Update 19 – September 2020

President’s Message Zola Brown

How time flies as we come into Labor Day weekend: the well-known last family barbecue and the start of the fall season. Schools are delayed and remote learning is still a priority. We hope that the education system throughout this covid season recognizes the work of parent, teacher and student for virtual learning challenges and processes. On this Labor Day weekend, we want to acknowledge the union workers who are not working due to schools being delayed and essential workers on the frontline.  

The education system, housing, critical social services, and infrastructure programs depend on census-guided federal grants that provide millions of dollars in funding for our area. Participation in the census has real fiscal consequences for our community. We have certain areas of the 19th Ward where participation is very low. Please fill out the census and not dodge the census taker when knocking on your door.  Our last day to get this right is September 30 and, like voting, you cannot complain if you do not participate. Quality of life begins with you.

Our 19th Ward yard signs and Black Lives Matter signs dominate our neighborhood.  This speaks volumes about how proud you are to live here, and you care about issues that involve injustice.  Blue lives matter and backing the blue sign dismisses the problem of police brutality.  We all know good cops and good cops know the bad ones, but the silence keeps us in a revolving circle of denial. We must address the issue of systematic racism in the justice systems, but that will take full transparency from the entire establishment. We need City of Rochester and County officials to acknowledge Black Lives Matter.  I am personally excited about legislation to have new recruits live in the city where they work – this could build community relations. This is a small gesture to the bigger problem. Defunding the police means reform, retrain and allocating resources to help the communities deal with ongoing problems like mental health and other social services.

The Chalk Fest was one of our bright spots for the month, and we want to thank Cecelia Hencke and her team for a job well done. Great work is being done in our community gardens.  It takes a lot of commitment, but it’s worth the time.  So let’s start sharing more stories and pictures of bright spots in our community. We also want to thank everyone who supported Devon’s Lemonade Stand on Roslyn Street.  He will have great childhood memories.

The Actor and Activist Chadwick Bosman (Black Panther), before passing on August 28, lived his life with purpose.  His quote  “You would rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill… Remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”  I hope you find your purpose  with community building and contributing to the neighborhood. Please continue to support the Westside Farmer’s market every Tuesday and all of our local businesses in the 19th Ward. We hope our information through our weekly update, newsletters and Facebook help in some way.  

Zola Brown, President 19th Ward Community Association

Picture of Cecelia

Cecelia Hencke moved to the 19th Ward in December 2018 with her husband, Stuart, and dog, Pisco. They had been living in the city for several years and when they finally saved up enough money to buy their first home, they knew that they wanted to continue to live in the city, but also in a diverse neighborhood. They were drawn to the 19th Ward because of the unique and beautiful homes, and the fact that it had an active and well respected neighborhood association, especially one that was known for racial and social justice efforts.

Social justice has played a huge part in Cecelia’s life and career. After college, she served in AmeriCorps working for a homeless prevention program in West Virginia. After her year of service, she moved back to her hometown, Avon, NY where she briefly worked with children who had mental health and behavioral issues. During this time, Cecelia rediscovered the city of Rochester with new eyes and it felt as though it was a whole new city to her, even though she had grown up less than 30 miles away. However, she often heard negative news about the City and wanted to better understand what it was really like. Cecelia found another opportunity to do AmeriCorps in the City of Rochester and spent a year working at Wilson High School through the University of Rochester’s college prep program. This introduced her to all the amazing people and organizations that were achieving incredible things to help students succeed and other efforts to make a positive difference. Since then, she has continued to be committed to making the City of Rochester a place for people to thrive and have enriching lives. A big part of this is by choosing to live in the city and serve as a delegate for the 19th Ward Community Association.  Cecelia is looking forward to raising a family here and sending their kids to city schools because she truly believes that staying invested in our community is the best way to “lift all boats.”

“I currently work in the field of International Education and believe that bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and cultures is the best way we can learn about ourselves and each other, and in turn, make this world a better place. I am proud to be a resident of the 19th Ward because it exemplifies my core values and beliefs. I look forward to continuing to serve as the District 7 Delegate and getting to know my neighbors and everything this community has to offer.”

Around the Neighborhood

Be Healthy Food Market- a painting by our neighborhood artist Mitch Lurye

Chalk Fest 2020

Chalk Fest 2020 was an amazing and fun event! The rain date of August 30th proved to be the best date weather-wise. A HUGE Thank You to Ceceila Hencke and her team! Below are a few photos from the event:

Neighborhood Gardens

The Ravenwood/Thurston Garden Carries On

This summer, the dry weather probably affected the Ravenwood/Thurston Garden more than the Covid pandemic, but we volunteers have tried to keep up with the watering and the weeding so that it can be a place of peace and beauty for our stressed community. Thank you to the friends who have helped. If anyone would like to join us occasionally or regularly, please email Charlotte at giebeld@gmail.com . We usually work at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, but can adjust the time to fit your schedule. The fall always requires some extra work of preparing for winter and putting the garden to bed. Your help would be appreciated! Thanks,
Doug and Charlotte Giebel
Dan and Joanne DeMarle

Common Ground Garden

The garden at 85 Woodbine is in it’s 9th year of operation. Vegetables, berries, a little free library and a new peace pole highlight property. Honeybees in the back corner keep everything pollinated!

Rapids Cemetery Volunteerism Leads to a Public Opportunity to Celebrate Women’s Empowerment

Photo: August 17, 2020.  
 ”Bicycling … has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world … It gives freedom and self-reliance.” Susan B. Anthony 1896.

In late July 2020, a sixteen year-old young woman named Lucy and her mother assisted at Rapids Cemetery on a Sunday afternoon to clear gravestones from excess vegetation. She told of her efforts to create an outdoor mural proclaiming the theme of women’s empowerment. It was one of the ten winning projects awarded a summer grant from Wall Therapy.

The intended downtown mural site was no longer available due to a business closing its doors because of a sudden economic downturn. She mentioned this predicament to a Nineteenth Ward History & Archives member who offered to link her with Barbara Hoffman, a property owner in the Susan B. Anthony Preservation District and a long-time supporter of women’s economic progress, local arts and bicycling. Barbara agreed and Lucy was able to meet her approaching deadline.  The mural image features a nineteenth century woman bicyclist wearing bloomers astride an historically accurate bicycle. Sepia-toned coloration and subtle design themes evoke Rochester’s photographic and Flower City history. The mural text states, ”Bicycling … has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world … It gives freedom and self-reliance.” Susan B. Anthony 1896. The mural was painted on a prominent wall surface at Canal and West Main Streets. Its timely completion in mid-August commemorated the Women’s Suffrage Centennial . The mural has already drawn world-wide attention. Strong local reaction to President Trump’s recent offer to “exonerate” Susan B. Anthony for her illegal voting in 1872 led to a Twitter-storm of criticism. An early Tweet featured Lucy’s mural image as symbol of self-reliance. Best wishes to Lucy for continued success using art to illuminate social issues.

Also: Don’t miss The Hidden Beauty of Rapids Cemetery in the September issue of (585) Magazine – at Wegmans store locations now.

Cooking in the 19th

Recipes for the fundraiser continue to come in – keep them coming! Deadline is September 14th. We also hope to receive recipes from our local eateries. Thank you all in advance for helping this project move forward.

Arnett Library

The biggest news is that the mural project is being expanded! Please check out this link to see how you can help

Arnett Cafe Celebrates 7 Years

The Arnett Café is open for take-out and sidewalk terrace dining.  This year marks the Arnett Cafe’s 7th anniversary!  This 2013 photo shows Norm & Kim Brown with then mayoral candidate Lovely A. Warren.  The Arnett Café embodies the kind of place 19th Ward neighbors always dreamed of.  Norm & Kim took a big risk 7 years ago.   Their future existence is entirely in our hands. Let’s continue to make this one of our eatery stops.


SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 – NOVEMBER 14, 2020

To reserve a viewing time: https://trustbutverify.rsvpify.com/

Trust, but verify presents three monumental projects that address our society’s current grappling with notions of truth, veracity and fact.

The exhibition’s triad is structured around past, present, and future. Octavio Abundez’s “A Fake History of Humanity” uses wrong dates, quantities and names to offer the viewer/reader a minimalistic timeline where colonial history, geopolitics, religion, scientific and social
progress have been up-ended. Eric Kunsman’s “Fake News” is the artist’s personal approach to documenting our tumultuous political moment through news headlines and screen shots, while creating an archive of the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. Finally, with ‘Big Dada’ Bill Posters and Daniel Howe offer a glimpse of an impending but not so distant time where we are controlled and corrupted by ‘deep fake’ technology, artificial intelligence, and the all important currency of personal data.

Trust, but verify takes its name from the rhyming Russian proverb: Doveryáy, no proveryáy. The saying became internationally known in English when it was used by President Ronald Reagan on several occasions in geopolitical negotiations and discussions with the Soviet Union.

Community Empowerment Celebration

Westside Farmers’ Market

With only 6 weeks left of the market to go, now is the time to make sure you receive all the most up to date information before the season closes! Did you know we put out a weekly email newsletter to let you know about the special deals, fun activities, and what to expect from our fantastic vendors? Well now is your chance to subscribe by signing up here. Ever wake up on Wednesday morning and remember you missed the market on Tuesday? It happens to the best of us. Now you can also sign up to receive a text message on Tuesday to remind you! We will never share or sell your information. We promise it stays confidential with us.
We’ve also been busy keeping our community, vendors, and volunteers safe by taking extra precautions during the pandemic. To see all the ways the market is one of the safer places to visit during this time, check out our safety video made by an intrepid group of volunteers. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays!

More News

Please note: Website for census should read www.my2020census.gov

REMINDER: City Seeks Applicants for Mayor’s Neighborhood Leadership Training Program

(Monday, Aug. 24, 2020) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that the City is seeking applicants for the Mayor’s Neighborhood Leadership Training program to help residents learn how to advocate for themselves and their neighborhoods as the City implements the Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan.

“Public participation is a critical element of the Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan and we must give residents the tools they need to help us fully realize the vision of this plan and transform our city in a way that benefits everybody,” said Mayor Warren. “The Mayor’s Neighborhood Leadership Training program will bring more voices to the table as we manage our city’s growth to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and provides all of our children with a quality education.”

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Leadership Training program will help interested residents learn how to take part in the City’s efforts to collaborate with other governments, residents, businesses, neighborhood groups and development partners to direct investments and build community as outlined in Rochester 2034.

Administered by the Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC) in partnership with the Bureau of Planning, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Leadership  Training program will give participants an opportunity to develop and refine civic-engagement skills. Topic areas will include: Tools and Techniques for Neighborhood Leadership; Learning about City Hall; Creating Opportunity in My Neighborhood; Effective Neighborhood Outreach; Housing in my Neighborhood; and Reaching our Neighborhood Young People.

The program runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 19 and consists of eight sessions totaling 22 hours. All sessions are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be conducted on a virtual platform. A physical satellite site to be provided for residents without Internet access.

Applications can be found at cityofrochester.gov/nsc or at one of the four Neighborhood Service Center locations. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11.

Police Accountability Board

Following is the next meeting to be held by the Police Accountability Board (PAB) for the month of September 2020.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. – PAB Meeting – Listen or view the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/user/RochesterCityCouncil.  
The PAB will not be conducting in-person meetings for the month of September 2020.  All meetings will instead be streamed live online as listed below. If guidance around in-person meetings is changed, an updated release will be sent detailing any changes related to location and access. For a full list of Public Meetings and additional information about participation go to the Public Meeting Access page on the City’s Website: www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmeetings.

As SEAC’s September 12, 2020 virtual City Bites Gala nears, we would like to present a #SEACxclusive! ROAM Cafe will be offering an exclusive Wine & Chocolate Pairing package. Tune in and allow your palate to be guided through a dance of rich flavor combinations choreographed by Drew Nye.
Come solo,or bring a plus-one! You can pre-order your pairing package starting NOW until September 10th!

Packages should be picked up on Saturday, September 12th between 1-3pm at ROAM Cafe (262 Park Ave)


Solo: https://py.pl/1ld5hmwG0UE

Plus-one: https://py.pl/5kXELIeGs2W

Goes Virtual, Shows and Ticket Reservations now Online

September 15 to 26, 170 plus productions

The KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival goes virtual this year. With over 170 shows to choose from, expect the diversity of shows you have come to love—from theatre, to ballet, to cirque, to musical performances and church bell concerts and more. New this year—performances will be either livestreamed or on demand. While you would expect some politically themed performances during an election year, this year’s Fringe also includes entries that showcase diversity and address issues of racial justice.

Committee Information

Reach out to our office manager if you would like to get involved.

Delegates Council

Delegates Council will meet virtually on September 10th at 7pm

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is enjoying seeing your beautiful gardens bloom.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is in search of a new chair. We are also very interested in some help working on the newsletter if anyone is familiar with WordPress or willing to learn!

Housing Committee

The 19th Ward Housing Committee will meet the third Thursday of each month at 1 pm when we are able. Please get in touch with our office manager about how we’ll meet during social distancing. Our meetings generally last about an hour. A City representative from Buildings and Code Enforcement attends to work with us on specific properties, concerns/issues, code enforcement, etc. 

Schools Committee

The schools committee is continuing to meet and will keep us updated on the good work they’re doing. Following is the minutes from the September meeting.

Minutes of the September 1st, 2020 meeting of The 19th Ward Community Association Schools Committee

Attendees:  Charlotte and Douglas Giebel, John Laing, Dan and Jay Ross,  Joe Baldino, Sarah Yaworski, John Boutet, Moniek Silas-Lee

Spelling Bee Status (Douglas and Charlotte)

We continue to look for possible ways to conclude the 10th Spelling Bee and initiate the 11th Spelling Bee.  The spreadsheet of the 10th expenses will be completed this month.

Shawn Neal, who won 7th grade Spelling Bee in 2014 and 8th grade in 2015, contacted us, and we put him in touch with the scholarship coordinator at the Community Foundation.  There are a number of winners whom we have lost track of, and haven’t received their scholarships.  Ruth Jenerson will share their names in a future 19th Ward communication in the hope that it may provide some contact information.   

School reopening/volunteering

The budget crisis, coupled with COVET-19, has created instability in the schools and in the homes of students, staff and teachers.  We expressed sympathy to the principals, and offered to help in any way we can. People are willing to help students in September.  Is there a way that volunteers could be matched up with students?  Moniek was to check.       Chromebooks and internet access are required to enable distance learning.  Joe was going to check on the progress.

New Business

The RCSD enrollment for pre-K is substantially reduced, such that school building 44 will not be used as a site.  Dan raised the concern with what will happen to those children who are lost.  Dan will check on the possibility of the Children’s Agenda taking on the project of answering the question “Where are the Children and Who is taking care of them.”

School 10 has been renovated.  Charlotte wondered if there would be an opening event to showcase the school.  If not could there be a virtual tour that could be shown on the district website.  Why not have such a tour for all of the schools?

The next committee meeting will be Tuesday October 6th at 7 pm on Zoom.

            Submitted by John Laing

Check out the City of Rochester’s Bike Map App!

AmazonSmilesmile.amazon.com  – You Shop.  Amazon Gives.  The 19WCA is listed as a charity, we receive 0.5% when you purchase. Thank you!!

Morning Glory and Coneflower – thanks Mark Sweetland!