Rochester falls into 2nd worst place for black people to live

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A new study claims the 25th congressional district is the worst in the country when it comes to the quality of life for African Americans.

The study, done by 24/7 Wall Street, a financial company, looked at residential data from all over the country.

One local is not surprised. Shaq has lived in Rochester his whole life. He is a single parent and works two jobs.

He’s not surprised that Rochester is ranked 2nd worst place in the county for black people.

“I kinda believe it because you know…there’s not enough classes to teach you how to become an adult. A lot of kids don’t have the parents that can teach them that…There’s not enough community support, program support anything for the people that live here in Rochester,” said Shaq B. a Rochester resident.

Lashay also lives in Rochester, but she didn’t grow up here. Originally from the south, she wants to see more actions on a government level.

“I don’t like it. I’m not from here but I see how bad it is and I feel like if your telling everybody your gonna do something and you’re in a position to do something then there should be no reason why it’s not done,” said Lashay, Rochester resident.

The 24/7 Wall Street study found in Rochester 34% of black residents are in poverty compared to 8% of white residents. Unemployment for black people is 15% and homeownership is 31%, both lower than their white counterparts.

The numbers didn’t shock Terry Chaka either. She is the director at the Baobab Cultural Center in Rochester. She cites historical shifts in the community as a potential reason

“White flight began sometime in the ’60s and what that did was it took not only the white residents out of the city but they took their money with them,” said Chaka.

The 25th congressional district includes the city of Rochester and areas in Monroe County. Represented by democrat Joseph Morelle
in a statement he said

“Like many regions, Rochester faces a number of complex challenges. unfortunately, we have a long way to go in combatting the structural racism and generational poverty that perpetuate these inequities. I am working every day to lead the fight for change and create opportunity for everyone who calls our community home.”

The candidates for county executive have opposing ideas, on the best way to improve quality of life for all.

“If we really want to get off the list we need to look at Washington as well and say what’s happening in congress. maybes there’s another way,” said Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County executive.

“I think what we need to do as leaders is do a better job at bringing people together and figure out how the resources we’re spending is actually impacting the challenges that are facing our community,” said Adam Bello county exec. candidate.

Many residents believe areas like education, crime prevention, and community outreach need the biggest improvements.

The full study can be found here.

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