WXXI AM News

James Brown

Reporter

Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.

James cut his teeth in journalism as an associate producer and weekend assignment editor at WHEC-TV.

A Rochester native and an East High School graduate, James earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Niagara University where he won awards for his poetry and resurrected the school’s radio station.

James Brown / WXXI News

After less than three years on the job, Barbara Deane-Williams is retiring as superintendent of the Rochester City School District. Her last day on the job was Thursday.

Members of the Rochester community are weighing in on a proposal for a Police Accountability Board drafted by City Council.

It’s one of two proposals currently on the table as draft legislation. Mayor Lovely Warren has issued her own proposal.

Council members say their proposal has broad support from the community, but the Rochester Police Locust Club says it needs to include feedback from law enforcement.

The Rochester City School District will be reaching out to the public next week in the search for a new superintendent.

Barbara Deane-Williams is resigning at the end of the month.  School Board President Van White says the district hired a search firm to take notes at the upcoming community forums, and he says the notes from the forums will be used to write the job description.

White thinks residents already have a good idea of what they want in a superintendent.

James Brown / WXXI News

School funding was on the minds of some people attending the latest public input session about Distinguished Educator Jamie Aquino’s report on the Rochester City School District.

The report, released last fall, asks for a total reset in district management, finances and educational outcomes.

About 50 people joined Aquino, New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and two local regents, T. Andrew Brown and Wade Norwood, at East High School Thursday night.

James Brown WXXI

During their first opportunity to weigh in on City Council’s proposed Police Accountability Board, residents on Wednesday night had both criticism and praise.

The controversial board would have independent oversight of misconduct claims against the Rochester Police Department. For decades, activists have been pushing for an independent civilian board with broad authority, but city officials have never been willing to go this far. 

James Brown WXXI

The National League of Cities chose Rochester as one of six cities to get “REAL,” which stands for Race, Equity and Leadership.

The national program seeks to advance racial equity through policy decisions, civic engagement, and accurate portrayals of people of color. The City of Rochester and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce are taking leadership roles in the local version of this initiative.

Martin Kaufman/WXXI News

People across Rochester gathered Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Walk in the Light" was the theme of the Community-Wide Celebration held at the Eastman Theater's Kodak Hall. Community members sang and danced to "This Little Light of Mine" and heard a keynote speech from the Rev. Stephen Cady, the pastor of Asbury First Methodist Church, which focused on acknowledging and overcoming racism in our community.

Mayor Lovely Warren said she wants Rochester to take advantage of this moment to heal our racial divides.

Martin Kaufman/WXXI News

Mayor Lovely Warren is holding a series of events focusing on racial healing this week beginning with an event at City Hall on Tuesday.

Project Let’s Get REAL -- which stands for Race, Equity and Leadership -- seeks to advance racial equity through policy decisions, civic engagement, and accurate portrayals of people of color.

Speaking after the Martin Luther King Jr. Community-Wide Celebration at the Eastman Theater on Monday, Warren said the racial divide in this country is deep and there’s much work left to do.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

The City of Rochester continues round-the-clock snow clearing efforts after more than 15 inches of snow fell across the region.

Mayor Lovely Warren says many city snowplowing crews have been working long hours for the last few days.

“I cannot commend our team at DES (Department of Environmental Services) and our safety workers enough because during this, 48 hours of all this snow, they’ve been working overtime, some of them putting in 18 hours a day, and we appreciate them for that.”

Warren says you can call for help with questions about city services.

WXXI Photo

Candidates are already lining up to replace Rochester City Councilwoman Elaine Spaull. The Democrat announced Wednesday that she won’t seek re-election.

Monroe County Democratic Committee spokeswoman Briana Scott tells WXXI News that the committee’s endorsement process will start now and conclude in mid-February. 

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