Malik Evans inauguration

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester has a new mayor. Malik Evans took the oath of office at midnight.

Evans was sworn-in by his wife and eldest son at the Emergency Operations Center as 2022 arrived. Saturday afternoon, his inauguration was held at the Eastman Theatre.

"Today, we mark the start of a new mayoral administration," Evans said.

"I was raised in a neighborhood that when I walked to school, my neighbors such as Ms. Penny and Ms. Bailey would stand on the porch as I passed by with my siblings and our friends. We could play in our front yard, and we never worried about a car driving 80 miles per hour down the street. This sense of community helped raise me. Neighborhood groups like the Southeast Area Coalition and the South Wedge Planning Committee, if they didn’t like what they saw in the neighborhood, worked to change it, young people like my parents were integral in charting the new path they wanted to see in the neighborhood by working with these organizations. Neighborhood empowerment was not just a word; it was a practice.

As we seek to transform our city now more than ever, we must tap into the power of our people in our neighborhoods. Let today be the day that an army of citizens stand together with me and city hall as your partner. Let’s usher in the Rochester way. We will take control of our neighborhoods and work to eradicate violence and blight.

Let today be the day that we say we can have public safety with the community at the center while also having accountability simultaneously," Evans said in part of his inauguration speech.

On Friday, Evans held a press conference where he asked everyone to avoid his inaugural events in person, even if they were invited, saying anyone who wants to see the events can still watch the live streams.

Evans said the last-minute change of plans was something he felt he needed to do out of an abundance of caution due to a record number of COVID-19 cases.

"As much as I want to celebrate, you know being elected mayor is a big deal for me, it’s a big deal for a lot of my friends and family, but I’m going to have an empty theater with just my family tomorrow and the performers," Evans said. "That is not something I was l looking forward to start off 2022."

Evans has two addition events planne this week. On Sunday, Jan. 2 at 1 p.m., a citywide prayer service is scheduled at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church.

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, Evans will hold a teen town hall with Roland Williams, Dr. Shirley Green, and Schoolboard Commissioner-Elect Camille Simmons at 5 p.m. from Innovation Square.

Those interested in participating in the teen town hall can contact

Watch the events here.