Some of you may remember our story on Harry Davis last September. At that time Harry was running a long-shot campaign for Rochester City Council. He didn’t win any of the 5 open council seats. But that didn’t discourage him. He turned right around and announced he’d be write-in candidate for Mayor in November. Mayor Duffy squashed that dream pretty easily on election day. But Harry kept at it. He promptly asked to be hired by Mayor Duffy to lead a “green” urban renewal plan for the city. The Mayor turned him down.
So now Mr. Davis is coming at things from a different angle. Last month he formed his own Political Action Committee (PAC). According to Mr. Davis this new group stands for “green, sustainable development and transportation.” Davis affirms, “The importance of sustainable and efficient transportation for Rochester cannot be overstated. This would include light rail, high-speed rail, bike paths and additional pedestrian options – all of which should complement a rational and minimalist approach to automotive traffic.”
RochesterSubway.com (and a few of our readers) attended one of the group’s meetings last month at Equal Grounds Coffee House (South Avenue). There we met a small but energetic and very optimistic group of people. It was at this caffeine-fueled meeting that Davis’ group committed itself to attend all public City Council meetings. Last Tuesday night Davis’ group made good on its promise.
At the meeting—which was largely overrun with anti school-takeover protesters—Harry and his young group made their voices heard and posed a direct challenge to the Council. Here is a snippet of the statement Mr. Davis read to them:
Transportation, as with other services, is best understood by those who must use it. At a city council candidates debate night held last October by the Center for Disability Rights, I was appalled to hear the response from fellow city council candidates Matt Haag & Jackie Ortiz when asked by Bonnie Cannan if they would give up using their car and take the bus for a day, a week or longer.
I thought at the time that the response of a quick, arrogant “NO! I will not ride a bus!” from Mr. Haag showed absolutely no regard for the plight of his constituents-to-be who must rely on bus service every day to meet their transportation needs.
Ms. Ortiz gave an equally disappointing response to this question.
We suggest that, as a show of both good faith and the desire to understand the needs of their constituents, Ms. Ortiz & Mr. Haag, as well as ALL city council members, pledge tonight to give up the use of their automobiles in favor of bus, bike, or pedestrian transit for a period of one week during the coming month. We further request that City Council undertake the necessary steps to begin evaluation of the modification of the Broad Street plan to include true 21st century public access, including but not limited to bike lanes. We offer to work with City Council to develop such a plan in this instance and on all future occasions.
We look forward to hearing from City Council on the results of these simple requests at the next Council meeting, and further to a long and productive relationship with City Council as we move forward towards our shared goal of a prosperous, sustainable, and livable Rochester.
You can read more about Harry Davis and ask him about joining his group in their fight for a greener Rochester at Harry2009.com
Tags: Bonnie Cannan, Broad Street, Center for Disability Rights, Equal Grounds Coffee House, green development, Harry Davis, Jackie Ortiz, Matt Haag, Mayor Duffy, New York, public action committee, Rochester, Rochester City Council, Rochester City Hall, Rochester NY, South Avenue, sustainability, transportation, urban planning
This entry was posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.