News Release - Mayor Malik D. Evans Announces Rochester Peace Collective

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, April 27, 2022) – In his administration’s latest action to confront violence, Mayor Malik D. Evans today announced the creation of the “Rochester Peace Collective” and an additional $5 million in funding for violence prevention.

Under the guidance of the Special Advisor to the Mayor on Violence Prevention Programs Victor Saunders, the Rochester Peace Collective is a collaborative effort that will guide investments from local funding organizations into innovative and proven programs that work to prevent violence. The Collective will align closely with City departments including the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Recreation and Human Services, and the Rochester Public Library.

The City plans to commit $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the effort. That commitment will be considered and voted on by Rochester City Council in its May meeting.

“The alarming rise in violence here and across the country demands bold and immediate action,” said Mayor Evans. “We must innovate while increasing our support of proven programs. The City isn’t in this alone, so we invite community partners to sit with us and support local violence prevention efforts through this Collective.”

Local funders are already engaged, and other foundations, organizations and individuals who would like to help support violence prevention programs are encouraged to contact the Mayor’s Office to learn more about becoming involved with the collaborative.

The City is seeking proven and innovative violence prevention programs to join the Collective by calling 585-428-7406 or emailing RochesterPeaceCollective@CityOfRochester.gov, and to apply for financial support once the funds become available.

“We are moving quickly to advance strategies that advance violence prevention,” said Mayor Evans. “Once City Council approves the appropriation in May, we will immediately begin investing heavily in additional peace initiatives. We cannot afford to wait.”

The investments of the Collective would support social-emotional health and be trauma-informed. Priority programming would include re-entry programs, job training and preparation, mediation and conflict resolution, youth development, mental health support, and the arts.

ARPA dollars were designated to help municipalities address the impacts of and recover from COVID. Mayor Evans thanked Rochester’s federal delegates for the $200 million of ARPA dollars that will help fund this investment.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said: “As lead negotiator of the American Rescue Plan, I’m proud to have delivered these funds for the City of Rochester. Community Violence Intervention programs are data-driven and play a vital role in effectively preventing violence, and I commend Mayor Evans for putting these funds to good use to safeguard the community.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said: “The increase in violent crime in Rochester is deeply concerning. A comprehensive effort from all levels of government is needed to address this crisis – that means helping the formerly incarcerated get back on their feet, creating opportunity for underserved youth, and providing mental health support to those who need it. I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan, which provided the $5 million that will be used to fund this initiative, and I look forward to working closely with Mayor Evans and other Rochester leaders to invest in our communities and help stop violent crime.”

Congressman Joe Morelle said: “We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to combatting the epidemic of violence plaguing our community, and law enforcement needs all the help and support they can get. By leveraging the proven effectiveness of violence intervention programming, we can keep young people off the streets and keep dangerous weapons out of their hands. I’m proud to have secured funding for this program through the American Rescue Plan and look forward to continuing my work alongside Mayor Evans to reduce
crime and create safer neighborhoods.”

Rochester City Council President Miguel Melendez said: “We need peace in our streets. As a father, I know that the violence gripping our city cannot continue to sacrifice Rochester’s sons and daughters. This initiative is about creating collective community impact and allocating the necessary resources to save lives – because working together is the only way to bring a lasting peace to our streets and to the people who live on them. As President of City Council, I am committed to bringing the resources of government to neighborhoods. As we continue in this pandemic, it will take the village coming together to solve our most pressing problems.”

Victor Saunders said: “Without question, the pandemic has exacerbated violence in Rochester. For the past two years, people have been isolated in their homes where violence is normalized/ They’ve experienced interruptions in necessary services, increased mental health challenges, and many have forgotten how to resolve the most basic disagreements. The increased violence in Rochester is a direct result of those factors.”

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SEE ALSO

Crime Prevention