Be a Part of the Change in 2015

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January is the start of a new year, it gives us the chance to start over. We've got goals, dreams, and plans to make these things happen in our lives. But what about our city? Maybe a priority in our life should include being a part of the positive change in the city. How can we do this? Here are just a few ideas:

Be Heard, Get Involved, Give Back. 

When you have the opportunity to take a survey, attend a forum, or share your thoughts... do it! Need an example? How about the Downtown Parking Summit this Wednesday. Downtown Parking Summit, Wednesday 1/21, 5:30-7pm.

Don't say to yourself, "someone else will do it", maybe they will, maybe they won't. Would you want to leave your future in the hands of another?

Every May, Clean Sweep gives us that physical chance to get involved. Grab a broom or rake and clean a neighborhood in the city! You can even organize a Mini Sweep anytime throughout the year, why wait for May or only clean up once?

Attend a fundraiser, like this weekend's Red Door Affair for Gilda's Club, volunteer, join a group that is involved in the community... give back! Donate to Open Door Mission or a food pantry. Go through your closet and donate clothes that you haven't worn in the last year. After all, we're only as strong as our weakest link, right?

Looking for another option? See what's going on with RocCity Coalition on Tuesday at their Vision 2025 Launch Party.

Be IN the City.

A solid core makes a solid city and we here at the Rochesteriat believe that the city of Rochester is a GREAT place to live, work, and play. Our first thought was to tell you to move into the city, but we know it may not be feasible to just up and move!

But, you can spend time here and spend your money here at local restaurants, coffee shops, and establishments. Keep your money in our community. Thriving businesses make for a thriving city.

Get Your Groceries LOCAL.

SHOP at Farmers Markets. Meet the people behind the produce. The Public Market is the only year-round market and come spring and summer you'll have even more options for fresh produce.

Tues, Thurs, Sat: Public Market
Tues: Westside Farmers Market
Wed: Washington Square Park Foodlink’s Farmers Market
Wed: Monroe Village Farmers Market
Thurs: South Wedge Farmers Market

Hart's Local Grocers is another great place to shop for local groceries as they stock a lot of local items. You can easily find them throughout the store with these LOCAL tags! It's not all produce either, there are dry goods, baked goods, coffee, chocolate, and everything in between.

Be an Entrepreneur.

Maybe you've been dreaming, planning and saving for years to open your own restaurant, coffee shop, store, or <insert your great idea here>. The city is in revival and scattered throughout you'll find empty store fronts and buildings just waiting for new life.

Love walking through cities like NYC because of the creativity, diversity, and wide variety of fun little kiosks and carts? Get creative with an empty bus shelter on Main Street! Check out the Reconnect Rochester article from last year: What Could You Do With This Shelter?

Whatever it may be that you decide to do this year, be it little or big, don't feel like you can't make a difference!


Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She loves meeting the movers & shakers in the city - there are a lot of amazing people here. Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter.