Op-ed by Rev. Michael Vaughn
Here in the city of Rochester there was a shift in the political landscape as a result of the Democratic primary held June 22, 2021. Mayor Lovely Warren was seeking her third term as mayor of the city of Rochester and she was being opposed by city council member Malik Evans. This time last year there was no way that the mayor was going to lose the primary election, however, after the scandal brought on by the death of Daniel Prude, the terrible manner in which she dealt with Chief Singletary, her indictment on campaign violations and the trouble that her husband has gotten into made her extremely vulnerable and it came to a head with her loss in the primary. Because of the way in which this city is built politically, Malik Evans is 99.9999% likely to be Rochester’s next mayor.
Now that there is new leadership in the city, there needs to be a new plan of attack. It has to start with ensuring that the people of the city of Rochester feel safe in their homes, safe as they walk down the neighborhood streets, safe when they go to the store, safe when they send their children to school, etc. IMHO, this starts with rebuilding the proper relationship with the Rochester Police Department. Malik Evans needs to become deaf to anyone suggesting to defund the police as well as anyone that wants to demonize the police. You cannot have a safe and secure city when law enforcement is disrespected and dishonored. With the events of last year too much ear was given to voices in the city that ran contrary to common sense and safety. While there are indeed police officers that are bad and do not need to wear the badge, we have to strongly resist the urge to paint all police officers with the same brush stroke. After we have rebuilt the relationship with the police department and shown the public that we support our men and women in blue, then we can start the process of making our streets safe. This is not done with just words but a credible plan needs to be put in place in order for everyone to see that there is a strong partnership between city leadership and the police department.
The above has to be part of the new plan. The voices listened to before have to be ignored now as they were part of the problem that the city of Rochester finds itself in. I personally like Mayor Warren and believe that she has a good heart and wants to do the best for the city. However, just what I believed of President Trump, she let the wrong voices get in her head and worked to appease them instead of doing what was in her gut. Malik don’t let the voices rule, let your heart and what you know is right, rule. You have to have a new plan to attack the problems that this city faces. There has to be engagement on a different level regarding the schools in the city, there has to be a different level of engagement against the ultra-liberal policies of the state of New York and while the mayor is a political office, politics and getting reelected cannot rule the day.
I believe that Malik Evans has a good heart and desires to do good for the people of the city. My prayer is that he holds true to the beliefs that he has and doesn’t allow his new position to corrupt who he is and what he stands for. Being mayor is not just about winning the most votes and getting elected to the most powerful position in the city. It is about meeting the needs of a city that has children to raise, jobs to tend to, dreams that they want to fulfill and it is these people that need to come first. Malik Evans you are the face of the new leadership here in the city of Rochester, you have to also be the leader and catalyst for a new plan for this city. Stay true to who you are and by God’s grace, you’ll succeed and therefore so will the people of Rochester!
Rev. Michael is senior pastor of New Wineskin Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)