Update 19 – June 2022

President’s Message Karen Emerson

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Karen V. Emerson

Happy Summer!

What a great beginning to the season with an absolutely perfect day on Saturday June 4th  for Square Fair. The sun was shining and the people were out and having a great time. Many thanks to the Co-Chairs Tyrese Bryant and LaShay Harris and so many others, you made the day just perfect!

Many bags of garbage were collected from Arnett Blvd, Thurston Road, Brooks, Chili, Genesee, and West Main Streets at the annual City Clean Sweep on May 7th. There were at least 4 teams that cleaned up our major business corridors. It is important for us to keep up the efforts started with this annual event. We started our monthly Mini Clean Sweeps in October 2021. To date, close to 100 volunteers have worked to make the neighborhood just be bit more tidy. Many of our neighbors and business owners notice the efforts made by the monthly teams that pick up garbage. There is always someone who stops by to thank us and to wonder how they can become involved. Please consider joining us June 11, 2022 from 10am-12noon – we will clean the Genesee St. area and will meet at Brooks Landing. Consider coming for however much time your schedule allows.

As you all know the 19th Ward Community Association is the oldest neighborhood association in the city created in 1965. I believe the 19th Ward Community Association is a vital part of our city. We have the reputation of being informed and thoughtful about our response to city projects, changes in policy, zoning issues, schools and public safety. Our relevance and focus on the social and business issues are respected at all levels of the political systems. Our organization is used as an example to other organizations and the city is currently using our Community Cats program as a template for other neighborhoods. We are a mostly volunteer organization. The breadth and depth of expertise and commitment of our neighbors to issues large and small astounds me. If we added up all the hours of our volunteers I am sure we would be overwhelmed. All this leads me to want to make sure that the 19th Ward Community Association will continue to thrive long after I have moved on. I began researching getting a group together to do some strategic planning.  We have completed a Coffee and Conversation with Causewaves, who specialize in working with not for profit organizations. They have proposed a few options for our next steps. So I will continue to keep you posted on this exciting venture. I would ask if you have interest or feel moved to help with this project please contact me or the office.  

You have been asking and work has been happening. Greenlight continues to make plans to bring broadband internet to southwest Rochester. Please take time to complete the questionnaire prepared by the county at https://www.monroecounty.gov/broadbandsurvey

Please join your neighbors at our Westside Farmers Market at 831 Genesee Street. There are lots of exciting things happening at your favorite Farmer’s Market. We will be there every Tuesday, rain or shine, 4pm-7pm. Come join us for food, fun, music, books, information and fellowship.

Shout out to John Boutet who singlehandedly has faithfully chaired/co-chaired the Southwest Common Council, SW Educational committee and the 19th Ward Schools Committee for many years. John is a dedicated neighbor, who for over a decade, has led the fight for local bussing, saving community schools, and variety of other educational issues. He is stepping down from the co-chair responsibilities to attend to his many other obligations. As I mentioned above it is because of volunteers/neighbors like John that make the 19th Ward a great place to live and thrive. Thanks John for your many years of dedicated service.

I continue to ask monthly to make sure you help fill our small pantry. It continues to be used on a regular basis. Helping our neighbors with a small donation of non-perishable goods is a small gesture but makes a big difference. Donations of money for the pantry are also an acceptable way to join in this neighborhood effort.

Our Community Cats program is in full swing and has many kittens born this spring. If you are interested in adopting, fostering or becoming a volunteer for this program please call the office. We will get you connected with this great committee.

Kudos to Charlotte Burch and the Thurston Brooks Arnett Business Association, The Ease on Down Thurston Event May 21-28 brought lots of people to our business corridors. Ease on Down is another great way to bring attention to our great businesses and a great way to start the summer.  

Juneteenth is next Saturday 6/18. There are many events planned during the week and for the weekend. Of interest is the celebration sponsored by the City, County, RCSD and the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr Commission on Saturday. Activities will be at MLK Park from 11-7pm.

Continue to read our weekly and monthly updates for events happening over the summer.

Karen V. Emerson, President 19WCA


Rapids Cemetery

Members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln Camp #6 provided a heartfelt and uplifting observance of the traditional Decoration Day honoring veterans at Rapids Cemetery. 

Neighbors joined in with solemn tribute.  JoAnne Belle-Isle continued her selfless service of decorating the graves with American flags in addition to her gardening along the entrance to Rapids Cemetery.

Flags mark the graves at Rapids Cemetery on
Congress Avenue in the 19th Ward.
19th Ward neighbors and other guests joined in.

 Square Fair June 4, 2022

This year was the “come back” year from Covid – and it truly was a “Family Affair”! The weather was beautiful for the parade and the atmosphere in the park was filled with laughter, kids playing and enjoying the Kid Zone and everyone enjoying the food, vendors and entertainment. The Square Fair Chair and Co-Chair, LaShay Harris and Tyrese Bryant, their committee team and awesome volunteers, are all to be commended for a job well done! Thanks also to everyone who came out and supported Square Fair 2022! Please look on our Facebook page for more photos of this wonderful time in the sun!

Westside Farmers Market

!!Westside Farmers Market News!!

Westside Farmers Market opened Tuesday the 7th for the 2022 season!  No surprise – it was a rainy opening but we had fun just the same. This year we have over 20 vendors and community organizations at the market with everything you might need for your grocery list.  Our vendors come with a variety of fresh, local produce, meats, cheeses, maple products, baked goods and desserts, prepared meals, honey, soaps, breads, and so much more!  Bring your kids to join in on fun craft events every week that are suitable for all ages.  Stop by to have R Community Bikes work on free bike repairs, and to browse some books with Arnett Branch Library.  Even more, there will be live music every week performed by different local musicians!  We take SNAP tokens, and credit/debit.  You won’t want to miss out on the Westside Farmers Market, so stop by on Tuesdays between 4-7pm at 831 Genesee Street in St. Monica’s church parking lot to check it out!

School 16 News

Flower planting project takes place on Genesee Street in Rochester

by WHAM Saturday, May 28th 2022

Rochester, N.Y. — Genesee Street just got a whole lot brighter.

Saturday, over 50 young people, paired with members of community organizations, filled 66 curbside planters with colorful flowers along Genesee Street. The two-hour project, now in its 20th year, covers two miles.

It was funded by the Genesee Corridor Business Association, a nonprofit alliance of over 80 Genesee Street business. A neighborhood grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation also helped with project funding.

Also on Genesee St.

Take a stroll and visit the local businesses/eateries – A short walk away you’ll find riverfront benches and Genesee Valley Park picnic tables.


Clarissa Uprooted is a must see!  You can visit the exhibit throughout its 7-week run until July 29. 

This was a major partnership with Teen Empowerment and Clarissa Street Reunion Committee, RIT, UofR, ESL, Rochester Community Foundation and City Libraries.  It is a world class exhibit discussing repairing harms and multigenerational impact of redlining, urban renewal and more.

Arnett Branch Library

Committee Information

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

Delegates Council

Delegates Council will meet virtually 2nd Thursday of each month. They will NOT be meeting the months of July and August, returning September.

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is enjoying seeing your beautiful gardens bloom.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is in search of a new chair.

Housing Committee

The 19th Ward Housing Committee will be restarting soon. 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.

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