Tocsin Magazine sat down with George Mitris to discuss his campaign for Congress, plans for the future, and more.
Tocsin: Thank you for joining us. Could you please tell our readers who you are?
George: I am George Mitris. I am an attorney in Rochester for over 30 years. I ran for congress in the 2020 congressional race in Monroe County. I had never run for office before. I had never had political aspirations before. I ran because as I looked around the county I saw a lot of things neglected a lot of communities that were being neglected and I saw people that mainly use the political office for their own personal interests rather than helping the community they are supposed to serve and in Monroe County, as you may or may not know things became really bad when people that worked very hard to get a seat at the table were methodically and intentionally pushed out and so I wanted to make a difference win lose or draw. I wanted to bring a message out that we can not continue with these divisive policies.
Tocsin: You stated that you ran for congress, your opponent was Joe Morelle. He has a strong support system here in Monroe County. Why did you think you could defeat him?
George: Well I happen to believe in faith and I believe that if you do what is within reason you will make a difference it may not be the result that you intended but there will be a difference and I think we achieved some of that. I think what we’ve done is we brought awareness that for instance that our community in the city has been neglected for decades, we brought awareness that not only has it been neglected but the elected leaders that were elected by the people, the residents of the city, most of those people are people of color and minorities. Those who worked hard to get a seat at the table were methodically thrown away from the table. So, that message had to get out. And at the same time not only did I get that message to the voters, not as much as we wanted to with the limited resources that we had. By the way, I used my own resources. I put my family’s financial security on the line because this is how important this is to me. We got very little funding from outside sources. So, we got that message out I think and at the same time in doing so I am very grateful to say, I’m profoundly grateful that we have built friendships and relationships with people who have the same values that I do.
Tocsin: When you say some politicians don’t have the best interest of the community, are you specifically talking about Joe Morelle?
George: The examples of politicians are many, but in particular we were talking about Joe Morelle.
Tocsin: So, what has Joe Morelle not done for his district in your opinion?
George: Everything that we have said we have reiterated what’s in the newspapers. In City Newspaper, in D& C, in the Wall Street Journal, in USA Today when you take a look at Rochester for instance, over the last thirty years, the worst school district in the state, second-worst in the entire country, this is what the newspapers are saying, not me. We’re amongst the worst poverty rates, worst for African Americans, worst job prospects. So, worst in education, jobs, crime in all these categories. We are at the bottom of the barrel. That is horrific.
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