Stand up for the people of Rochester, NY and stop the unjust "BID"

Stand up for the people of Rochester, NY and stop the unjust "BID"

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NoBid Roc​.​com started this petition to Vice President, Rochester City Council Mary Lupien and

In 2022, the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) and the Rochester Downtown Partnership (RDP) , recently renamed the Partnership for Downtown Rochester (PDR) formally began the process of creating a downtown “Business Improvement District” (BID) in Rochester, New York.

We, the undersigned, oppose the creation of a BID in downtown Rochester. We have an opportunity to learn from the experiences of other U.S. cities where BIDs have caused harm and exacerbated inequality.

  • Whereas a majority of BIDs hire private security and/or designated city police officers to patrol public space, creating an environment of fear and surveillance for marginalized residents in spaces everyone has a right (and often a need) to use; and
  • Whereas some BIDs pay the salaries of prosecutors and special courts to process “quality of life” violations that disproportionately impact poor, unhoused, LGBTQ, youth, BIPOC, and other marginalized people; and
  • Whereas BIDs create an additional tax burden on top of existing municipal, county, state, and federal taxes that property owners pass on to tenants, including small businesses and residents who often struggle to make ends meet; and
  • Whereas BIDs further empower the most powerful by creating a governance structure that concentrates decision-making power in the hands of the wealthiest property owners and real estate developers, enabling them to shape self-interested policies to the detriment of other stakeholders, even those with token representation on the BID board; and
  • Whereas BIDs contract for services with third-parties that undercut union labor; and
  • Whereas BIDs disrupt or co-opt existing grassroots initiatives in the arts, positioning themselves as curators and event organizers, and using artists to advance narrow commercial interests, while constraining artistic freedom of expression; and
  • Whereas BIDs operate without meaningful public oversight, even in instances where city officials are supposed to review BID activities, thereby creating an opportunity for corruption and self-dealing; and
  • Whereas the RDDC/RDP has not demonstrated a meaningful commitment to gathering or transparently sharing community input, including voices critical of a BIDs; and
  • Whereas Rochester already rejected RDDC’s previous proposal for a downtown BID in 2014; and
  • Whereas Rochester faces entrenched problems of racial and economic segregation that real estate interests played a major role in creating and exacerbating; and
  • Whereas a downtown BID does not meaningfully address, and is likely to exacerbate, problems of racial and economic inequality in the Rochester area;

Therefore, be it resolved:

  • We call on Rochester City Council to fully cease any further actions toward the creation of a downtown BID; and further,
  • We call on Rochester City Council to invest instead in community-led, democratically-accountable initiatives for downtown that prioritize equity and the needs of the many, instead of the desires of the few.


- BID Education Committee
- Metro Justice
- Free The People Rochester
- Enough Is Enough
- Working Families Party, Rochester, NY
- 540 West Main
- Citizen Action of New York, Rochester Chapter
- Rochester Arts & Causes Collective
- Rochester Ravens
- Roc Food Not Bombs
- Anyone's Cafe & Bakery
- Free Art Collective
- Vocal NY
- Police Accountability Board Alliance
- Justice In Action
- Rochester Mutual Aid Network
- Green Party of Monroe County
- North East Neighborhood Community Council
- 490 Farmers






575 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!