The county of Monroe and city of Rochester have launched an updated website for the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) ahead of the Community Leadership phase of its implementation plan.
“The work of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity continues, as we now enter the critical phase of working to engage our community members in implementing select recommendations from the report,” said County Executive Adam Bello in a statement. “Implementing these recommendations and dismantling structural inequities takes the efforts of all of us. I am so thankful to our nonprofit agencies, community coalitions and individual citizens for stepping forward and taking ownership for the implementation of some of the recommendations. It is due to the commitment of our staff and community partners that this report will not merely sit on a shelf.”
To ensure transparency around the implementation of the recommendations, a database has been added to the website that will include each working group recommendation as well as the responsible entity and a timeframe for implementation. In addition, there will be a mechanism to allow community members to get involved in the process and help with implementing the recommendations. Quarterly progress updates for listed recommendations will be posted within 30 days of the quarter’s end.
“Real progress toward racial equity can only be accomplished with a total community effort,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “The city of Rochester has grown and improved to where it is by virtue of its involved citizenry and thanks to the input of our citizens and the members of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity, our city and our county will be positioned to provide more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”
Outcomes of the community leadership phase include identifying gaps in recommendations that were not prioritized by the county or city, aligning with community stakeholders and organizational leaders, encouragement of assessment and prioritization of recommendations with the community and preparation to develop a formal council to manage the implementation of recommendations.
RASE recommendations include:
• Create and invest in sustainable economic opportunities in Black and Latinx communities to promote and maintain self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship and career advancement;
• Implement and incentivize practices and programs that increase the racial/ethnic diversity and cultural competence of employees, vendors and contractors;
• End practices that disproportionately drain resources from Black and Latinx communities;
• Decentralize services and embed them in trusted agencies throughout the community; and
• Embed accountability measures in all policies to ensure equity and fairness across all services, programs and delivery models.
RASE is an intergovernmental collaboration between the county of Monroe and city of Rochester. RASE was established to review, identify and recommend changes to local laws, policies and practices that will eliminate inequities across the county and city. The commission is co-chaired by former Rochester Mayor William Johnson Jr., ESL Federal Credit Union Senior Vice President and General Counsel Arline Santiago and Executive Director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and professor of Islamic and religious studies at Nazareth College Muhammad Shafiq. The commission includes 21 business, government and community leaders.
The complete RASE report is available at rocrase.com.