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Evans takes office as Rochester's mayor

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Mayor Malik Evans delivered his inaugural address Saturday at the Eastman Theatre. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Mayor Malik Evans delivered his inaugural address Saturday at the Eastman Theatre.

It's a new year, and former Rochester City Council member Malik Evans has taken over as the city's mayor.

Evans had his ceremonial inauguration activities on Saturday afternoon, but much earlier in the day, at the stroke of midnight, he was sworn in by his wife and eldest son, Cameron.

He and his family then went over to the Emergency Operations Center on West Main Street to thank 911 workers for their service.

“The Emergency Operations Center does such an amazing job for Monroe County. I thought it was fitting that on my first day, I stop by and personally thank these frontline workers,” said Evans. “Thank you to our Director of Emergency Communications Department, Mike Cerretto, and his entire team for their tireless commitment to our city.”

Evans’ inauguration ceremonies started at noon on Saturday at the Eastman Theatre. But due to the recent big jump in COVID-19 cases, there was a small audience of invited guests there to see it in person, mainly family and close friends.

In his inauguration speech, Evans said like many cities, Rochester has its challenges. But he wants to now focus on potential solutions.

Mayor Malik Evans's family stood with him as he took the oath of office at his inauguration ceremonies Saturday. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Mayor Malik Evans's family stood with him as he took the oath of office at his inauguration ceremonies Saturday.

In talking about the city’s effort to curtail the violence that’s happened in recent months, Evans said getting young people jobs is a key part of that plan.

"Let today be the day that we provide jobs for any youth that wants one," Evans said. "This will be one of our best violence reduction strategies. Economic opportunity and public safety are linked, and we must say so."

Evans also talked about education, and said he will do his part to help effect change, but he said that progress in the city school district will take a partnership involving the broader community, with both parents and the school system working together.



Other activities focusing on Evans' first few days in office will also be done mostly virtually, due to the spike in COVID.

They include a citywide prayer service that was held at the Aenon Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.

There will also be a 'Teen Town Hall', on Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. which will take place at Innovation Square on on S. Clinton Avenue. The livestream link for that event will be available soon.

Evans said he will also spend the week visiting various businesses and arts organizations around the city.

This past June, Evans secured a lopsided victory over then-incumbent Mayor Lovely Warren in a Democratic primary. Warren later agreed to resign Dec. 1 as part of a plea agreement to resolve campaign finance charges against her as well as an unrelated criminal case against her.

Warren was succeeded by James Smith, who previously served as her deputy mayor. Though an interim, Smith was the city's first openly gay mayor.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.

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