Forty-one-year old Rochester native Mayor Malik Evans called on citizens to join him in taking control of their neighborhoods and working to eradicate violence and blight in his January 1 inaugural address.
“Let today be the day that we reaffirm the preciousness of life, and say that one homicide is too many, and that violence and destruction must never be normalized,” he declared.
He spoke of providing jobs “for any youth that wants oneand of transforming the city, “not by nibbling at the edges but by thinking big.” And he echoed past mayors in demanding better city schools.
“As your mayor, I am committed to doing my part,” he said.
Other inaugural events scheduled included a citywide prayer service streamed live from Aenon Missionary Baptist Church and a Teen Town Hall streamed from downtown’s Innovation Square along with Roland Williams, NFL Super Bowl Champion, Shirley Green, the city’s new commissioner of Recreation and Human Services, and newly-elected City School Board member Camille Simmons.
–Mayor On The Block–
Last Saturday (Jan. 8) Evans conducted his first “Mayor on the Block” neighborhood listening session, joined by N.Y. State Assembly Member Demond Meeks (137th District); Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons (22nd District); Rochester City Council President Miguel Meléndez; Northeast City Council District Representative Michael A. Patterson; and Special Assistant to the Mayor John Brach.
The “Mayor on the Block” events, which the mayor plans to hold monthly, will enable City leadership to hear directly from residents and business owners about what’s happening in their neighborhoods and learn about what’s important to them.
“Progress is a community effort,” Mayor Evans said. “We need to regularly engage with city residents so we understand the real challenges and work together towards the best solutions.”
Mayor Evans began his listening session at the Gold More Mini Market at 1125 North St., the location of this year’s first homicide, which took the life of 14-year-old Julius Greer Jr. The Mayor spoke with business owners and residents in that area about the tragedy.
“I don’t want any of us to forget that the violence in our city is happening in neighborhoods where families live,” the Mayor continued. “We need everyone, from our neighborhoods on out, to work together to put an end to these senseless deaths. This violence is unacceptable, and we cannot let it continue.”
That same day Mayor Evans announced that he and other senior administration officials have raised $9,000 from their personal funds to donate to Crime Stoppers to encourage witnesses to come forward with information..