By Staff –
The candidates discussed topics ranging from accountability within the Rochester Police Department, to job creation, economic development, and education, during a panel discussion at the church. They also responded to questions from the audience following the debate.
Notable highlights from the discussion included Democratic candidates Rachel Barnhart and Monroe County Legislator James Sheppard announcing their support for a shift to a county-wide school district, in order to combat inequity and segregation in city schools.
In addition, incumbent Mayor Lovely Warren also pointed to her administration’s efforts to combat gun violence, in response to a question from Lentory Johnson, mother of Johnny Johnson, one of the victims of the 2015 Boys & Girls Club mass shootings.
“I want to know, what plans do you have to change the climate of the gun issues that are in our city?” Johnson stated.
According to Warren, two efforts the city has recently undertaken involve creating a gun part in the city’s judicial system, and developing a new effort in cooperation with the Monroe County Clerk’s office to recover guns from deceased registered gun owners.
“There was a time when people would pass away where they would have guns in their house,” Mayor Warren stated. “Family members didn’t necessarily know that there were guns in the house, and no one was notified. …So, we’re working directly with the county clerk’s office to get information when people die, so that we can then talk to the family members to have them either turn those weapons in, or put them on legal permit.”
Green Party candidate Alex White, Republican Candidate Tony Micciche, and Independent candidate Lori Thomas also participated in the forum.