Transforming Rochester 131

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The City loses lawsuits and the taxpayers pay for it.  We talk about suits past, present, and future. And the Rochester City School District is in serious financial trouble.  What can we do?  We tell you.

Transforming Rochester 130

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

We have to start changing to renewable energy.  How can we get enough electricity for our city?  It's

a big lift, but needs to be done.  Another way to deal with climate change is free mass transit for everyone.  It also can be done.  We explain how.

Transforming Rochester 129

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

We talk about gangs in Rochester - how they get people and what can we do about them.  We also explain why it's important to shop locally.  It makes a tremendous difference to our economy.

Transforming Rochester 128

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

City Council is coming up on Decmeber 18th.  Call 311 to get on the list to speak your mind.  We review the good, curious, & ugly.  We also discuss the past, present, & future of the Rochester Convention Center.  To sum up in one word:  Why?

Transforming Rochester 127

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The "winners" of the Amazon Hunger Games has been announced and we're going to be paying for it for a long time.  There's a local example of that trickle-down economics in Rochester that doesn't trickle down.  The closing of the local Thompson-Reuters office gets us talking about cooperatives.

Transforming Rochester 126

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We do a quick election recap then discuss the ways the new Democratic majority in the NYS Senate

can help Rochester.  Included are foundational aid for our schools, single payer health care, jobs, and more.  Alex also has a Veterans Day message.

Transforming Rochester 125

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Alex is joined by Peter Kline to interview Attorney General Candidate Michael Sussman.  We also talk about the upcoming City Council meeting: the good, the weird, and the ugly.  Call 311 to sign up to speak to Council.

Transforming Rochester 124

Thursday, November 1, 2018

We explain the controversy at the Rochester Housing Center and what could be done to RHA to focus on home ownership rather than renting.  This includes single house ownership, condos, and cooperative housing.  And we revisit tiny houses to solve our homelessness problem  There is a perfect opportunity to use this in Rochester, if only someone would take advantage of it.

Transforming Rochester 123

Thursday, October 25, 2018

We talk about Participatory Budgeting.  What is it, how does it work, why should we be doing it, and how can it get started in Rochester?  We also look at the City Charter.  How can we change it to give us such things as a more representative City Council, Ranked Choice Voting, & non-partisan elections.

Transforming Rochester 122

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Litter in Rochester sucks.  We explain why it's important and how we can make things better.  We also explain why we should be working to create more home ownership.

Transforming Rochester 121

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Elaine Johnson, Nate Baldo, & Jim Tiefenthal join us to tell us about the Witness Palestine Film Festival taking place in Rochester October 8 - 29th.  Info on all of the events are at

Transforming Rochester 120

City Council is coming up on Tuesday, October 16th.  Call 311 to get on the list to Speak to Council. They're going to be signing off on Intermunicipality Agreements, accepting some grant money and the usual questionable development spending.  We also revisit restorative justice.  What do we have now and what else should we have?

Transforming Rochester 119

Thursday, September 27, 2018

We revisit the proposed police accountability board for Rochester.  City Council released draft legislation and many were not happy with it.  We also discuss why we should have a public utility in Rochester and how to make it happen.

Transforming Rochester 118

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

It's time for City Council again.  They meet on Tuesday, September 18th.  Speak to Council starts at 6:30pm and the meeting starts an hour later.  Call 311 to sign up to speak.  Selling off the 3 parking garages downtown is a bad idea for a number of reasons.  We break it down.  In fact tax breaks and other incentives for developers doesn't work.  We tell you why.

Transforming Rochester 117

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Activism works!  It's taken years, but the Mayor & Police Chief recently went public with the suspension of police officers who beat someone up.  This wouldn't have happened without the long dedicated work of regular citizens. Get involved!  Tops is closing some local supermarkets.  This is a brilliant opportunity for worker owned stores.  Will those in power listen?

Transforming Rochester 116

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Green Party candidate for NYS Comptroller, Mark Dunlea is the guest.  What does the Comptroller actually do?  Mark talks about his plan to divest New York from fossil fuels and make us 100% renewable by 2030.  We also discuss how the Comptroller could take on corruption in Albany and a public bank.

Transforming Rochester 115

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Howie Hawkins at the Clarissa St. Reunion
Green Party candidate for Governor, Howie Hawkins is the guest for the entire show.  We talk about third party politics, renewable energy, the Green New Deal, housing and more.

Transforming Rochester 114

Saturday, August 18, 2018

City Council is coming up.  We have more of the good, bad, & confusing.  Call 311 to get on the list to Speak to Council on Tue, August 21st at 6:30pm.  The Governor has approved 13 river-based projects.  They're not good.

Transforming Rochester 113

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Alex is off this week and Dave shows us how we can change the Rochester City School District to save our children.  It won't be easy, but it must be done.

Transforming Rochester 112

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Paul Figueroa from the Puerto Rican Independence Party joins us to talk about the movement for click here.  Then we discuss ways we need to reform our electoral system.  Ranked Choice Voting rocks!
independence.  How did the US get it's grubby little hands on Puerto Rico?  Didn't they vote for statehood?  For more info on PIP in Rochester,

Transforming Rochester 111

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Corruption: The Buffalo Billion, what is it and who's making out from this scheme?  How does this connect to Rochester?  The names seem to be the same?  Does the Office of Public Integrity do anything at City Hall?  Less and less it seems.

Transforming Rochester 110

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The next City Council meeting is July 24th.  Call 311 before 5pm on that day to Speak to Council

which starts at 6:30pm.  There's more no bid contracts the city is voting on.  More overpriced studies and some good stuff.  We also discuss the need for more City Recreation for our kids.  It's not just for the children, it will help adults as well.

Transforming Rochester 109

Is Democracy under attack?  We take a historical look to examine what is happening now. (Spoiler Alert: YES!)  How and why we pay taxes has not changed for 150 years.  How should we be collecting taxes today and what should it pay for?

Transforming Rochester 108

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

With Raise the Age legislation about to take affect, there will be a lot more homeless youth in our community.  What should we do?  Also, the pros & cons of legalizing marijuana.

Transforming Rochester 107

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Calvin Eaton from 540 West Main joins us to discuss gentrification.  The Cadillac Hotel is a perfect example of why gentrification isn't right.  And in the second half, are the police the solution to crime?  We say no and have more effective alternatives.

Transforming Rochester 106

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In the first half, we're joined by Almeda Whitis from Artists Coalition for Change Together.  She'll be in Subracting the Divide at MuCCC on June 16th.  Go to for more details and we'll see you there.  Then we talk about job creation and what the government can do to create the real jobs we need.

Transforming Rochester 105

Friday, June 8, 2018

The next City Council meeting is Tuesday, June 20th. Call 311 to speak to council.  Good news:  they'll be voting on restoring some things the mayor left out of the budget.  Bad news: they're going to pay for it by taking other stuff from poor people as opposed to rich people.  There's actually a development project we like!  I know!  Another look at the budget shows us a upward tick in management and employees in the Mayor's office.  Shocked?  We need development without displacement.

Transforming Rochester 104

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Alex explains the budget process of the City of Rochester.  We'd rather have community budgeting.  So what's in the proposed budget?  We discuss.  What are we spending (& not spending) our money on?

Transforming Rochester 103

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Congressional candidate, Rachel Barnhart joins us in the first half of the show.  We talk inside Democratic politics, health care, transportation, Universal Basic Income, Climate Change, and more.  The second half of the show features housing - more specifically the lack of a city housing policy and what one should look like.

Transforming Rochester 102

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Robin Wilt is our guest for the first half of the show.  Robin is running to replace the late Louise Slaughter as the Congressperson in the 25th District.  We discuss health care, the environment, transportation, and more.  If you don't live in the City of Rochester, you may be voting on a school budget.  Why can't city residents have say over the RCSD budget?  How can we change this?

Transforming Rochester 101

Thursday, May 10, 2018

City Council is coming up on May 15th.  Call 311 to sign up to speak to council.  They'll be approving some good stuff like funding for festivals, grants for summer employment and meals for kids.  They'll also be approving some nebulous things.  And some that are a little of both.  Candidates for City Council said they wouldn't vote for the Cobbs Hill Development project. Now that they're all in office, most of them are going to vote for it.

We also discuss how you can be arrested for being poor in Rochester.

Transforming Rochester 100

Sunday, May 6, 2018

ACTS Rochester released their community report card.  There's some good news, but it's mostly for areas that are NOT the City of Rochester.  An interesting group has some suggestions that we can get behind.  Tune in to be surprised.  Also, how can we get a handle on the amount of plastic we use?

Transforming Rochester 99

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What can we do locally to stop climate change? Change the way we heat/cool ourselves & change the way we move ourselves.  Also, carbon taxes & geo-engineering will not work.

Transforming Rochester 98

It's City Council time again.  Someone slipped up and is leasing public space at market rate?  What happened to the corporate welfare?  City Council votes on a new points system - that will get the City sued again. 

Earth Day is coming up.  You definitely have no business going downtown to Parcel 5 on Sunday, April 22nd from 3-5pm for an Earth Day Celebration.  We don't know where you would get that idea from.  Also, check out  We can make NYS 100% renewable by 2030.

Transforming Rochester 97

Monday, March 26, 2018

We look at the history of Midtown Plaza, where it was, how it got to where it is now, and what are we going to do with Parcel 5. (Picture from

Transforming Rochester 96

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's budget season again and the City wants your opinion.  Or do they?  There is also a new Tenant's Union forming in Rochester.  How can we help people living in awful apartments?

Transforming Rochester 95

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

City Council is coming up Tuesday, March 20th.  Call 311 to sign up to Speak to Council at 6:30pm.  There's good stuff & bad on tap at the meeting.  We also discuss an idea to help with Food Justice in Rochester.  There's a lot of vacant land in the city.  Why not use it to grow food where there's food apartheid?

Transforming Rochester 94

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

To focus on public safety, we shouldn't just be focusing on policing.  We should decriminalize marijuana, create jobs for teenagers and young adults, expand recreation, and provide housing for the homeless.  At the same time, police should be retrained to use more restorative methods and there should be follow-up with people who use police services with resources.  Also, the Roc the River concept is government corruption and incompetence at its finest.  You have to hear this to believe it.

Transforming Rochester 93

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Quick updates on previous topics: Cobbs Hill & swapping public land.  The City is giving us contaminated park land.  Ways to deal with our gun problem that the mainstream media isn't discussing.  We're being ripped off by our electricity companies.  What can we do about it?

Transforming Rochester 92

Monday, February 19, 2018

This week we discuss changes in our criminal justice system.  Bail, public defenders, probation, prisons, & restorative justice.

Transforming Rochester 91

Monday, February 12, 2018

Why we should be more focused on home ownership than rentals.  We have solutions.  We look at what some other cities are doing to help the homeless that we could easily do in Rochester.

Transforming Rochester 90

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The next City Council meeting is Tue, Feb 20th.  Speak to Council is at 6:30pm.  Call 311 to get on the list to speak.  The more things change the more they stay the same with our City government.  We also discuss the state of our local minor league sports teams and how we can keep them solvent.

Transforming Rochester 89

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

We update the Cobbs Hill Development project as well as Rochester's point system.  It's all ridiculous.  With the bad news about downtown, we look at Amazon's Hunger Game to improve our city.

Transforming Rochester 88

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Why hasn't the brownfield cleanup in the PLEX neighborhood taken place yet?  Ask ExxonMobil.  How can we help one of the poorest sections of the City?  Then, we win by losing.  Amazon is NOT coming to Rochester.

(picture from

Transforming Rochester 87

Monday, January 15, 2018

Housing is a human right.  The problem of Southview Towers is an indication that we need to look at housing differently.  We also look at the Silvon Simmons situation in terms of what RPD does and how our local judicial system works.

Contact Take Back the Land at

Transforming Rochester 86

Want to be on the City School Board? Here's how. There's a City Council meeting happening on January 23rd. Sign up to speak to council. Someone wants to build a park. How to stop this.

Listen to Alex...

...on Transforming Rochester on Rochester Free Radio. You can see when it's on at the Rochester Free Radio show schedule.

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