News Release - Voting Begins Monday for VOC Participatory Budgeting

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013) – Community members have discussed their neighborhoods’ needs and worked together to develop project proposals to meet those needs; now it’s time for city residents and businesses to decide which project they believe will most improve public safety in their quadrant. The two-week voting period for the “Voice of the Citizen” Budgeting for Public Safety participatory budgeting initiative begins on Monday, Dec. 2. Mayor Thomas S. Richards dedicated up to $200,000—up to $50,000 per city quadrant—to be spent on projects that were wholly created and developed by citizens.

In the Northwest, quadrant delegate teams have developed projects designed to enhance communications and support for neighborhood groups, install crime prevention using environmental design items, create a horseback riding/equine therapy program called “Ride to Revitalize” and enhance the PAC-TAC initiative.

Southwest quadrant ballots contain projects for creating arts and cultural programs for at-risk youth, career and community education programs and community building projects. Examples of available initiatives include hands-on projects such as the production of a video about the history of Southwest Rochester, cooking classes, community presentations, vocational and financial literacy training, tutoring and more.

Southeast quadrant ballots include the creation of opportunities for civic engagement through traffic calming measures, enhanced street lighting, neighborhood enhancement projects and events and activities. The ballot also includes funding for expansion of the GIS Scholars, an after-school training program for high school students in Geographic Information Systems technology. A project will be created where students create a mapping project to collect data and identify crime rates through the mapping technology. There is also a family and consumer sciences program that will provide classes on parenting, home upkeep, cooking and life skills training for single young women and/or men.

Northeast ballots also contain an expansion of the GIS Scholars program, as well as the creation of a mini-grant program to fund neighborhood enhancement projects such as community gardens, mini-clean sweeps and art/murals on utility boxes through block clubs and business associations. The Northeast ballot includes a project to purchase two off-road utility vehicles and associated supplies and equipment for RPD patrol of trails and City parks.

Residents may vote for one action plan from their ballot as determined by the quadrant in which they live. (Example: Only residents of the Northeast quadrant may vote on the Northeast ballot). Each city quadrant has its own ballot. Voters must be age 16 and older to vote and commercial properties are allowed one vote per address. The ballots contain a map to help voters determine which quadrant they live in as well as instructions. Ballots contain brief descriptions of the proposals. Full project details, including costs are available at each voting location and online at, beginning Dec. 2.

Voting locations include City branch libraries, the Central Library, City Hall, Neighborhood Service Centers, the Recreation Administration building at 400 Dewey Ave. and larger City Recreation and Community Centers. Residents may also vote online at Below is the full list of voting locations:

All ballots:
o City Hall, 30 Church St.
o Central Library, 115 South Ave.
o Recreation Administration Building, 400 Dewey Ave.

Northwest quadrant:
o Charlotte Branch Library, 3557 Lake Ave.
o Maplewood Branch Library, 1111 Dewey Ave.
o Lyell Branch Library, 956 Lyell Ave.
o Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St.
o Campbell St. Community Center, 524 Campbell St.
o Northwest Neighborhood Service Center, 71 Parkway

Southwest quadrant:
o Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Blvd.
o Phillis Wheatley Branch Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way
o Adams St. Community Center, 85 Adams St.
o Flint St. Community Center, 271 Flint St.
o Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 923 Genesee St.

Northeast quadrant:
o Lincoln Branch Library, 851 Joseph Ave.
o Ave. D Community Center, 200 Avenue D
o Carter St. Community Center, 500 Carter St.
o Marketview Lodge Recreation site, 136 First St.
o Northeast Neighborhood Service Center, 500 Norton St.

Southeast quadrant:
o Winton Branch Library, 611 Winton Rd.
o Highland Branch Library, 971 South Ave.
o Monroe Branch Library, 809 Monroe Ave.
o South Ave. Community Center, 999 South Ave.
o Sully Branch Library, 939 Bay St.
o Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, 320 N. Goodman St., Suite 209

When the voting period closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, the ballots will be tallied and the projects from each quadrant with the most votes will proceed to the implementation phase, which is scheduled to begin in January. 

For more information about the program contact the Communications Bureau at 428-7135.


News media: For more information, contact Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon at 428-7163.