WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Friday, September 20

Sep 20, 2019

Credit PBS.org

First hour: Discussing the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

Second hour: Debating the expansion of the CHOICE program

The Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) is making strides in addressing systemic racism in the community. The program – run through the St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center – is working with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Its teams work with local companies and organizations to begin or deeper conversations about race, review policies and procedures related to diversity and inclusion, and identify systemic barriers that need to be addressed. This hour, we sit down with leaders from the REJI to discuss their work, their progress to date, and the challenges they see in the community. In studio:

  • Candice A. Lucas, executive director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center
  • Michael Boucher, co-director of counseling/community works at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center
  • Jerome Underwood, president and CEO of Action for a Better Community, and co-chair of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative

Then in our second hour, the City of Rochester is expanding a program designed to increase the number of owner-occupants living in the city. The CHOICE program was originally designed for downtown living opportunities, but not the city wants to take the program to all parts of Rochester. Supporters say it's effective; critics say it amounts to a tax giveaway to wealthy people. Our guests debate it. In studio:

  • Rachel Barnhart, member of the Monroe County Legislature
  • Matthew Denker, developer with LBLD Living
  • Blake Gianniny, principal at FGB Property