The city of Rochester on Friday rolled out a comprehensive, three-phase implementation plan to accomplish recommendations outlined in the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) report that was released in March.
“Our city’s roadmap to fulfill the recommendations set forth by the RASE Commission will ensure that we make real progress towards equity,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in a statement. “The creation of an ongoing RASE council to oversee the implementations will allow city government to truly focus on the work to be done and hold us accountable for achieving it.”
The implementation plan builds on the guiding principles of the RASE Commission, outlining transparency, fidelity, accountability and sustainability as its core values, officials said.
“The core values underscore the city’s and Monroe County’s commitment to establishing and strengthening our partnerships across municipalities, but more importantly, across the community,” said Cephas Archie, Rochester’s chief equity officer and the city’s liaison to the RASE Commission.
The plan contains three phases: 1) principle review; 2) community leadership; and 3) establishment of a RASE Council.
The commission’s goal is to accomplish one phase per quarter, with the first phase, principle review, set to be completed by June 30. Already in progress, during the city’s Phase I principle review process, internal city leadership highlighted responses to 97 of the report’s recommendations. Warren and Rochester City Council recently approved allocating $1 million to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
“As a city, we are committed to following through and making the RASE Commission recommendations a reality,” Warren said. “Paired with our implementation plan, we now have the tools and the resources we need to achieve the goals of the RASE Commission to address and repair the racial and structural inequities in our community.”
As the city begins Phase II of the implementation plan, it will initiate engagement of community organizations and leaders who are, or would like, to lead efforts recommended in the original RASE report. The goal of Phase II will be to identify recommendations not owned by the city or county and encourage other community stakeholders to take ownership of recommendations they can advance.
In alignment with the RASE Report recommendations, Phase III will focus on the establishment of a RASE Council, which will be a “successor body” comprising former RASE commissioners, sector content experts, and city and county community stakeholders. The implementation plan outlines the council’s scope, which will include monitoring the pace of implementation efforts; establishing the reporting process to share progress; and creating feedback mechanisms to ensure community input and direction during implementation.
“Assessment and feedback are essential to continuous improvement,” Warren said. “The commission members spoke loud and clear about being intentional in how implementation occurs and ensuring it is done in a transparent and collaborative manner.”
Updates will be provided to the community on RASE Report progress at the end of each quarter. Additional information and recommendation updates also will be provided via the RASE Commission’s website, rocrase.com, including details of the full implementation plan.