Congratulations to Cindy Meyer and Mary Wallace, named Citizens of the Year by the Rochester Police Department! Cindy and Mary have initiated a number of efforts to improve Lyell Avenue, from tree pit gardens to business outreach and street clean-ups. They also work closely with RPD to try to resolve neighborhood issues, from prostitution to drug activity. Well-deserved, Mary and Cindy!
This race is an anomaly in this election cycle, because it's the only City Council race without an incumbent. Carla Palumbo is stepping down to devote attention to her new position as head of the Legal Aid Society.
Palumbo's chosen successor and the party's endorsed candidate is Molly Clifford, who has a long history in city government and Democratic politics. Her last position with the city was director of fire administration. When Lovely Warren was elected mayor, Clifford left city employment and became executive director of Community Health Strategies in Rochester.
Clifford is being challenged in the Democratic primary by LaShana Boose, whose campaign did not respond to requests for an interview with the candidate.
The northwest includes the Brown Square, Charlotte, Dutchtown, Maplewood, JOSANA, Lyell-Otis, and Edgerton-Dewey-Driving Park neighborhoods.
The district's main issues are the same as those throughout the city, Clifford says: jobs and economic development, education, and safe and healthy neighborhoods.
The northwest has healthy businesses, she says, including the much-touted Eastman Business Park. But, she says, many residents haven't been trained for the jobs that are and will be available at the park, for example.
Monroe Community College's Damon Center is moving into former Kodak offices in the northwest, and Clifford says that she wants to work with the college and northwest businesses to create job-training programs for area residents.
Clifford says that she also wants RGRTA to expand bus service in the northwest quadrant.
Streetscape improvements are needed, Clifford says, on the quadrant's three major arteries: Lake, Dewey, and Lyell Avenues. Residences and businesses along those corridors need help, too, she says, adding that she'd work to make grants and home-improvement loans available for this purpose.
The northwest district also includes the controversial Port of Rochester project, which includes a hotel, town houses, and condos. Some residents say that the proposed development would be too big and would alter the character of Charlotte.
Clifford says that she, too, thinks the project is too big and that she would "hold the developer's feet to the fire" to make sure the neighborhood gets the best project possible.
From the City Newspaper Article:
Democratic discord is playing a role in this year's primary elections
September 2nd, 2015
Clifford...sees the bigger picture in the northwest. MCC's Damon Campus is moving into the quadrant, and Eastman Business Park is there, and Clifford sees opportunity in possible partnerships. That's the progressive thinking that the city needs.
The Working Families Party announced this week that Molly Clifford has received its endorsement in her campaign for Rochester City Council in the Northwest District. The Working Families Party (WFP) is focused on tackling the political, economic, and educational inequality that deprive working and middle class families of opportunity and chose Clifford as the best candidate to address these issues for Rochester's families.
"Molly Clifford has been an advocate for working families and a friend of the Working Families Party for many years," said Jesse Lenney, Upstate Director of the WFP. "We are excited about her candidacy and the progressive values and experience she will bring to City Council. We are looking forward to working with her on a strong field campaign as we go door-to-door to talk to Northwest Rochester voters about the Fight for 15, paid family leave, and other issues that will directly impact the inequality gap."
"I'm thrilled to receive the WFP endorsement," Clifford said. "The WFP has done a great job fighting for progressive issues, and I am honored that they recognized my work on the City's lead paint poisoning prevention program, diversity in the Rochester Fire Department, and support for the Fight for 15 and other efforts. I am looking forward to working with them during the campaign to talk to Northwest voters on the important issues that face them."
Steve Corryn, Chairman of the Monroe County Independence Party, announced this week that the Party will endorse Molly Clifford in her campaign for Rochester City Council. Corryn cited Clifford's experience in City government, commitment to the community and record of fighting for people who need it most as the main reasons for the endorsement.
"Molly has proven that she can balance the needs of citizens with improving governmental efficiency," Corryn said. "Her work to consolidate the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and to obtain the West Brighton Fire Department contract, are two significant examples of what the Independence Party stands for -- saving taxpayer dollars while maintaining services."
Clifford said she was grateful for the Independence Party's support. "There are a number of people in the Northwest District that identify with the Independence Party and its platform," she said. "I am honored to have the opportunity to represent them as we look for ways to save money for City taxpayers without eliminating services. I look forward to that challenge."
Such is the turbulent state of local politics at the moment that a reporter asked if Molly Clifford, who announced her bid for City Council this morning, is running as a Democrat. A bit of background: Clifford is a long time, solid-blue Dem who once ran the local party.
But the Dems, you see, are still reeling from Sandra Doorley's defection. Doorley, the county district attorney and one of the party's brightest stars, announced yesterday that she is becoming a Republican, offering very little in the way of explanation.
But back to Clifford, who is seeking to represent the Northwest District on Rochester City Council. The seat's current occupant, Carla Palumbo, is stepping down this year, which is also the end of her term.
Clifford is well-known in political circles and has held various positions in city government. Her most recent position in the city was director of fire administration. She resigned after Lovely Warren took office as mayor and went to work in the private sector.
At the press conference this morning, Clifford said that she is running because she loves the city and because she wants to fight for the residents of Northwest Rochester, who want good jobs, safe neighborhoods, recreation opportunities for their families, and strong schools.
The Northwest District includes Charlotte, where a battle is being fought over a controversial development project at the Port of Rochester. Some residents say that the mixed-use project, which includes a hotel and condominiums, is out of scale with Charlotte's cozy charm. Clifford said that there have been missteps along the way, but that the important thing now is to work with the developer to get the best possible project.
Clifford's run will undoubtedly be seen as provocative by some. She helped engineer a late push to keep Tom Richards in the mayor's office, even after Warren had won the primary, which caused some to accuse her of disloyalty to the party. But Clifford said this morning that the election is not about Warren, but about the people of Northwest Rochester, who couldn't care less about party politics.
Longtime local Democratic Party activist and city official Molly Clifford is running for City Council.
Clifford is announcing on Friday that she is running for the Northwest City Council seat that Carla Palumbo has held.
Palumbo, who is now CEO of Legal Aid in Rochester, has decided not to seek another term due to her job responsibilities.
Clifford's bio includes a stint as chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, and she also worked in the City Hall administrations of Mayors Bob Duffy and Tom Richards.
Clifford says if elected she wants to work for families impacted by the high concentration of poverty in the city and help city residents live on safe streets and find good jobs.
Molly Clifford, a community activist and Rochester native, will announce her candidacy for the Northwest City Council seat Friday morning.
Clifford said, “These are tough times. Rochester’s concentrated poverty is taking its toll on our children and families. We need someone who is not afraid to stand up for these families and fight for our neighborhoods. I’ve spent most of my career doing just that, and I want to continue fighting for the people of Northwest Rochester.”
Earlier this week, current Councilwoman Carla Palumbo announced that she will not run for re-election.
In what has become Rochester’s worst kept secret, Molly Clifford, a community activist and Northwest Rochester native, will announce her candidacy for the Northwest City Council seat in a press conference this morning at Plumbers Local 13 Union Hall on Mt. Read Blvd.
Current Councilwoman Carla Palumbo announced earlier this week that she will not seek re-election this fall.
Clifford has a storied professional career of serving the community, having been called the “Swiss army knife” of city government by the local press. Among her accomplishments, she:
● Brought the popular “Clean Sweep” program to the Northwest and other quadrants
● Helped improve the health of Rochester’s children through the implementation of the nationally-recognized lead paint poisoning prevention program
● Reworked the Rochester Fire Department’s testing and hiring process, leading to the two most diverse classes of firefighters in RFD’s history
And Ms. Clifford’s experience goes well beyond City government. She:
● Is a partner in a local small business
● Worked to expand community services as Public Affairs Manager at Rural/Metro Medical Services and Golisano Children’s Hospital
● Serves on the Boards of Directors of Mary’s Place Outreach, supporting refugees in Northwest Rochester, and the Regional Center for Independent Living on Jay Street, helping people with disabilities fully participate in the community
“These are tough times,” says Clifford. “Rochester’s concentrated poverty is taking its toll on our children and families. We need someone who is not afraid to stand up for these families and fight for our neighborhoods. I’ve spent most of my career doing just that, and I want to continue fighting for the people of Northwest Rochester.”
A former Democratic Party leader and city staffer will announce a run for City Council on Friday morning.
Molly Clifford will make her candidacy official for the northwest Rochester district seat. Incumbent Councilwoman Carla Palumbo said this week she will not seek another term, citing new job responsibilities.
A native of the Maplewood neighborhood, Clifford has lived in Charlotte for about a year. She was chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee from 2003 to 2005 and later worked in the administrations of mayors Robert Duffy and Thomas Richards.
"I really love the city," she said Thursday. "I've been pretty fortunate to work on city issues almost my whole career."
Clifford now is executive director of Community Health Strategies.
If elected, she said she wants to focus in part on jobs and economic development to ease the concentration of poverty in the district.
Clifford will likely have to weigh in on controversial plans to develop the Port of Rochester, which is part of the district. Now that City Council has approved selling land for the first phase of the project, officials need to closely watch the developer to make sure he lives up to the city's standards, she said.
More community input is needed on the next two phases of the project, she said.
Clifford is scheduled to speak about her campaign at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Plumbers Local 13 Union Hall on Mt. Read Boulevard.