ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayoral Candidate Malik Evans says he is focusing on the city’s economic development. In a press conference on Monday, Evans laid out a plan to help reduce poverty in the city if elected.

The median household income of Rochester is $41,000 — more than $20,000 below the State and Federal average. Evans says his plan would lessen that margin by expanding job training and placement efforts, and coordinating with neighborhoods to ensure each community has what they need.

“We want to make sure we target neighborhoods for business development and increases in the type of businesses we have in our neighborhoods,” Evans said.

“North Clinton Avenue is blessed that we have a tax service here. So how can we make sure we have tax services in all our neighborhoods? How can we make sure that we have bakeries in all of our neighborhoods? So we want to make sure that we have a multitude of different businesses in our neighborhoods because that leads to stable neighborhoods.”

Evans outlined a number of steps he will take as mayor to grow the availability of good jobs and business opportunities: 

  • Expand job training and placement efforts, including his Youth2Work program, to improve the skills of our workforce and attract employers.
  • Support entrepreneurs and small businesses by helping them navigate challenges like regulations, payroll, and financing, so they can focus on what they do best.
  • Collaborate with business, labor unions, and educational institutions to build the next generation workforce in advanced manufacturing and skilled trades.
  • Grow and support Rochester’s creative and service sectors, including artists, performance venues, and food and hospitality businesses.
  • Work with Monroe County to market our region worldwide as a place to visit, live, and do business.

To that effect, Evans proposed several economic empowerment and financial health initiatives:

  • Work with area banks and credit unions to expand access to bank accounts, affordable credit options, and other vital financial services.
  • Increase awareness and availability of homebuyer grants and matching programs, and help homeowners build reserves and skills to maintain properties and strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Bring together renters and landlords to develop a compact for quality housing and fair practices. Increase education on rental property improvement and rent assistance programs.
  • Create an innovative partnership with philanthropic and financial institutions to bring investment education and matching funds to lower-income city residents, so that all have the opportunity to save for a rainy day or invest for retirement.

The primary is scheduled for June 22.