The Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature works every day to fight for the well-run government and good quality of life that each resident of the county deserves. Whether it is dealing with legislation and budgeting or meeting with the constituents and community organizations we serve, our legislators are committed to a simple yet effective methodology: go out into our communities, talk to the people we represent to get the best possible information about the issues and problems they face, then use that information to guide the legislation we introduce, the votes we take, and the priorities we pursue in the county budget.
The county government’s impact on the lives of the people it serves is vast. Our core responsibilities as legislators include economic development, job retention and creation, exercising oversight of taxpayer funds and public safety.
The County Legislature was established in the 1960s in response to concerns that the old Board of Supervisors system provided disproportionate representation to smaller towns at the expense of the citizens of larger municipalities – violating the “one man, one vote” precedent established by the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. Sims. Currently, the Legislature is made up of 29 seats, with each legislator representing around 25,000 residents of the county. The Legislature develops and adopts resolutions, policies and local laws that impact all residents of our County.
In recent years, the Democratic Caucus has:
- Fought to increase transparency and oversight at LDCs, flawed public-private partnerships that have been engulfed in scandal
- Argued against the “FAIR” plan that took county tax revenues away from our public schools and resulted in a lawsuit that cost county taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees before funding to our schools was restored.
- Striven to block childcare subsidy cuts to working low-income parents – a proven mechanism for increasing workforce participation and moving individuals off of public assistance rolls.
- Advocated on behalf of abused animals by promoting the creation of an Animal Abuser Registry that would prevent individuals proven to be a risk to our pets’ health and safety from working with or adopting them.
- Sought for the LGBTQ members of our community to be treated as equal citizens in word and deed, including risking the arrest of a staff member over the display of a Pride flag in his office.
- Worked on a comprehensive overhaul and update of our confusing and antiquated county charter.
- Promoted the rights of mothers to breastfeed their children by proposing public breastfeeding rooms in county buildings.
- Continuously helped to shed light on our county’s significant financial issues, which are often glossed over by other county leaders.
These financial issues are where the Democratic Caucus has expended a great deal of its time and energy, simply because running out of money threatens our county’s ability to work on the many other critical issues we face. These issues include unsustainable levels of borrowing to pay for basic projects, hidden taxes that are obfuscated by being called “fees” and “chargebacks,” and a lack of taking accountability for the home-grown nature of many of our problems. State mandates are expensive, and reforming them should be a priority of our state legislators, but exaggerating their impact and refusing to take responsibility for the many aspects of county budgeting that we do have control over is a dereliction of our duty as local elected officials.
We encourage you to explore the rest of our site, where you can learn more about the individual legislators who make up our caucus, find out about legislation that our caucus has proposed and continues to fight for the adoption of, read about current projects and initiatives of the caucus both as legislators and using the “bully pulpit” of their position to advocate on behalf of the communities and constituencies they serve, and learn the legislative process.