a village. It will promote trust, understanding and self-sufficiency. I propose we support land use for the development of community gardens and zone the properties accordingly.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create programs, incentives and technical assistance for business owners who wish to increase healthy food offerings in neighborhood stores.

    8

  • Increase funding for all city youth workers to participate in professional development & training on cultural competency, trauma informed practices, and accessible/adaptable play.

    1

  • Funding towards Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training for residents, RPD, and planners.

    6

  • Implementation of the 10-minute walk to park policy.

    10

  • Create a policy to direct 1% of the city's annual budget towards resident driven neighborhood improvement projects.

    7

  • Establish a food policy task force / council.

    9

  • Investing in co-located services that serve families at R-Centers and libraries.

    4

  • Increasing investment in programs that engage youth in City decision-making.

    2

  • Investing in resident-driven placemaking.

    3

  • Develop regulations to create kid-friendly zones that support whole child health surrounding schools, libraries and R-Centers.

    5

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

I believe empowering and supporting our youth ensures a positive future for our community. I feel our youth need to be included in the City's decision making on matters they will eventually be responsible for. This empowerment and support must include fostering a safe and healthy environment for them to fully realize their potential, and we must prioritize our budget funding to reflect this.

 

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

In oder to put kids first, you must provide their parents with the tools which allow them to be productive members within society, which will establish them as role models for their children.

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

To support a kid friendly city I would strive to ensure there is fundind for after and summer school jobs. Parents would be given the opportunity to have access quality afforable housing, and oppounity to earn a wage that allows thier family to thrive.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

I would like to see programs established with the Rochester City School that requires our youth to not only recieve a high school diploma , but also recieve a certification in a trade prior to graduation.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

To reduce causes of trauma and promote soical emotional health for the Children of Rochester I would in provide more funding for programs within the city that provide free counsilng services for our youth and their families.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

I am most excited about the possibility that our community leaders will endeavor to, " improve the conditions within the City of Rochester to ensure there is a healthy and nurturing environment for our youth and their parents to be educated within our schools and libraries.

 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

I will support and introduce policies that promote focus on a safe environment for all neighbors.

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

I do support a 25 mph speed limit on residential street.

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

Put in place a check and balance mechaism to ensure the roads within the City of Rochester are indeed being modified to be inclusive of all users.

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

I would advocate for and only provide funding for research based strategies that have been proven to keep neighborhoods safe.

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

I would provide funding or tax exemptions to any neighborhood store that sell only natural healthy foods within the store, for a reasonable cost to the consumer.

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

The smaller lots next to homes, I would zone only for neighborhood gardens. Also if a home owners establishes a garden that yields vegetables to be shared with his or her neighbors, they would be given a tax break on their property taxes.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Develop regulations to create kid-friendly zones that support whole child health surrounding schools, libraries and R-Centers. 1

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

Our youth are our future, we must actively equip them for the future by establishing kid-friendly zones that support the whole child and their families

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

We put kids first when we focus on reducing poverty, increasing quality of life and making our city more playful and accessible to our youth. Specifically I support, the creation of more affordable housing at the 30-50% AMI level, local rent control and protection of tenants rights the police accountability board so that our youth are no longer afraid of harassment for such things as no bell on bike and gathering while young and black. the creation of play infrastructure on our streets, more green play spaces and traffic calming measures and a 25 mph speed limit so kids can arrive safely to school, stores or playgrounds. more bikeable and walkable streets

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

I would work to shift resources from other areas in the city budget and/or explore new sources of revenue such as the implementation of certain taxes like a soda tax. a hotel/motel tax or an added fee. I would seek to involve our youth in where our money goes with a participatory budgeting process similar to RMAPI where we set aside a pot of money and they can come up with programs/initiatives they’d like to see and vote on which to fund.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

Explore creative living arrangements– Cooperative living improves quality of life by providing residents with lower housing costs, the opportunity to share resources and social interaction with other families with children. Consideration of community, culture and children in affordable housing developments should be an integral piece of the project. Bring planners, policy makers and children together to imagine how to build a more child friendly city. Playful sidewalks, alleys and bus stops with swings, climbing and interactivity! Using every square inch to make our spaces fun and interactive improves quality of life for our kids and awakens the inner child in all of us.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

When parents are healthy and happy, the children are healthy and happy. Our families are living in extreme poverty and the underlying causes of that poverty can by all tied to systemic racism. We must work to dismantle this system by putting in place a culture and ongoing training for employees to spot implicit racial bias. We must also work to counteract the historical effects of this systemic racism by investing in neighborhoods that have been neglected by the city since redlining occured. We need more affordable housing and better transportation options to create a stable foundation and connect people to jobs. These are the keys to allowing families to climb out of poverty. I support working in partnership with our community organizations to create a training program to be a resource for all public facing employees that work with children, especially in the R-Centers and libraries in trauma informed and restorative practices. This program can also be used in partnership with the RCSD to train their administrators, teachers and support staff. Holding our police accountable to uphold the law fairly for all citizens will decrease trauma and fear in communities of color. There is an immeasurable amount of stress and fear because of abuses by the police in black and brown communities. True accountability and consequences for their behavior will build trust and safety in neighborhoods.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

I’m very excited about many of the proposals in the 2034 plan. Below are a few of them!

Investment in ‘public art, bicycle/pedestrian enhancements, public spaces’.

‘Prioritizing development along multimodal corridors’, and placing new housing near jobs, childcare and schools.

Analyzing development projects for the opportunity to require community benefits agreements to in part provide more ‘community amenities such as public art, bicycle/pedestrian enhancements, public spaces’

Changes to the zoning code to allow for form based zoning and higher density nieghborhoods as well as for community gardening as a principal use.

Implementing ‘farming and garden programs at rec centers and RCSD schools’ 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

Implement Mayor Warren’s 10 minute walk to a park initiative. These parks should include play structures and have safe and accessible routes via play walks and traffic calming measures. Support Healthi Kids’ initiatives for Play Streets and the Play Boulevard downtown. Support the implementation of a 25mph speed limit

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

Yes. The likelihood of a fatality when traveling 35 mph is 80% but when traveling at 25mph, it is only 20%. I have spoken before City Council several times to advocate for a 25 mile an hour speed limit and collected petition signatures from the educators at School 28 where I work. I set my own cruise control to 25mph and I have a “Pace Car” sticker on my bumper to model the speed we should be traveling for the safety of our kids, pedestrians and bikers.

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

City Council must approve expenditures over 10k, they have the power to vote to allocate funds only when it meets Complete Streets criteria and has the blessing of the neighborhood. We must work together with allies on City Council and members of advocacy groups to create the political will to consistently implement Complete Streets if there aren’t enough allies on our current City Council.

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

Neighborhoods become unsafe when they are disinvested, when neighbors don’t know one another, when there are high rates of unemployment and a lack of stable, quality and affordable housing. These issues are all interconnected. People need to feel connected to their place and if they lack a stable home, they can’t create deep roots. Social connections and relationships are a real form of wealth and communities that are rich in neighborhood connections, have lower crime.

I would advocate for vacant lots and city-foreclosed property be given to the neighborhood Community Land Trust, like City Roots, to be used to create affordable housing, play spaces and community gardens that increase quality of life and neighborhood pride - both of which contribute to a lower crime rate.

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

Promote public education to encourage people to reduce their consumption of animal foods, including information on healthy vegetarian diets in the interests of ecological sustainability, public health, non-violence and alleviating hunger.

Give preference to the purchase of healthy, local, sustainably produced foods at city events and in city-run institutions.

Collect municipal food/yard waste so that the City of Rochester can distribute compost that is suitable for use in growing food in urban gardens and has the benefit of trapping in the soil the greenhouse gas, carbon in our atmosphere.

Promote, support and preserve community gardens in the City of Rochester and at its institutions.

Support the work of programs that train youth at city schools and in the community.

Support the efforts of Foodlink NY to source emergency food supplies from area farms and gardens and to use its infrastructure to facilitate the flow of food into the city.

Increase the resources of the City Recreation Department and Horticulturist to support community gardens through workshops, supplies and mutual support.

Encourage public support for producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

Localize our food system and decentralize agriculture lands, production, and distribution. Support the use of land trusts (like City Roots Community Land Trust) for urban farms Support the rezoning of vacant land in the City of Rochester to allow for urban agriculture Make city owned land available at reasonable rates to people who want to garden or do commercial urban food production.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create programs, incentives and technical assistance for business owners who wish to increase healthy food offerings in neighborhood stores.

    10

  • Increase funding for all city youth workers to participate in professional development & training on cultural competency, trauma informed practices, and accessible/adaptable play.

    3

  • Funding towards Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training for residents, RPD, and planners.

    5

  • Implementation of the 10-minute walk to park policy.

    9

  • Create a policy to direct 1% of the city's annual budget towards resident driven neighborhood improvement projects.

    2

  • Establish a food policy task force / council.

    1

  • Investing in co-located services that serve families at R-Centers and libraries.

    4

  • Increasing investment in programs that engage youth in City decision-making.

    7

  • Investing in resident-driven placemaking.

    6

  • Develop regulations to create kid-friendly zones that support whole child health surrounding schools, libraries and R-Centers.

    8

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

I placed food policy council first because it doesn't cost money and it would make a difference in how we address food insecurity, and health in the city.

2nd, It's very important to have the funding for improvements in the neighborhoods where our kids live.

3rd, Training for youth facing staff in trauma, cultural competency is critical for our kids to have a safe place to play outside of school.

I placed healthy food offerings for business owners last because it has been in place through Foodlink with some limited success. Everything else on this list hasn't been tried before.

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

I would involve families and kids in decision making, with their well-being and opportunity to thrive at the root of all decisions. I support Roc the Future’s initiative to increase student academic achievement, Commonground’s Healthy Kid’s initiative to tackle inequities children face, the city’s Pre-K program that gives children access to education and aims to level the playing field, among many other programs and agencies that work tirelessly to address childhood inequity. I also support Raise the Age Legislation and currently assist with coordinating Raise the Age Court Watch and community efforts in partnership with The Center for Community Alternatives and The Children’s Agenda.

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

A kid-friendly city is one that works to guarantee children health & safety, grants children access to a quality education, and works to eradicate childhood poverty as a way of preventing the lifelong trauma associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences. I would prioritize a kid-friendly city and make any and all financial resources available to make this a reality for all children. Children are the future of our city, so any investment made in children is one that secures a brighter future for our city.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

I would like to bring a Community School model to all schools in the district. A kid-friendly city is one that ensures that parents and families of children have access to the resources they need to provide a better quality of life for their children. Access to safe parks and a quality education may fall short if a child is sent back into an unstable home in which basic human needs like food and safety cannot be accessed consistently. Using Community Schools as a hub for resources for families ensures that we’re utilizing a holistic approach and kids have their needs met at home and in the community.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

Zip codes are unfortunately a determinant of health and socioeconomic status. Children living in poverty are more likely to experience trauma yet lack the resources and privilege to address this trauma. I would create an awareness campaign about Adverse Childhood Experiences and how they impact our children, and introduce legislation that funds family mental health services for families and children enrolled in the Rochester City School District. This will also coincide with the transition of all schools to Community Schools.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

I’m hopeful about the city’s Housing plan. I’m excited about the strategy to “develop an up-to-date citywide housing inventory”. This is a major tool in truly understanding the city’s affordable housing crisis and how it destabilizes families, and can be a major first step for opting into Universal Rent Control that will protect the housing right parents and families living in the city.

 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

I will ensure continued funding of the implementation of the city's Complete Streets policy as it aims to ensure accessibility for all.

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

I absolutely support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city.

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

Funding is needed to implement this policy. I will therefore allocate the funding needed and ensure that there is a working plan including timelines and deliverables being actively implemented.

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

I will work to create Neighborhood Safety legislation that addresses specific needs based on the neighborhood. For some neighborhoods, more streetlights and speed bumps are needed. For other neighborhoods, in addition to lights and speed bumps, anti-poverty initiatives to address structures that perpetuate poverty and the perceived lack of safety will enacted. People who live in the neighborhood will inform all policies that impact them.

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

Non-profit grocery stores, provide seeds, compost and tools for community gardening using vacant lots, subsidizing mobile grocery stores.

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

I would establish a food policy task force and work with them amend zoning language to support community gardens, farmers markets and neighborhood grocery stores and amend commercial zoning regulations and square foot limitations that would be a barrier for grocery stores to be built in neighborhoods.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

Respondent skipped this question

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

I will not rank the policies and programs listed as they are all important and interconnected. Using a framework of equity means realizing that the importance of the policies above are based on specific community needs, different approaches work for different communities and the communities should determine what they need and what is of importance.

Did not complete the questionnaire.
Did not complete the questionnaire.

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

We need to give our children something to look forward to in the future, which will keep them off the streets. Without any source of motivation, they will turn to money and a fast life as a motivator. I support bringing back the school buses and community schools in order for kids to grow up with their neighbors, and create a more vibrant community. I also support a policy in which we keep the buses going in the summer time to get these kids to and from the R-centers.

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

I would help with a community-led development strategy; one in which the families of that community tell me what is in their best interests, instead of the city dictating to the communities what they will receive.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

I have seen more public open spaces where kids can use their minds and creativity along with their parents. Not just a playground, but a public space in which kids can interact with their parents and other families to play and develop social skills. One place in particular is Old Falls Street, USA in Buffalo.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

The main issue that many of the neighbors of the NW have been talking about concerning their kids, is that they are terrified to allow their kids to go to the local park, especially anytime after 7pm. They are afraid of the "big kids" who do not behave and are dangerous to others around them. We need to make sure our kids are not afraid to go outside, or go play in the park. We need to make sure we have police presence throughout the day (out of their vehicles and on a personal level), cameras installed, and lots of LED lighting in all of our parks. We need to improve the police relations with the kids as well as their parents, so that they feel trust in them to keep them safe.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

Respondent skipped this question

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

Respondent skipped this question

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

Respondent skipped this question

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

Respondent skipped this question

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

Respondent skipped this question

 

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

Respondent skipped this question

Kid-Friendly City

What would you do to put kids first in local policies, programs and budgets? What specific policies and programs do you support?

I support anything that is Positive for kids, one thing that I want to focus on in my district is brining the playgrounds back. By that I mean getting rid of the use needles that are left from drug users and also bring it back to make kids and families want to be there.

 

What financial resources would you make available to support a kid-friendly city?

Any that is able to, my platform is around fostering our kids for success and life. I want to work with Recs centers to bring more kids back to recreation centers from ages up to 18 years of age.

 

What ideas (policies or programs) have you seen in other cities across the country that you would like to bring to the City of Rochester to promote a kid-friendly city?

I like the idea to bring the playgrounds back on clinton there is a huge drug issue so being able to clean up the area to make families want to be outside. Also providing more programming and mentoring from schools, nonprofits and also in the community.

 

As part of building a kid friendly city, what specific policies or funding would you introduce to reduce the causes of trauma and to promote social-emotional health for children in the City of Rochester?

I would work with FAQs health care systems around the area to promote a healthy dialogue to make kids feel okay to open up and talk about their problems.

 

The city's comprehensive plan plays an important role in setting a vision for the future. What aspects of Rochester 2034 are you most excited about?

I dont view the northeast district of Rochester as kid friendly, i hope to help bridge that Gap to get kids more involved and also connect community, school and also families to best support kids in the area.

 

Supporting a more walkable, bikeable and playable Rochester

What will you do to ensure all kids, in every neighborhood, have equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play?

By responding to the community

 

Do you support a 25mph speed limit on residential streets within the city?

Yes

 

In 2011, the City of Rochester adopted a Complete Streets policy. What will you do to ensure that all roads are designed to be inclusive of all users and that it is implemented with fidelity?

be transparent to all

 

What specific policies will you advocate for in order to address concerns and perceptions around neighborhood safety?

I support the idea of the complete streets policy in the sense of making the area fit for all

 

Creating a Healthy Food Environment

What policies, programs, or funding mechanisms will you propose to increase access to healthy food in Rochester?

I will like to do more with Food link since they do have a lot going on in the city and to promote healthy eating.

 

What changes would you support to current land-use and zoning policies to promote a healthy food environment?

to focus on vacant homes and lots a lot of drug users occupy them areas leaving used drug materials behind for kids to be exposed to.

 

Priorities

Prioritize the following "10" polices, programs, and budget priorities using the numbers 1-10. (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest)

  • Create programs, incentives and technical assistance for business owners who wish to increase healthy food offerings in neighborhood stores.

    7

  • Increase funding for all city youth workers to participate in professional development & training on cultural competency, trauma informed practices, and accessible/adaptable play.

    2

  • Funding towards Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training for residents, RPD, and planners.

    4

  • Implementation of the 10-minute walk to park policy.

    10

  • Create a policy to direct 1% of the city's annual budget towards resident driven neighborhood improvement projects.

    5

  • Establish a food policy task force / council.

    8

  • Investing in co-located services that serve families at R-Centers and libraries.

    6

  • Increasing investment in programs that engage youth in City decision-making.

    1

  • Investing in resident-driven placemaking.

    9

  • Develop regulations to create kid-friendly zones that support whole child health surrounding schools, libraries and R-Centers.

Please provide your rationale for the above prioritization.

I think all these areas are important but our youth is most important we need to invest in them and also things around to help ensure their success.