Welcome to the Roc/ACTS official website

Spring 2017 Newsletter now available (See NEWSLETTER tab) 

City Council Subpoenas RPD re: Police Brutality

Roc/ACTS president, Thomas Demond, speaking to council, urging them to create an independent police accountability board with subpoena power and a disciplinary matrix.

This piece ran on WXXI before the City Council voted. The city council did vote to subpoena the RPD. While we applaud the city council action, we want to point out the efforts of our partners in the Police Accountability Board Organizing Committee, Enough is Enough and United Christian Leadership Ministries, who held two press conferences these past few weeks highlighting the failure of the system to hold police officers accountable for brutality. These ongoing grassroots efforts are responsible for moving this issue forward.

Roc/ACTS is working to create a new police accountability system. If you would like to get involved please call the Roc/ACTS office at 585.303.2110.

Rochester City Council plans to subpoena info from RPD in the investigation of a citizen complaint

Rochester City Council plans to subpoena the city police department to help with the investigation of a citizen complaint.

Council President Loretta Scott and Councilman Adam McFadden are looking for more information in the Ricky Bryant Case. He’s the 18 year old city man who claims that police knocked him off his bike and repeatedly struck him last August when officers responded to a call about someone brandishing a weapon.

Scott says Council could just try to request the information from the police department, but they want to specifically test how the subpoena process would work. 

“I think it’s important to do so in order to demonstrate how that process works and to determine what information would be revealed via a subpoena as opposed to just making the request through a memo,” she told WXXI News.

This would be the first time City Council uses subpoena power and Scott and McFadden says it could provide useful information in a redesign of the Civilian Review process.

Thank you!

Today New York raised the age of incarceration and criminal responsibility.This never would have happened without people all over the state, people like yourself, standing up for young New Yorkers.


Please join us to celebrate at our Sustainer Challenge and Celebration FUNdraising Reception, Silent Auction and Basket Raffle. We'll be reviewing our participation in the Raise the Age campaign. Sign up here. If you can't make the FUNDraiser please contribute to Rochester ACTS today. Your contributions help us continue this critical social change work. Click here to contribute.



How did we do it?


It was all the things that everybody did. And we want to thank you for putting your shoulder to the wheel.

  • The phone calls to the NYS Senators
  • The postcards
  • The lobby visits locally and in Albany

  • The press conference
  • The emails
  • Radio and newspaper interviews
  • Letters to legislators
  • Letters to the editor

It all helped!


Please join us at our Sustainer Challenge and Celebration FUNdraising Reception, Silent Auction and Basket Raffle. Sign up here. If you can't make the FUNDraiser please contribute to Rochester ACTS today. Your contributions help us continue this critical social change work. Click here to contribute.












Under the new law, cases involving 16 and 17 year-old defendants would be adjudicated as follows:

  • Civil violation charges, such as open container violations and possession of small amounts of marijuana, as well as misdemeanors under the Vehicle and Traffic Law, such as DWIs, would continue to be handled in the local court;
  • All misdemeanor charges under the the Penal Law would be handled in Family Court;
  • All felony charges would begin in a newly established Youth Part of the criminal court, presided over by a Family Court judge, where offenders would have access to additional intervention services and programming;
  • Non-violent felony charges would be transferred to Family Court, unless the district attorney makes a motion and demonstrates extraordinary circumstances that justify retaining the case in the Youth Part of the criminal court;
  • Violent felony charges would remain in the Youth Part of the criminal court and be subject to a three-part test that weighs the seriousness of the offense to determine whether the case will be eligible for presumptive removal to Family Court;
  • Juvenile cases not eligible for removal will be treated as adults for sentencing purposes, though the court will be directed to consider the defendant's age when imposing a sentence of incarceration.

Faith community tackling racism

Democrat and Chronicle coverage

The clergy have already embarked on some discussions of racism around Rochester under the umbrella of the organization Roc/ACTS, which promotes progressive policies. Roc/ACTS has collaborated with local churches to promote conversations about race, accompanied by facilitators.

Rabbi Drorah Setel of Irondequoit's Temple Emanu-El’s said that attempts to delegitimize the worth of some people has led to historical ugliness, such as the devastation of the Holocaust.

"Racism is a terrible fragmentation of God's creation," she said.

Sacred Conversations on Race

WXXI coverage

And Pastor Wanda Wilson with Open Arms Christian Fellowship Ministries, says it's great all these congregations are coming together to address this, but she says it's time to move beyond the personal level of racism, and take it to another level -- institutional racism.

"How are we actually going to bring down those walls. The institutionalized racism in housing, in employment, in education, in the criminal justice system. What are we actually going to do about it, and we need to bring ourselves together as one to combat it," she said.


Recent Announcements

  • Next Clergy and Religious Leaders Caucus Meeting Clergy/Religious Leaders Caucus LuncheonJun e 20, Tuesday, 12:00 - 1:30 PMChurch of the assumption (Note: Rotates Monthly)20 East AvenueFairport, NY 
    Posted Jun 15, 2017, 1:16 PM by Robert Genthner
  • NEXT Task Force meetings: EDUCATION:               4th Thursday, June 22 at 7:00-8:30 PM at First Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Rd S.POVERTY/JOB            1st Tuesday, July 4 at 6:30-8:00 ...
    Posted Jun 15, 2017, 1:17 PM by Robert Genthner
  • NEXT Board of Directors Meeting Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 4:30 PM at Annunciation Church, 1754 Norton Street, Rochester, NY 14609. Our next meetings are: July 5 ...
    Posted Jun 15, 2017, 1:18 PM by Robert Genthner
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 3. View more »


The group Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society, Inc. (Roc/ACTS) is a faith-based community organizing project of multi-racial, interfaith, urban and suburban congregations and groups that will train and empower citizens to create systemic change and shape the political, social and economic decisions that impact their lives.  We seek to build relationships and to build trust.  We need to listen to others and from listening, we learn.  The goal of Roc/ACTS is to work together, united, to make this the best Rochester.  How do we do this?  Our starting point is our shared faith and values, remembering  that the Golden Rule is shared by many faiths.  Our power and money are organized, in the framework of the common good.  With our money, we will use funds for training, time and space to do the work, and employing a full-time community organizer.  Our people will be organized after a deep listening period of hearing the grassroots needs of the citizens of our community.  Currently, we are divided by silos.  Roc/ACTS hopes to unite with others, and all work together for the common good.  Each of us has our own self-interest, and we have to define them individually.  As we learn to examine our individual self-interests, we learn others have similar ones.  Collectively we unite, and through a vote from member congregations, we determine which actions will be given priority and united we work on change.

Our building block tool is the one-on-one conversation.  This is used to strengthen our congregations as well as to connect with others in the community.  We would like members to attend National Leadership Training.  Here we learn skills for community organizing.  We realize that what stirs anger up in us is often a trigger to help us focus on our self-interest and, ultimately, our common interests.  The change we want to see and be in the world.   Who will be a citizen activist often starts with a one-on-one conversation.

Roc/ACTS is an affiliate of the Gamaliel Network, based in Chicago, Illinois, and is networked with 60 organizations in 17 states, and also in Great Britain and South Africa. This relationship between Gamaliel and Roc/ACTS is very important in that  Gamaliel delivers training, a sort of best practices in community organizing.  It has at its disposal a team of people, skilled in various areas that will come to Rochester,  and be available, and teach these skills as training to help us move forward and propel us along this difficult road.  We pay travel fees, but they give us their time, planning and energy.  It is also a choice, not a mandate, that affiliates can participate and have a voice in national issues of concern.  The planning group feels that it has gotten a lot of training and experience and direction for our money.  Of those who have attended Gamaliel National Leadership Training, it was felt that the training makes a big difference professionally and personally. 

For more information, contact:

            Mr. Carlos Garcia                  TBA;  carlosagarcia20@gmail.com

 Dr. Marvin Mich                     546-7220 ex. 7021; mmich@cfcrochester.org