Explosive accusations by Legislator Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons

Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons went to social media to expose the shenanigans happening behind closed doors. She claims her attempts to “negotiate” failed with potential candidates for President of the Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature and more.

 “What has come to light since is a very concerning trail of evidence which points to the 144 MILLION REASONS why #LatinX (a division of Ibero-American Action League, Inc.) strives to elect Yversha Roman. I was forwarded an email on December 5, 2023 from a concerned citizen describing an attempted power play for profit that was written and distributed by 𝐑𝐨𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐉𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐞𝐥 𝐋𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐳 citing “talking points” and distributed within a select group of individuals employed by 𝐍𝐘𝐒, 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐫𝐨𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐨𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐑𝐨𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐍𝐨𝐭-𝐅𝐨𝐫-𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐘𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐚 𝐑𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 (𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐞𝐝). The next day an event was posted on the Facebook page of La Cumbre (https://www.facebook.com/LaCumbre) urging citizens to attend the January 2, 2024 Legislative meeting and to lobby in both support of Yversha Roman and in opposition to myself and Rachel Barnhart. In researching La Cumbre, it is noted through the NYS Department of State and the IRS to be a unregistered agency, co-founded by Anthony Plonczynski, Deputy Executive Director of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, as well as a labor leader with NYSUT, and campaign manager to candidates tied to Tuesday Digital, owned by MCDC Chair Stephen Devay. It is also noted on their website and Facebook page that LaCumbre operates out of 225 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY – the same office location of Jackie Ortiz (Board of Elections Commissioner) and her State Farm Office and is owned by Anthony Plonczynski. I was shocked to see that the focus of making certain that Roman is elected President is to “be a leading voice on the $𝟏𝟒𝟒 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐑𝐏𝐀 investments ensuring equitable distribution and impact of those vital funds.” The IRS website, that oversees the activities of 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Not-For-Profit agencies states under 26 US Code §501(c)(3) “In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).” The IRS further states “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. This includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure.” La Cumbre quickly removed the Latinx presence from the “talking points” generated in the email they distributed in an attempt to smear duly elected candidates who do not follow the “status quo” and whose concerns are with the lack of housing and services for the homeless and those in need. I myself am particularly concerned about the continued levels of crime, violence and substance abuse on our streets. On September 13, 2023, the Monroe County Legislature approved in a 23 to 6 vote transferring $1.9 million out of the Department of Human Services to fund golf courses, parks and the zoo. I voted against this transfer of funds. Yversha Roman voted for it. I believe that the “need” to elect Ms. Roman is one stated in the letter her “Latinx” leaders proposed – to oversee and steer where the $144 MILLION DOLLARS in ARPA funding, which the Legislature President can fast track approval for funding immediately on. ARPA, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, is a US $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress on March 11, 2021 to speed up the country’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. I made the decision to run for President myself after having my request(s) for any funding directly related to my district dismissed or ignored as poverty continues to escalate. I witness daily the impacts and effects of this negligence on the part of those entrusted to do the work of the people FIRST. The fact that I won’t cave and support the efforts of those who have been made promises in exchange for their vote is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Imagine what $144M in funding could provide for our taxpayers and citizens if properly managed. I have and will remain committed to the people I serve, and the taxpayers of the County of Monroe. As a resident, what has occurred has raised more serious questions than answers. I intend to refer to the appropriate state and federal agencies the information I have to make certain that our moral and ethical compass is upheld for the greater good of our citizens.” – Mercedes Vazquez Simmons –

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