About the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE)

Dear Rochester and Monroe County Community,

Thank you for your interest in this joint, intergovernmental, collaborative effort to truly make Rochester and Monroe County an integrated, thriving, and equitable community. Rochester can no longer be a tale of two cities, separate and unequal. We must be a city and county united for change. Our futures are intimately connected. And, we must seize this moment to lift each other up and work toward our common good. 

On June 18, 2020, we announced the creation of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE). RASE is charged with examining current local laws, and developing new, local policies and legislation that seek to dismantle systemic and institutional inequities across Monroe County. 

The 21-member commission will be led by former Rochester Mayor William Johnson, Ms. Arline Santiago, Esq., and Dr. Muhammad Shafiq. The Commission has a six month goal to report back to the community on  recommended changes to local laws and policies. 

While we do not have the power to change state or federal law, we are committed to acting on recommendations made by this commission where we have the authority to effect change. And, we encourage other local leaders to do the same within their organizations and businesses.

This is a historic moment in Monroe County and we are here to make lasting changes to our systems that for far too long have perpetuated inequities across our community. This commission is just one step toward rebuilding the city of Rochester and Moving Monroe Forward.

We, along with our chairs, are committed to making this an open and inclusive process. Community involvement will be the key to our success. We are encouraged by the sheer number of people who have expressed their willingness to be part of this process, and we welcome your participation. 

Lilla Watson once stated: 

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” 

Simply put, if you are coming because you realize our collective success is dependent on each other, then we welcome you to the table. 


Mayor Lovely A. Warren


County Executive Adam J. Bello