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Rochester League of Women Voters Holds Forum to Discuss Anti-Poverty Initiative

By Staff –


poverty forumNearly 100 people attended Rochester’s League of Women Voters’ public forum to discuss the city’s anti-poverty initiative at Asbury United Methodist Church recently.

The group held a panel discussion featuring Tori Toliver-Powers, from Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative; LaShunda Leslie-Smith, of Connected Communities Inc.; Henry Fitts, director of the city’s Office of Innovation; and Vincent Esposito, the regional director of Empire State Development.

The group said it held the event to discuss the status of RMAPI’s efforts, and how the community can become engaged in the process.

“Over 80 people attended in spite of the threatening weather,” League of Women Voters anti-poverty committee chair Georgia DeGregorio said in a statement. “The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive in saying the forum met expectations. For our committee, it laid out the scope of what is planned, and gave us a structure within which we plan to drill down for more specifics as the initiative unfolds. We plan to share with our members, and those who wanted more information, through reports in our newsletter, The Voter. We are interested, for instance, in knowing more about the numbers being used to determine the progress expected. We would like to see the demographics of the households participating. Eventually, we hope to see how the suburban poor will be served by this model, or a variation of it. The League has been supporting programs to reduce poverty, and increase self-sufficiency  since the ’70s, and we hope anyone who is interested in working with us will feel free to join our committee.”

Visit to view video from the group’s forum, or click on the image below.