Rochester City Council members are elected to one of six wards based on geography, and each includes residents with a variety of viewpoints and concerns.
With four candidates running to fill the Ward 4 seat, which includes much of southeast and downtown Rochester, we asked them how they will ensure community members feel they are heard and their voices are included in the decisions made by city officials.
Here's how they replied:
My original plan was to organize meetings with the community to hear their concerns.
Now, with COVID-19, I’m looking to livestream on a social media platform to allow them to voice their concerns and answer questions, if I’m elected.
Listening to the residents in our neighborhood and city is vital to being an effective leader. I want to remove any barrier from people being heard and the only way to "feel heard" is to actually be heard.
That's why I've launched Meet.VotePJ.com for the entirety of my campaign and term, if elected. Members of the community will have access to view my availability in realtime and select a 15 minute, 30 minute, or 60 minute block of time. Neighbors and community members can choose to meet with me in person, over the phone, or via Zoom.
I’m ready to go to work for my neighborhood and being available to listen and learn is a big part of that.
Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick
This question represents the heart of my campaign. I intend to be a representative of the people, making myself available for discussion on any issue.
By seeking input from community members on proposed City Council actions before a vote, or by separating POLCO (the city government polling website) responses by ward, I will be up-to-date on resident preferences.
For over a year, I have attended council meetings, spoken at hearings, held discussions with council members and represented the Eastside Neighborhood Association. I understand the importance of listening to community members and advocating their needs.
This is one of the main reasons why I have decided to run for city council.
For too long, decisions are being made in this community by the council and committees without reaching out to those that are affected by them.
When our businesses were forced to close, we were all terrified and were looking to the city for help. During the entire three months, not one single person from the city reached out to even ask “Are you OK?” or “what do you think we could do to help?”
Change starts by simply calling and reaching out and making sure that I have a platform that is easily accessible for people to voice concerns or offer suggestions.