Committee Information

History and Archives Committee

Chair: Mary Daniel Cooper
The History and Archives Committee meets monthly on the third Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at Brue Coffee (corner of Brooks and Genesee). We welcome any person interested in our work.

Our committee has produced a series of twenty-two videos on neighborhood history which show in rotation at the Arnett Library. We are currently working on a “Then & Now” video, and towards that end are seeking old 19th Ward photos showing interesting streetscapes. Another video currently being planned is a series of short interviews in the style of “Humans of New York” (working title “Humans of Thurston Road”).

Rapids Cemetery:
Restoration work at this 200-year-old pioneer cemetery on Congress Avenue is a joint project with the City of Rochester, local veterans organizations, 19th Ward neighbors, and students from both UR and RIT. We are working this year with four teams of multi-media students from RIT. These are seniors embarking on a two-semester-long project during the 2017/18 academic year to create an interactive, immersive, digital tour experience for Rapids Cemetery.

Archival Work:
The first 34 years of the Association’s Archives—from its inception in 1965 through 1998—are housed in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. In 2017, our committee worked extensively in that collection to make this valuable resource available to researchers interested in community-building. Click here for the online finding aid.

A sampling of the potentially exhibit-worthy items we found in this archive:

  • Update 19, 1st issue Mar 1966
  • a Public Relations Brochure, 1980
  • a rich archive of news clippings, 1966 – 1974
  • “Insurance Redlining: A Consumer Handbook,” Aug, 1980
  • “Lots of Lots,” Rochester City brochure explaining how to buy or adopt a lot
  • T-shirts on the theme of Neighborhood, from many years of Square Fair.

Schools Committee

Chair:  John Laing

Our goal is that the 19th ward neighborhood offer residents the opportunity for their children to attend high quality neighborhood public schools that provide a clear, stable educational path from early pre-kindergarten through comprehensive high school. The renovation of School 16 is in progress and it is planned to re-open in September 2018.  It will include a gymnasium and cafeteria in an area which can be used as a community center for after school activities.  A similar partitioning of school 10 is being planned for the renovation of that school.

In the 2017-18 school year we will partner with the  Community  Foundation,  U of R, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, the Arnett library and RCSD to sponsor the eighth annual 19th Ward Spelling Bee.  All four 19th Ward schools, plus School 19 participate.  This has become one or our favorite annual activities and we encourage more community participation.

Last but not least, we are working to improve student outcomes through recruiting and placing volunteers to work with the students in our elementary schools.  If you want to read with a child, please contact one of the committee members or the association office, 328-6571.  Alternatively, on-line volunteer application forms can be found on the RCSD website.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee’s goal is to represent the 19WCA at neighborhood events and spread the word about the 19WCA, the community-building activities we sponsor, and our mission to continuously improve upon the quality of life in the 19th Ward and the surrounding southwest neighborhoods. We are looking for a few 19th Warders who would be willing to attend community events as representatives of the 19WCA with no commitment to attend regular meetings. Contact Angie Burch at or 338-2621 if you would be interested in supporting the Membership Committee in this way.

Zoning Committee

Chair: Adrienne Kllc

The Zoning Committee is a standing committee of the 19th Ward Community Association, approved at Delegates’ Council April 16, 1986. We are charged with looking after the long-term interests of our neighborhood, insisting on strict adherence to the standards of the Zoning Ordinance. Some of our considerations in 2014 were opposition to legalize signs of businesses not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood, opposition to installation of front-yard parking, opposition to a second-floor kitchen in a one-family house, and several other issues. The committee meets when an issue that impacts our neighborhood comes before the Planning Commission, or Zoning Board of Appeals, or other City department.  A letter of support or a request for denial is sent to the City and is included in the packet of information the board considers in their deliberations. If you would like to attend a meeting or would like to consider joining our committee, please call the office at 328-6571.

Housing Committee

Chair:  Scott Beck

The 19th Ward Housing Committee focuses on code violations, housing preservation, and other issues that the community can impact in order to protect the housing stock in our wonderfully diverse community.  We encourage residents and landlords to be good neighbors by keeping their properties attractive and current with City code. In 2014, the Housing Committee chose to begin with six properties that have particularly egregious violations.  As these are dealt with, more will be added.  We have reached out to the University of Rochester to discuss student housing in neighborhood single-family homes.  We have created “thank you” postcards for all 19th Ward neighbors to hand out if we notice someone who has made noticeable improvements to their properties.  We meet monthly, on the second Thursday morning, and work closely with the Association’s Zoning Committee and with the Neighborhood Service Center.  If you would like to join us call 328-6571.

Public Safety Committee

Chair:  Jeremy Coleman, Donna Sarnacki

The 19th Ward Public Safety Committee is presently going through a re-structuring and is beginning again to host regular meetings. The committee provides a forum to review public safety challenges. Discussions are usually centered around specific monthly topics.  We frequently invite experts in various public safety fields to meet with us and discuss effective approaches to public safety issues. We have hosted the District Attorney and City Court judges as well as representatives from Animal Control, the City’s Legal Department and the City’s Traffic Specialist. We also discuss new proposed legislation as it is presented to City Council. Call the office, 328-6571, for more information, or if you would like to be placed on the mailing list for future notifications regarding our new Public Safety Committee.

Communications Committee

Chair: Kate Phillips

The communications committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6pm. During market season (June – October) the committee meets at the Westside Farmers’ Market and during the off-season the committee meets at Arnett library.

The goals of the communications committee are to develop and curate content on social media, work collaboratively to keep the website current, and to document processes and procedures so that the Association’s public-facing materials are kept relevant and vibrant to meet the needs of members and residents. Please join us to discuss how we can best share information, tell stories, and get the message out about our wonderful organization and neighborhood!