Rochester is not an island. In order to find innovative solutions to problems that face our growing community (high taxes, transit issues, public safety needs, affordable/assessable housing shortage, local buisnesses closures...) we need to learn from others who have overcome these challenges.
As a former teacher, I live and breathe the importance of education, "we don't know what we don't know." So among many issues, my focus at the NLC (National League of Cities) conference in Missouri last month, was addressing our affordable housing crisis, starting a City-wide after-school program to help struggling youth, and help the growing issues with mental health. Loneliness, anxiety, and sadness are becoming a new pandemic for all ages.
Even with a suitcase of literature, countless slides, and a wealth of information, the most invaluable aspect was the partnerships brought back to Rochester. As in the words of Randy Staver when we discussed NLC, "Good governance is built on relationships."
Exchanging ideas and finding new approaches that we can share with local Community leaders, City officials, County Commissioners, and School board members will cascade positive change throughout our City.
It's essential local leaders deeply listen to residents and also stay open to new ideas. To learn from others, collaborate across barriers, and work together we can fostering a better life for everyone in Rochester.