• Educating with Compassion, Empathy and High Standards

    “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.”
    – John Dewey, School & Society, SUNY Oswego

    There is an all-too-common trend to magnify ailments that often impact public education in many cities throughout the U.S.A. Rather than counterbalance those negative perceptions by spotlighting areas of success, which are also happening around us, detractors of public education insist on piling on. Hence, we resist! Public schools continue to fulfill the valiant role of combating inequality by delivering services and offering opportunities to all children in our communities.

    Rochester city schools have been at the forefront of one such positive initiative for the past few months. Since the devastation caused by recent hurricanes which ravaged the Caribbean, Rochester Schools have opened their doors to the children of hundreds of families who were displaced from their homes and their towns and who are now arriving in our communities. Almost 400 students have already completed the application, language assessment, and enrollment processes and are continuing their education at one of Rochester’s public schools.

    Upon arrival, these families with children ranging from first grade age through twelfth grade, contact relatives or friends in Rochester or seek assistance directly from community agencies such as Ibero-American Action League or the Catholic Family, among others. Consequently, these families and their school age children are referred to the school district to begin enrollment. The process of normalcy for the children begins with the welcoming staff of the Rochester City School District’s (RCSD) Equity and Placement Department. RCSD teachers, social workers, counselors, and office staff join forces to provide professional assistance to the families until the students are finally enrolled in a school. The placement in schools or programs is far from arbitrary. In keeping with New York State instructional standards and to maximize opportunities for continuity and success, the children take the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). This assessment measures levels of language proficiency, giving guidance to assist in the process of appropriate grade level placement or program of instruction selection for each student.

    Similarly to the assistance provided by the RCSD, educators who are members of AFT (American Federation of Teachers) are lending a hand to assist teachers living in hurricane ravaged areas, who, like their students, saw their homes destroyed or damaged by the potency of the weather events. The American Federation of Teachers, along with AFL-CIO and other labor organizations, are working in the charitable initiative named “Operation Agua.” They are purchasing water filters and traveling to Puerto Rico to bring water purification methods to families in communities in need of clean safe water.  Public education is the thread that connects these acts of selfless solidarity.

    We can all be inspired by the words of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t give up because you are paralyzed by insecurity or overwhelmed by the odds. Understand that failure is a process in life, that only in trying can you enrich yourself and have the possibility of moving forward. The greatest obstacle in life is fear and giving up because of it.” (AZ Quotes)

  • For Prospective Candidates

    Here at the Monroe County Democrats, candidate recruitment and training is a key part of our mission. We are always seeking out the very best talent — from the private sector, community organizations, schools, and non-profits — and preparing local leaders for public office.

    For 2018 and beyond, we are especially seeking candidates for these positions:

    • Town and village court judges
    • Town and village boards
    • Town and village Democratic Committee members

    Great leaders come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and it’s hard to define all of the factors that will make a person likely to succeed in public office.

    In general, we are looking for candidates that have demonstrated success and bring practical experience to each position, along with a passion for and commitment to our community.

    For example, judicial candidates should have relevant experience practicing law, and they should be willing to come before the bar association judiciary committee for an evaluation of their qualifications for the bench. Town and city board members should have experience managing a staff, budget, and long-term organizational strategy.

    For more information about running for office, please contact your local town or city Democratic Committee leaders or the Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairwoman, Jamie Romeo.

    The recommended deadline to notify us about your intent to campaign for public office for 2018 has past, however, we will continue to meet with prospective candidates for specific positions past that deadline in preparation for the next available electoral opportunity.  If you are interested, let us hear from you!

     

  • We’re Kicking Off Petition Season!

    Hard to believe, but petition season is almost here! Our first day of petitioning will be Tuesday, March 6th.

    In New York State, petitions are the first step for candidates hoping to run for elected office. Over the next few weeks, thousands of community members will sign their support for our local leaders to help get their names on the ballot.

    Petitioning is also our first opportunity to get fired up for the coming year and reconnect with other Democrats in our neighborhoods. While signing petitions, community members can sign-up to volunteer on campaigns, host a lawn sign, or participate in voter registration drives.

    If you’re able to walk door-to-door carrying petitions, please contact your local town or city Democratic Committee leaders or our Operations Director, Henrietta Herriott. We will be putting together our petition-carrying teams over the next few weeks. We’ll start with Congressional petitions in March, then carry statewide and local petitions in June.

    For prospective candidates, it’s not too late to run! The deadline to notify us about your intent to campaign for public office is Wednesday, February 28th. Please visit our recruitment page for more information.

    To stay up-to-date with important news and events, please sign up for our newsletter.

     

     

  • Monroe County Democrats Launch New Website

    We are thrilled to announce that our new website is here!

    In addition to the new look and feel, we hope that the new website will help us in our mission to support local leadership and serve as a  forum for civic engagement.

    Here’s what’s new: Continue Reading

  • Newly-Elected Legislator Howard Maffucci to Visit Town Talk Event in Pittsford

    On Saturday, January 20, the newly-elected County Legislator Howard Maffucci will join Pittsford Town Board Members Stephanie Townsend and Kevin Beckford at Town Talk, an event that gives residents the opportunity to bring questions and concerns to their elected officials.

    The event will run from 2-3 p.m. at the Village Bakery on State Street in Pittsford.

    Town Talk is part of a larger campaign to give residents more input in the direction of their town.

    “There is a lot of direct impact we can make on people’s lives,” said Pittsford Town Board Member Stephanie Townsend in an interview. “I want to bring that kind of engagement with our community and making sure that our town government is serving the diverse needs within the community.”

    For more information and to RSVP to Town Talks, please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/events/328420050994618/

  • Brighton Supervisor Moehle Reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    Supervisor Moehle’s remarks were originally published in the Brighton Pittsford Post, and have been shared here in its entirety. The original post entitled “Diversity Makes A Stronger Community” can be found here: http://www.monroecopost.com/news/20180112/from-supervisor-diversity-makes-stronger-community 

    During January of each year, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was committed to building communities and a world in which equality for all men and women would be the basis of a just society. In Brighton, we know that diversity is one of our core values, and through our diversity we become a stronger community. Families move to Brighton for many reasons, but one of the primary reasons I hear over and over from new residents in Brighton is that Brighton met their desire to live in a diverse community.

    A little more than a year ago, two Brighton neighborhoods woke up to find anonymous fliers in their driveways; fliers that contained racist and anti-Semitic hate speech. Last March, the JCC, in Brighton, which serves thousands of people from every faith and background, was targeted twice by bomb threats.

    In response to the anonymous fliers, I invited a number of community members from different races, faiths and backgrounds to meet here at Town Hall to discuss how the community could respond. Out of that meeting, CURB, Community Uprooting Racism in Brighton, was established, and a candlelight march was held to show the solidarity of the Brighton community in support of community diversity. CURB continues to promote diversity and inclusion in Brighton through action and dialogue. In the wake of the JCC threats, we witnessed the leadership of the JCC continuing to open their doors to community members in need of warmth after the severe wind storm and outreach from Brighton’s Islamic Center to the JCC to demonstrate their solidarity as brothers and sisters in our community. In each case, instead of retreating to bunkers of ignorance and fear in response to hate, Brighton responded with love and support.

    As a government leader, it is important to me that town government in Brighton also continues to reflect and support the community in which we live and work. We have adopted laws in Brighton to protect the civil rights of members of the LGBTQ community. Whenever possible, we reach out to minority media and community organizations when hiring new employees. We will soon consider local legislation that will prohibit discriminating against renters based on the source of their income. Finally, along with our newest Councilmember Robin Wilt, I will establish a new advisory committee to help establish programs that reflect and support the diversity of Brighton and to assist town government in identifying and implementing new inclusive practices that we can use in our operations. All of these programs and more have made Brighton an inclusive and diverse community and we are committed that your town government also continues to reflect and model that inclusiveness.

    – William Moehle, Brighton Town Supervisor