“What Do You Need to Employ Rochester’s Low-Income Residents?”: A Conversation with Mayor Lovely Warren

Author: Alexis Stevens

With Rochester, New York’s extreme racial segregation and poverty inequities, mayor Lovely A. Warren has prioritized decreasing poverty and increasing local businesses.

“When I became mayor, I said we could both redevelop our downtown and be supportive to our community development corporations, even though their needs can be completely different. When I look at my budget, I’m looking at how I can help children and families. In the beginning, our investment goals were our recreation centers, our libraries, and our neighborhoods. Of course, you have to provide essential services, like police and fire, but there is also discretionary money I can use to provide for our most challenged areas to uplift them.

“One of the things that our former mayor was doing was focusing on a residential real estate investment strategy — trying to improve the housing stock in neighborhoods and giving support to landlords and homeowners to fix up houses. I thought that was a great investment, but my focus is more on investing in people. As I start to look at my budget, that’s the question I asked myself: “How are we investing in people so that they can be a part of the economic recovery of our city?””

Read the full interview here.