• The Monroe County Democrats submit record-breaking number of County-Wide Petitions to the Board of Elections

    The Monroe County Democratic Committee is proud to submit our county-wide petitions for the 2019 election season.

    Our county-wide designated candidates– Clerk Adam Bello for County Executive, Shani Curry-Mitchell for District Attorney and both Karen Bailey Turner and Michael Dollinger for County Court Judge persisted through harsh weather conditions to obtain an abundance of signatures to be placed on this year’s ballot.

    “Despite entering into the petitioning season earlier than expected, we are gratified by the outpouring of volunteers and supporters–resulting in approximately 12,000 county-wide signatures to place our candidates on the ballot in November,” said MCDC Chairwoman Brittaney Wells

    “Given the shortened petition period and the sometimes not so cooperative weather I am really amazed to see this many pages in the Countywide Democratic petition that was filed with the Board of Elections.  In my 20+ years here at the Board I have not seen a filing this large by Democrats in Monroe County” said Board of Election Commissioner Thomas Ferrarese.

    Hundreds of volunteers turned out to walk alongside our candidates collecting more than 7xs the required number of signatures.  Democrats are energized and voters are eager for a change to an effective and transparent county government.

  • Clerk Adam Bello and Mayor Warren Announce 2020 Census Jobs

    “With these jobs, local residents have an opportunity to earn a decent wage, gain valuable work experience and help us make sure our population is accurately reflected in the 2020 Census,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren as she was accompanied by Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello and Jeff Behler, Regional Director of the New York Region Census Center, urging residents of the Greater Rochester area to  apply for temporary field positions for the upcoming 2020 census.

    “Our population determines the city of Rochester’s allotment of federal resources and political capital, which helps our residents thrive and reach their full potential. It is, therefore, critical that every one of our residents is counted so that Rochester can be the city it is destined to be,” said Mayor Warren.

    “Making sure that the Census counts every resident is crucial, as Census data is directly used to help determine where and how federal resources are deployed and also is used in decision-making by local governments and nonprofits. If you are looking for work and interested in helping to make a difference in your community, I strongly encourage you to look at local Census positions,” said County Clerk Bello.

    Both Mayor Warren and County Clerk Bello are current members of the New York State Count Commission.

    According to WHEC, the U.S Census Bureau is looking to hire approximately 2,000 people locally.

    The positions available include:

    • Recruiting assistants ($18.50 per hour) travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.
    • Office operations supervisors ($17.50 per hour) assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
    • Clerks ($13.50 per hour) perform various administrative and clerical tasks to support various functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
    • Census field supervisors ($18.50 per hour) conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers, and/or to follow-up in situations where census takers have confronted issues such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.
    • Census takers ($17.00 per hour) work in the field. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home such as in the evening and on weekends.

    “While a Census is a national event, in order to be successful, it must be conducted at the local level,” said Director Behler. “This starts with hiring people to work in their own communities.  We look forward to working with the City of Rochester to ensure that together we provide easy and ample opportunities for local community members to apply to Census jobs.”

    According to the City of Rochester’s website, the City’s Office of Community Wealth Building will facilitate the online application process and hold open office hours during April, May, June to provide technical support to applicants. Plus, the OCWB is promoting “Workforce Wednesday’s” to assist applicants from 12:30-4:30 p.m. beginning April 4th at the Business and Community Services Center, 56 N. Fitzhugh St.

    Additionally, the OCWB will open its classroom space at 30 N. Fitzhugh St on three dates to provide service to several applicants at a time. These times and dates are: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 16; 10 to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 23; and 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.
    For more information on the jobs available or to apply online click here or call 1-855-JOB-2020.

  • Democrat & Chronicle Editorial:

    Race-Baiting: GOP must stop its race-baiting in Dinolfo-Bello race

    “Race-baiting is not about vision, issues or candidate qualifications. It is about fear, mistrust and us-versus-them.”

    Monroe County deserves better– that is why we, the Monroe Democrats, are in full support of Hon. Adam Bello for County Executive.

    D&C: Op-Ed:

    Race-baiting is an ugly political trick. Rather than trying to unite voters around good ideas, race-baiting seeks to further split a community by exploiting its racial divisions. Race-baiting is not about vision, issues or candidate qualifications. It is about fear, mistrust, and us-versus-them.

    This type of campaigning has no place in Monroe County politics. Yet, this year, it is front and center in the Monroe County Republican Committee playbook.

    We call on Chairman Bill Reilich and Executive Director Ian Winner to stop this shameful practice. Now.

    Over the past two weeks, the Republican Committee has issued a series of press releases that focus on the contest for Monroe County Executive. Yet, these releases are not about Republican incumbent Cheryl Dinolfo’s achievements or what she hopes to accomplish in a second term. In fact, her name is barely mentioned.

    A bizarre connection

    The first release contained just 10 words, in the form of a question for Dinolfo’s Democratic opponent, Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello.

    Click here for full story.

  • STATEMENT REGARDING THE WINNING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES OF THE 2019 DESIGNATION CONVENTION

    The Monroe Democratic Committee (MCDC) is honored to present the 2019 designated Democratic candidates. The announcement took place at the Annual Democratic Designating Convention on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 6:00 PM at the Holiday Inn – Downtown Rochester. MCDC Chairwoman Brittaney Wells introduced the endorsed candidates during the celebration.

    Adam Bello won the Democratic nomination for County Executive, pursuant to the announcement of his candidacy on February 9th at the Workers United Hall. Bello currently serves as County Clerk and was the former Town Supervisor of Irondequoit. “Our community needs a government as good as its people. No matter who you are, where you live, or who you know, you deserve the very best from those who serve you,” Bello said when announcing his campaign.

    Shani Curry Mitchell won the Democratic nomination as designated candidate for Monroe County District Attorney. Mitchell is an experienced prosecutor with over thirteen years of prosecutorial experience, most recently working at the Monroe County District Attorney’s office. Prior to relocating back to her hometown, Mitchell began her career in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office prosecuting cases from illegal drug possession to homicide. “As a prosecutor, I know that I will understand this community because I’m from this community. I grew up in the Southwest of the city, graduated from Wilson Magnet High School, and went on to Spelman College in Atlanta. After achieving my law degree, I knew that we needed to balance the demand for justice with the need for humanity in our legal system,” said Mitchell.

    MCDC nominates both Michael Dollinger and Karen Bailey Turner as designated candidates for Monroe County Court Judge, as two seats are available for election in 2019. “I am honored to accept the Monroe County Democratic Committee’s designation as a candidate for Monroe County Court Judge. As a lifelong resident of this community, I look forward to working hard to win this election so that I may continue to serve the citizens of Monroe County as County Court Judge,” said Dollinger when accepting the Democratic nomination. He currently serves as Judicial Law Clerk to Monroe County Court Judge Christopher S. Ciaccio, giving him the understanding of the role and the difficult decisions that come before the Court.  Before joining Judge Ciaccio’s chambers, Dollinger served the Rochester community as an Assistant District Attorney for over nine years having been hired by former District Attorney Michael Green. As a prosecutor, he was assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau and prosecuted crimes to get illegal guns and drugs off the streets.

    Bailey Turner is currently an Associate Attorney at the Mental Hygiene Legal Service, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Dept., where she represents mentally ill patients in civil proceedings before the County and Supreme Courts. Prior to her current position, Bailey Turner practiced criminal law for over 16 years, both as an Assistant Public Defender and in private practice. In addition, she has also represented civil rights cases in Federal Court. “The fair administration of justice requires that judges know and apply the law equitably; have integrity; treat the litigants who come before them with respect, and are willing and able to be confident, creative, courageous decision-makers who lead from the bench,” Bailey Turner said when announcing her campaign.

    The Honorable Melissa Barrett has obtained the Democratic designation for Rochester City Court Judge. Barrett was appointed to the bench as City Judge last December and seeks election to a full term. “The court’s goal is to provide fairness, respect, and dignity to all who come before it.  The public has a right to demand irreproachable and fair conduct from anyone performing a judicial function. Judges perform one of the most important jobs in our community and we need one who is experienced, committed to justice, and one who strives for the highest standard of integrity,” said Barrett.

    In addition, the Monroe Democrats also nominated Mark Muoio for City Court Judge. “I am deeply honored to receive the democratic nomination in my run for City Judge. I look forward to listening to our residents’ voices as I seek election,” said Muoio. He currently works as director of the Housing and Consumer Law Unit at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester – a nonprofit that provides “direct legal services to low- and moderate-income residents,” serving in that position since 2009.

    The County Legislators– City, Town and Villages– winning the designation nomination from the Democratic Committee are Michelle Ames of the 1st Legislative District (LD), Karen LoBacco of LD 2, Marvin Stepherson of LD 3, Josh Mack, Jr. of LD 4, Terry Daniele of LD 5, Daniel Maloney of LD 6, Jim Leary of the 7th LD, Megan Thompson of LD 8, Catherine Dean of LD 9, incumbent Howard Maffucci of LD 10, Joshua Foladare of LD 11, Michael Yudelson of LD 13, LD 14 incumbent- Justin Wilcox, Carl Fitzsimmons of LD 15, Lorie Barnum of LD 16, LD 17 incumbent Joseph Morelle, Jr., John Baynes for LD 18, James Cook for LD 20,  Victor Sanchez of LD 21, Vince Felder, incumbent, of LD 22, Linda M. Hasman of LD 23, incumbent Joshua Bauroth of LD 24, incumbent John Lightfoot of LD 25, Yversha Roman of LD 26th, incumbent Lashay Harris of LD 27, Frank Keophetlasy of LD 28, and, lastly, incumbent Ernest Flagler-Mitchell of LD 29.

    The Democratic nomination for Rochester City Council goes to Mary Lupien for the East District, Michael Patterson, incumbent, for the Northeast District, LaShana Boose for the Northwest District, and incumbent Adam McFadden for the South District.

    Lastly, the Monroe Democrats also are excited to announce the designated candidates for Rochester City School District Board members are: incumbent commissioner Judith Davis, educator Howard Eagle, Anthony Hall, and Amy Maloy.  

    The Monroe County Democratic Committee is confident that voters will choose to support our team of candidates this election year as our nominated individuals seek to create safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, greater employment and job security, and increase educational opportunities. We are confident that our slate of Democratic candidates embraces what we stand for as a party.

  • After Riding the Blue Wave, MCDC Leaders Back at Work

    Barely ten days after Monroe County Democrats joined the rest of the United States in riding the wave that ripped the U.S. House of Representatives’ majority away from Republicans, local town and city leaders gathered at Monroe County Democratic Committee (MDCD) headquarters for a workshop on November 15, 2018.

    The newly elected local officials, representing a number of Monroe County towns and the city of Rochester, will now join MCDC’s Executive Committee. The orientation and training session was led by MCDC’s Chair, Brittaney Wells. Wells welcomed everyone stating, “We prevailed in significant, very important electoral wins. We rode the wave with so many millions of other hopeful, hard working, determined Democrats around this county, our state, and our nation, but the work is not finished.” Wells added, “We continue moving, united, to complete our agenda on behalf of a more inclusive, fair, democratic, just, and economically prosperous Monroe County in all its districts.”

    As part of the agenda, the new leaders from across Monroe County received a preliminary work calendar for 2019, and they heard presentations and joined a question and answer session on topics related to outreach, leadership, communications, and general organizational processes in preparation for the 2019 election cycle. In addition to Ms. Wells, presenters included Tom Ferrarese, Monroe County Election Commissioner, Ernest S. Flagler-Mitchell, Monroe County legislator, and members of the Strategic Communications Committee, Joanne Greene-Blose, co-chair, and Daniel Mooney.

     

  • Monroe Democrats Celebrate Election Day Victories

    “This has been a big night for Democrats here in Rochester, Monroe County, across New York State, and America,” said Brittaney Wells, Chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee.  “Voters came out in droves to support sensible, hard-working Democratic candidates across the board, and we have started the ball rolling to take back our county next year and our country in two years.  The Democratic Party will move ahead after this election to offer voters candidates who will stand up for their values in next year’s local elections and beyond.  Today we gave voters a choice between policies, candidates, and government that believe America’s best days are ahead, and that our country, and the communities that make it up, are strongest when we celebrate and embrace the diversity that defines us.”

    Joe Morelle led the ticket for local Democrats with his resounding victory for the Congressional seat long held by Louise Slaughter.  Democrats also won local contests throughout Rochester and Monroe County and had strong showings for Governor Cuomo, Letitia James, Tom DiNapoli, state assembly, and other state-wide candidates.

    “Tonight local Democrats delivered, and I am grateful to Monroe County voters for their support of our party and its candidates,” said Chairwoman Wells.

  • It’s Time to Vote! Important Information for Voting on Tuesday, Nov. 6

    Important information for voting in the general election for federal, state, and local offices

    Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6

    Absentee ballot deadline is today:  Oct 30 – last day to postmark an absentee ballot application

    You will be casting TWO votes for Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Morelle

    There are TWO elections for our Congressional representative, divided into two columns on your ballot.  You will cast one vote for the two-year Congressional term beginning in January 2019 and one vote to complete the unexpired term of former Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, beginning immediately. The Democratic candidate is Joe Morelle. If you want Mr. Morelle to fill both Louise Slaughter’s unexpired term AND fill the two-year term beginning in January, you must vote for him in BOTH COLUMNS.

    Click here to see a sample ballot.

    Don’t Know if You’re Registered to Vote or Where to Vote?

    Use Monroe County’s Online Voter site to find out if you are registered to vote, where you vote, the candidates for which you will be voting (sample ballots are not yet available, but will be soon), to change your voting information (e.g., change your address if you’ve moved), and to request an absentee ballot.

    Another great resource is Everything You Need to Know to Vote.

    Who are the Democrats on the Ballot?

    Federal level: 

    State level:

    Mr. Ciaccio and Ms. Gallaher are not running against each other as there are two openings on the Supreme Court so you may vote for both candidates.

    Local level (including representatives to the New York State Senate and the Assembly)

    Ms. Reid and Ms. Shepard are not running against each other as there are two openings on the Family Court so you may vote for both candidates.

    Other candidates will vary depending on where you live.  Click here to check your ballot.

    The Monroe County Board of Elections has a complete list of all candidates running in Monroe County in all parties for any elected office.

    Where can I get Information about the Candidates?

    Most candidates have Web sites where you can learn more about them. Do an Internet search using the candidate’s name to find their Web site or click on the live links above.

    In addition, a number of non-partisan groups offer candidate information. Examples are:
    The League of Women Voters – New York state
    The League of Women Voters (Rochester chapter)
    Ballotpedia, an encyclopedia of American politics and elections

     

  • Get Ready to Vote on Tuesday, November 6

    Get ready to vote in the general election for federal, state, and local offices on Tuesday, November 6. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Deadlines

    • Oct 12 – last day to register to vote in person or to postmark a mailed-in registration form
    • Oct 30 – last day to postmark an absentee ballot application

    Don’t Know if You’re Registered to Vote or Where to Vote?

    Use Monroe County’s Online Voter site to find out if you are registered to vote, where you vote, the candidates for which you will be voting (sample ballots are not yet available, but will be soon), to change your voting information (e.g., change your address if you’ve moved), and to request an absentee ballot.

    Another great resource is Everything You Need to Know to Vote.

    How to Register to Vote

    The Monroe County Online Voter site can also be used if you need to register to vote (see the tab entitled “Register To Vote”).

    You will be taken to copy of the voter registration form that you can fill out and mail in. If you are registering in Monroe County, the mailing address is Monroe County Board of Elections, 39 Main St. W., Rochester, NY 14614. Mailing addresses for the Boards of Elections in other counties are on the form itself. Your voter registration form must be postmarked no later than Oct. 12.

    Click here for a Spanish version of the voter registration form.

    Click here to register online at the New York state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Web site, if you have a New York driver’s license, learner’s permit, or a non-driver identification card. Here’s the link to use:

    Eligibility to Vote

    You must be a United States citizen to register to vote.

    The minimum age for voting is 18 at the time of the election, so you may register if you are not yet 18 but will turn 18 before the election in which you wish to vote. So, for example, if you want to vote in the primary on September 13, you can register even if you’re only 17 as long as you will turn 18 by September 13. Similarly, you may register for the general election even if you’re now 17 as long as you will turn 18 by November 6. You do, of course, have to register by the appropriate registration deadlines specified above.

    If you are convicted felon, you are eligible to register to vote once you have completed your sentence including probation.

    Who are the Democrats the Ballot?

    Federal level: 

    State level:

    Mr. Ciaccio and Ms. Gallaher are not running against each other as there are two openings on the Supreme Court so you may vote for both candidates.

    Local level (including representatives to the New York State Senate and the Assembly)

    Ms. Reid and Ms. Shepard are not running against each other as there are two openings on the Family Court so you may vote for both candidates.

    Other candidates will vary depending on where you live.  Click here to check your ballot as we get closer to the election date.

    The Monroe County Board of Elections has a complete list of all candidates running in Monroe County in all parties for any elected office.

    Where can I get Information about the Candidates?

    Most candidates have Web sites where you can learn more about them. Do an Internet search using the candidate’s name to find their Web site.

    In addition, a number of non-partisan groups offer candidate information. Examples are:
    The League of Women Voters – New York state
    The League of Women Voters (Rochester chapter)
    Ballotpedia, an encyclopedia of American politics and elections

     

  • Candidate Profile: Jen Lunsford for NY State Senate

    Jen Lunsford is a lawyer, a mom, and a community volunteer running for the New York State Senate against Rich Funke in the 55th District.  Jen is 36 years old and resides in Penfield with her husband, Scott, a Pittsford native, and their two-year old son.  After graduating from Boston University School of Law in 2009, Jen moved to Rochester to begin her legal career.  Since then, she has worked to protect the interests of sick and disabled people through her work as an attorney, and to advocate for children as a volunteer with the Center for Youth.  Jen believes that public service works best when it actually serves the public.  She has pledged to hold regular public forums and open office hours throughout her district once she is elected.

    “Elected office is a customer service job. Too many elected officials forget who they work for and shut themselves off to opinions that differ from their own.  When you are given the privilege of serving your community you owe it to those you represent to hear them out, even if they didn’t vote for you or donate to your campaign.  When you are elected to office, you should represent everyone, even those who disagree with you.  Something I have learned over the course of my legal career, where I meet people from all walks of life, is that we are far more the same than we are different.  We all want the same things– quality schools, good healthcare, safe communities and good job opportunities for ourselves and our families– we just sometimes disagree about how to get there.”

     

     

  • The Story Must Be Told: Wage Disparity in the U.S.A. Affects All Women, but Latina Workers See the Widest Gap

    The Chief Executive Officers of companies in the United States earn salaries counted in the millions of dollars. Let’s take for example Robert A. Iger from Disney who receives compensation of $36.3 million per year, Indra Nooyi from PepsiCo with 31.1 million, or Jeffrey Bewkes from Time Warner, with $32.6 million a year. What do you think is the hourly wage of someone who makes $36.3 million a year? If you do a simple calculation you will discover that Mr. Iger (Disney) makes approximately $17,307 and some odd cents an hour!

    The salaries received by the heads of these well-known companies are so large, that it is hard for the average reader, man or woman worker, to visualize what the amounts represent as someone’s “take home pay.” Even more difficult would be to calculate the impact such salary would have on the ability of the average American to own a home, afford quality health insurance, or pay for college for their children without seeing them drag an enormous debt after graduation.  In the United States, Latinas and Black women workers suffer the biggest pay gaps among workers.  As a result, it is difficult for women workers in general and Latinas in particular to achieve for their families the basic components of the American Dream, even at modest levels. Pay equity is a central democratic principle supported by the rank and file, as well as by the leadership in our Democratic Party, and voters expect and deserve no less.

    Granted, we are not trying to present a false side-by-side equivalence here.  American CEOs deal with the enormity of their workplaces, commanding thousands of top and middle management personnel and millions of production workers around the country. They answer to millions of consumers and stockholders whom their companies serve. It is very important work these CEOs do. Now let’s consider, for the sake of contrast, the numbers contained in the salaries of the mentioned heads of companies, and the numbers that define the salaries of other important American workers. The salaries of hourly paid working women must be calculated within America’s economic reality, as well.   Latina workers undeniably contribute to the strength of the national economy by playing vital roles in the country’s workforce.

    In the United States Latina and Black women workers stand at the end of the line in terms of compensation for work done. The National Partnership of Women and Families published a statistical fact sheet in April 2018, illustrating the average women’s wage gap as evidence of the persistent gender wage gap, that continues to affect women and their families in the country.  Women workers of Latino/Hispanic heritage are impacted more. The numbers show that they are paid just 54 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men. Meanwhile, “overall, women employed full time, year-round are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men employed full time.”

    The fact sheet also cites a publication by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Breadwinner Mothers by Race/Ethnicity and State, stating that “more than half of Latina mothers are key breadwinners for their families” and their homes “rely heavily on their wages to make ends meet and get ahead.”

    In simpler terms, The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) documents, once again, the discriminatory wage gap. The report titled, Black and Hispanic Woman Paid Substantially Less than White Men (Gould, E., Schieder, J. March, 2017) points at a wage disparity that resulted in Black women taking home $7.63  less an hour than their white male counterparts and Latinas/Hispanic women taking $8.90 less an hour than non-Latino white workers.  The purpose of citing these reports is not to reignite the old “battle between the sexes” nor to insert a discussion about race in the middle of an economic argument. Both race and gender are topics for legitimate discussions at another time. Undoubtedly, we stand in solidarity with all men and women workers, whether white, African American, Native American, Asian, or Latino/Hispanic, all deserving pay equity for equal work performed. At the same time, there is a need to speak up to educate about and repudiate this biased wage gap affecting Latina/Hispanic working women.

    Members of professional unions, like our local Rochester Teachers Association (RTA), the statewide New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and the United Auto Workers (my family & I included) are appropriately represented by organizations dedicated to supporting and advancing pay equity for all its affiliates. Sadly, this is not the case for far too many Latino women and women in general who work for businesses and corporations across the country. Exhibit “A” is the iconic Lilly Ledbetter, who as a supervisor for Goodyear Tires and in Alabama (1979-1998) fought wage discrimination, upon discovering she was paid less than her counterpart male co-worker while performing similar kinds of work. After a series of setbacks, her fight resulted in the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.

    But the fight is not over. A most alarming reason is that Latinas in the workforce see a wage gap regardless of their educational level.  For example, a full time, year-round average female worker without a high school diploma, made 60 cents for every dollar earned by a non-Hispanic, man. In the case of Latinas with a bachelor’s degree, they earned 66.3 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Latino male counterpart. Merely six cents more.

    A series of dates are scheduled nationally to observe “Equal Pay Days” in 2018.  It is time to participate actively in promoting these observances and advancing the cause. How? By calling our elected officials at the municipal, county, and state levels to ask of them their vocal and legislative support for such an important economic and social issue.   Women and men in our lives, let’s spread the word!