Band of Rebels Strategy Discussion

After two and a half years of demonstrations outside bank branches protesting the banksters who are ‘too big to fail’ and seemingly ‘to big to jail’ and the federal building advocating for protection and expansion of Social Security and Medicare (for All). We’ve supported Rochester Take Back the Land and various events and activities of Metro Justice.

Now, at the end of 2013, we are reevaluating our goals (targets) and strategy. The members of the Strategy Committee and the Leaflet Committee met on Dec. 30, 2013

Meeting notes taken by Grania Marcus.
Meeting notes taken by Al Brundage.

Additional Reading

Working Poor Need a Hand  Up D&C Editorial January 2, 2014
Senator Gillibrand’s Opinion piece from D&C June 30, 2013
The American Opportunity Agenda
Poverty Report December 2013
Poverty Report is Call to Action from D&C December 15, 2013
Pushing harder for progress in 2014

Proposals for next meeting

Jo Cummings

My suggestions to Lovely Warren transition team:

Establish quality full day pre K programs (age 3 and 4).
Establish quality day care (including in high schools) from age 0 to 3.
Establish parenting classes for high school students.
Establish nurse/parent partnerships for all low income pregnant teens and older.
Support much smaller class sizes in public schools with all the resources that are made available to charter and suburban schools.

Jim Bearden
1. Educate people about poverty in Rochester and the importance of jobs for young adults. Encourage (pressure) the city to expand the Summer of Opportunity Program and to explore other ways to provide jobs for young adults such as YouthBuild USA or Americacorp .

2. Encourage some union to take up the organization of fast-food workers such as the United NY organization
I’m not suggesting that we organize fast food workers ourselves, but that we educate the public and our allies in labor to begin to move on the problem of low wage workers in Rochester.

Reply from Bill McCoy
I am going to contact Mitch Rowe about this. He is coming back to Rochester to work for the city in either economic development or community development. One of the possibilities is for creation of a micro-factory (or micro factories) that will employ city residents and be located in the neighborhood most in need.

Doug Noble
To: Rebels Without a (clear) Cause:

I second Jo’s proposals about daycare, pre-K and nurse/parent
partnerships, and Jim’s proposals about youth employment. I’ve been
speaking with Jon Greenbaum on local poverty issues and have also
been in contact with Willa Powell, Mary Adams and Dan Drmacich on
local education issues. I’ll be picking their brains in the next few

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve got so far, from Jon:

1. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Jon sees as a high priority anti-poverty initiative demanding fair and
equitable local distribution of federal CDBG housing development
funds, which should be allocated to high poverty census tracts but are
instead spread (without accountability) throughout the city. At abc
Jon is currently organizing a major campaign on this, led by a dozen
block clubs, neighborhood associations and small busines groups in the
city’s high poverty NE quadrant. He says these funds could make a
major difference but that the campaign will need citywide, high
profile in-the-streets demand for City Council to make it happen.
Which is where we come in.

2. Participatory Budgeting
Demand that city budget priorities, especially those directly
affecting poverty issues, be determined by surveying and interviewing
city residents, rather than from the top down.

3 Quality day care (including reinstating lost Head Start funds). Jon
recommends we work with Child Care Council folks to see how we might
become involved without reinventing the wheel.

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