South District Updates

Fall/ Winter 2020

As we enter the height of the flu season, I want to remind you that practicing social distancing is imperative to reduce the spread of COVID-19.   My prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. 


The Rochester City Council has had a few challenges due to COVID-19.  We have made the necessary adjustments by providing live council meetings on the City Council YouTube channel.  City Council has made strides in providing access to our government process by conducting meetings via Zoom and posting them on YouTube.  We remain committed to having a transparent government.


I have the following updates for the South District 12/7/2020:   


In October, the City of Rochester welcomed Interim Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan.  She and her newly appointed team of commanders have committed to providing Rochester a community policing model that would move Rochester forward.  I have met with her team of commanders to address concerns of the South District.  Chief Herriott- Sullivan is committed to addressing crime and quality of life issues in our area.  


City Council is working on reforming RPD’s and Family and Crisis Intervention Team (FACIT) response to mental health crises. 
In October, FACIT, the mobile crisis unit originally overseen by the Rochester Police Department, was transferred to the Department of Youth, Recreation and Human Services Department. Commissioner Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres, leads the effort to reform mental health response by having mental health personnel respond to crises along with police and EMS.   I will be working with Commissioner Lyman-Torres as we review the COHOOTS model as an inspiration for a model that can work for Rochester.  I serve on a committee composed of local stakeholders who are police, EMS and mental health workers to develop a new mental health response model that would meet the needs of the City of Rochester.  These efforts will continue until a comprehensive mobile response plan for mental health services calls is drafted.  The Commissioner Lyman-Torres will launch the pilot plan by the end of December and in early January she will deliver a virtual update to the community.  This is meaningful work and I am confident that this team will deliver the necessary reforms to our mental health system.

As your representative, I have worked to resolve quality of life issues and crime by working with the Mayor Lovely Warren and her administration.  This early fall, I hosted a mini clean sweep tackling the garbage on Thurston Village, Thurston/Chili and Salina Street blocks.  Southwest Street Manager,  John DeMott, joined by Scott Beck,  JoAnn DeMott, Monroe County Legislator Sabrina LaMar, NSC James Demps, HR Commissioner, Tassie Demps and a host of community volunteers participated in the event. Together we must do everything we can to keep our neighborhood clean!

The work continues beyond cleaning the streets. We must work to ensure that anchor businesses remain good neighbors.  In October, I received a petition from neighbors of Sawyer Street who had lodged complaints regarding the condition of the Genesee Street Family Dollar.   Neighbors complained about the condition of the parking lot, garbage, overgrown landscape and lack of accessibility for wheelchairs.  In November, in collaboration with the NSC Administration, we met with the Family Dollar Regional Manager and they agreed to the following:  Take care of the landscape issues, garbage and fix the pot holes in the parking lot.   They will review options for a long- term solution for wheelchair access.   In the meantime, they urge individuals to call ahead if they will require assistance with the doors.   Family Dollar is interested in being a good corporate neighbor and looks forward to a continued relationship to provide a positive shopping experience to the 19th Ward residents.

In closing,  I am looking forward to the continued work that is needed to make our community better.  For more information and details regarding City Council please look us up on Facebook or at