Sheppard Reaches Out to Neighborhood Leaders: “Tell Me About Your Hopes and Dreams”

Dear Neighborhood, Community and Business Association Leaders:

As I’m sure you have heard by now, I announced a few weeks ago that I will run for Mayor of Rochester this year.  While I know that your organization is apolitical and non-partisan, I wanted you and your members to know why I made this decision.

Simply put, we need to get Rochester working again. 

I had the tremendous good fortune to serve the City of Rochester for my entire career, getting to know its people, its streets, its assets and its challenges.  Over those 30 years, I saw some great things that worked – grassroots neighborhood planning under Mayor Bill Johnson, downtown investment under Mayor Bob Duffy, fiscal stability under Mayor Tom Richards. 

Unfortunately, over the past three years, we have gone from city on the move to a city stalled by a complete lack of leadership.  We have a Rochester Police Department that continues to struggle with a multi-million dollar, half-implemented reorganization.  There is no vision for economic development beyond completing previously planned projects.  Issues in neighborhoods from Charlotte to EMMA are ignored.  There is no improvement in school district achievement.  And we continue to be nationally known for the most heartbreaking of reasons - our child poverty rates. 

It’s not working. 

Rochester works best when we work together.  We need a leader who will:

Make community policing an every day, every officer occurrence, not a 90-day public relations plan;

Ensure business investment throughout the City of Rochester, not just downtown;

Return neighborhood planning and development to those that know our neighborhoods best – our residents;

Partner with City School District leaders to strengthen programs that work and provide opportunity to all of our students.

But most importantly, we need a leader who will unite us, not divide us.  I believe my record as Rochester Police Chief (and throughout my RPD career) is the best example of the kind of Mayor I will be.  Transparency, accountability and responsiveness – those have been and will continue to be the assets I will bring to the office of Mayor.

I will be going door-to-door in all of our neighborhoods over the next seven months to talk to residents about their hopes and dreams for our City, and hope to attend neighborhood association meetings as well.  If you would like me to come to a particular meeting or you plan to hold a candidate forum at some point, please contact Katelyn Plonczynski-Figueroa at 585-623-2411 (katelyn.figueroa@gmail.com) so that we can be sure to get it on my schedule.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me at 585-210-0255 or jsheppar@rochester.rr.com should you have any questions or concerns.   Thank you for all that you do for your neighborhood and our City.  I look forward to working with and for you.

Best regards,
JAMES SHEPPARD