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Houston, We Have a Problem: RASE Not Adding Up

In June, Mayor Lovely Warren and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced a plan to attack systemic racism head on. Unfortunately, enthusiasm for RASE turned to outrage when city residents, who are severely impacted by systemic racism appeared to be missing from the list.

Activist and educator Howard Eagle stated, " I got a problem that the county executive is even in a decision making role in this for a number of reasons." Eagle continues, "How do you have a racist talking about who can do anti-racist work? And I will guarantee you, I'll bet my life on it as we sit here, when you make your announcement, if you haven't already about who these people are, you are going to have racists sitting on your commission."

On August 10th, Director of the Children’s Detention Center Catherine Thomas, attorney Danielle D. Ponder,  Director of Strategic Marketing and Retail Development at RIT Denishea R. Ortiz, attorney Luis E. Ormaeche, refugee and psychologist Kim T. Nghiem, advocate Karen L. Elam, advocate Logan X. Brown, advocate Damond Wilson, former professor Eric Caine, advocate Aaron Anandarajah, advocate Sady Fischer, advocate Stephanie Townsend and advocate Marcus Dunn were revealed as the 13 county residents selected to be The Commission for Racial and Structural Equity.

They will be joined by Michael Mazzeo, Rochester Police Locust Club President, Mitch Gruber, City Councilman, Richard Tantalo, Monroe County Director of Public Safety, Todd Baxter, Monroe County Sheriff, Willie Lightfoot, City Council vice-President, La’Ron Singletary, Rochester Police Chief, Frank Keophetlasy, Monroe County Legislator, and Steve Brew, Monroe County Legislature Majority Leader.

Below is a demographic breakdown of members based on gender, age and race:

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