Opinion | Our biggest opportunities lie ahead
Editor’s note: The text below is a slightly edited version of Council Member Nick Campion’s address to the public at Monday’s city inauguration event. Campion is now serving his second term in office.
My campaign promise was simple. I promised to make Rochester as great for today’s children as it was for me growing up here. Some think that is an impossible goal. They say Rochester is too big, or that the people are too different or that things have changed too much.
I say those people are wrong. The real problem with making our community as great today as it was 30 years ago is not that it is too ambitious. Not that it is impossible. The problem is that that goal is not ambitious enough.
When we idolize our past greatness, we don’t leave room for today’s success. Instead we become fixated on means and methods that no longer work for our community. It’s a disservice to my two boys. It’s a disservice to everyone. No, our community deserves leaders who believe as I do, that our best days are ahead and that we can make our community better than it has ever been. I see a community that is more engaged now. I see a community with a sense of purpose. I see excitement about new opportunities.
I see a community that loves to give of themselves and have an impact. Generations of council members gave of themselves to make my Rochester great. I commit to continue that tradition, and then some.
Rochester has been and will be an economic powerhouse and world health care wonder. For decades, our city has known nothing but growth. Spoiler alert, Rochester will continue to grow. But as it grows, our community must actively define our-self in that growth and not let that growth define us.
So, let us take a moment to look forward together. With our community, we have envisioned a Rochester with more sustainability, more transportation options, housing options for all and a lean, efficient and proactive government. It is time to join our partners throughout the community and put that plan into action.
As exciting as it was to begin our transformative work during my first term, it is clear to me that our biggest opportunities lie ahead. I look forward to the next four years and to working with our entire community to make the most of the opportunities that lie before us.
Nick Campion represents Ward 3 on the Rochester City Council.
Cover photo by William Forsman