WXXI AM News

Alex White: Poverty is the number one issue facing next mayor

Sep 13, 2017

Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White says now that the primary elections are over, it's time to focus on the main problem facing the city of Rochester, and that's poverty.

"In this mayoral race, poverty should be the central issue, as it lurks behind most of the other problems our city faces," he said.

Speaking in front the Office of Adult and Career Education Services, or OACES, White maintains the best thing a mayor could do for the city is to reduce poverty, but the current Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative is coming up short.

Green Party candidate for mayor, Alex White, says OACES has been addressing the issue of poverty for 80 years
Credit Alex Crichton

"This just nibbles around the edges and ignores the major problems which cause poverty which is the lack of good jobs and the lack of skills for the people to obtain these jobs," he said.

White says the city spent $1.3 million dollars last year on Operation Transformation Rochester, which created 40 jobs.

He says with that kind of funding, OACES could've created over 250 jobs.

It offers vocational training for adults without a high school diploma.

White says funding for the program has been reduced, but if it had remained stable, it would have found careers for 700 more adults.

White says, as mayor, he would work with the City School District to make sure OACES got the funding it needs to fight poverty and help city residents.

WXXI has reached out to the mayor's office and representatives from RMAPI for comment.

Here's Alex White in front of OACES, talking about the lack of good jobs and the skills to obtain those jobs: