Friday, June 29, 2012

Mayor Jones’ Statement on Redskins’ Summer Training Camp Steering Committee Meeting

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement today following the initial meeting of the Steering Committee he appointed to advise him on the opening of the Washington Redskins’ Summer Training Camp in the city of Richmond.

“Today marks the launching of our review process. The Steering Committee we’ve assembled is tasked with helping us prepare for this world-class opportunity to host the Redskins Summer Training Camp here in Richmond for the next eight years and I was pleased to formally convene the work of the Committee today.

“I’ve named Mike Fraizer, owner of the Richmond Raiders, as chair of the Steering Committee. We have designed the work of the Steering Committee to take place in a relatively quick turnaround process as we plan to get this review done inside of three months. Ultimately, we want to produce a top training camp; not only from the player perspective, but also from the fan perspective.

“Right now we are using a wide funnel and all sites are under consideration as the committee begins its work. At least ten sites are on the table and all sites considered will be within the city limits. The Committee will undertake a few site visits of existing training camp facilities as we go through this process and some of the work will be done in smaller groups. We plan to have our work completed by mid-September, if not earlier.

“In addition to the site review work itself, the committee will discuss issues related to financing. However, it is premature to say what the specific costs will be, as costs will be driven by the site decision that is made and have to be looked at on at least three fronts which includes, whether we retrofit or build a new field house, field cost itself, and how extensive the facilities will be to create the appropriate fan experience.”

Mayor Announces Transition of Hispanic Liaison Office to Office of Multicultural Affairs

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced the transition of the City’s Hispanic Liaison Office to the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), effective July 1, the beginning of the City’s fiscal year. The OMA transition will augment access to city and community-based services, promotes information, education, and civic participation in order to improve the quality of life of the city’s diverse cultural and linguistic communities. The transition also aligns with the City’s Balanced Scorecard key focus area of building unique and inclusive neighborhoods.

“Richmond is a global society with new communities enriching the City culturally and economically. The foreign-born population of the city is 7.1%, according to the 2010 census, and 9.6% of city residents speak languages other than English at home. The enhanced OMA will work closely with all City departments to help create a more inclusive environment, and will continue to build an attractive and multicultural image for potential newcomers,” said Mayor Jones. 

The city created the Hispanic Liaison Office in 2004, in an effort to effectively serve the growing Hispanic community, and while the new OMA will continue to serve the Spanish-speaking community, the expanded office will engage Richmond’s immigrant and refugee communities through enhanced collaboration with community-based organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, and the private sector. The initial transition occurs with the same staff in place, of three bilingual (English/Spanish) professionals with extensive knowledge of the Richmond community and local government.

The office will remain in its current location in the Southside Community Services Center, at 4100 Hull Street Road. Plans are in the works to conduct a needs assessment over the next year to gather input from other diverse populations in the city to inform any future programming.

To request information, contact OMA at (804) 646-0145 or visit

To view Spanish translation of press release, click here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Richmond Wins Best Green Organization Award

The Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) has named the City of Richmond as the Best Green Organization for 2012. Each year, VSBN highlights and awards “green” businesses, organizations, design firms, and community programs that present the best “green” projects or programs in Virginia. Alicia Zatcoff, City Sustainability Manager, accepted the award today on behalf of the City during the VSBN Annual Meeting in Madison County.

The Best Green Organization category recognizes an organization for its leadership in promoting and advancing the principles of sustainable design, implementation of sustainable practices, or adoption of sustainable programs or ordinances. Richmond was recognized for its development of the RVAgreen Sustainability Plan and the many accomplishments under the City’s RVAgreen Program. 

“We are very pleased to receive this recognition for all the hard work the City Administration has put in to making Richmond more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I am proud of the major steps we have undertaken under the RVAgreen Roadmap. Together, in partnership with the community and non-profits, we can follow this roadmap to improve the quality of life for city residents and have a more sustainable community. ”

RVAgreen efforts include the implementation of an anti-idling policy for City vehicles, transitioning the refuse fleet to compressed natural gas, building green alleys to prevent run-off from polluting the James River, building several new City buildings, including four new schools, which are all pursuing a minimum of LEED Silver certification, and hiring a Sustainability Manager. The City has also made vacant City property available for community gardens, hired a Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator to help guide the City towards becoming more walkable and bike friendly and is working towards making the James River more accessible to all residents. The RVAgreen Sustainability Plan is available at 

Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) is the only statewide organization that brings together representatives from diverse sectors who are interested in building healthy, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly buildings and sustainable communities. 

VSBN's mission is to promote environmentally sound — or Green — building practices and sustainable development in Virginia. These building designs, methods, and materials save energy costs, reduce waste and promote recycling, reduce environmental impacts and exposure to unhealthy substances, strengthen local economies, and contribute to an enhanced quality of life.