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Statement by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rolison on Peaceful Protests in the City

During this week, the City of Poughkeepsie has witnessed several protests relating to the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I want to convey how proud I am of the community for coming together in peaceful demonstrations to express their frustrations and to push unrelentingly for racial equality. I also want to thank the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department for their professionalism in handling these demonstrations and to our law enforcement partners from the state and Dutchess and Ulster counties that provided us with support.

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison at Tuesday’s “We Can’t Breathe” protest.

 Across this country, we have watched protests that have taken counter-productive, dangerous turns. The events in the City of Poughkeepsie — which have included a candlelight vigil and marches — have shown the country how people can gather to express themselves passionately, to demand justice, and to ensure their voices are heard. And they can do all that without violence and without causing damage to the community at large. I will be forever thankful for those, including the organizers of these events and community leaders, for insisting on a nonviolent approach. The city is committed to doing its part as the country tries to heal and find a way forward. We are committed to keeping the lines of dialogue open and to providing a safe environment for people to continue to voice their views and to work for the betterment of our city.”

Poughkeepsie Joins Select Group in Harvard Graduate School of Education Initiative

Poughkeepsie City School Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison are pleased to announce that Poughkeepsie has been invited to join a consortium of cities participating in the “By All Means” initiative created by the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Education Redesign Lab.

Earlier this year, the Mayor and Superintendent formed the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to develop a shared vision and cradle-to-career path for child growth in the city.

Across the country, Children’s Cabinets are used by localities to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.

Continue reading Poughkeepsie Joins Select Group in Harvard Graduate School of Education Initiative

Statement from City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison on the Death of George Floyd

I am outraged and sickened by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, who was left begging for his life while being held to the ground by police kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis.

As a retired police officer and as the father of a police officer, I am appalled by the actions and believe justice must be served. Our police officers take an oath to uphold the law, and these gross violations break the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the public – bonds that are essential to all communities. Here in the City of Poughkeepsie, our police officers are committed to strengthening community relationships and endeavor in those efforts every day.

Throughout the country, we are witnessing protests, and I stand with those who tirelessly work for racial equality. In Poughkeepsie, we have shown time and time again we can all work together for the greater good.

These are trying times, but I have so much faith in our community. We will work for and insist on justice, and everyone’s voice will be heard and respected.

Mayor Rolison to be Featured Speaker at Chamber’s ‘Virtual Contact Breakfast’

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison will provide updates to the business community and take questions during the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s hour-long “Virtual Contact Breakfast” at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20.

The Mayor and his team have been responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19), ensuring that first responders and other essential employees are able to complete their tasks while realigning the work of other employees in a changing environment.

The Mayor recognizes the coronavirus is bringing financial challenges to the City and is working with department heads to make adjustments to the City budget.

“We have done everything we can to stay ahead of the crisis, and I thank our employees and the city as a whole for working together during this difficult time,” he said.

The City Administration has worked closely with Dutchess County and state officials to react and respond to the crisis – and to ensure the public is receiving a cohesive message about what steps the various levels of government are taking to address the crisis and to begin reopening. The City has created a comprehensive online guide, which also is published weekly in the city’s “The Buzz” newsletter, that provides updates and offers key web links to a range of important information, from health and safety to food and other types of assistance. The website is www.cityofpoughkeepsie.com/coronavirus.

The Mayor also acknowledged the hardship the pandemic has caused to the business community and local nonprofit organizations. He encourages business and nonprofits to stay informed through The Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN), which includes the local Chamber of Commerce and is providing updates and highlighting the assistance available through state and federal agencies. The DBNN’s website is www.dutchessbnn.com.

“The Chamber has been providing webinars and other resources to the business community since the pandemic began, and we pride ourselves on offering our members and guests the opportunity to connect with our elected officials,” said Frank Castella Jr., president and CEO of Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This event with Mayor Rob Rolison will give us important updates from the City of Poughkeepsie as we continued to prepare to reopen the business community.”

Mayor Rolison said he looks forward to seeing the City and Dutchess County reopen, and the City has continued to work on a number of key initiatives, including updating its Comprehensive Plan, something that hasn’t been undertaken in more than two decades.

He also has collaborated with Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser to form a “Children’s Cabinet” aimed at creating a shared vision and cradle-to-career agenda for child and youth development in the city. During the Virtual Contact Breakfast, Mayor Rolison is expected to explain why he believes this initiative is so important to the whole community, including business leaders.

Members of the business community are invited to this complimentary event on Zoom – you do not need to be a member of the Chamber to participate. Registration is required and can be done through the Chamber’s website at www.dcrcoc.org. It will also be streamed live on the Chamber’s and City’s Facebook pages.

Poughkeepsie Mayor, Superintendent to Hold Second Facebook Live Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Responses

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser will host a Facebook live meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7, to update residents on the city’s and school district’s responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

The meeting will be live on the city’s Facebook page, and the public will be able to ask questions in the “comments” field. Questions also can be sent in advance to bit.ly/2ndVirtualTownHall.

Earlier this year, the Mayor and Superintendent created the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to shepherd a shared vision and cradle-to-career path for child development in the city. They named an executive committee, which includes leaders in higher education, hospitals, nonprofits and other sectors. Children’s cabinets are used by localities around the country to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.

City of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County Teaming Up To Provide Transportation to COVID-19 Testing Site

The City of Poughkeepsie, in partnership with Dutchess County and Midhudson Regional Hospital, is launching an initiative to provide transit service to and from a COVID-19 testing site for city residents who want a test but who lack transportation to get there.

MidHudson Regional Hospital has been operating a drive-through COVID-19 sample collection site just outside the city’s borders in the Town of Poughkeepsie. The City and County are teaming up to address a gap involving those in the city who don’t have transportation.
 “This will be a big step to address concerns that have been raised in the City of Poughkeeepsie, and we appreciate the efforts of both Dutchess County Executive Molinaro and MidHudson Regional Hospital to help solve the issue,” said City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.

“This partnership responds to unique challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic in an urban community – where there is greater population density and many people who do not have their own transportation,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro. “The County and City have a strong partnership, and that relationship has served us well through the COVID crisis. This transportation initiative addresses a paramount concern – ensuring people have the ability to get tested so we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”   

The County will pay for the bus service, which will bring people who lack transportation from their house to the testing site. The County will contract with Cedar Bus Co. which has the capacity to provide adequate social distancing and can sanitize the buses between trips.

The City will be responsible for taking the calls from residents and scheduling the testing appointment and booking the transportation. City residents who lack transportation but want to be tested should call 845-451-4073 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Mondays or Wednesdays to schedule an appointment. The testing will be available between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Mayor Rolison Pays Tribute to Theo ‘Tree’ Arrington Who Gave So Much to Our Youth

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Theo ‘Tree’ Arrington, who did such exemplary work for this community through the R.E.A.L. Skills Network and so many other endeavors. Tree was larger than life. His heart was as big as he was. You simply can’t replace people like Tree.

R.E.A.L. stands for “Relationship Empowerment Affirmation Leadership.” It was something Tree knew about himself. Tree started the program, recognizing the need for more youth development initiatives in the city. The R.E.A.L Skills Network served so many youth over the years, from those in elementary to high school. Tree understood that some youth need extra care to navigate through the various societal systems, to develop better skills and social values. Tree had a way of connecting with youth, and he led by example. He will be deeply missed.”  Mayor Rob Rolison, City of Poughkeepsie

Mayor, School Superintendent Hold Facebook Live Meeting

City Mayor Rob Rolison and School Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser held a Facebook live meeting Tuesday night, April 14 to talk about the ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak — and how our community is working together to ensure the collective well-being of our children, youth and families. The mayor and superintendent each provided updates and then answered questions submitted in advance and asked during the live meeting.

Poughkeepsie Mayor, Superintendent to Hold Facebook Live Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Responses

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser will host a Facebook live meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, to update residents on the city’s and school district’s responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier this year, the Mayor and Superintendent created the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to shepherd a shared vision and cradle-to-career path for child development in the city. They named an executive committee, which includes leaders in higher education, hospitals, nonprofits and other sectors. Children’s cabinets are used by localities around the country to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.

Tuesday’s meeting will be live on the city’s Facebook page, and the public will be able to ask questions in the “comments” field. Questions also can be sent in advance to bit.ly/VirtualTownHallQuestions.

Mayor Rolison Postpones State of the City Address

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison has decided to postpone tonight’s State of the City address at the Changepoint Theatre, believing now is not the right time to bring together such a large group of people for a public gathering.

“We think it’s smart to use an abundance of caution in this instance,” Mayor Rolison said. The Mayor said he and city officials will be discussing a future date for the State of the City address and will be keeping the public informed as decisions are made.