Cars lined both sides of Merriman Street, half of them parked illegally. People dipped their hands into their pockets, shielding them from the cold. And inside, it was only more packed, as people were forced to crowd together to make room to hear James Sheppard’s announce his candidacy for mayor.
Sheppard, former Rochester police chief and current county legislator, announced his campaign for mayor Saturday morning at Workers United, using the building as a backdrop for his campaign promise: Get Rochester working again.
“Our city deserves a leader with one mission: restoring Rochester’s promise,” he said, addressing the eager crowd. He built on a message of a stagnant Rochester; one where he and his followers see no change in crime, employment and poverty rates. Sheppard currently represents the 23rd district, which encompasses part of southeast Rochester, like Cobbs Hill and Browncroft, and northeast Brighton.
And while this campaign message means getting Rochesterians jobs, he said it also means fixing and improving the various parts of the city to get it “working” again, including education.