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Aqua Porter

Executive Director, Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative

Years in current role: 1.5

What was your biggest success in 2021?

RMAPI staff personally connected with over than 300 Monroe County residents to get their opinions and insight on what should be done in our community to reduce poverty. Many are community members whose voices are often excluded from these types of conversations — the homeless, the formerly incarcerated, and some suffering from chronic mental illness. We are delighted to share this information with Monroe County, the city of Rochester and the Rochester City School District as a way to inform them of priorities based on community member feedback. Additionally, RMAPI successfully exceeded its Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of raising the starting wages of 10,000 people to at least $15 when 11,266 individuals were reported to benefit from wage increases.

What are your expectations for 2022?

I am hopeful that we will be able to return to a point where we are encouraged to freely move around the community without masks, I look forward to travelling freely to visit friends and family, to attend the annual festivals and fairs that are a hallmark of a Rochester summer and even to meet colleagues and partners at in-person business meetings.

If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?

I would spend time teaching and practicing gentle and restorative yoga and meditation as a way to help people in our community heal and deal with the changes and challenges that have impacted their lives especially during the past two years. There are many self-care options that we need to normalize — like rest (different from sleep), adequate hydration and social connection — some of these could have radical impacts on the overall wellbeing of ourselves and our family members and by extension, our community.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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