Willie Lightfoot

Gino Fanelli/CITY Newspaper

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council President Loretta Scott are calling for a residency requirement for all newly hired officers in the Rochester Police Department.

Warren said that having officers live in the community they protect and serve will help build relationships with the people that they are policing.

James Brown / WXXI News

Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry were joined by more than a dozen community leaders for a solutions-focused discussion on police reform and community relations Thursday night. Roughly 50 people were on hand for the discussion at First Church of God on Clarissa Street.

The forum included members of law enforcement such as Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, activists from Rochester’s local Black Lives Matter movement, Rochester City Council and others.

Screenshot of a zoom meeting

Rochester City Council on Monday discussed a series of proposals meant to stem a wave of evictions that could come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has halted evictions until Aug. 20 for people directly impacted by the pandemic. Council is concerned that a wave of evictions could follow.

Among the ideas that Council discussed is helping the Catholic Family Center devise a plan to use the $900,000 that the city already committed to spend on eviction prevention. 

Another measure would pay for counsel for those involved in eviction proceedings. That would also cost about $900,000.

Roc Against Violence Coalition/Facebook

A Rochester City Council leader is hoping a lot of people take part in a virtual town hall this week to combat gun violence.

Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the forum scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, will be held online.  But he is still hoping a lot of people take part in that session and submit questions and comments.

Lightfoot chairs the ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition, and he said he wants to hear not only from city residents, but from people all over the region.

Facebook Live Screenshot

The Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry spoke Monday in support of this weekend’s Black Lives Matter rally -- but said the rioting and looting that followed do not honor the memory of George Floyd. 

Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck sparked protests across the country, including in Rochester. 

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Members of Rochester City Council and concerned community members are calling for a deeper look into the incident between a 10-year-old girl and city police. 

Rochester police arrested three people during a traffic stop on Route 104 Sunday. , Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary says during that stop, officers handcuffed a 10-year-old girl who was in the car to assist in “controlling her actions and for the safety of everyone involved."

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

Looking ahead to the new year, City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot said he plans to continue his focus on economic development in the city, and attracting and developing local talent is one of his goals.

Lightfoot sits on the board of the Rochester Economic Development Corp, the city’s nonprofit development agency. Established in 1983, it's dedicated to stimulating business investment in the city of Rochester. Lightfoot said he’s pushing for growing minority-owned businesses -- in particular, developers -- to be a priority for the city and that organization.


Rochester City Council has a new vice president. At-large Council member Willie J. Lightfoot was elevated to the post Tuesday night by a unanimous vote. His nomination was announced earlier this week.

“I am honored and humbled to serve our great city as the vice president of the City Council. I am grateful to my colleagues on City Council for selecting me and look forward to serving in this role,” said Lightfoot.