Rachel speaking at a housing forum


  • All people have a right to safe and affordable housing.
  • Monroe County faces a housing crisis. Legislator Barnhart supports the Action Plan to End Homelessness in Monroe County, which has housing vouchers as a centerpiece. As an ACT Rochester market study shows, there is a gap between what quality apartments cost and what people with lower incomes can pay. Right now, government at all levels is not doing enough to fill this gap, leading to exploitation, substandard units, and a high number of evictions.
  • Legislator Barnhart hosted a housing forum with City Councilmember Kim Smith to obtain testimony from people who are unhoused or at risk of evictions, and experts in the field. They will use this information to advocate for better policies.
  • Legislator Barnhart supports stronger tenant protections, housing vouchers, right-to-counsel for evictions, direct cash assistance and construction of more affordable units. 
Rachel standing with a police officer at a Beechwood neighborhood forum

Public Safety

  • Voted to approve all Sheriff’s Office funding requests, acknowledging the need to keep staffing, technology, equipment and facilities up to date and responsive to needs of community.
  • Believes public safety is also all the things that keep families safe and secure: food, housing, health care, good jobs.
    • Introduced a proposal to form the Task Force on Youth and Family Support to intervene in the lives of kids who are arrested for things like stealing cars.
    • Approved funding to more than double staffing for The FIT program, which pairs mental health clinicians with police officers responding to calls in which a person is experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis.
    • Worked with the Sheriff’s Office to obtain 75 minutes a week of free phone and video calls at the Monroe County Jail for incarcerated individuals, saving their families $30 a month.
    • Shares the view of public health professionals worldwide that we need to open overdose prevention centers and enact policies that make treatment immediately accessible to people suffering from opioid addiction.
  • Hosted a neighborhood forum with Rochester police about a series of carjackings committed by youth to address public safety concerns and build relationships among neighbors and police.
  • Approved ARPA funding to improve reentry services for people returning from incarceration.
  • Works to make Monroe County a place where everyone can get around safely, whether it’s by walking, biking, driving or taking the bus.
    • Introduced and passed Carrie’s Law to protect cyclists from passing cars, mandating 3-foot distance.
  • Longtime advocate for good government and accountability for all government entities, including law enforcement.
Rachel with the family that owns Golden Fox

Small Business

  • Taking on Predatory Food Delivery Apps: Legislator Barnhart worked to cap exorbitant commissions, saving restaurants thousands of dollars. In addition, Legislator Barnhart’s bill, the Food Delivery Fairness Act, that banned the apps from listing restaurants without their permission, passed the legislature.
  • Grants for Businesses: Legislator Barnhart convened a meeting with restaurant owners and County Executive Adam Bello that led to a grant program for small businesses, with an emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses in distressed areas. 
  • Saving Artist Studios: Legislator Barnhart is working with tenants and the new owner of the Hungerford Building to prevent displacement of artist studios and galleries. 
Rachel with Legislator Jackie Smith and the husband of Carrie Ray

Active Transportation and Safe Streets for All

Legislator Barnhart is a longtime advocate for investing in active transportation, including sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks and lighting. She serves on the Reconnect Rochester Advisory Board.

  • Led the effort to pass the Carrie Ray 3-Foot Passing Law to Protect Bicyclists, cosponsoring the legislation that mandates vehicles pass cyclists at a minimum 3-foot distance. The life-saving legislation brings Monroe County in line with the standard in more than 30 states.
  • Working on a “complete streets” policy with colleagues, which is an approach to building streets to accommodate all users.
  • Serves on the Planning Board where she monitors road projects.

Racial and Social Justice

  • All people have the right to live freely from discrimination, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity and disability. Our LGBTQ neighbors are under attack in many parts of the U.S., and even here at home. They deserve our love, support and protection.
  • All people have a right to reproductive care, including abortion care.
  • We must work to dismantle systems that further inequality and poverty, including housing, employment, transportation and education.
  • Monroe County should help to fund an implementation study for a publicly-owned utility. We need facts, data and a plan to advise us on whether to move forward.


Legislator Barnhart helped to found the Monroe County Advisory Task Force on Broadband, on which she serves. The task force conducted a study on ways to improve affordability and connectivity in the county. The study found a lack of competition has driven up prices and promised broadband speeds are not always delivered by providers.

Legislator Barnhart is a proponent of municipal internet solutions, which can include public-private partnerships to reach rural communities not on the internet grid, and urban areas where the costs remain high for many families. 

Good Government

Legislator Barnhart’s bill amending the Monroe County Code of Ethics for the first time in three decades recently passed the legislature unanimously. She also introduced a bill, the Candidate Disclosure Act, to prevent a George Santos-like character from being elected. 

Legislator Barnhart is the only local legislator to post her campaign finance and personal financial disclosure reports on her website.