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Feedback 8/30

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More on our endorsements

I'm sure political endorsements are usually well-thought-out exercises in civic engagement, but I see that you've already gotten some pushback on your Rochester City Council endorsements. Allow me to join these voices of disagreement.

First, I will disclose that I am a Democratic committeeman in a city legislative district and, in that role, had the opportunity to listen to all the candidates present their platforms. I have also attended several public meetings for more of the same.

These candidates cut a wide swath across the cultural, racial, and political fabric of our fair city. As a city resident, I am looking for innovation and creativity in approaching our community's problems: childhood poverty, inequalities in education and health, perceptions of crime and law enforcement's response, how to manage Rochester's changing cityscape as well as maintaining Rochester as a cultural jewel in our state and nation, among others.

In listening to these excellent candidates, Shawn Dunwoody, by his own personal example of community connection, working with our youth, and energetic advocacy for bringing us together, stands out. He sees issues through different eyes and would certainly be the proverbial breath of fresh air serving on City Council.

We have a need for thinking outside the box, as Rochester can go beyond its former glory as a cultural, business, and residential gem.

SANFORD J. MAYER

District should hire more teachers of color

A school board candidate forum was held August 10, sponsored by the Movement for Anti- Racist Ministry and Action (MAMA). The evening focused upon MAMA's objective: "the recruitment and retention of significantly more race and class-conscious teachers of color in the Rochester City School District." The meeting was well attended, with a full house of attendees and school board candidates, and the candidates enthusiastically shared their support for the objective.

The school district is composed of 60 percent students of color, while the district's teaching staff is composed of a woefully unbalanced proportion of 80 percent white teachers. Research cited that night stated that students of color achieve better, are more motivated, have higher graduation rates, and better attendance when taught by a teacher of color. Testimony given that night from current Rochester school district students strongly supported this action.

Concrete, persistent, and measurable efforts must be conducted by the school district to employ and maintain teachers of color. District officials say that they are actively recruiting more teachers of color. What are the results??

Much needs be done to employ teachers of color, such as providing incentives to teach in the Rochester school district, utilizing and certifying current substitutes and other qualified individuals into the teaching force, encouraging current students of color to pursue teaching careers – for example, in the district's "Teaching and Learning Institute." Scholarships should made available. And more! 

Concrete, ongoing action to recruit and retain teachers of color will increase student learning results, improve school climate, and combat racism. With required staff development on "race and class consciousness" for all teachers, the school district can begin to confront and eradicate the pervasive personal, institutional, and structural racism that currently exists in our schools and our community.

DAVID WALLING

Walling is a member of the Movement for Anti- Racist Ministry and Action.

Trump pro, Trump con

Mary Anna Towler asks: Why are Republicans not speaking out against Trump? ("Which Side Are You On," Urban Journal.) I answer for myself, not all Republicans, but for myself as a Republican, as a Jew, as the widow of a Holocaust survivor, and as someone who lost family to hate. My grandmothers told me about the hate they experienced in Russia and Rumania. Jewish history is filled with hate in all times: Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Middle Ages, Middle East, Holocaust, Father Couglin, Moslem extremists and neo-Nazis. Yes, I know hate.

Why do I not speak out against our president? Because I do not believe he is a hater. Many of the examples that Towler cites are either wrong, exaggerated, misinterpreted, or distastefully spoken by an impulsive man who speaks before he thinks. I agree with him that there is hate at all extremes. The far right has hate groups. The far left is guilty of vandalism, anti-Semitism, and violence.

That is why I do not speak out!

SHEILA GISSIN WEINBACH

Trump will never accept impeachment, because for him that's got to be worse than the fact that Hillary beat him by 3 million in the popular vote.

Mark my 140 characters on my Twitter profile @IMeternalboy: "Trump will choose to resign instead, and gracefully too, as a self-described victim of a dishonest media. His only legacy to conservatives will be that he got Gorsuch in as Supreme Court Justice."

DHANI SCHIMIZZI

If you missed the opportunity to view the solar eclipse, take heart. Remind yourself that in the United States we have daily opportunities to view total eclipses — of democratic values, of decency, of logic, and of compassion — during the Trump administration.

No travel is required: all 50 states happen to lie in the path of totality. Of course, there is always the risk of moral blindness if one stares too long and too intently, and unfortunately scientists have not yet developed proper eyewear for viewing these unearthly phenomena.

JONATHAN BALDO


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