Last night's town hall meeting with Democratic candidate Rick Dollinger was informative and gave voters an excellent chance to talk to Dollinger and get his thoughts on issues impacting their community, including many issues that impact the black community, the urban areas of Rochester, among others.
Republican Sen. Joe Robach was missing in action, as expected. According to people with knowledge of the invites sent to Robach, there were at least two letters delivered to Robach inviting him to the event. There was no response and as Stlo7 of Rochester Turning pointed out, there was an empty mic stand filling in for Robach.
Dollinger followed by giving some introductory remarks before taking questions from the audience.
"I think there is also a political problem," Dollinger said. "That is, under the current leadership in the New York State Senate, the quick fix solution has been too often the way they approach the violence in communities."
Dollinger continued: "What they don't do is look at the heart of the problem."
Dollinger mentioned a statistic that is shocking. According to Dollinger, 45 percent of the people in Rochester live in areas having chronic poverty. That covers five zip codes in the city and are all areas where people can qualify for the earned income tax credit - a sign of poverty.
Dollinger also brought up Robach's support for a law school at St. John Fisher College. Dollinger made a simple point: You need to graduate high school first before you go to law school. That point was intended at driving the point home that the money dedicated to a law school at St. John Fisher could go towards improving our high schools and making sure more children get a better education.
"You can't grab a gun if you can grab a book or hammer," Dollinger said, referring to the importance of education and employment instead of violence.
Here's Robert's video:
Will Robach debate at all? Does he really believe that the people in this district don't deserve to hear both of the candidates?