ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — People in the 14621 Zip Code in Rochester are working to re-start their own neighborhood association since their merger with the North East Area Development Association was forced to dissolve, due to its former leaders convicted in Federal Court of misspending funds.
As a result, concerned residents in the area feel they have no voice in the city and suffer from crime, but are now teaming up with state leaders to create their own group.
Recently, members of the 14621 zip code met with the New York State Attorney General and other elected state leaders to start building a new neighborhood association. Taking a community-based approach to stopping crime and creating a healthier neighborhood for future generations.
Despite gun violence on the rise in their area, those wanting to launch their own neighborhood association again in 14621 don’t want their community to become immune to it. Concerned residents like Joan Roby-Davison know it doesn’t represent a majority of their area.
“We have all these assets that just get ignored and because we have no collective voice,” Roby-Davison said. “That message doesn’t get out there to counterbalance the fact that we do have this violence. But we need more resources to address all of that.”
Out of the top four zip codes in Rochester with the most homicides, the 14621 area leads the city with 14 so far in 2022. Locals believe this boils down to consistent declines in new housing, employment, and other opportunities for the youth.
“When the jobs moved out of the city that made it more difficult for those who don’t have vehicles,” Roby-Davison continued. “50% of the people who live off Clinton Ave don’t have cars, so how are they going to get to all the jobs in Greece or Henrietta? Houses are not maintained and they’re old.”
“There’s some real concern around activities and opportunities for youth,” Assembly Member Sarah Clark of Rochester added. “Making sure we have youth sports and things for kids to engage in.”
By creating a new neighborhood association, people in the 14621 zip code feel it can bring back their voice in city operations. A few of their goals are to expand more community centers to give kids places to study after school and more access to computers. So, adults can look for job openings.
“Before all of this when it was a strong neighborhood association it had a home repair program,” Assembly Member Clark explained. “So, it helped people prepare their roof, or their hot water heater, it had a computer lab where people could apply for jobs and a tool library where people could borrow tools.”
Those in the 14621 zip code who are already on board with a new neighborhood association feel the process can go along much quicker if more people get involved. Those who want to get involved can email Joan Roby-Davison at firstname.lastname@example.org.