(Rochester, NY) During the first mayoral debate tonight, City Council Member Malik Evans outlined his plans to help Rochester recover from the pandemic, to expand homeownership and economic empowerment, and to begin repairing the relationship between the public and the Rochester Police Department.
“It is important that we start to close the divides and build back trust,” Evans said, adding that over the past 9 months “there have been distractions from the important issues facing Rochester.”
On the subject of policing, Evans said the cover-up of the circumstances of Daniel Prude’s death “compounded a tragedy.” He also spoke of the need for a culture change in the Rochester Police Department, and committed to working with the police union, the Police Accountability Board, and the public to rebuild relationships, not only to prevent future avoidable police incidents, but also to prevent and combat the violent crime that is surging in the city.
On jobs and the economy, which moderator Adam Chodak cited as the top issue in a recent News 8/Emerson College poll, Evans stressed the importance of supporting small business, training the city’s workforce for new industries, and attracting new companies. Evans stressed that the high-profile challenges brought upon the city by the current administration have an economic impact as well.
Evans, who it is believed would be the first Rochester Mayor to speak Spanish, addressed the audience in that language while discussing the burden Covid-19 has placed on Rochester’s Latino community.
In conclusion, Evans framed the debate and upcoming election in historic terms, asking what future generations will say about Rochester at this pivotal time. “They will ask ‘what did we do in this moment?’ This is not about myself and the mayor. This is about the future of Rochester.”