Prude Death Investigation

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announces new Chief of Staff

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — More change in City Hall Monday as Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced a new Chief of Staff.

Mayor Warren has appointed Brittaney Wells as Chief of Staff. She’ll manage some of the mayor’s “key priorities,” including the “implementation of an aggressive agenda to provide all citizens access to equal rights and an equal opportunity to benefit from the economic transformation of Rochester.”

The appointment is effective today, according to city officials.

Wells replaces Alex Yudelson, Mayor Warren’s chief of staff since January 2017. Yudelson ran for New York State Assembly earlier this year, but was defeated by Harry Bronson in June’s primary.

Officials say Yudelson will remain in a temporary role as an advisor to the mayor to facilitate a smooth transition and complete important tasks, including the completion of a complete 2020 Census count (extended through October), assisting with pandemic recovery efforts and advocating for the needs of the city in State and Federal relief bills, and helping the mayor define her policy agenda.

“I want to thank Alex Yudelson for his service to the citizens of Rochester and the role he played in advancing some of the City’s most important initiatives, including helping us secure the Governor’s commitment to invest in our ROC the Riverway project,” Mayor Warren said in a statement. “Since joining our team, Alex has helped us articulate the exciting potential of this great city through the lens of hope and change. I will miss his unrelenting optimism and belief in Rochester and I am excited to see what he does in the next stage of his ongoing commitment to helping others.”

City officials say Yudelson’s next endeavor will be announced in the near future.

MORE | Mayor Warren: Chief Singletary out, city’s communication director, lawyer suspended, review underway

Wells, a Rochester resident of the 19th Ward neighborhood, first joined Mayor Warren’s team in 2014, working in intergovernmental affairs for the City’s Chief of Staff and then as a neighborhood liaison in the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services. In 2017, Ms. Wells managed the mayor’s re-election campaign.

Wells recently completed a two-year term as the Chair and Executive Director of the Monroe County Democratic party. Before directing the Monroe County Democratic party, Wells launched the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building with the mission to “develop policies that combine existing government programs with the business community, the non-profit sector and educational institutions to help all city residents earn a living wage for themselves and their families, build generational wealth and achieve equal pay for equal work.”

“Brittaney Wells has a proven track record of successfully turning ideas into accomplishments and making the power of belief become real,” said Mayor Warren in a statement. “I am thrilled that she has agreed to return to City Hall and help me bring my vision to reality and make sure every citizen can share in the promise of Rochester. With Brittaney on our team, we are in an even stronger position to fulfill our goals to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

“I want to thank Mayor Warren for this opportunity to once again directly serve the citizens of Rochester,” said Wells in a statement. “The great Shirley Chisolm famously said: ‘You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.’ I can think of no better ideas to implement toward the progress of Rochester than those developed by Mayor Warren and her team.”

City Hall has seen significant change in the wake of Daniel Prude’s death becoming public earlier this month. September has seen major changes in leadership in the Rochester Police Department, as well as suspensions of the city’s communications director as well as its corporate counsel.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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