ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans delivered the 2023 State of the City Address Wednesday evening.

The big takeaways were on combating poverty and violence, urban improvement projects, homelessness, and a host of other issues. This was promoted as a ‘tale of two legacies’ when it comes to Rochester– of poverty and prosperity. The focus was on how to uplift those struggling, and address violence in the city. That– Evans said– can be achieved by providing opportunities.

Under the poverty and violence he said is a current of hope. 

“We must feed that hope with opportunity to move Rochester from a poverty mindset to a prosperity mindset,” he said.

And the youth– too many he said caught up in social media challenges, smash-and-grabs, and violence on city streets. But as Evans points out, that violence is limited to certain neighborhoods, not the entire city. 

“There are many youth who need our help,” he said.

Evans feels jobs are a big part of the solution. “I want our kids to be so tired from working… that they will not have time to respond to some TikTok challenge,” he said.

Public safety, was also top of his list– and hoping to increase the ranks within RPD and help police respond better to situations.  

“Because if you don’t have safety… you can’t have anything else,” he said.

And when it comes to public safety– the mayor did say shootings overall are down by 44% from this time last year. He said organizations like Pathways to Peace, crisis intervention teams, and federal, state, and city law enforcement are to thank for that.

Evans also touted partnerships at the county, state, and federal levels— and programs– allowing for revitalization projects, ways to combat homelessness and give pathways for more home ownership in the city. 

Some residents though said the mayor’s speech left them wanting more.

“He’s just making… he’s just saying something to say something,” said resident Joyce Nelson.

“But he said tonight he cares about the children in the city. I don’t see it,” said resident Justine Harris.

“I have never seen him any place in Rochester at any events or anything,” said resident Majid.

“I would really encourage the mayor to re-evaluate his campaign promises,” said Oscar Brewer.

There is a full transcript of the address here.

Watch the full address