People Not Projects

For decades our tax dollars have gone to fund large, corporate-owned projects such as the Marina, Fast Ferry, Brooks Landing and on and on.  The only thing this has done has sent our money out of town.  We need a different focus.  We need to start focusing on people not projects. 

We must concentrate on job creation using proven techniques like import replacement, micro-loans, and co-ops to create and grow local businesses rather than tax cuts and subsidies for the well connected few.

Import Replacement Strategy:  When you elect me as your next Mayor, my staff and I, will sit down with local businesses and institutions such as the University of Rochester, Wegmans and even Kodak, to identify the services they outsource and develop ways we can provide them locally.  The City  would then work to create co-operative businesses to meet those needs.  A successful business implementing this model is Evergreen in Cleveland, Ohio

Micro-loans: There are a number of national and international programs that provide micro-loans to potential entrepreneurs.  Some examples are Kiva, Opportunity Fund, and the Microloan program through the Small Business Administration.  We will start a joint partnership with the City of Rochester and other local residents who want to invest in small, local businesses

Cooperative BusinessesCo-ops have been proven to weather bad economies better than corporations.  Co-ops keep money in the community better as well.  When you put me into City Hall, I will direct most of the $1.56 million dollars spent on economic development into the creation of cooperative businesses in the City of Rochester.  Our money, staying in our city.


EXAMPLE:

There are several areas around the city in which abandoned houses stand next to 2 or 3 empty lots with a few inhabited apartments scattered in between.  Filling these areas with overpriced, sweetheart-deal for developers, “townhouses” that no one will move into is not a viable solution to this problem.

An area of land in this neighborhood would be used to create a worker-owned, urban farm.  The property will be sold with long-term financing to this co-operative.  City Hall will provide a low-interest start-up loan with up to two years before the group will have to begin making the first payment.  The farm will work with the City’s Horticulture Department. Working with the City or another group such as SCORE, locally or the Cooperative Development Institute, nationally, the co-operative will function as its own business entity. 

Once harvesting at the farm appears eminent, my staff will work to create other separate, cooperatively owned businesses around it such as a grocery store, restaurant, bakery, and other types of businesses that would rely on this farm to buy goods. 


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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