Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society, Inc. (Roc/ACTS)

Frequently Asked Questions

August 2014


What is the relationship between Roc/ACTS and Gamliel?

Gamaliel provides Roc/ACTS with technical assistance and training.  It does not determine the local issues on which Roc/ACTS will work.  These issues come from the membership and are the issues that congregations, organizations, and their members consider important to them.  Roc/ACTS is free to work on state and national issues with other Gamaliel affiliates.

What are the issues on which Roc/ACTS will focus?

While it is often frustrating in this period of formation, the issues are not yet known but will evolve from organizing work within member organizations and then among member organizations.  This is frustrating because the Greater Rochester Area faces a number of problems which often seem intractable or at least difficult to address.  However it is essential to appreciate the difference between a problem and an issue.  Rochester City Schools or Gun Violence are but two examples.  However, in order for a community organization to work effectively it is necessary to identify specific issues within these problem areas and then or organize people and money to advocated powerfully for specific changes in public policy which will address some part of the problem.  This is the work or organizing that will begin once the organization is formed.

How is Roc/ACTS different from other past or current community organizing efforts?

Roc/ACTS is a faith based effort that crosses religious, congregational, racial, social, and political lines.  It is designed to be a broad based community effort that engages a broad based coalition of the Rochester population in such a way that its advocacy has standing and power that public policy decision makers cannot ignore.

What is this one-on-one methodology?

One-on-one conversations form the heart of this approach along with a set of other organizing tools.  A One-to-One is a natural but uncommon conversation.  It is a tool whose purpose is to build healthy, dynamic, relevant to communities based on common values and mutual self-interest. These communities may not already be intact, and may require a disciplined commitment of resources, but they have the potential to make their values reflected in their associations and the world.The goals of a One-to-One are to identify their leaders; to understand their hopes and concerns for themselves, their congregation and the broader public arena; and to estimate which of these they would be willing to act upon in concert with others.

What is the structure of Roc/ACTS?

The membership is composed of congregations and other organizations which commit to the organization by paying a sliding scale membership fee based on the size of the organization. Each member organization then appoints a representative to the Rochester ACTS board. This board is the governing body of Roc/ACTS which has an organizational not individual membership.  The board conducts business on behalf of the organization including the electing of officers, financial management, and the eventual hiring of a professional community organizer.