Green Party candidate Alex White offers plans to reduce violence

Green Party candidate Alex White offers plans to reduce violence

• August 24, 2015

This post is somewhat different from my previous Unite Rochester posts. Given the recent shootings at the Boys & Girls Club, of which I have written, I am inviting the South District (which includes Genesee Street) Green Party candidate Alex White to present some ideas on how he would address the pressing issue of urban violence.

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This is not an endorsement for his candidacy. (Actually, I do not live in Rochester and could not vote for White.) Over the years, I have known White as a thoughtful and informed citizen and candidate. Recently, I have admired how he gave heartfelt support to the community.  As White made clear, he would make these proposals even if not running for office. He hopes whoever wins considers implementing serious policies for violence reduction.

I welcome Adam McFadden to also participate in this Unite Rochester blog.

In light of the recent violence in Rochester, we owe it to our young people to develop and implement plans to reduce violence in our city. Rochester is not the only city facing gun violence, but others are using  creative ways to deliver results.  Oakland in particular has had success with elements of their Measure Y initiative. By looking at programs in many cities, I can envision a blueprint to restore peace to the streets of Rochester.

First, we need communication between recreation, violence reduction, policing, mental health services, educational services, and employment services.  Next we need to do much more street outreach, by people who understand the neighborhoods and the problems faced by people there.  These outreach workers will put individuals in touch with the specific assistance they need by connecting them to the appropriate services. We also need to have interventionists ready to deal not only with problems between individuals, but also between services and individuals. Most importantly, we have to commit the funds required to provide the  jobs and services most needed in our most troubled neighborhoods. Only in this way, will we get the message to our troubled young people that we care and we have their backs.

It is crucial that we remember we will not see change in our neighborhoods over night.  Nonetheless, we can not keep waiting while more young people are shot, arrested, and die.  Sure, this might take a significant commitment from the city, county and state, perhaps in the neighborhood of $20 million a year for a decade, but can we really afford to continue going the way we are? It is time to look at the programs cities like Philadelphia, Oakland, and Highpoint NC have used with some success because right now we have a shooting in Rochester every 32 hours and time is ticking.

see also Alex White on charter schools and school funding

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About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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