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MEET  ALBERT

I’m running for the Monroe County Legislature because I believe in the promise and potential of this district and the people who call it home. As a lifelong resident of Upstate NY and an adopted son of Rochester for the past fifteen years, I’ve spent the last decade fighting to build a better community with people and organizations who believe that sound policy is the cornerstone of a brighter future for everyone who lives here. I want to bring that philosophy to our county’s legislative body. 

 

After earning a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Science, Technology, in Public Policy at RIT I decided to stay here and work for this community at Common Ground Health. I married my college sweetheart and am raising two wonderful children in the Highland Park neighborhood of the City of Rochester. Having served the community professionally for nearly a decade I want to work directly for the people of Rochester and Brighton. My belief in integrity, equity and justice for every person living in our community makes me the perfect person to serve at what is an unprecedented time for us. The most important contribution I can make in this moment is to heed the call of public service and to fight for the values of Rochester and Brighton in the Monroe county Legislature.

 

A brighter future only comes with hard work and perseverance.  Nothing worth doing is easy but we cannot allow that to stifle our efforts at making it so. Our legacy is the future that we leave for our children and this community’s future is my children’s future, is your children’s future, all of our futures. I want to make it brighter for all of us. Let’s create that future together. 

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ENDORSEMENTS

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

MCC Faculty Association

MCC Faculty Association

MCC Faculty Association

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Monroe County Democratic Committee

Monroe County Democratic Committee

Monroe County Democratic Committee

Int. Sheet Metal Workers Assoc.

Int. Sheet Metal Workers Assoc.

Int. Sheet Metal Workers Assoc.

Laborers Local 435

Laborers Local 435

Laborers Local 435

Rochester Labor Council

Rochester Labor Council

Rochester Labor Council

CSEA

CSEA

CSEA

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MY COMMITMENT

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To the people of Rochester and Brighton

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At every level our government needs leaders who believe in transparency and accountability.  Government and elected officials need to be responsive to the people they serve. I believe in community-lead decision making and am well positioned to bring our community’s voice to the laws of Monroe County.

 

My commitment to you is to always be honest and transparent about every vote and decision I make.  My vote will always be in your best interest, and no one else’s.  You may disagree with the rationale for a given vote, but I commit to making sure you know about the decision and the reasons why I believe it is in the best interest of everyone who lives in the 24th district. 

 

I see one of the biggest responsibilities of this office as advocacy for the needs of this district and translate those needs into substantive policies.  I will do my best to be available to you so that I know what those needs are, and then work to make sure they are met. 

To Dismantling Systemic Racism

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We have created systems that intentionally and directly harm people of color. We must intentionally and directly change our policies to remedy that harm.

  1. Job requirements for county positions must be re-examined, making sure that they do not disadvantage people with lived experience vs. opportunities afforded by privilege.  

  2. Incarceration for low level offenses creates an undue burden, particular for people of color. The Sheriff's office should explore decriminalizing low-level violations to stop costing people their livelihoods.  

  3. Financial assistance sanctions must be stopped. Support for people should not be contingent on uninformed and arbitrary criteria. 

  4. The county should create a program to support minority and women owned businesses receiving the state designation of a Minority or Women Owned Business. There are a number of businesses in Monroe County that would qualify but are not aware of the program, or do not have the means to navigate the bureaucratic process. I will introduce legislation that instructs the office of diversity to create an education and support program for businesses that qualify for that designation.

To a Greener Monroe County

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The climate continues to change rapidly, we need to not only stop further harm, but must actively work to repair the harm humans have done to the environment over the last century. We must seek environmental and climate justice, particularly for communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by companies who had no regard for the communities in which they operate. This work must be done at every level of government. There are several ways in which Monroe County can work towards these goals.

  1. Implement a “Green Zone” plan, aimed specifically at communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollutants. This plan could include:

    • Establishment and expansion of community land trusts

    • Build a database of contaminated sites (ex. Superfund or Brownfield sites) and commit additional development resources into those communities.

    • Actively recruit people living in Green Zones for careers and job training in new technologies and manufacturing processes that advance green energy alternatives.

  2. In 2017 we saw an influx of Puerto Rican climate refugees due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. We must plan for the continued influx of climate refugees by convening a council of recent arrivals, along with climate experts and governmental leaders to establish a plan for how to manage the ongoing influx of people displaced by climate events.

  3. As they depreciate, replace the county’s fleet of vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles, primarily electric and hydrogen powered.

  4. Commit to meeting or exceeding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement with a resolution similar to what Seattle, Washington passed in 2016.  Monroe county can work to:

    • Build and maintain greenhouse gas sinks and reserves

    • Incentivize green businesses to locate within the county via tax relief

    • Increase public awareness and develop educational programming

To Housing as a Human Right

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Without safe, healthy and reliable housing, it is nearly impossible to focus on the other basic needs of life.  We must implement policies that increase access to quality housing for everyone who lives in our community.  The county can do this by:

  1. Making it easier for tenants to connect to resources by expanding and creating a sustainable funding source for the Eviction Prevention Pilot Program started this year.

  2. Make it harder for landlords to evict tenants by partnering with the City of Rochester and other municipalities to require stricter enforcement of code violations. Create protocols requiring landlords to address outstanding code violations as part of the eviction process. 

  3. Create community awareness campaigns to activate tenants by helping them know their rights.  Work directly with community advocacy organizations like the City-Wide Tenants Union to avoid “unofficial evictions” where landlords use their lopsided power to convince tenants they are being evicted when they still have the right to stay.

  4. Identify individuals who are consistently engaged with the healthcare and criminal justice systems due to housing insecurity and create programs to stabilize their housing situations. A month’s rent is far less than a night in the emergency department.

To Human Centered Services

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Monroe county serves as the service provider for a number of state and federal assistance programs including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and many others. The way those services are delivered needs to be done with the people we are serving in mind. They should be as accessible and readily available as possible. This means re-thinking how we provide services to people who need them.

  1. Putting people first means giving them autonomy and decision making. The best way to do that is to provide people with unfettered resources. The county needs to be actively exploring a universal basic income pilot in partnership with New York State, to determine how that might work in our community. 

  2. The county should explore decentralizing where individuals can apply for services. Partnering with the city and school district to co-locate services in rec centers and schools will help make them more accessible.

  3. The process by which we determine eligibility for different services must be streamlined. Re-traumatizing individuals by asking the exact same questions over and over makes no sense. Instead, one set of questions should determine eligibility for everything the county has to offer.

To LGBTQ+ Rights

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We must commit to ensuring  everyone who lives here, regardless of who they are or who they love, is safe and receives equitable treatment by our local governments.

  1. Every local law must not explicitly or implicitly create any barriers for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ to get access to services.  A Health in All Policies approach to making sure our infrastructure allows for everyone to live active and healthy lives will help to improve outcomes for everyone.

  2. We need to review the county's practices of using legal names and allowing people to be referenced in official documents by their birth names vs. their preferred name. Re-traumatizing individuals by dead naming them as they navigate the county's services throughout and after a transition causes immeasurable harm.

  3. All Monroe County facilities, including the parks that many of our residents use on a daily basis must be inclusive. We must have restroom facilities which are non-gendered and signage across the parks which explicitly indicates the county's desire to serve every single person who lives here should be posted widely. 

  4. LBGTQ+ Youth are well-known to experience higher rates of mental health issues and suicidal ideologies. We need to increase funding for our county's mental health services to support those individuals in a culturally responsive and respectful way.

 

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