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Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative Names Director

By Staff


staff_Leonard-BrockDr. Leonard Brock has been appointed as director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, according to officials.

Brock grew up in an impoverished area in the city, before acquiring a doctorate in education and executive leadership, and ultimately serving as executive for special projects at the Children’s Agenda.

“As director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, Dr. Brock will see to it that we engage with residents on the grassroots level, facilitating an authentic community dialogue,” Mayor Lovely Warren stated.

Warren had announced in early May, in a letter to the initiative’s steering committee, that the selection of the director and deputy director of the initiative would be critical to the program’s success, and that  “the selected candidate should bring a voice of authenticity” to the effort.

Brock reportedly grew up in an area of poor neighborhoods close to downtown Rochester.

United Way of Greater Rochester CEO Fran Weisberg said he will earn $95,000 a year in the position, due to a $500,000 grant from the governor’s office in response to reports in January that over half of Rochester’s children live in poverty.

In addition, officials from the initiative also announced the names of 150 people, selected from over 300 community members, who will serve on six work groups, which will be responsible for providing recommendations to the initiative in order to begin addressing poverty in the area.

According to Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Irondequoit), the groups will be tasked with filing their initial reports as early as the end of June.

“Members will have an opportunity to thoroughly examine the many challenges confronting families living in poverty, to solicit vital input from the community, and advance recommendations for how we can better serve, and uplift those most in need,” Morelle stated. “There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, and I thank Dr. Brock, and all of the men and women who have so willingly agreed to serve.”

Morelle said he also plans to ask for additional aid from the state to help fund the initiative.

“It’s my expectation that I will continue to seek funding over the next several years, if necessary,” he stated.

Officials said Brock will begin the position June 1. A deputy director has not yet been named to the initiative.