Mayor Lovely Warren announced her bid for re-election Monday night, speaking to a packed Brue House on Genesee Street. She took the opportunity to both remind her constituents that she is still tied to the community and to discuss the importance of unifying moving forward.
“We are in the heart of the 19th ward,” she said. “Standing on a once abandoned piece of land that is now been made new. This is the neighborhood I grew up in. A neighborhood full of promise a neighborhood that represents not only once was but what can be with vision, teamwork and collaboration.”
She took a moment to remind the crowd of Rochester’s history, of her ties to the city, reminding residents that she is more a child of Rochester than the other candidates; showing how her own history reflects many of Rochester residents’ who can identify with her upbringing in District schools and having grandparents who migrated from the south.
She added that her family still lives near the coffee shop where she spoke, reinforcing ties to a neighborhood that many claim she’s forgotten in her last four years. As major development projects happen at the Public Market and La Avenida some residents of the west side have criticized her for “leaving them out.”
She’s also been attacked for her treatment of key protests. When she failed to show up at the BLM protest in July, some criticized her for not standing with her constituents, but she responded saying she’s a mayor of “both Rochesters” and though she’s black “and not removed from this” it’s her responsibility to fairly lead the divided sections of the city.
Warren brought it back to a unifying note, stating: “We’re one city, one Rochester, one community.”
Though Warren didn’t officially announce it until last night, rumors flew through the city that she would run again for mayor. She’s one of the last voices to join the race and joins former RPD chief and Monroe County legislator James Sheppard, former news reporter Rachel Barnhart and Alex White, a local businessman. It’s only the start of March. The race to the mayor’s seat kicked off early this year with Sheppard announcing his bid in January.
She’s up against a divided city and many aren’t sure she will pull off another win. Of course, when she first ran against incumbent Mayor Tom Richards, her victory came as an upset to many who expected Richards to walk away with the election. The first female black mayor, Warren is also young and the last four years have only heaped more criticism on her, however she stood tall Monday night asking voters to remember the promise they made to better Rochester together 3.5 years ago.
Watch her announcement below: