Rochester’s storied neighborhoods form an intricate tapestry that connects us all to each other. What happens in one neighborhood, ripples through all of Rochester. We must ensure that all our neighborhoods are safe, vibrant, healthy, and that that residents feel invested and see a path to achieving their dreams. This begins with stability, particularly housing stability, as well as residents being empowered to help decide what happens in their neighborhoods. Malik will support Rochester’s stability and help it flourish by listening to what residents want, and through initiatives that increase home-ownership; reduce evictions; ensure essential services are available; and protect and beautify the environment. As Mayor, Malik will:

“I was born and raised in the South Wedge area of Rochester where my family was fortunate enough to own a modest home on Hamilton Street. For the first eighteen years of my life I lived in a familiar environment with the same neighbors who all knew and looked out for each other and the neighborhood. I can still recall Ms. Penny who watched from her home as I walked to school or how I would stop by Bobs to grab candy on my way home. This created neighborhood stability and established cohesive bonds that served to stabilize the neighborhood.”

Malik Evans

There is a wealth of data that shows home ownership has many positive effects on communities such as increased safety, stability, residential satisfaction, political engagement, and increased educational outcomes for children. That is why Malik would support initiatives that increase and promote home ownership. While Rochesterians should see a pathway to home ownership if that is their goal, renters currently make up an estimated sixty three percent of households in Rochester. Renters are as entitled to safety, stability and a voice regarding what happens in their neighborhoods as any homeowner. As Mayor, Malik would support renters with increased resources and assistance that would prevent evictions and provide the housing stability needed to thrive. Malik will also explore the feasibility of measures such as the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. In addition, Malik will formalize mechanisms that allow homeowners and renters alike to voice their ideas for their neighborhoods to City Hall through neighborhood associations and similar groups. He will also highlight platforms that connect neighborhood groups with philanthropy and businesses that can help make those ideas reality.

“My father Minister Lawrance Lee Evans was the founder of First Community Interfaith Institute, a teaching church and cultural organization in the South Wedge. I grew up in a household where “doing,” and service to others was the way of life. Civic engagement and activism are a part of who I am.”

Malik Evans

Rochester is one of the most civically engaged and philanthropic cities in America. While there are tough issues to tackle, Rochester has never been lacking in individuals, groups, or organizations, willing to step up and take on those issues. The altruism of Rochesterians is one of the most powerful tools we have. Throughout his career, Malik has either worked, served, or volunteered in civic organizations that have addressed things like food scarcity, education, and justice issues. As Mayor, Malik will continue to encourage and support civic engagement and activism by ensuring residents’ concerns are always heard at City Hall, and by highlighting platforms where Rochesterians can harness and combine the power of activism with the resources of City Hall to tackle Rochester’s greatest issues.

“I have seen firsthand what can happen to a neighborhood when industry displaces or takes precedence over the quality of life of the residents. Many or our neighborhoods suffer from inequitable land-use and zoning practices that negatively impact the health, safety, and quality of life of the people who live there. Rochesterians should not have to live in neighborhoods with polluted air, contaminated soil, boarded up buildings, broken infrastructure, or other forms of environmental blight.”

Malik Evans

It is well documented that Black and Brown communities are exponentially more likely to be exposed to environmentally hazardous sites that harm their air, water, and overall quality of life. Rochester can and must break that mold by finding smarter ways to sustain industry while also rallying all stakeholders around the concept of environmental justice. All Rochesterians want and deserve forward thinking city planning, effective public transportation, timely sanitation services, and innovative recycling and energy options. Rochester has access to some of the best and brightest scientific minds in the country with institutions such as the Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester, right in our backyards. As Mayor, Malik will engage our vast scientific community for ideas on making Rochester an environmentally friendly city of the future. He will work with state agencies and local businesses to ramp up programs that focus on concerns such as lead paint abatement, shovel-ready sites, and weatherizing homes and buildings. Malik will refocus City divisions such as the Department of Environmental Services and the Division of Zoning with breathing life into the City’s Climate Action Plan and tackling environmental issues.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made clearer than ever one thing many city residents already knew: our neighborhoods don’t have the same level of access to essential services. One basic but glaring example involves households that have access to reliable and affordable internet broadband services, versus those that do not.”

Malik Evans

The inequity of the digital divide has always affected our community in a myriad of negative ways, but the consequences of that divide over the past year have been particularly stark. Over the past year all Rochesterians have expressed concerns that without suitable internet access during the pandemic they may not have been able to do things such as work remotely; connect their children to virtual classrooms; access courts; take advantage of telemedicine to speak to their doctors; or sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Equitable access to services is not just a quality-of-life issue, but a civil rights issue and there are things we can do to bridge this divide. As Mayor, Malik will work towards innovative public private partnerships that expand publicly available broadband across the city.