Image: Rochester skyline colored red; ROC DSA logo. Text: Chapter Statement: Continue the fight for Energy Democracy in Rochester

Chapter Statement: Continue the Fight for Energy Democracy in Rochester

Chapter Statement: Continue the Fight for Energy Democracy in Rochester

by Brent L, Co-Chair ROC DSA

The following statement was delivered to City Council on behalf of ROC DSA at Speak to Council on Thursday, June 13. The community is encouraged to show up at the City Council and Budget Vote on Tuesday, June 18th to continue the fight for a public utility!

Good evening, City Council. I am one of the Co-Chairs of the Rochester Democratic Socialists of America. I am delivering the following statement on behalf of our chapter which is part of the Rochester for Energy Democracy Coalition

For too long the residents of this city have had their electricity controlled by a handful of capitalists whose priority is not to supply folks with power, but to reap profits off the backs of ratepayers. I’m of course talking about RG&E, their parent company Avangrid, and THEIR parent company Iberdrola, which is all the way in Spain. 

That means your constituents’ heat, appliances, medical devices, and other items necessary for survival being controlled by people whose number one priority is accumulating profit. We must take the power back from the capitalists by removing the profit motive, and putting control back in the hands of our community. Public power also means lower electric bills, access to lower interest rates, local jobs, and a just transition to green energy. As socialists, we believe in people having democratic input in all aspects of their life—and that includes their access to electricity! 

Three months ago the Monroe County Legislature showed that these goals are not a priority for them. They’re more concerned with listening to RG&E’s corporate lobbyists. Well the ratepayers, and the climate, cannot wait for the County to get it together. This is where City Council comes in. We’re calling on you to fully fund and commission an implementation study to replace RG&E with a public utility; giving us the facts on both a County and City-wide level. 

Step up where the County Legislature has failed us, and show the people of Rochester—who have been calling for a public utility for years—that you truly represent them. 

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