BID Battle: Community Prevails Over Big Developers

Mural Above: "The Gentrifiers" Mayor Malik Evans, NY Senator Jeremy Cooney, Andy Gallina, Ken Glazer, Galin Brooks, Patrick Dutton, Chris Hill


The following is a snippet of an article that originally appeared in Boom Town Press on March 28, 2024. Check out the rest of the article here.

In a recent turn of events, the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) which also refers to itself The Partnership For Downtown Rochester (PDR) has officially called off its campaign to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) in downtown Rochester. This decision comes amidst significant community pushback, highlighting a triumph of grassroots activism over corporate interests. RDDC’s statement, released Thursday March 21, downplayed the overwhelming opposition to the BID, yet it is essential to recognize the power of community mobilization in producing this outcome.

RDDC’s BID Fails Again

This marks the second time RDDC has sought to turn downtown Rochester into a so-called Business Improvement District that they would manage. Their previous attempt in 2014 ended in failure. Despite their claims of aiming to revitalize downtown Rochester, RDDC’s efforts have been met with staunch resistance from various community stakeholders. Many critics pointed out that the BID would primarily serve the interests of big developers and property owners, exacerbating inequality and disenfranchising marginalized communities.

Community Pushback and Coalition Building

The suspension of the BID formation process is a direct result of sustained resistance. A diverse coalition of residents, small businesses, community organizations, and artists united under the name of BID Education Committee to oppose RDDC’s agenda. Over the past two years, these organizers tirelessly engaged with the community, raising awareness about the anti-democratic nature of BIDs and the potential adverse impacts on equity. …

To read the rest of the article, head over to Boom Town Press.

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