Adapting an image of the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Bridge for the logo on his campaign website and as a metaphor for his message, Malik Evans announced he is running for mayor on a pledge to bridge divides.
“We are at a pivotal point in our community where we are dealing with three crises at the same time,” Evans said of the health effects of COVID-19, the economic fallout of the pandemic and social injustice and unrest.
“In order to be able to move the ball on those big important issues, I think it’s important to have someone who has the ability to build bridges and the ability to lead with trust and transparency,” he said. “These are qualities that I think I possess. So now is the time, with the uncertainty that is happening in our community and our world, to step forward as a person that is willing to do those things.”
Evans, a financial wellness manager at ESL Federal Credit Union, was elected to City Council in 2017 and as an at-large member. He had been elected to the Rochester City School District Board of Education in 2003 and served as president from 2008-2013.
Evans said his candidacy is not meant to be divisive to the Democratic party.
“I’m not running against any particular individual,” he said. “I’m running for an office. I’m running to hear the desires of the citizens of Rochester.”
Friends of Lovely Warren issued a statement on behalf of the mayor and her re-election campaign.
“We’ve prepared for this moment,” the statement said. “All over the country unfortunately it’s been our brothers that have been first in line to take on sisters. The powers that be playbook hasn’t changed since the days of slavery. We know our ancestors are looking down upon us and asking … when will our people learn.
“The Warren Campaign is committed to breaking these generational curses. We will run on our record of service and our record of results.
“We’re confident that He who delivered us two victories before will deliver us another victory.”
Warren announced her re-election bid earlier in January on her YouTube page.
The primary is in June.
Warren is facing challenges from the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude while in police custody and was indicted on campaign finance charges.
Evans said that while the pandemic and racial inequity affect more than the city, “they are not bigger than the mayor” and pointed to police-community relations, jobs and collaboration as ways the issues can be addressed.
According to Evans’ website, he is building a platform based on jobs, neighborhoods, public safety, and trust and transparency.