Election 2022: City
Candidates for Rochester City Council

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Vangie Castro, Candidate for City Council, Ward 3

Why are you running?
I feel a strong sense of duty to serve and give back to my community by being a servant leader. A thriving community relies on residents to care for and be involved in keeping our city safe and welcoming. I’ve worked locally and statewide to address policies that disproportionately affect the most underserved. My years in non-profit work, and education in public administration have perfectly positioned me to represent the residents in Ward 3.

What are your top two priorities if elected?
Affordable, accessible, and mixed-income housing – Rochester is growing and so is the need for housing. We are at a precipice to provide more services for an expanding community, this also includes residents who are experiencing homelessness by finding temporary and permanent housing solutions. 

City budget – Ensuring we are good stewards of public funds leading the city towards strong fiscal health; increasing revenues in a way that doesn’t disproportionately impact low-income families; and incorporating an equity analysis for major budget decisions, including cuts. 

What have you learned as a candidate?
As a queer candidate of color, who is an immigrant, identifies as both non-binary and cis-gendered female running a campaign in a city that hasn’t had very much diverse leadership is an uphill fight. To be taken seriously, to be seen as competent or leadership material, I must always be excellent at all levels. However, if you sit down with me, you know I understand city government and governance. Folks need to get past their biases to realize that I’m an amazing candidate who will fight for everyone.

 

Saida Omar, Candidate for Rochester City Council, Ward 5

Why are you running?
As a Rochester citizen, I feel that our city is growing infrastructure-wise, and our community’s needs are as diverse as our community. I am running to help create a harmonious community where everyone feels they belong.  

My experience in working with vulnerable adults and children in the last 12 years has given me a remarkable opportunity to see members of our community that are often invisible to many. I have seen and heard a modest amount of their needs and what they go through day to day. I want our city and its policies to impact this group more positively than in the past. I am running because I feel we need to improve housing and home ownership. I am running because I feel that as a city, Rochester can eliminate homelessness. I am running because I feel we can create a path for our young adults to create a sustainable future for themselves by offering them a training system to be part of the workforce., 

What are your top two priorities if elected?
Affordable housing and home ownership.
Tackle the housing situation and find a way to make sure that all families, no matter the size, have a place they can call home and feel comfortable. Promote the idea of new homes that accommodate large-size families and home buying accessibility. The goal, if elected, is to make our city a humble welcoming city where our communities feel at home.

Parks and recreation.
We don’t have the YMCA anymore which was a place that families used for activities for their children and gathering for family events. There are about 5000 school-aged children in our communities, and we don’t have an affordable recreation center. How are those parents supposed to keep their active children engaged? Our families need an affordable park and recreation center. 

What have you learned as a candidate?
I learned a lot, and I would recommend anyone who loves their city/community to take the opportunity to run for office in their community. The passion of wanting to make a difference is what drove me. I learned that our city is growing and expects to grow more in the coming years. The people that live in ward 5 must be included in the opportunities that this growth brings, such as preparing our young adults to take part in the workforce to make a sustainable future. I learned that one needs to invest time and money when running for office. Selling an idea is easy, delivering that idea is when the hard work begins. I am patient, persistent and know how to deliver an idea.   

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