News Release - In Farewell Address, Mayor Warren Says Stage is Set for All People to Succeed,

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021) – Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren delivered her farewell address today with a message of confidence in the city’s people and hope for its children.

“We showed the world what the people of Rochester are capable of; created new opportunities across the city for all of our people,” Mayor Warren said. “We celebrated our diversity and the richness of the many cultures and traditions that make up our neighborhoods. We demonstrated beyond a doubt that the people of Rochester, regardless of their zip code; regardless of who they love; regardless of the color of their skin; can succeed.”

Released as a video address on the City’s website and social media platforms, Mayor Warren’s farewell speech mirrored the format of her 2014 inaugural address, which was delivered as a message directly to her daughter Taylor, now 11, and the children of Rochester.

“I knew every decision I was about to make as Mayor would be held against the test of a mother’s love for her child,” Mayor Warren said. “Parents want what’s best for their children, which is why, as I governed, I let my love for Taylor, and the children of Rochester, be my guide. So as we close this chapter of Rochester’s story – our story, I’ll finish where I started: with a message to our children.”

Mayor Warren, 44, served two terms as the Mayor of Rochester; is Rochester’s first woman Mayor; first African American woman mayor and first mother to be mayor. She leaves office at midnight Wednesday.

“I have no regrets,” she said. “I fulfilled the promises I made eight years ago. And so many people helped me along the way. And our work speaks for itself.”

The Mayor’s administrative agenda focused on creating more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities. By the end of her tenure, there was demonstrable progress on every one of these fronts.

These include the success of Placemaking as a job-creating, community-building strategy, which attracted Constellation Brands to Downtown; the introduction of Body Worn Cameras for police officers, which sparked a host of police reforms; the construction or renovation of more than 4,000 new affordable homes, contributing to a decline in rent burden that more than doubled the rate of decline for the County and State; and the establishment of a Community Beacon School at School No. 17 to serve as a demonstration project for other schools.

Mayor Warren also led the city through the early critical months of the Coronavirus Pandemic by forming partnerships to protect the city’s most vulnerable residents against the virus and the economic shutdown. She responded to the social turmoil of the Pandemic and death of Daniel Prude with a comprehensive criminal justice reform agenda that redefined the roles and law enforcement and civilian agencies in public safety.

As the Pandemic response evolved from protection to recovery, the Warren Administration introduced its Equity and Recovery Agenda and elevated the achievement of racial and systemic equity from a largely abstract governing objective to a daily function of City operations. Mayor Warren also provided the city’s faith community with focused opportunities to extend their missions directly into city neighborhoods, creating a powerful new resource.

Following a tradition employed by previous Mayors, including William A. Johnson Jr. and Robert Duffy, the thematic elements of the Warren Administration achievements have been recorded for posterity in a single book, “A Lovely Legacy: Belief Made Real,” distributed to City libraries and R-Centers.

“I hope you will read this when you are my age, when you are an adult and you have children of your own,” Mayor Warren said in her address directed to Taylor and Rochester’s children. “Because I think history will show that this is when Rochester made its good better; and its better best. When its first woman Mayor decided to manage our city for growth instead of decline.”

Mayor Warren also encouraged the children to remain vigilant as “beacons of hope” and resist the temptations of division and anger that are becoming increasingly prevalent in Rochester and across the nation. She closed with a stanza from a poem her father gave her when she was Taylor’s age: “Don’t Quit,” by Edgar Guest.

“So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,” she said. “It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.”

View the Mayor’s address and find a copy of “A Lovely Legacy: Belief Made Real” at