Following was a "Sector 4 Communications Committee " email in October of 2010.
Since last Wednesday's Sector 4 Community Development Corporation meeting and last Thursday's SW Common Council meeting, I have had several very good conversations about how we might improve communication in the SouthWest. One of the outcomes that we will begin working on next week is to make Location 19 more functional and informative for community residents. Much of this can be done over email so don't start grumbling about another meeting; you MAY, however, grumble about more email; but then you can't grumble about never being informed of anything (see how that works:). There are several different pieces/initiatives that can all connect in a very healthy way so I'm going to outline those pieces below for your information as we move forward together. (Please excuse the recap for those who know all of this.)
1. Under Mayor Bill Johnson, the City was divided into 10 planning Sectors. The SouthWest was considered "Sector 4" and we have often used the word/area SouthWest and Sector 4 interchangeably. Sector 4 is made up of 5 different neighborhoods: (1) the 19th Ward, (2) Changing of the Scenes, (3) Neighborhood United, (4) Plymouth Exchange (PLEX), and (5) SWAN (see attached).
2. The body entrusted with working collaboratively to create an Action Plan for Sector 4 with goals, objectives, timelines, benchmarks, etc. is called the SouthWest Common Council (SWCC). The SWCC meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the SW Community Center located at 275 Dr. Samuel McCree Way (also having the initials "SWCC" but I won't use them for the Community Center, only the Common Council). Minutes are taken at each of these meetings and sent out to those who have attended in the past (unless they haven't been there in a few years), those who currently attend, and those who have asked to be informed. John Boutet will create a place on Location 19 where we can store these minutes so they can be made available to everyone. (He may already have done that - he's way fast!)
2. Under Duffy, we are now one of 4 "Quadrants" and we are strictly the SouthWest Quadrant (though you'll still hear Sector 4 in there from us old-timers and because the CDC was named "Sector 4 CDC"). We have now increased our "SouthWest family" by two members: (1) the Susan B. Anthony District and (2) Corn Hill District.
3. One of the Standing Committees for Sector 4 is "Youth" - it's name actually keeps changing from Youth & Recreation, to Youth Leadership, to Youth Development - I think we talked about making it "Youth Engagement" at the last meeting - discussion, no votes. Over the years, different folks have assumed responsibility for making youth-related reports.
4. The SouthWest Recreation Planning Committee (SWRPC) is a group of representatives from all of the youth programs in the SouthWest who meet to collaborate, share resources, coordinate scheduling events so we can support each other, etc. This meeting is held the 1st Wed. of every month at 10 a.m. at Flint Street Recreation Center (Annie Pride is the Director and extends a very warm welcome to all who are interested). Florence Clemmons, who represents both Tony Jordan's Youth Sports Foundation AND the Genesee Valley Youth Hockey Program, is working with Annie to more broadly engage those who have an impact on encouraging youth to participate in the programs that exist (e.g. churches). This is the reason it was thrown out at the SWCC meeting that we (1) call the SWCC youth committee, "Youth Engagement," as covers all the bases and (2) have the SWRPC be the primary "reporter." BARRIER: Since this committee meets during the day, it limits youth input and direction. SOLUTION: See #5.
5. There is a new "Neighborhood Consortium for Youth Justice
" that has been convened to promote community interaction and collaboration around truly reaching and providing services and resources to hard-to-reach youth (on probation, coming out of Industry, not attending school, etc.). The leader of this group is Tim Weider (firstname.lastname@example.org)
, a professor at MCC and a longtime advocate for communities as "safe sanctuaries" for troubled youth. At Friday's meeting, Teen Empowerment representatives talked about establishing a "Youth Worker Alliance
" comprised of youth who, with adult assistance, can ensure that designs and evaluations for youth programming actually include youth. I mentioned the SWCRP meeting at Flint St. and Doug Ackley pointed out that several of the 12 recently-hired Teen Empowerment Youth Advocates have schedules that would enable them to attend a meeting held during the day. It was noted that, it's not just about plopping youth on adult committees, youth need to be able to express themselves in a forum that is tailored to their needs (and attention spans).
6. Lastly, for now, I'm copying in John Curran who works with Dorothy Hall and others in the PLEX neighborhood to proactively look at riverfront development and ensure that a community voice is present as negotiations for remediation of the Brownfield and developing the riverfront are underway. John Curran is extremely skillful in "bringing to the table" numerous parties with varied investments in the development of the riverfront going back beyond the Staybridge Suites and into Corn Hill; no one is ever discouraged from voicing their concerns and all visions are welcome. John has been a goldmine of local history (for example, How many of us know that Susan B. and Frederick Douglass more than likely "had tea" at the Anthony's farm that was located in the Brooks/Genesee Park Blvd area in the 19th Ward where Susan B. spent many of her years growing up?). The Susan B. Anthony phenomena is a DIAMOND for Rochester (SouthWest Rochester!); we are "the home" of the Women's Right to Vote, there is a $20 million Pepsy Kettavong sculpture focusing on the voting booth and the 17 women that "illegally" voted that is headed our way on W. Main across from Canal St., and there is a huge multi-use housing project/community center/coffee shop (yikes!) slated for that area as well. An innovative group called H.E.R. (Heritage Enterprise Resources) is becoming established as a women's entrepreneurship training site in the back of 540 W. Main (open house event tomorrow from 4-7). It is a win-win for us to support and participate in any of these developments wherever we feel our passions call us.