• Unbought and Unbossed

    Chair Brittaney Wells guest article in Upstate NY Gospel Magazine in celebration of Women’s History month, read full article below.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it best: “Women are leaders everywhere you look ― from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.”

    Last year, women across our city and our nation proved just that!

    The surprising upset of Secretary Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election to President Trump caused women everywhere to brawl on the front lines of the resistance. From shifting the power in the House of Representatives substantially with the historic class of the 116th Congress–where 127 women took the oath of office, to the election of New York State Attorney General Leticia “Tish” James, the first African-American to serve in the position for New York State, women are taking City Halls, legislative Chambers and the Halls of Congress by storm.

    The result of the 2018 election, ultimately and satisfactorily diversified the representation of the nation. For instance, the freshman class of the 116th Congress includes the first Muslim women, first Native American women, the first black women elected from Connecticut and Massachusetts, the first Hispanic women voted in from Texas and the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress.

    California Congresswoman Maxine Waters has proven to ‘reclaim her time’ during her tenure when citing salacious acts. Rep. Waters single-handedly ignited a fire in women and young people everywhere by telling them to “get controversial” when standing up for the everyday working individuals as well as demanding respect while proclaiming she not receive different treatment than her male counterparts. New York Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to serve in Congress, routinely makes headlines for challenging the status quo of the nation’s policies including lobbying loopholes and contributions from corporations. And, let’s not forget how after regaining the position of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congress refused to give into Mr.Trump’s demands for his border wall, ultimately pushing him to admit defeat and ending the government shutdown.

    After a vicious primary and ultimate defeat of becoming Georgia’s first African-American Governor– for now — Stacey Abrams is an impactful presence and role model for women across the nation. By refusing to concede to her opponent until all ballots were counted, Abrams continued to shed light that everything is not-so “peachy” with the voting discrepancies experienced in Georgia. On Tuesday, February 19th, she testified before Congress regarding the matter.

    Women in the Greater Rochester Area are also breaking barriers. Hon. Fatimat O. Reid displayed the ultimate “girl power” after winning  November’s election and becoming the first African-American woman elected to Monroe County Family Court– while expecting her fourth child. NYS Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo joined the small percentage of women in the State Assembly. Fairport, NY “turned blue” when the Village elected its first Democratic Mayor, Julie Domaratz. And the Monroe County Democrats elected its first African American Chairwoman.

    Let us not forget Rochester’s own Mayor Lovely Warren, the city’s first female Mayor. Midway through her second term, she is continuing to transform the area daily with contemporary infrastructure, the fight for quality education, job security, and incentives that primarily benefit the residents who need them most.  Additionally, Mayor Warren was featured as 100 Woke Women in Essence Magazine in 2018, stating to be woke “means to take nothing for granted, that you are a part of the change you want to see. And staying woke means to wake up and realize that no one else is going to do this for you–you have to get out there and do the work. You have to want to climb that stairway. There’s no sitting on the sidelines for this.”

    Monroe County Democratic-endorsed candidates Shani Curry-Mitchell and Karen Bailey Turner are spearheading the 2019 election season in their own right with their boastful statements of rejuvenations for the county’s judicial system. Curry-Mitchell, a Spelman College graduate, is running for Monroe County District Attorney. Bailey Turner is a Jamaican-English immigrant, running for County Court Judge making her the first African American woman to serve in the role if elected.

    Two years have passed since women were placing their “I Voted Today” stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave-stone, in anticipation of the first Madame President.  In the recent months, six women, including Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, Sen Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Kamala Harris have all placed their bid for the 2020 presidential election. All women candidates platforms undoubtingly refute the policies of the current administration.

    Shirley Chisolm, the first African-American woman to run for President once said “America is composed of all kinds of people – part of the difficulty in our nation today is due to the fact that we are not utilizing the abilities and the talents of our brown and black people and females that have something to bring to the creativity and the rejuvenation and the revitalization of this country.”

    Today’s women are mirroring these words, bursting through that glass ceiling once built to marginalize them. Now living in an age where women are demanding their voice be heard, accreditation for their abilities, while paying homage to those who have paved the way.  Women across the U.S. are letting everyone know they are unbought and unbossed.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Brittaney Wells is Elected Chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Party

    Brittaney Wells accepted the nomination to become Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party after receiving an overwhelming vote by city and town Democratic committee members at their meeting on October 3, 2018. Wells is the first African-American to hold this position locally.  

    In her acceptance, she said Monroe County Democrats must embrace a spirit of unity in order take full advantage of the opportunity Democrats have next year “to win the County’s Executive’s race.” “Tonight I accept your nomination and I am humbled by the trust you placed in me,” Wells said, adding that, “I want our efforts, this year and the next, to be a warning to the Republicans here, in Albany, and in Washington. Starting this year, the focus for the party is to win a congressional seat, the legislative and judicial races, and more.”

    Wells defined the Democratic principles that have guided her from early on as a member and officer of the Democratic Party and thanked party leaders who were present, including Mayor Lovely A. Warren, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, Assemblyman David Gantt, County Clerk Adam Bello, and Sheriff Todd Baxter.  She stated that her agenda is to continue building bridges and said that in the past there was the impression of intra-party differences.  “This is a new day in the Monroe County Democratic Committee,” she said.

    Wells recalled the values that attracted her to vote and become a member of the Democratic Party.  “Whether it is respect for diversity, equal rights, immigration rights, health care access, LGBTQ protection, environmental protection, economic development and more, as Democrats, standing up to Republicans and defeating their
    dangerous policies is our job,” she said.

    In her closing remarks, Wells honored President John F. Kennedy by paraphrasing his answer to the question of what it is to be liberal: “If by a Democrat they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a Democrat, then I’m proud to say I’m a Democrat.”

  • Congressional Challenger Nate McMurray Speaks Out against Rep. Chris Collins

    North Tonawanda native and Grand Island Town Supervisor, Nate McMurray, is running for congress in the 27th Congressional District, a deep red district currently represented by Republican Congressman Chris Collins.  Upon first hearing of the Congressman’s indictments for insider trading, Mr. McMurray thought it best to stay quiet until the dust settled. Then he heard Rep. Collins’ statement Wednesday evening, Aug. 8, denying any wrongdoing and Mr. McMurray knew he needed to say something. The opportunity to do so came the next morning at the New York State United Teachers building in downtown Rochester. Surrounded by campaign workers, elected officials, and the media, Mr. McMurray pledged to speak out against the corruption in Washington, DC. and give his constituency a congressman they could be proud of.

    “It’s time for him [Rep. Collins]to go,” McMurray stated. “It’s time for new leadership. We’re not talking about progressive versus Republican. Left versus right. We’re talking about right versus wrong. This is an argument about who is honest and dishonest. Who is going to serve our community and represent our community.”

    “We have this idea right now that America is so divided; I bet your dinner table is divided. We have people in all different parties, and ideas, and beliefs. This idea that those people are over here and we’re over there; that might be good for talk radio but it’s not good for America. And that’s not the type of leader I’m going to be. I’m going to represent all of NY27.”

    When asked if he thought a Democrat could win in this district he nodded and said,”We’re going to win. But this would be a win not just for Democrats. This would be a win for NY27.”

    If you are interested in getting involved or donating you can do so at Mr. McMurray’s campaign website, votemcmurray.com.

     

  • Candidate Profile: Fatimat Reid for Family Court Judge

    The American Dream is alive and well in Fatimat Reid, a candidate for Monroe County Family Court Judge, who is a prime representative of this ideal. Her unique life story began in the state of New York, where she was born. As a child, her family moved to Nigeria, where she was raised during an important period of her life. She returned to the United States and then, at the age of ten, she became the subject of a Family Court custody action and spent time in foster care. These experiences give her a special perspective on Family Court. “I understand, from first-hand experience how frightening and frustrating court proceedings can be for children and all involved, particularly for those stricken by poverty and those with immigrant identity status.”

    Not only does Ms. Reid bring significant personal experience to the judicial bench from the perspective of a child involved in a family court case, she also brings extensive professional experience. Reid has established herself in the legal community as an attorney who has broad legal experience having served private practice as well as government entities. She currently serves as Chief of Staff for the Rochester City School District (RCSD). At RCSD she supports the school district’s mission of providing quality education while promoting wellness for all children and their families in the community. Ms. Reid commented, “I am honored to work in conjunction with educators and families serving the needs of all students”

    A passion for and knowledge of the law completes an impressive professional profile for Ms. Reid. She graduated from the University at Buffalo Law School and is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, the Rochester Black Bar Association and the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. She began her legal career as an attorney with the law firm of Davidson Fink LLP and with Wolpoff and Abramson. Most recently, she has served as a City of Rochester Municipal Attorney and as an Associate Counsel for the Rochester City School District.

    Her campaign’s Web site lists and describes numerous awards and important recognitions that Fatimat Reid has received from the community and from professional organizations in Monroe County.

    When asked her perspective about current situations, such as the treatment many children and adolescents are experiencing at the U.S. southern border and other cases involving child abuse in Monroe County, she said that she will “adhere to and apply the law as it relates to each case that arrives in front of her with fairness and expediency.” In doing so, she always prioritizes “the well-being of children.”

    Reid also referenced the principles contained in the United Nations Declaration of Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN in 1989 and brought into force in September of 1990. That universal proclamation establishes the rights of the child with the goal that each child “may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his/her own good and for the good of society the rights to freedoms.” This document enshrines universal principles of justice that call “upon parents, men and women as individuals, voluntary organizations, local authorities and governments to recognize these rights and to strive for their observance,” concluded the judicial candidate for Family Court in Monroe County.

    Experience, fairness, and knowledge of the law: Fatimat Reid has it all!

  • Candidate Profile: Zuleika Shepard for Family Court Judge

    It has become a Democratic mantra to say, “ this is the year of the woman,” mainly due to the significant number of female candidates around the country who have decided to throw their hats in the ring and run for public office at all levels of government .  Whether for local, town, city, county or state office, women are answering the call of the nation for public service.  Monroe county is no exception.

    Today we are proud to put the spotlight on Zuleika Shepard, a Monroe County Democratic Committee nominee for Family Court judge.

    As a Rochester native, Ms. Shepard is one of our hometown candidates running for the important county Family Court judicial bench, bringing with her firsthand knowledge of the community she seeks to represent. That background, combined with her training and professional experience, make her an exceptionally well-qualified candidate for the position as Family Court judge.

    Ms. Shepard  currently works as Deputy County Attorney in the Monroe County Law Department in the Family Court Unit.  Here, her passion for the law, safety and order, as these relate to all families of Monroe County, is witnessed in action in Shepard’s daily work, which includes numerous appearances in Family Court. Prior to that, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County. She has also operated her own private practice, and she was  Staff Attorney for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association Legal Project in Albany, repesenting women in domestic violence cases in Family Court concentrating on custody, visitation, and child support cases.

    She acknowledges the historic nature of her candidacy for a judicial position in Monroe County,  where an African American woman has never been elected to a family court judgeship. She knows she brings uniqueness and a diversity of perspectives to the bench.  She has observed how “ families, regardless of income levels, ethnicity , cultural, religious or social backgrounds  aspire to enjoy  a safe , happy life, and they wish to offer their members, to the best of their abilities, a supportive community in which to develop  and thrive, safeguarded  by equal treatment under the law.”  Zuleika Shepard pledges that the principle of applying the law to the facts “will continue to guide my work as Monroe County Family Court Judge – as it always has – if I am so honored with the people’s vote this November.”

    Colleagues, incumbent  leaders, citizens, neighbors of all political stripes, as well as new prospective voters who come in contact with and meet Zuleika Shepard, are immediately drawn to the story of this hometown woman.  This professional lawyer is also a karate champion and a black belt instructor who has served her community as a mentor of young  women 13-18 years of age.  From her adolescent years as a Wilson Magnet High School student in the Rochester City School District, to her  time at Ithaca College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude,  through her distinguished completion of a J.D. at Hofstra University Law School (2007), Zuleika Shepard has exhibited qualities that are foundational  for those who aspire to serve on a judicial bench – empathy for others, patience,  professional and personal ethics, the ability to communicate, forebearance under demanding circumstances, and extensive knowledge of the law.

    Monroe County voters, we present to you Zukeika Shepard for the position of family Court Judge.  Judge for yourself!

  • There’s Still Time! Join us with Comptroller DiNapoli

    There is still time to reserve your ticket for Thursday’s event with the NYS Comptroller. If you are an MCDC Committee member or volunteer, make sure to contact us to reserve your spot. If you’d like to become a recurring sponsor of MCDC (and reserve a ticket) you can find more information to sign up HERE.

    We hope you will join us on Thursday, April 26th for our MCDC Spring Soriee event with Special Guest NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s (One Bausch and Lomb Place). Details are below. For further questions on table sponsorships or to RSVP, you can contact our Director of Operations Henrietta Herriott at henrietta@monroedemocrats.com. Thank you.

     

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

  • Join Us for an Event with Comptroller DiNapoli!

    We have accomplished many things together over the past few years. And your continued financial support for the operations of MCDC has allowed us to provide a strong foundation for local campaigns and organizing across this County. This year we are excited to be leading the charge to send phenomenal candidates like Zuleika Shepard and Fatimat Reid to Monroe County Family CourtJen Lunsford as an Upstate NY member to the new Democratic Majority in the New York State Senate, and to keep the 25th Congressional District Blue.

    We hope you will join us on Thursday, April 26th for our MCDC Spring Soriee event with Special Guest NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s (One Bausch and Lomb Place). Details are below. For further questions on table sponsorships or to RSVP you can contact our Director of Operations Henrietta Herriott at henrietta@monroedemocrats.com. Thank you.

     

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

    Monroe County Democratic Committee
    1150 University Ave., Bldg. 5
    585-232-2410
    Rochester NY 14607 United States