Rochester City Council announces replacement for vacant at large seat

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City Council announced Monday that a replacement has been named for the vacant at large seat.

City Council says Miguel A. Meléndez, Jr. has been selected to fill the position, left by former Councilmember Jacklyn Ortiz, who was recently appointed as the Monroe County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner.

Officials say Meléndez will be appointed to serve until December 31, 2021, which coincides with the end of the term for that seat.

“I want to thank all of the individuals who reached out with interest in the Councilmember at Large seat, as well as the citizens who reached out to us supporting candidates.  At this crucial time in our City’s history, we need thoughtful, engaged leaders like Miguel Meléndez to help move our community forward. Our decision was not easy, we considered a number of truly qualified candidates. In the end, the combination of Miguel’s support and connections in the community combined with his understanding of City government based on his extensive work and advocacy with the City made him the Council’s choice for appointment. I am excited to welcome Miguel A. Meléndez, Jr. to the City Council to serve as our next City Councilmember at Large,” said City Council President Loretta C. Scott in a press release.

“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected to serve in the seat vacated by former Councilmember Jacklyn Ortiz,” said Meléndez in a press release. “We have worked together for a number of years and I know she will be a resource. I am grateful to this Council for recognizing my passion, acknowledging my community work, and selecting to appoint me to serve as their colleague. My work with Ibero has connected me to individuals and organizations throughout the City, and I know that they will keep me accountable in this role. I cherish the opportunity to articulate grassroots issues, uplift everyday voices, support communities of color, and advocate with residents. I will work with everyone to move our city forward.”

Officials say City Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2020 on Zoom to formally vote on legislation naming Meléndez to serve as a Councilmember at large. At the end of the meeting, newly appointed Councilmember Meléndez will take his Oath of Office, according to a press release.

Miguel A. Meléndez Jr. Bio from City Council

Miguel A. Meléndez Jr. is a Rochester native with significant experience in community development and grassroots organizing.

Professionally, Miguel is the Chief Community Engagement officer at Ibero-American Action League, sharing his time and talents to improve planning efforts, create partnerships, enhance case management services, and support residents in their quest to improve quality of life in their neighborhoods.

Miguel has an extensive background in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), organizing various efforts by building on community strengths. He has the proven ability to address community concerns and has worked collaboratively to improve the built environment, safety, access to food, neighborhood play, and other essential health supporting activities. In the community, Miguel can be seen organizing, leveraging, and advocating with residents.

Miguel has led various efforts of the Ibero-American Development Corporation such as Project HOPE (Healthy Outcomes through Participation, Education & Empowerment) addressing the social determinants of health and Project CLEAN (Community, Law Enforcement & Assistance Network), a Department of Justice funded effort to tackle the opioid epidemic in Rochester. In 2016, the El Camino Revitalization Area Charrette & Vision plan was developed under Miguel’s leadership, creating a visionary roadmap for the El Camino neighborhood. Since that time, exciting projects have emerged, such as the La Marketa at the International Plaza project, upgrades to Don Samuel Torres Park and the Pueblo Nuevo housing project.

Miguel is a product of the Rochester City School District and a graduate of East High school. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in philosophy at St. John Fisher College. He is a husband, father of three, and a proud Northeast Rochester resident. Miguel enjoys spending time with his family and finding other ways to serve his community through various boards and volunteer opportunities.

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