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Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative Under Attack?

Community members are demanding answers from RMAPI (Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative). One community member emailed, “Can someone explain to me where did 6.5 million dollars go to? 2015 to 2022? Where are the receipts at? Make things more affordable? For who? That never happened in my hood!! Apartments are over $1,000 so it’s gotten 59 times more worse! The wage is still minimum! The word minimum has not been removed from poor people wages. $15.00 an hour is minimum it’s not maximum! Even those of us who live in the hood who are frowned upon and called names; we see the injustices and the greed. Those people who continue to rob Peter and give to Paul; your works will be in vein! People itchy palms; we will continue to call out. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering; there is a name for people who do these kinds of injustices in our communities to our people. They are called THIEVES!! and thieves can’t be trusted!”

According to RMAPI's website, Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) is a multi-sector community collaborative with a goal to improve quality of life by reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency. To do this, RMAPI is focused on increasing income, making basic needs more affordable and accessible, and lowering concentrations of poverty.

Tocsin Magazine spoke with Clayton Waller, the Community Engagement Liaison for RMAPI. Waller informed our publication that RMAPI does not provide services to the community. Waller stated that the organization conducts surveys to determine what community members need. Waller could not explain what other efforts the organization has made to reduce poverty.

In February of 2019, WXXI spoke with Leonard Brock the Executive Director of RMAPI at the time. During Brock's interview, he too confirmed RMAPI does not provide direct services. Brock stated RMAPI is a "community coalition and a group of actors working together to identify specific strategies that organizations could take responsibility for executing to reduce poverty."

WXXI asked Brock about RMAPI's promise to reduce poverty by 50% in 15 years. Brock stated, "An expectation shouldn’t be 50 percent in fifteen years, that should be an aspirational goal that we work toward."

Unfortunately, the money that RMAPI receives comes through the United Way and pays the salaries of employees according to WXXI.

Tocsin Magazine has requested a meeting with the current Executive Director Aqua Porter.


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