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King and racism

On Urban Journal's "Martin Luther King Jr. and Our History of Racism": There is no denying the persistence of racism, but I can't agree with Ms. Towler that since MLK's assassination people haven't made progress. I doubt that any of us old enough to reflect on the casual expressions of racism, sexism, and homophobia that once were tolerated can avoid awareness of how standards have changed. That reflects a change in thinking and behavior, not just different words.

There are outliers. It takes some people longer than others, but the trend is obvious. Barack Obama won election twice, and it wouldn't have happened without the support of white Americans.

What persists is institutions that lag far behind the people they presume to govern: predatory capital, police, courts, parties.

It was the long-term failure of the Democratic Party to deliver tangible improvements in the standard of living for distressed citizens of all categories, and Clinton's arrogant stupidity, that cost her a winning margin.

It was a non-democratic institution, the Electoral College, that delivered Trump to the White House.

Blaming Americans for the failures of these rogue, incompetent institutions is wrong. Denying our progress hands a victory to our enemies.


Cobbs Hill's apartments

Those who have urged the city not to tear down the present Cobbs Hill Village apartments and maintain the integrity of Cobbs Hill Park have been maligned by people stating that we are more interested in parks than Rochester seniors with extremely low incomes. This is unfair and untrue. Once these apartments are torn down, the folks who live in Cobbs Hill Village and any other seniors in Rochester will not ever be able to get low-cost senior housing like they have now. These apartments are a model for low-income senior living.

Last year City Council passed a Climate Action Plan, a well-thought-out document that recognizes the urgency of addressing climate change in the Rochester region. It says: "Well-vegetated parks can help moderate higher temperatures created in urban heat islands, sequester carbon and other pollutants, and help mitigate impacts of extreme weather events. In addition, parks and green spaces provide opportunities for active recreation, passive enjoyment of nature, and stress relief, all factors that contribute to a more resilient population."

Most people think climate change will happen far into the future and someplace else. Neither is true. Climate change is hitting home now, and Rochester must prioritize its own commitment to addressing it.

Maintaining the present profile of Cobbs Hill Village, working on other solutions for senior housing, and eventually returning this section of the park back to its original intent would demonstrate Rochester's commitment to a sustainable future.


I applaud the City Planning Commission for its compassionate decision to support low-income senior housing on a private site that has been low-income housing for half a century. Why evict the existing 60 residents by 2041, as suggested by the Coalition for Cobbs Hill Park in their statement to the City Planning Commission, and return this section of the park back to its original intent?

The bitter opposition is indeed putting the value of trees over the value of our most vulnerable senior citizens. I hope both City Council and the mayor support this wise Planning Commission decision.