Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mayor Jones Announces Healthy Richmond Campaign

Mayor Dwight C. Jones introduced the Healthy Richmond Campaign today during the City’s Employee Health and Safety Fair at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The Healthy Richmond Campaign is a new City initiative designed to promote the improved health of City employees and residents by addressing the disparities affecting access to health care and health resources in the city of Richmond.

Mayor Jones stated that, “Launching the Healthy Richmond Campaign internally during the City’s Employee Health and Safety Fair presented an excellent opportunity to promote this initiative which includes a comprehensive workplace health promotion program. A public kick-off event is currently being scheduled for next spring. The goal of the Healthy Richmond Campaign is to promote healthier lifestyles and behaviors that will improve individual health and help prevent many of the chronic diseases and illnesses that affect far too many youth and adults in our city.”

The Healthy Richmond Campaign was proposed by the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy, which was established in 2010, to address Mayor Jones’ concerns of the disparity in health outcomes across the Richmond community. The Blue Ribbon Commission researched many factors affecting health in Richmond, and proposed five focus areas to help improve the health and well-being of City residents: Healthy Richmond Campaign to promote healthy lifestyles to the community; health and social equity; behavioral health; medical homes for uninsured; and support for healthcare providers.

Members of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy are working on strategies to impact the identified focus areas. At the same time, several departments within the City’s Human Services division are moving forward in implementing the Healthy Richmond Campaign by engaging the community and encouraging the public to proactively embrace the Healthy Richmond concept by improving and maintaining their health.

The Healthy Richmond Campaign is preparing to conduct various activities and to participate with community events. The campaign involves current City initiatives, commissions, and task forces consisting of: Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission; Breast Feeding Commission; Active Seniors and Special Populations; Food Policy Task Force; and the Richmond Lets Move! Initiative.

For more information or to find out how to get involved in the Healthy Richmond Campaign, please call (804) 646-5823.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mayor Applauds RMA Board Vote

~City to receive $62.3 million repayment~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today applauded the Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) for voting 11-0 to repay approximately $62.3 million owed to the City of Richmond.

“I am pleased that the RMA has taken this action as it was the right thing for the City and also benefits the RMA. There are many things this administration has been working to set right for the City of Richmond. Where our financial picture is concerned, our paramount goal has been to move us toward AAA bond rating. We have taken several important steps, like changing to twice a year tax collections, which saves $1-3 million per year and eliminating the Broad Street CDA, which saved the City approximately $12 million. Securing this repayment of outstanding debt is a critical piece of our effort to position the City to obtain the desired bond rating.

"As I have said throughout this process, this is a sound financial decision and is in the best interest of the City. The RMA Board has also acted in its best interest fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility. Moreover, getting our money back now does not change the fact that the asset will ultimately revert back to the City nor does it prevent us from exploring other options in the future.

"As we consider the use of these funds, there are some guidelines I feel we should be governed by. These funds can help to repair some of the issues caused by displacement of families and businesses, and we have the opportunity to invest wisely by taking actions like getting our undesignated fund balance to 10% and paying off some of our own outstanding debt.

"As we move forward, I want to stress that we will be working with the residents of our city and City Council as we decide how to best invest this money for our future in a way that is wise, prudent, and generates the greatest return on our investment for our city."