‘Building the bridge to the future’: Mayor-elect Malik Evans on vision for Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the dust settles in general election races across Monroe County, one thing has been clear since his primary victory in June, Malik Evans would become the new mayor of Rochester.

As the newest mayor-elect, Evans made his first public address to the public Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Evans began by asking for the community’s grace and patience before speaking on what should be expected by the new administration. It relies on a number of values that aim to grow Rochester from the ground up.

“It’s important for people to know what will an Evans administration stand for,” Evans said. “These values will be in every setting that our senior team meets. Anytime we do anything we will be able to point back to that value. Our vision is building the bridge to Rochester’s future.”

The mission is to increase the quality of life with transparent, collaborative leadership that creates vibrant communities and employment opportunities to make Rochester a “hope filled city with an exciting future.”

According to Evans this multi-value system will be driven by promoting positive, systemic change.

Strategic

Evans pledged that his administration will be intentional, creative and bold.

“Getting youth to work, that’s bold,” Evans said. “Increasing home ownership, that’s bold. We will build a sustainable structure and understand that we will live in the structure that we have.”

Rewindable and Flexible

In order to accommodate progressive change, the administration will allow future modifications and use physical and human resources to embrace flexibility in planning.

“If it’s someone else’s idea, guess what? That’s fine because if its a good idea we will take it,” Evans said. “If it’s not a good idea and it’s not working we’re going to scrap it and explain to the community why we did.”

Concern for Public Employees

Emphasis of being transparent with the community to develop the working force in Rochester.

“We think that if the employees feel great about coming to work every day that will translate into better citizen services,” Evans said. “We want to make sure those employees are valued, so they can translate that back into the City of Rochester.

Collaborative

With the mission to promote safety and partnership in Rochester, Evans promised to glue local government, police, public and private entity parties together where “egos and turf are checked at the door.”

“We don’t have time for egos and turf with the issues that we’re dealing with,” Evans said. “County and city, we have to be joined at the hip.

Before continuing further, Evans mentioned the increase in violence within Rochester and referred to the killing of 15-year-old Jamere Wade that took place a few hours prior to his address.

The first thing the new mayor-elect plans to begin work on is safety.

“If young people are given the opportunities they are less likely to be involved in violence,” Evans said. “Think about if a person had so much to do that they wouldn’t think about picking up that gun. So they wouldn’t be doing whatever it is they’re doing as it relates to violence.”

Citizen Priority

Evans believes that local government can empower its citizen’s to transform the city.

“We want to have the most engaged citizens that Rochester has seen,” Evans said. “It’s important because our challenges are so immense. We have what it takes to do exactly that.”

Mission Focus

The new administration seeks out to create and provide essential and critical municipal services.

“We understand that our primary role is providing high-quality planning — zoning, code enforcement, clean water, infrastructures, roads,” Evans said. “It is important that we have individuals here that know it is our primary role as an administration and that we do that well.

Trust and Transparency

According to Evans, he wishes to guarantee the public their shared interests and beliefs about the future of the community will be listened to and trusted.

“This isn’t me, this is the community, this is us,” Evans said. “I’m nothing but a vessel for tax payers for the time of period they will have me their. We will make sure everyone in this administration will understand that.”

The mayor-elect said an announcement on new additions to the administration will be made in early December. Evans was joined by Monroe County Executive Adam Bello.

Evans urged his readiness to get to work during his unopposed run in Tuesday’s general election.

“This is not about me, but about us, and the future of greater Rochester,” Evans said. Regardless of what zip code, regardless of what town, it is our responsibility to make sure that we take care of those who have gone to the polls and voted or those who have not. That we have a clear message that we are going to build bridges…”

Before carrying the race versus Lovely Warren by nearly 66% of the vote in June, Evans campaigned on reducing city crime with youth-work initiativescracking down on guns coming into Rochester, proposed added benefits and aid for the elderly population in Rochester plus more.

He was elected to City Council in 2017 and previously elected to the Rochester Board of Education in 2003 where he would serve as Board President from 2008-2013.

Evans is due to be sworn in on January 1, 2022 following Warren’s resignation last month as part of a plea deal that settled a separate set of criminal charges

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

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