RACISM: Hold Mayor Lovely Warren & County Executive Adam Bello Accountable for our money

RACISM: Hold Mayor Lovely Warren & County Executive Adam Bello Accountable for our money

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Take It Down Planning Committee; Faith Community Alliance Coalition started this petition to Office of the New York State Comptroller | Thomas P. DiNapoli and

PLEASE JOIN US IN DEMANDING THAT:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH OPEN MEETINGS LAWS, ALL "COMMISSION ON RACIAL AND STRUCTURAL EQUITY" MEETINGS BE:

ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY (IN ADVANCE OF OCCURRENCE), INCLUDING NOTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC MEETING AGENDAS. 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC REGARDING ATTENDANCE.

RECORDED, WITH OFFICIAL MINUTES (WRITTEN AND/OR ELECTRONIC) AVAILABLE NO LATER THAN A WEEK AFTER EACH MEETING OCCURS.

ALL EXPENDITURES, AS WELL AS ALL NEWLY GENERATED AND/OR NEWLY ALLOCATED REVENUE (BEYOND THE REPORTED $200,000 DOLLARS) BE REPORTED PUBLICLY WITHIN TWO DAYS OF RECEIPT.

According to Rochester, New York's Former Mayor, William Johnson --- Rochester's current Mayor, Lovely Warren and Monroe County, New York's Executive Adam Bello have allocated $200,000 dollars of taxpayers money (see related email below) to pay for "studying the local impact of structural and institutional racism [,and] examine policing policies, look at education, health care, mental health and addiction services, job creation and business development [,and] develop policies and legislation to address racial inequities" (  https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2020/08/10/rochester-race-inequity-rase-commission-warren-bello-police-education-health-care/3337660001/ ).  

A major problem is that, in addition to numerous other fundamental flaws and problematic issues, the so-called "Commission on Racial And Structural Equity --- RASE" is operating secretly, while spending tax money, without permission ( http://minorityreporter.net/the-new-commission-on-racial-and-structural-equity-is-already-flawed/ )

THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH OPEN MEETINGS LAWS, WE DEMAND THAT ALL "RASE" MEETINGS BE:

ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY (IN ADVANCE OF OCCURRENCE), INCLUDING NOTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC MEETING AGENDAS. 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC REGARDING ATTENDANCE.

RECORDED, WITH OFFICIAL MINUTES (WRITTEN AND/OR ELECTRONIC) AVAILABLE NO LATER THAN A WEEK AFTER EACH MEETING OCCURS.

WE DEMAND THAT ALL EXPENDITURES, AS WELL AS ALL NEWLY GENERATED AND/OR NEWLY ALLOCATED REVENUE (BEYOND THE REPORTED $200,000 DOLLARS) BE REPORTED PUBLICLY WITHIN TWO DAYS OF RECEIPT.

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On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 12:08 PM William Johnson <wjohnso8@rochester.rr.com> wrote:

Howard, I am responding to your email to correct one point that you made. And to clarify another. 

When you persisted in stating that the Commission has a budget of $1 million, comprised of $300 K from the County and $700 K from NYS, that is flatly incorrect. We are currently operating on an approximately $200 K budget (still being finalized). The City and County have earmarked up to $100K each, with $30K (each) of those funds immediately being used to leverage contributions from private sources. This is a countywide Initiative, and broad support- both in resources but in working towards solutions- is absolutely essential. Furthermore, neither I or any other commissioner will be compensated for our involvement. This is all volunteer work, except for a consulting firm that will be employed. Applications were solicited through a public RFQ/RFP process. 

It is also incorrect that the NY State has designated any funds towards RASE. 

Second, when I indicated that your name had not been sent forward by the Screening Committee, it was to clarify a process that reduced the number of applicants from about 230 to the 13 slots to be filled. There will be a lot of disappointed and very qualified candidates, who like you, believe that they had a lot to contribute. But the reality is that only 13 can fill these slots. We are creating various ways that all of you can still positively contribute. A public announcement will be forthcoming. 

I believe that the Screening Committee names will be publicized on the RASE website, if they are not already there. While I mentioned that to you, and indicated they were the only ones who can explain why you were not advanced, I do not agree that you, or any other candidate, has a right to interview them (or cross examine them) about their decisions. When they accepted this assignment , it was not with the understanding that their decisions would be second guessed. I don’t think either you or I would have agreed to that condition. 

We (the co-chairs ) agreed to the screening process, and we committed not to meddle in their deliberations. While we had the right to look at the lists of those who were not advanced, we did not do so. In our deliberations, we confined ourselves to the 41 names that were sent to us. No one whose name was not on that list was reviewed and sent forward. 

Likewise, we sent 21 names to the Mayor and County Executive. They concluded their deliberations this morning, and not one of their 13 appointees came from any other source than our list. Like in previous phases, some extremely qualified people were eliminated. The Mayor and County Executive, too, committed to staying with the process. 

There is no doubt that, if and when the full list of the 230 applicants is known,  some may wonder why so-and-so was not advanced. I can speak with certainty for myself and my two colleagues, that we will not spend one second interrogating the Screening Committee about their decisions. 

Let me make another point. There are all kinds of processes which require subjective decisions, which do not allow a participant to question the outcome. Can you imagine a disgruntled job applicant interrogating the human resource department?

I understand your disappointment, but my reason for calling you yesterday was to let you know that there are other ways for you and your allies to bring your concerns, your proposals and energy to the Commission’s work. I hope you will consider those options. 

Bill Johnson
Co-Chair, RASE

Sent from my iPhone

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