There’s been a lot of hand-wringing since Rochester lost its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
Rochester is too small. Rochester doesn’t have great transit. Our airport is lacking. City schools are a mess. The state’s tax climate is awful.
We can’t pass judgment on why we lost without seeing our application. The state has determined the bids are not subject to open records laws.
Here is a list of things we can do to make Rochester attractive to outsiders and to foster economic growth from within:
- Municipal broadband: By offering free and low-cost fiber internet, we can ensure children have access to knowledge and businesses can access affordable infrastructure.
- Green Energy: Community choice aggregation offers a path to making Rochester a green city with lower-cost utilities.
- Desegregated schools: Separate is never equal. We can start with a regional magnet school and encouraging families to stay in the city and choose city schools.
- Better transit: We must prioritize funding and accessibility, and locate jobs near people.
- Affordable childcare: We must prioritize funding and work with employers on creative ways to expand opportunities.
- End pay to play: Campaign donations shouldn’t play a role in economic development incentives.
We’re not going to be saved by a casino, water park or Amazon. But we do have the power, if not the will, to save ourselves.
Author: Rachel Barnhart
Related: Joint Application to Amazon a Ruse