Mayor Richards Talks Transformation In State of the City Address

May 7, 2013

Credit Juan Vazquez / WXXI

Rochester's Mayor delivered a state of the city address Monday night that laid out a vision for his priorities. Tom Richards talked about the need to help Rochester continue to transform from a city that had  depended on traditional industrial companies, as well as deal with the migration of people to the suburbs.

The speech could also be viewed with an eye toward this year's election.

Richards spent about an hour talking about issues like the economy, schools and crime, some of the same themes he covered in his first state of the city address last year. But one difference this year is Richards is facing a challenge from fellow Democrat and City Council President Lovely Warren. A Warren campaign official had earlier questioned the process used by the Democratic Committee in endorsing Richards.

During his speech , Richards  urged people not to define Rochester in terms of one segment or race and use that definition to political advantage:

"A campaign can be won by that strategy, but a city cannot be governed that way...that's the old politics, and as far as I'm concerned, a certain path to failure."

Talking to reporters after the speech, Lovely Warren said she was glad that the Mayor was talking about issues she has been trying to focus on, such as the need to help various city neighborhoods.

"I thought it was wonderful, I think my candidacy has finally made the mayor start to focus on the neighborhoods and focus on the people."

Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White says he liked what the mayor had to say about education, but wishes he had spent more time discussing some other issues including poverty and housing.