Metro Justice

167 Flanders St
Rochester, NY 14619, US

Category: Friends of Labor

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

Metro-Justice began as Friends of FIGHT, organizing support in the progressive white community for FIGHT’s struggle for economic justice for Rochester’s black workers; a busload of members accompanied FIGHT to the Kodak shareholders’ meeting in New Jersey in 1967. By 1968 the group began to define a role independent of FIGHT, developing its focus on employment, housing, education and anti-poverty issues into struggles over power in the community, over issues that affected whites as well as blacks. Reorganized in 1968 as Metro-Act the group took on a wide range of issues in the 1970s and 1980s: challenging Penfield’s zoning laws (a case ultimately lost in the U.S. Supreme Court); supporting anti-draft activities; exposing the Community Chest’s lack of accountability; opposing Rochester Gas & Electric rate increases; revealing corporate property tax exemptions; fighting the “red-lining” loan practices of local banks; challenging license renewal by the FCC of local television and radio stations (forcing them to increase minority hiring and programming); establishing a Rochester Area Unemployment Council; prohibiting the City from dealing with companies doing business in South Africa; supporting Latin America solidarity efforts. In 1996 Metro-Act merged with the Peace & Justice Education Center and became Metro-Justice, which has sustained its efforts by exposing the misuse of community development block grants and County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency abuse of corporate tax subsidies intended to create local jobs. In 1997 Metro-Justice became an Associated Organization of the Rochester Labor Council, increasing its links with the labor community and supporting the Campaign for a Living Wage.