Churches take part in fight for state aid - Catholic Courier

Churches take part in fight for state aid

ROCHESTER — A local Catholic church was one of several participants in an effort to increase state funding to the City of Rochester.

Mayor Robert Duffy spoke at Holy Apostles Church March 18 as part of Fair Share Sabbath, an initiative of the Rochester Fair Share Coalition, which includes Interfaith Action. The coalition is advocating for Rochester to receive the same per capita state aid as other upstate cities.

During a Fair Share Sabbath press conference March 12, Duffy said although Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s executive budget proposed an aid increase for Rochester, the budget gives Buffalo $530 per person, Syracuse $468 per person and Rochester $370 per person. Duffy asked religious communities to join a letter-writing campaign.

“Please note this is not about Rochester trying to take money from someone else,” the Rev. Kenneth James, pastor of Memorial AME Zion Church, said during the press conference.

Deacon John Crego of the City West Catholic Community, which includes Holy Apostles, Holy Family and St. Anthony of Padua in Rochester, said parishioners have been participating in Interfaith Action’s programs, including foot patrols of city streets and have been circulating petitions calling to increase the maximum jail time for repeat offenders of prostitution, who he said often have addictions.

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