2015-2016 President's Report


The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester is an advocacy group that campaigns for social justice. Our
Op / Ed in the Democrat and Chronicle talked about the injustices of our local government in the
treatment of children and the poor by the reduction of funds for child care. We use physical
presence and educating of the government and the community on the moral wrongs that are
inflicted on the people that impact our lives. WE CAN DO BETTER.

Advocacy Issues Addressed by The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester

We are in the midst of forming a coalition of organizations for reasonable gun laws, RCRGL
This group has organized forums and promoted the necessity of more reasonable gun laws.
Three public forums were held by RCRGL in January, March, May to educate the public
on the Second Amendment, present the impact on families by gun violence, and promote
reasonable gun laws

We with many faiths organized and participated in a Prayer Service based on Pope Francis’
encyclical. Our support for action on climate change includes opposition to hydrofracking, and
we continue this effort by sending letters or visiting our legislators. While supporting the
state’s current ban, we believe that there are still major concerns to be addressed. Members
have attended forums sponsored by the Pachamama Alliance and are encouraged with our
group action


TIAR joined with other organizations to support this project. While the state legislature came
through with an increase of the minimum wage, there is still much to be done. We support this
project, at the national, state and local level, as an effort to help low-wage earners benefit from
a living wage. Members marched, wrote letters, and attended wage board meetings to
encourage our legislators to support the effort.
REACH (Rochester Emergency Action Committee for the Homeless)
TIAR supported this project’s temporary shelter for the homeless with a donation of $500.
Members were encouraged to work with their faith groups to provide food and transportation.
TIAR members donated personal care items to help people upon release from jail or prison.

State Governance

In the Fall, TIAR cosponsored with the League of Women Voters an informational meeting to
educate the public on the pros and cons of convening a constitutional convention as provided
for in the New York State Constitution


Again letters were sent to our state legislators and Governor Cuomo. New York State is one of
only two states that treat minors age 16 17 as adults in criminal cases. We want the age raised
to 18 before the designation of adult is attached.

We continue to write letters to the Governor and State Legislators to end this practice. A
petition was signed by the TIAR President.

TIAR continues as an organizing member of this nonpartisan group, along with the League of
Women Voter and other civic and faith groups. RVA conducts a registration campaign in local
areas where there is low voter turnout. This organization is active only in Presidential election
years; a steering committee has recruited over 175 volunteers and 40 sites for voter registration
this year.

Local Political Action

FECP (Fair Campaign Practices Committee)
TIAR and the League of Women Voters invite candidates to sign a pledge to conduct their
campaign fairly as they run for office. FEPC convenes a panel that allows candidates to register
their complaints about the unfairness of an opponent’s campaign practices. After review, a
finding is published about these practices.

In conjunction with RocACTS we participated in activities promoting better understanding
among races. Activities included attending movies and book discussion groups, and promoting
the creation of venues for Sacred Conversations on racism as individual, institutional and
systemic. By understanding our history, we can better understand the present

Letters were sent to Mayor Warren and Governor Cuomo in affirming their support of refugees
coming to New York State. Letter sent to Senator Schumer indicating our displeasure at his
anti-refugee stand. A presentation was given to the Board on rules and regulations regarding
the immigration process.

Educational Presentations by Speakers at Board Meetings

  • Brigit Hurley (Children's Agenda): SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN’S SABBATH
  • Rev. William Wilkinson (Board Member): ROCHESTER ACTS: BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
  • Virginia Fifield (Board Member): THE INVISIBLE RACE
  • Rashid Muhammed: ISLAMOPHOBIA: The Muslim experience in the USA
  • Jim Morris (now-retired Catholic Family Center department director): REFUGEE AND IMMIGRATION OBSTACLES
  • Dr. Melody Cofield: LEGACY OF 64
  • James Lawrence (Retired editor of D&C Opinion Page), 2015 Annual Meeting Speaker: “ARE WE WORKING OUR FAITH?”

REGULAR MEETINGS OF TIAR (all Members are welcome)

Executive Committee: 8:30 am, first Tuesday of month at the Golden Fox Restaurant
Board Of Directors: 4:00 5:30pm third Thursday of month at Covenant United Methodist

Respectfully submitted,
Becky Elwell, President