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        It’s time to hold state legislators directly responsible for Rochester violence.


               It’s time to put political and social pressure on the handful of do-nothings who have Rochester blood on their hands.


               Harry Bronson, Jeremy Cooney, Samra Brouk, Jen Lunsford, Demond Meeks, Sarah Clark.


               These are the people whose votes in the state legislature have brought lawlessness and death to the city of Rochester and its surrounding communities.


               They have ignored the sheriff, they have ignored the mayor, they have ignored the chiefs, they have ignored the district attorney, they have ignored the victims on the evening news. It’s time to hit them in a way they can’t ignore.


               It’s time to tie every carjacking, mass shooting, teenage criminal and professional shoplifter around their political necks. It’s time to actively and loudly protest at their offices and public appearances every time their failed policies take another life and shatter another neighborhood.


               Bail reform, Raise the Age, Less is More. They have turned arrestees loose without bail, they have empowered and incentivized juvenile violence, and they have released inmates far too soon and far too easily. Elections lead to policies and policies lead to consequences, and the consequences of the malfeasance of the Monroe County Democratic state legislature delegation have resulted in heartbreak and chaos for far too long. They have shielded themselves from accountability for their actions and it’s time for that to stop.


               Harry Bronson, Jeremy Cooney, Samra Brouk, Jen Lunsford, Demond Meeks and Sarah Clark have turned a deaf ear to repeated requests for help. They have ignored the pleas of officials and victims. They have placed obedience to their state party’s progressive agenda ahead of their obligation to represent and protect their constituents.


               And their policies have had a direct link to a spike in crime and a bloodletting on Rochester’s streets.


               They have become the problem. They are not a voice for the people, they do not listen to the voice of the people, they are useless.


               And an organization needs to form against them. Not a partisan operation, but a popular uprising. Instead of marching through neighborhoods or holding candlelight vigils on street corners, the aggrieved and concerned need to gather in front of legislative offices, to protest the politicians who have left this community helpless.


               Harry Bronson is on University Avenue. Demond Meeks is on West Main. Jeremy Cooney is on Parcel 5. They paint their names in large letters for all to see, gathering glory for themselves. It’s time to heap them with shame. It’s time for the evening news to cover violence not by standing in front of the Public Safety Building, but by standing in front of Jeremy Cooney’s legislative office. When there’s a murder on Jefferson or Genesee, let the angry crowds gather in front of Demond Meeks’ office, and let the reporters interview them there.


               Who can organize this?


               Somebody who’s not white, and somebody who’s not Republican, and somebody who’s not afraid of retaliation by the Democratic Party and its network of non-profits, academics and activists.


               The usual network of community organizers is silent on this issue, for fear of losing current or future grants from powerful state legislators and agencies. The network of progressive obedience is bound together by government and non-profit jobs and grants, with those who bite the Democrat hand that feeds them frozen out and fired. The cooperative relationship between Democrat politicians, non-profits and the news media defines what is or is not acceptable to say, think or do in Rochester, and someone or some group of someones has to be bold enough to challenge that.


               It’s time to stop thinking that crime is about Genesee Street or North Clinton Avenue. It’s not. It’s about the comfortable offices of the highly paid state legislators who have abandoned Genesee Street and North Clinton Avenue. It’s about the political system that enriches and empowers itself on the blood and backs of poor people of color living in dangerous, impoverished neighborhoods.


               In the neighborhoods, the firefighters hose away the blood of last night’s shootings. In the offices of power, they are concerned with pocket squares and fundraisers. That chasm has to be bridged. It’s time to bring the state legislators into the real world.


               They crapped the bed, and we ought to make them lay in it.

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