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Lovely Warren: 'History will be kind' to me 

Mayor Lovely Warren announces an agreement between the city and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to share and analyze gun crime data on Nov. 30, 2021.

PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

Mayor Lovely Warren announces an agreement between the city and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to share and analyze gun crime data on Nov. 30, 2021.

A day before she is to leave office, Mayor Lovely Warren on Tuesday said she believed history would “be kind” to her administration and that she would be remembered as a mayor who stayed focused in the face of adversity.

Warren is expected to resign at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, a month before her term was to end, as part of a plea deal to satisfy criminal charges against her related to campaign finance and gun and child endangerment violations.

Her deputy mayor, James Smith, is expected to be sworn in early Dec. 2 and fill out her term through the end of the year. Mayor-elect Malik Evans is scheduled to take office on Jan. 1.

She spoke from the atrium of City Hall, where she announced an agreement between the city and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to share and analyze gun data.

On a wall across the atrium, outside the deputy mayor’s office, her official mayoral portrait hung conspicuously under a royal blue cloth to be unveiled at a later time.

“I think that history will be kind to our administration,” Warren said.
click to enlarge On Nov. 30, 2021, a day before Mayor Lovely Warren was to resign from office, her official portrait hung in the atrium at City Hall under a royal blue cloth waiting to be unveiled. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • On Nov. 30, 2021, a day before Mayor Lovely Warren was to resign from office, her official portrait hung in the atrium at City Hall under a royal blue cloth waiting to be unveiled.
Warren added that she planned to issue a farewell address Wednesday that will outline what she viewed as her achievements over her eight years in office, including $875 million in investments in housing and the creation of financial empowerment programs for residents.

Recalling an early mantra of her mayoralty — “Our best days are not behind us. Our best days are ahead of us” — she said she believed hers was the first administration in modern times to “manage for growth.”

Two years ago, her administration published “Rochester 2034,” a comprehensive planning document that is to act as a road map for investments in housing, transportation, economic development, and historic preservation leading up to the city’s bicentennial.
click to enlarge Mayor Lovely Warren's official portrait, shrouded in a royal blue cloth, will hang on the second floor of City Hall outside the deputy mayor's office. Former Mayor William Johnson's portrait is at left. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Mayor Lovely Warren's official portrait, shrouded in a royal blue cloth, will hang on the second floor of City Hall outside the deputy mayor's office. Former Mayor William Johnson's portrait is at left.
“When the dust settles and people really take the time to look at the book, to look at the work that we did, they will be able to say that no matter what, no matter what happened, the Warren administration stayed focused on the work and stayed focused on the people of our city,” Warren said.

Escalating gun violence and a record number annual shootings and homicides in Rochester provided the backdrop for her announcement of the deal with the Brady Center.

The pact provides a framework for the Brady Center to advise and guide the Rochester Police Department in efforts to collect and analyze tracing data for firearms linked to crimes.
click to enlarge Rochester Interim Police Chief David Smith, City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot, and Kathy Richardson, a gun-violence prevention advocate, celebrate the signing of an agreement with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence on Nov. 30, 2021. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Rochester Interim Police Chief David Smith, City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot, and Kathy Richardson, a gun-violence prevention advocate, celebrate the signing of an agreement with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence on Nov. 30, 2021.
City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot, who heads the council’s Public Safety Committee and the Roc Against Gun Violence Coalition, called the agreement “huge” and a “major tool” that could be used to help Rochester identify trends in criminal gun use and potentially pinpoint the source of such firearms.

In announcing the deal, Warren recalled how her family was touched by gun violence when she was a girl. Her grandfather, Cecil McClary, was shot and wounded in 1984 while working security at a former Wegmans facility on West Avenue.

Over the years, Warren has said the shooting set her on a course for public service.

On Jan. 1, 2014, she was sworn in as mayor at her grandfather’s deathbed. He died a few hours later.

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at dandreatta@rochester-citynews.com.
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