Update 19 January 2022

President’s Message Karen Emerson

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Karen Emerson, President

Happy New Year.

I am always so glad I live in the 19th Ward because amazing things happen. We could focus on the all sorts of disturbing things but I choose to cherish the small things that make this feel like a small town. The tree on my tree lawn is new. While putting away Christmas  decorations last year I found some plastic bulbs and realized I had missed my chance to decorate my tiny tree. Christmas had passed but then I got the idea I didn’t have to wait until next Christmas I could decorate it with other seasonal things. Since it was close to Valentine’s Day, I had my great nieces make some hearts to put on the tree. I had ideas for shamrocks, flags, easter eggs but never got around to that.

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The hearts stayed on the tree until I took them off to decorate for Christmas. I started to decorate it with two random bulbs and fully intended to complete it. Well the wind came and blew one of the bulbs away so there was one. The one bulb stayed on there for a week or so and finally I got the rest of the bulbs on the tree. It looked so adorable. I was so happy every time I looked out to see my little tree. Can you guess what happened? The bulb that blew off found its way back to the tree!! I know it is a small thing but it does my heart so good that my neighbors care about my little tree and its decorations as much as I do. I’m planning on keeping the seasonal decorating going, but the best laid plans sometimes do not always come to fruition. I’ll keep you posted.

The food pantries continue to be used by donors and users. Thanks to Restoration Church of God, Bishop Lee McCloud and volunteers, we had an abundance of staples for the holiday season. The cool weather has allowed us to have perishables like milk and yogurt. Please be assured if the cupboard is empty it is because things are being used. It is amazing that we have filled the cupboard in the morning and by the time Ruth leaves she is able to restock. So please be generous and remember to drop things off and take things you need.

As everyone is aware crime continues to be a problem. Captain Mike Jones has been doing a great job at keeping the PCIC (Police Citizens Interaction Committee)meetings going. These meetings are informative but sparely attended. If safety is a concern to you please consider becoming involved in the PCIC meetings and/or our public safety committee headed by Clayton Waller. The Arnett Block Club also has been working on safety issues surrounding Bail Reform. Susan Morehouse has agreed to chair this group. We are hoping to gather with our local representatives, Cooney, Rath and Meeks to alert them to our concerns regarding reform to this legislation. Look for upcoming meeting dates in our newsletter.

Due to the surge in COVID we are suggesting that families and friends gather in small groups on January 17, 2022 and light up their house with luminaries in recognition of Martin Luther King Day. We will have kits available at the office or you can make your own. This is a good video

Candlelight Dinners will be held February 5, 2022. This was a unique event last year and we are hoping to ‘gather” again in Zoom fellowship. Look for details in the coming newsletters.

Square Fair planning has started and the team is ready for a great event. There are still some key roles that need volunteers. Please contact the office if you would like to be involved. This should be our first real in person event of the year.

Meet and Greets are still on the agenda and I am inviting our county representative Sabrina Lamar. I’ll keep you posted as we get times set up.

COVID continues to dominate our lives and we have seen little movement in the rate of vaccination of our population. The rates are 64.5% and 59.2% in 14619 and 14611 respectively. PLEASE continue to encourage your friends and family to be vaccinated. The Arnett Library is hosting clinics Mondays 12-3p except January 17th.

I am looking forward to the unveiling of the documentary from the Rapids Cemetery and the continued work of the History and Archive committee.

Finally, we will continue the Mini Clean Sweeps typically held on second Saturday of month from 10a-noon. We will update with dates and locations.

During the past year we have had many volunteers support the efforts of the Community Association. Thanks for all your hard work. There are too many to mention but you know who you are. Thanks to all for making this a successful year. 

Karen Emerson

President, 19th Ward Community Association

Community News

The 19WCA is looking forward to working with our new City of Rochester administration. Mayor Malik Evans called for a new era of neighborhood empowerment and citizen involvement in his inaugural address Saturday January 1st. “We will take control of our neighborhoods and work to eradicate violence and blight” Mayor Evans stated. “Let today be the day that we reaffirm the preciousness of life, and say that one homicide is too many, and that violence and destruction must never be normalized.”

University of Rochester

2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address with Dr. Rheeda Walker

The MLK Commemorative Address was instituted in 2001 to promote diversity, freedom, civil rights, and social justice.

About this event

The event is presented by the Office of the President and Office of Minority Student Affairs in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations and Constituent Engagement, and Office of Equity and Inclusion.

This year, Dr. Rheeda Walker, a professor of psychology and a behavioral scientist at the University of Houston, will deliver the University of Rochester’s 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address. Walker will discuss the mental health challenges facing African Americans and take questions from the audience on Friday, January 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST.

Walker wrote The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health, a 2020 self-help book author Jemima Pierre has called “a Black cultural tour de force; a robust and revelatory declaration that our very own culture can save us.”

Walker’s work has appeared or been cited in the Washington Post, CNN Health, the Houston Chronicle, and Ebony magazine.

The event is free and open to the public and is scheduled to be virtual.

All attendees must register, and a Zoom link will be emailed to participants the day of the event.



Monroe County Equity Pop Up Request Form

In order to reach people where they are, pop-up vaccine clinics are designed for smaller, community spaces such as churches, schools, non-profit agencies, and one-time special events. Your equity pop-up event and location being proposed/requested should offer a unique opportunity to reach underserved and/or high-risk populations that are unlikely (or demonstrated based on data) to be effectively reached by existing vaccine distribution channels.


Essential COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Kids The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a detrimental effect on our community. As we keep the well-being of our children top of mind, we want to get vaccine information into the hands of parents so they can make sure their children are protected against the harmful impacts of this virus.
Vaccine Appointments and Information   From the Monroe County Department of Health:   ·     Register for the 1st dose of vaccine, Ages 5-11 ·     Register for 1st dose of vaccine, Ages 12+ ·     Register for booster, Ages 18 and older (16 to receive Pfizer) Vaccine Information

Rapid Testing


Arnett Branch – Arnett Blvd., Rochester, NY – Mondays 12-3pm except January 17th

Rochester Education Opportunity Center – Chestnut St., Rochester, NY – Mon – Sat 8- 6:30pm

YMCA Carlson MetroCenter – 444 E Main St., Rochester, NY – Monday – Saturday: 8-6pm  

Monroe County officials announced they would follow new state recommendations on isolation and quarantine for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

(excerpt from Sean Lahman, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Fri, January 7, 2022, 4:37 PM)

That guidance, issued by the state’s Department of Health Tuesday, says that the general public only needs to isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID-19.

“If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days,” the guidelines say, in part.

It follows similar guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

In a joint statement, County Executive Adam Bello and Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza said the county was reviewing the changes and adapting its COVID-19 protocol to align with the state.

“We understand the rapidly changing landscape is leading to significant confusion about the best actions businesses, schools, organizations and individuals should take to protect the health and safety of our community,” the statement said. “We are getting many questions, and will be working hard to provide as much clarity as we can over the next several days.”

Bello and Mendoza encouraged everyone to continue following basic best practices that we have relied upon throughout this pandemic, including wearing masks, getting vaccines and boosters, and getting tested if symptoms appear.

High Falls District Scouters

We are excited for our districts first annual Klondike Derby on January 22nd at the Tay House Lodge in Cobbs Hill Park. We hope that all of you are able to join us a make the first year of the event a great success. While Scouts have a full day of activities from 9-4 that they can participate in, Cubs are welcome as well from 9-1. All participants will enjoy a hot lunch and receive an event patch.

We have a great group of volunteers planning the event, if you or some of your leaders would like to help please reach out to Charles Arnold scouter.chuckles@gmail.com

Registration is now opened at https://scoutingevent.com/397-53745


Jesse Knoth |  District Executive – High Falls District

Ph:  (585) 241-8522 | Cell: (585) 708-9089| Fax: (585) 241-8533


Around the Neighborhood

19WCA Schools Committee

(Dr. Phyllis Moss, Chair of Schools Committee)

The 19WCA Schools Committee continues to work with our area schools to help provide a safe and equitable education to our community’s scholars. As you are aware, the challenges to our school systems have increased and they need our help as never before. Across the board, our schools need volunteers and we are currently helping to recruit adults to help with walkers, ELA and classroom management. If you are willing and able to assist Rochester City School District staff and scholars in this way please visit https://www.rcsdk12.org/Page/28007 to begin the volunteer application.  If you need assistance please contact Mr. Ricky Frazier at 585-262-8489. 

We are also suggesting that you simultaneously contact the school of your choice to let them know that you have begun the application process to become a volunteer at their school. Our schools and contacts are listed below.  Thank you in advance for your support!

Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School #10

353 Congress Avenue


John Walton Spencer School #16

321 Post Avenue


Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School #19

465 Seward Street


Adlai Stevenson School #29

88 Kirkland Road


Landlord Ambassador Extension Program


The Landlord Ambassador Extension Program(LAEP) is designed to stabilize rental properties for small business landlords who own nine(9) or less units in the City of Rochester, through financial support and repair grants. 

LAEP assists landlords that are experiencing difficulty in maintaining their properties. The goal of the program is to provide financial support that will allow landlords to provide housing that meets health and safety standards. The program consists of three key areas of assistance for rental properties in the City of Rochester:

Vacant Property Reimbursement Repair grant up to $5,000 per unit

Code Violation Program – grants to fix any necessary violations

Eviction Prevention Program – Financial resources to stabilize property

THIS PROGRAM ENDS ON APRIL 30, 2022 OR WHEN  FUNDS ARE EXHAUSTED. Please review the FAQ for answers regarding funding amounts, eligibility requirements, documentation requirements, eligible uses, etc.

Information & application is at  Landlord Ambassador Extension Progam — The Housing Council at PathStone



Coming June 4, 2022 and we are planning a great event! The team is currently meeting the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm via zoom. We still need volunteers – Please contact Ruth at the office (585-328-6571) if you would like to be involved.

Martin Luther King Celebration – January 17, 2022

St. Monica Church Annual MLK Jr. Day Coat Giveaway


Committee Information

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

Delegates Council

Delegates Council meets virtually on second Thursday of each month at 7pm via Zoom.

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee WILL BE seeing spring flowers again! Please volunteer if interested!

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is in search of a new chair. Get in touch!

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 next Schools Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Spelling Bee: We have purchased an enrollment in the Scripps Spelling Bee for this school year. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers are again willing to help with tutoring—by Zoom at least initially. Let the Giebels  know if you would like to help. Invite any children in Schools 10, 16, 19, or 29 to be involved. Each school will have a designated coordinator.