From Mayor Malik Evans’ point of view, Rochester is on the verge of becoming one of the nation’s great cities.
Community collaboration and federal stimulus dollars have brought the city to the tipping point of self-perpetuating greatness, Evans said, as he delivered a progress report—titled “All in for Rochester” —on his first seven months in office. He spoke at the theater at Innovation Square to elected officials, residents and community stakeholders.
“The entire Rochester community is ready to come together and work together, side by side, shoulder to shoulder to move this city forward,” Evans said.
His report comes as Rochester grapples with violent crime and is in a state of gun violence emergency, and deals with a beleaguered school district, in addition to other challenges, including poverty. Homicides continue to rise, the Rochester Police Department lost a police officer and the Rochester City School Board has asked its superintendent, Lesli Myers-Small, to vacate her post, weeks before schools reopen for a new academic year.
“There’s an African proverb that says don’t stop planting your crops because the birds are eating them,” Evans said. “That’s good advice and we’re following that at City Hall. We won’t be paralyzed by hopelessness. We don’t give in to the bankruptcy of despair.”
He highlighted the following investments in key priorities identified by his administration:
■ Public safety: investment in Pathways to Peace; the Peacemaker Fellowship; the Peace Collective; a second Police Academy to help fill staffing shortages.
■ Economic empowerment: rebooting Financial Empowerment Centers; increased investment in entrepreneurship and workforce development; increased support for Minority and Women Owned Businesses.
■ Youth development: increased pay for seasonal youth positions in Aquatics and R-Centers; increased internship stipends; new programs in our R-Centers and library branches; return of Police Athletic League.
■ Strengthening neighborhoods: new positions for code enforcement and compliance, including a dedicated Housing Court attorney; increased investment in homeownership and affordable housing.
■ Building toward a prosperous future: continued progress on ROC the Riverway; Inner Loop North; closing neighborhood disparities in street trees
■ Equity, inclusion and justice: embedded in all priorities; dedicates an additional $1 million to further implement the report of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity.
“The progress we’re making on these priorities and the people I work with are the reason I come to work every day full of hope and excitement,” Evans said. “But we need your help. So, let’s work together and be all in for Rochester.”
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.
When and where have I heard this before? That song has been sung for decades with little to zero progress. I do hope that this time,..this time,… its real.
The schools are are the key. Education is the way out of poverty and if Rochester could only focus in on that educational journey, that optimistic report might even be possible. I have long, 13 years to be precise, been promoting education, vocational education. In addition showing kids careers and professions. That would allow the kids to identify the boring academics with those professions. ALL kids,…ALL kids have innate skills and or gifts. It is up to the RCSD to allow the kids to identify those skills/gifts. That is more commonly known as quality education.
East High School is, apparently, the so successful with a 73% graduation rate. If that is the case and the city is happy with 73% why is it not being replicated? WHY? Ask yourself that question and demand an answer. Replicate it.
Better yet, reintroduce the Edison Technical and Industrial High School of old. That school graduated in the high nineties. In addition all the graduates were snapped up for good paying, living wage jobs. That school was the Crown Jewel of the RCSD. They destroyed that school. Rebuilt it!
There is a superintendent job open and while this may sound crazy, I would take that job in a minute. You can keep the salary. The RCSD needs to make a move. I would relocate back to Rochester to take on that responsibility. That would mean leaving my home in Aiken, SC on the golf course. It would not be a sacrifice, but an honor to graduate students with a relevant diploma. And that Ladies and gentlemen is what will turn this city around.