Fighting Poverty

No one wants the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative to fail, and I intend to work with its stakeholders as Mayor to make sure the City is a full partner.  But in the meantime, our residents are hurting.  We need to take steps now to ease the burden of structural poverty. 

 
 

Pre-Arrest Diversion Strategy

Low-level non-violent criminal offenders, particularly those committing crimes to support their addiction, are often repeat offenders who continue to cycle through the system, overwhelming the courts and not getting the help they need.  New York's first drug court was created right here in Rochester in 1995, leading the way for the rest of New York’s courts. We will develop a program that allows police officers and prosecutors to intervene even earlier, at the point of arrest, offering offenders meeting certain criteria the opportunity to be diverted into the program, which will connect people with treatment, housing, job training and other social services.

Street Corner Intervention

People throughout our city are experiencing devastating problems including mental health issues, addiction and homelessness, which they aren’t equipped to handle. Many programs exist to tackle these challenges, but they often don’t reach people in the most critical need – people who are disconnected from society or simply unable to connect to traditional social services. We will bring together a team of appropriate stakeholders and service providers to hit the streets and connect people with the services they need.
 

It's A Crime To Be Poor: Alternatives To Jail Time

 Unpaid fines often lead to a suspended license, which can lead to criminal charges and jail time for the working poor. While groups like the ACLU have for years called municipal courts modern-day versions of debtors’ prisons, the pay-or-jail issue has gained renewed attention as part of the continued discussion on race and policing in the United States.  We will work through the bureaucratic issues to allow the City to take over the traffic violations process and offer alternatives to violators who cannot pay their fines.

sheppard-mayor-poverty
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Together We Can

No one wants the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative to fail, and I intend to work with its stakeholders as Mayor to make sure the City is a full partner.  But in the meantime, our residents are hurting.  We need to take steps now to ease the burden of structural poverty. 

If you care about your fellow Rochestarians like I do, add your name to fight to make progress on fighting poverty in our city from the ground up.

Spread The Word

It takes passion, energy, ideas and healthy dialogue to make change; and I know that many of you are aching for change.

I promise that I will deliver that change – but I cannot do it without your help. If you like what I have to say and what I stand for, please help me right now by sharing my plan for fighting poverty from the ground up.