Coming up on Connections: Monday, September 11th

Sep 11, 2017

First hour: Could Rochester be home to Amazon's second headquarters?

Second hour: Discussing electoral reform

Amazon announced last week that it's looking for a home for its second headquarters. Could Rochester be in the running? Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy says yes, and he has already written two letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, touting Rochester's qualifications. Amazon says it will invest $5 billion in "HQ2" and create 50,000 new jobs over the next two decades. Its requirements for a new home include a metropolitan area with at least a million people, a skilled labor force, and access to transit. But what would it take to bring Amazon to Rochester? What kind of tax credits, workforce grants, and utility incentives would be required to woo the company here? And if Rochester delivered and won the bid, would it be worth it? Our guests weigh in. In studio:

  • Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive
  • Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Vinnie Esposito, regional director for Empire State Development, Finger Lakes Regional Office; and executive director for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council
  • Matt Hurlbutt, interim president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise
  • Andrew Brady, co-president of RocCity Coalition, and co-president of Rochester Young Professionals

Then in our second hour, voting reform remains a challenge to overcome in the U.S. and in individual states. According to the League of Women Voters, New York ranked 41st in voter turnout in 2016, with just more than 57 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots. While many people choose not to go to the polls, systemic barriers prevent others from voting. The League of Women voters is holding a forum on the topic next week. We preview that forum and discuss a number of issues related to electoral reform. Our guests:

  • Thomas Ferrarese, Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner  
  • Doug French, Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner  
  • Jennifer Wilson, program and policy director for the League of Women Voters of New York State