Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Statement by Mayor Levar M. Stoney on Virginia Crime Commission Hearings

"The Virginia General Assembly already has all the evidence it needs to reach the conclusion most Virginians reached years ago. We need action on commonsense gun safety laws, not more deliberation by the Virginia Crime Commission.

The epidemic of gun violence and the role Virginia's lax laws play in the proliferation of and access to firearms by those who should not have them will continue unabated until our lawmakers make the commitment to act on behalf of their constituents -- not the gun lobby -- and propose commonsense laws to protect the people they were elected to serve.

In the City of Richmond, 40 people have been shot and six killed since the day the Republican leadership in the General Assembly turned a special session called by the governor after the tragedy in Virginia Beach into a dismissive charade, spending all of 90 minutes before adjourning without discussing one of the 60 gun violence reform bills before them. Instead, they punted the issue to the Virginia Crime Commission to hold two days of hearings and then not convene again until after the November elections.

Further discussion is delay, and delay means another day that our residents, law enforcement and local elected leaders do not have the basic protections they need to keep our communities safe. Universal background checks, allowing localities to ban firearms from public places and imposing penalties for failing to report stolen firearms are simple steps supported by a majority of Virginians. Most importantly, they will save lives.

We owe it to all of those families and communities who have been traumatized by gun violence to do everything we can to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them and away from places where children play and citizens conduct business. Let's hope the Commission's efforts are not another Republican charade, and that lawmakers will finally have the spine to implement these commonsense gun control laws.  Actions speak louder than words. Every Richmonder and every Virginian deserves to feel safe."


Monday, August 5, 2019

Administration formally introduces legislation for Navy Hill Project

The city administration today formally introduced ordinances memorializing the proposed negotiated agreement with the Navy Hill Development Corporation to revitalize downtown Richmond, create economic opportunity, and provide necessary funding for the city’s priorities, including education, housing, and neighborhoods. Also introduced was a resolution outlining the Mayor’s funding priorities for the estimated $1 billion in surplus revenue to be generated by the proposed project.

The legislation, which will be officially posted to the Richmond City Clerk’s Legistar page, can also be found at the following link on the city website:

The documents being released today include the following:
·      The ordinance binder package, which includes the legal documents, the OR Request, and the Fiscal Impact Statement
·      The Original Proposal from NHDC
·      The NHDC Response to Request for Clarifications

The previously posted City of Richmond Request for Proposal (RFP) and other related previously published documents may also be found on the city’s website.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Stoney administration to submit ordinances for Navy Hill development plan to Richmond City Council on Monday

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced that the city administration has completed negotiations with The NH District Corporation (NHDC) on a transformational, economic development plan to revitalize downtown Richmond and dramatically increase the city’s capacity to fund education, housing, transit, streets and neighborhoods for generations to come.

The plan, subject to the approval of Richmond City Council, will be submitted in the form of ordinances and supporting legal documents introduced at a special meeting of the council to be held on Monday, August 5.

“The ordinances we will deliver to the city council on Monday propose a responsible and inclusive opportunity to grow our economy by creating a thriving city center and community,” said Mayor Stoney.

“The agreement we have negotiated ensures that the Navy Hill development project will create thousands of jobs, hundreds of affordable housing units, job-training opportunities, new revenue, and world-class amenities for ALL Richmonders,” the mayor added.

The proposed project will redevelop significant portions of Richmond’s under-utilized property downtown, turning valuable land that costs the city money today into properties that generate revenue tomorrow. 

The $1.5 billion project is expected to generate $500 million in annual wages in the region, in addition to an estimated $1 billion in surplus revenue to the city over 30 years for priorities such as education, housing, streets and the arts.

Highlights of the negotiated proposal include:
·      12,500 jobs in construction and 9,300 permanent jobs
·      480 affordable housing units, with a pathway to hundreds more
·      $300 million in minority business participation, largest in city history
·      New GRTC bus transit center
·      Renovated historic Blues Armory
·      New arena to replace the Richmond Coliseum
·      New 525+-room Hyatt Regency hotel

“This project is not only the largest economic development project in the city’s history, but also the largest economic empowerment project in our city’s history,” the mayor said. 

“The overarching goal for this proposal is to significantly improve the quality of life for all Richmond residents.”

Under the proposed agreement, the Department of Social Services will stay in its current location until a future home can be found downtown. If another home cannot be found for DSS, the city will be under no obligation to move from its existing facility at Marshall Plaza.

Thursday’s announcement follows 17 months of intensive negotiations between the city and Richmond-based community leaders of the nonprofit NH Foundation on behalf of NHDC, working with the developer, Capital City Partners (CCP).

As negotiated, the agreement accomplishes the city’s goals without utilizing debt capacity, and without taking any existing tax money away from our schools or services. It does so without raising taxes, and without any subsidies or handouts for the developers of this project.

“During this time, we worked hard to memorialize in legal documents unprecedented protections for the city to ensure this project will be a safe and responsible investment for Richmond without leaving the City or taxpayers on the hook,” said Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn, the lead negotiator of the city’s team. “As the mayor has said, we’ve dotted the “i’s” and crossed the “t’s,” and the language in the ordinances will make sure that what we have agreed will happen, does happen.”

The public process now begins in earnest.  Leaders of NHDC and CCP have committed to a series of public outreach and engagement opportunities with city residents in the coming weeks in addition to participating in the legislative process with city council and the Navy Hill Development Advisory Commission it formed to evaluate the proposal over the next 90 days.

“NH District Corporation’s goal is to help create a diverse downtown neighborhood that welcomes everyone,” said Dr. Monroe Harris, NH Foundation Board member. “Lots of people have worked hard to shape this plan, and we are excited to share the full detail of the project next week.

“We look forward to hearing the community’s feedback and to working with neighborhoods, Richmond residents, and the city council to shape the downtown we all deserve for the city we love.”

NHDC has also set up a website to share information and answer questions about the project, which can be accessed here.

Upon formal introduction of the ordinances on Monday, the original proposal submitted by NHDC, the request for clarifications document and the ordinances themselves will all be posted on the city’s website and accessible to everyone. The city’s original Request for Proposal and previously released public documents on the project can also be found here.   

“Now is the time for the public to see for themselves how this will benefit all Richmonders, and for the members of City Council to begin their review,” said Mayor Stoney.

“I fully support City Council taking the time it needs to review this project, and I also encourage the public to engage and ask questions of the developer, which is ready and excited to share the details of this project. Everyone will have the chance to kick the tires, as we have.”

News of the project moving forward was welcomed by local elected and area leaders.

“Richmond Region Tourism is thrilled with today’s announcement,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “This is a game changer for our destination. This will put our convention and tourism industry on a larger national platform.” 

Sheryl Adams, Interim CEO of GRTC, said the development and the new GRTC Transit Center it will build will enhance the customer service experience for the city’s mass transit riders.

“We look forward to a permanent transit facility Downtown for our customers and employees to provide safe, sheltered and convenient connections between buses,” she said.

“This project is an opportunity for our city to take another very big step in the right direction of inclusivity, equity and opportunity -- one I believe can have a positive and transformative impact on Richmonders today, tomorrow and for years to come,” said Mayor Stoney.

For additional background and answers to frequently asked questions, see the attached document: http://www.richmondgov.com/PressSecretaryMayor/robocopy/documents/Navy_Hill_Background_Attachment.pdf

For more information, please visit: http://www.richmondgov.com/Mayor/downtown.aspx

For information on Navy Hill, contact: Jeff Kelley, (804) 397-9700 or visit www.navyhillrva.com 


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Richmond ranks fourth nationally in economic growth potential of mid-sized cities

The Metro Rankings Report published by Business Facilities Magazine ranks the City of Richmond and its metro area fourth in economic growth potential for mid-sized cities, second in corporate leadership, and seventh in attracting millennials.

The report, conducted annually by the staff of Business Facilities, ranks metro areas on a series of relevant economic development indicators ranging from gross domestic product and cost of living to startup viability and “Millennial magnet” status.

The Richmond region’s top 10 rankings in three categories come on the heels of an announcement that Amazon will locate a new fulfillment center in South Richmond creating 150 jobs and news that Richmond-based CoStar would add 100 additional jobs to the city.

“This acknowledgment from Business Facilities Magazine recognizes Richmond’s strong potential for economic growth, an energized corporate climate, and the desirability of our reliable and diverse job market,” said Mayor Stoney.

“Every day, we work to make sure Richmond is not just a top 10 place to visit, but a top-ten place to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Stoney. “These high rankings underscore our commitment to achieving that goal through responsible economic growth.”

Leonard Sledge, the City of Richmond’s Director of Economic Development, said Richmond is moving in the right direction. “Our city and our metro area’s high rankings in these core categories bode well for Richmond’s growth trajectory. These rankings present an opportunity to learn from the innovative practices of higher-ranked cities and continually improve.”


Monday, July 22, 2019

Mayor Stoney announces new Commissioner of Buildings

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Jason Carangelo as Commissioner of Buildings for the City of Richmond.

A registered architect and LEED accredited professional, Carangelo brings 20 years of professional experience to Richmond. In his previous position, Carangelo served as the building inspections administrator for the City of Savannah’s Development Services Department, managing a building construction investment portfolio of over $4 billion.

In his new role, Carangelo will oversee administration of the city’s Permitting and Inspections Division as well as the Division of Code Enforcement. Over the last two years, the city’s Permitting and Inspections Division has experienced a 100% increase in permit applications, illustrating the substantial development interest and investment in the city.  The new commissioner will now report directly to Sharon Ebert, DCAO for Economic and Community Development, reflecting the commitment to focus on the growing demands of the division.

“As Richmond continues its explosive growth, it’s important this department meets the challenge to ensure permitting, plan review, building and code enforcement inspections are performed in a timely and efficient manner,” said Mayor Stoney. “Jason’s experience in private and public permitting and code enforcement makes him the right person to take on this challenge.”

Carangelo obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2014, he served as the president of the Savannah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens and business community of Richmond by fostering effective and efficient building and code enforcement programs,” says Carangelo.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Mayor Stoney recognizes Richmond’s YMCA Power Scholars on Summer Learning Day

Mayor Stoney celebrated National Summer Learning Week by spotlighting the Richmond Public Schools’ first class of YMCA Power Scholars and proclaiming July 11, 2019 as Summer Learning Day in the City of Richmond.

The nationally-implemented Power Scholars Academy, provided by the YMCA of Greater Richmond with curriculum designed by BellXcel, augments traditional summer school with academic enrichment, field trips, mentorship, and family engagement activities. 

Over 2,500 students across Virginia will participate in Power Scholars Academy this summer. This summer, all RPS elementary and middle summer school sites are participating in Power Scholars Academy. Richmond’s program is the largest site in the nation with over 1,000 students currently enrolled.

“With so many of our RPS scholars enrolled, Richmond is leading the way in summer learning,” said Mayor Stoney. “We have willing and able partners in the city; this is what happens when we bring them together.” 

Mayor Stoney was joined at Broad Rock Elementary School by RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras; Dr. Lauren Gilbert, CEO of BellXcel; Tim Joyce, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond; Turner Thompson, Regional Market Manager for Walmart; and Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, Dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond and chair of the Community Foundation’s Board of Governors’ Community Impact Committee.

The Power Scholars Academy combines a number of best-practice elements to meaningfully engage with students and beat the “summer slump.” For at least six hours a day, five days a week, the Scholars will learn on- and off-site. The extended day model both allows parents to work later into the afternoon and provides ample time for extracurricular enrichment activities.

“The Y is committed to equity in learning in all of our communities, and the Power Scholars program is one way that we can partner with school systems to ensure our students are not experiencing summer learning loss.  We are excited to extend this partnership to the entire Richmond Public School system and continue our service to kids and families,” said YMCA CEO and President Tim Joyce.

Local partners including Art180, the Science Museum, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University have ensured that Richmond’s own Power Scholars will enjoy field trips to experience the rich offerings in the metro area.

“Our students deserve access to rigorous and exciting opportunities all year long,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with YMCA and the Community Foundation, as well as our new partnership with Walmart. We also thank the Mayor for his leadership in prioritizing high-quality out-of-school time options for our students that will ignite a love of learning through the summer and beyond.”

Because summer learning loss is a significant contributor to the achievement gap, the partners sought out an evidence-based program with tested curriculum. Power Scholars Academy’s curriculum, designed by BellXcel, aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning while incorporating social-emotional learning. Past participants have shown significant, measurable growth in literacy and math skills. The use of the BellXcel curriculum was made possible by a generous contribution from Walmart. 

"Walmart is excited to support Richmond Public Schools and the YMCA’s Power Scholars Academy program this summer for kids in our community,” said Turner Thompson, Walmart’s Richmond Market Manager. “By supporting the highly innovative and effective BellXcel curriculum, we are confident the participating students will engage in a highly productive and meaningful summer experience."

Summer learning is a component of Mayor Stoney’s out-of-school time initiative, which convenes key community partners like the YMCA, the Community Foundation, Richmond Public Schools, and the Mayor’s Office with the goal of providing high-quality activities and programming outside of the traditional school day.

“This collaboration to enrich summer school is one more step towards giving our kids the opportunities they need and deserve year-round, both in and out of school,” said Mayor Stoney. “We look forward to continuing to deepen and expand access to activities like these for all of Richmond’s children.”


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mayor Levar M. Stoney statement on adjournment of July 9 General Assembly Special Session

Republicans in the General Assembly proved today that they are not just spineless but flat-out cowardly. By not allowing for a single vote on legislation or a single word of debate on commonsense gun control bills, they dishonored the victims of gun violence across Virginia. They have thumbed their noses at their responsibility and at the citizens of Virginia that they were elected to represent.  

These actions may break our hearts, but they will not break our resolve. Richmond is ready to protect our children, our employees, and all our residents. In November, Virginians will have an opportunity to elect state representatives who are willing to do the same.”


Monday, July 1, 2019

Mayor Levar M. Stoney statement on Richmond City Council passage of Ordinance 2019-165

“Tonight the City of Richmond sent a strong message to the Virginia General Assembly that it stands ready and willing to immediately implement the kind of common sense gun regulations that will enhance the safety and security of residents, employees and visitors to our city government offices and parks.

Every Richmonder has the right to feel secure and free from the fear of senseless gun violence in our city’s public spaces.

While I am disappointed this was not a unanimous vote, I applaud and thank the seven members of Richmond City Council who demonstrated leadership in their support for Ordinance 2019-165.

Now it’s time to take this momentum across the street and hold our commonwealth’s elected representatives accountable for protecting our children and families. Leaders in the City of Richmond proved tonight they have the spine to act. Now the ball is in the General Assembly’s court.”


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mayor Appoints Interim Chief William Smith to be next chief of Richmond Police Department

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Richmond Police Department Interim Chief William C. Smith to become the next chief of the department.
Chief Smith, 51, began his law enforcement career with RPD in 1995 and has risen through the ranks of the department over a 24-year career. Since January 1, he has served as Interim Chief of Department following the retirement of former RPD Chief Alfred Durham.  Chief Smith is the 18th chief to lead the Richmond Police Department and is the first chief to be promoted internally since 1967.
“Chief Smith is thoughtful, detail-oriented, accountable, compassionate, and fair,” said Mayor Stoney, who announced the appointment at a press conference this afternoon at RPD headquarters.
“Over the last six months as interim chief, I believe he has demonstrated the dedication to duty, willingness to confront challenges head on, and commitment to serve the community that our city needs and our residents deserve. I believe he has what it takes to lead the men and women of RPD in a positive direction to protect and serve our community in the spirit of inclusivity and equity that are the foundation of One Richmond.”
After being introduced, Chief Smith said he was humbled and grateful for the support he has received from the city and the community.
“I would like to thank Mayor Levar Stoney and CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn for their leadership of the city, their support of the Police Department and their faith in me,” said Chief Smith.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve this city in the capacity of Police Chief.  I, likewise, am overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the community and I am dedicated to providing the best service to all of Richmond.
“We are a transparent, community policing organization committed to developing relationships within the city we serve,” Chief Smith continued. “As Mayor Stoney frequently states, we are One Richmond.
The Mayor’s appointment follows an extensive national search and recruitment process that included, for the first time in recent memory, weeks of community engagement to provide public input into the selection process.
“The chief of police is one of the most important jobs in any city government, requiring skills that go well beyond policing itself,” said Mayor Stoney. “Community engagement is one of the core functions of policing in our city, so that is why it was important that we listened to our residents and prioritized the public input we received in our process. Our search for the best candidate led us back to our own backyard.”
Chief Smith was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2003, captain in 2007 and major in 2016. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2018.
Chief Smith has served the department in virtually every capacity during the course of his career, from Emergency Communications (2007-2009), to commander of the Third Precinct (2009-2011), to running the Special Operations Division (2011-2016), to the Business Services Division (2016-2017) and serving as chief of staff (2018).
“Chief Smith knows this department inside and out – and he knows and respects the Richmond community he has served for nearly a quarter of a century,” the mayor said.
Says CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn: “Accountability is critical to this community, and this is an essential quality that Chief Smith brings to the job.”

Officials, former chiefs and community leaders react
Chief Smith’s appointment garnered praise from city officials, community leaders and former chiefs of the Richmond Police Department.
City Council President Dr. Cynthia Newbille: " I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Interim Chief Smith over the past 6 months. He has proven to be committed, collaborative and community-oriented, and I look forward to continue to work with him going forward."
Community leader Melvin Jones: “Chief Will is a fair, upstanding man who knows this city. He has risen through the ranks of the police department, and the officers and community members I’ve talked to believe in his ability to lead.”
Paul Taylor, of RVA League for Safer Streets: “The fact that Mayor Stoney promoted from the inside of the Richmond Police Department shows his understanding of what the city needs. Chief Smith knows our community from his years of experience. This is inclusiveness at its best, and it is testimony to the Mayor’s commitment to building One Richmond.”
Carver Civic Association President Jerome Legions: “With Chief Smith, Richmond will have at the helm someone who doesn’t have to learn about the city, but someone who can build on enhancing communities and RPD’s efforts in building stronger community relationships. That William Smith has been appointed as the next chief of police of RPD is exciting news.”
Richmond Region Tourism President Jack Berry"I have gotten to know Chief Smith well over the past five years because of our work on the UCI bike race. Throughout that time, I've come to appreciate his organizational capacity and professionalism. He'll make a great chief for this city."
Former Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Smith knows his department and will serve the community with compassion and honor.
“Richmond has chosen a great man as its next chief of police. He’s a professional who cares deeply about all citizens of Richmond and the men and women of the department.”
Former Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham also praised Chief Smith, saying:
“Chief Smith embodies the core values and leadership attributes that are needed by both the department and community. He is a career employee who is a respected leader and has in-depth of knowledge about the operations of department. He understands the importance of relationships with his employees and local and state partners. More importantly, he understands that being connected to the community is what cultivates trust and legitimizes a police department.”
Chief Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, as well as the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston.
A date for a formal swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled in the near future.
For more information, please contact Chelsea Rarrick or visit http://www.richmondgov.com/Police/.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mayor Stoney Announces Director of Economic Development

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Leonard Sledge as the city’s next director of Economic Development.

Sledge brings more than 13 years of experience in economic development to the position. Throughout his career, he has led construction, renovation and retention projects for universities and municipal governments.

He has served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Hampton and for the College of William and Mary. Most recently, Sledge served as the executive director of the Henry County Development Authority, which serves the southeast portion of the Atlanta metro region.

Sledge earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In 2019, he was named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers by Consultant Connect.

“The City of Richmond is growing and we need to make sure we pursue development that not only expands our tax base, but is community-oriented and expands opportunity for all of our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “Leonard’s background in local government and his record of informed, principled decision-making indicate he’s the right person for the job.”

As the Director of Economic Development, Sledge will oversee the economic growth of the city, including business retention and attraction, real estate development and redevelopment, and small business development and support. He will oversee the administration of the City’s Enterprise and Opportunity Zones, as well as several economic development loan programs. He will report directly to Sharon Ebert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Community Development.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this talented city team, civic-minded stakeholders and the community to help Richmond realize its economic development potential and move the city forward,” said Sledge.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Statement from Mayor Levar M. Stoney on Resignation of Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring

“Mike Herring has been an outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond who has served the residents of our city with dedication and distinction for 13 years.

Mike’s keen and progressive legal mind, fairness and commitment to justice, both inside and outside the courtroom, has made Richmond a safer and more equitable place to live.

We will miss Commonwealth’s Attorney Herring’s steady and principled leadership in this critical law enforcement role, and I join the residents of the City of Richmond in honoring his public service and in wishing him well in the next chapter of his professional life.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

Richmond Receives Award from Government Finance Officers Association

The City of Richmond has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). 

“This is another mark of achievement in our efforts to maintain the highest levels of fiscal responsibility in Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney. “I congratulate our Department of Budget & Strategic Planning for this significant achievement.” The award represents a significant achievement by the city’s Department of Budget & Strategic Planning. Richmond had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation to receive this award. These guidelines are designed to assess how well the city’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device. Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and in fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories.

“I am very proud of our budget staff,” said Richmond Budget Director Jay Brown. “This recognition affirms the commitment we have to best practices.”

The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA's website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Questions concerning this GFOA award can be directed to Michael Nixon-Garrison at (804) 646-7922 or by email: michael.nixon-garrison@richmondgov.com

Monday, May 6, 2019

Richmond Fire Department to Offer Free CPR Training to Richmond Public Schools Teachers

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today marked the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week by announcing a new partnership between the Richmond Fire Department and Richmond Public Schools to offer CPR certification to RPS teachers free of charge. 

The partnership is the result of a proposal by the Mayor’s Teacher Advisory Council (MTAC), a group of RPS teachers who provide insight into what attracts teachers to Richmond and what will keep them living and working here. The Virginia Department of Education requires all individuals applying for or renewing teacher licenses to be certified in CPR, which can cost as much as $150 per course. 

Mayor Stoney worked with Chief Melvin Carter of the Richmond Fire Department and Superintendent Jason Kamras of Richmond Public Schools to formalize a partnership that will allow RPS teachers to sign up for free training courses to be held monthly at RFD headquarters beginning in June. 

“Our teachers give selflessly of their love, time, talent, energy and resources,” said Mayor Stoney. “I’m pleased that collaboration across city agencies will allow us to alleviate this cost burden and further support our educators.” 

“Being able to respond swiftly in an emergency is a critical part of keeping our city safe,” said Fire Chief Melvin Carter. “The Richmond Fire Department is proud to be able to offer this life-saving training to the teachers who work so hard on behalf of our children.” 

“This is a great benefit for our teachers and we’re so grateful to the mayor and Chief Carter for making this happen,” said RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras. “It’s just another example of how we all get smarter when we listen to our teachers.” 

For more information please contact licensure specialist, Deborah Dailey at ddailey@rvaschools.net.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

City of Richmond to Co-Host Arthur Ashe Boulevard Dedication June 22

In partnership with the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) and the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond will co-host the official dedication of Arthur Ashe Boulevard on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. on the museum’s front lawn, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard. The dedication will include remarks from local and state elected officials and a ceremonial sign unveiling. The event is free and open to the public.

“This summer we officially honor one of Richmond’s native sons and humanitarians as we are telling the stories of ALL of RVA’s people,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “Arthur Ashe is a true champion, and this recognition is well-deserved as he took what he learned growing up in our neighborhoods and used those experiences to make the world a better place.”

Growing up in Richmond, Virginia in the 1950s, and denied access to Byrd Park, the premier, all-white recreational facility, Ashe learned to play tennis in the city’s park for blacks, Brook Field. At 18, in 1961, Ashe became the first black player to win the previously all-white National Interscholastic tournament in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two years later, he became the first black player selected for the U.S. Davis Cup team. In 1968, he became the first black man to win the U.S. Open. But Ashe didn’t stop at the U.S. border: In 1973, during apartheid, he traveled to Johannesburg to become the first black player to compete in the South Africa Open. The memory of segregation-of separate but unequal - would lead him to become a lifelong integrationist, both in his words and actions.

“What an amazing time to be in the City of Richmond – a time inspired by the legacy of my uncle, Arthur Ashe, Jr.,” said David Harris, nephew of Arthur Ashe. “We want to thank the City of Richmond for your efforts in doing what is right. Together, we will show the world what can be done when we come together with purpose, generosity and intentionality for the greatness of our city.”

The event also coincides with the opening of the VHMC groundbreaking exhibition, Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality. Determined explores the black experience from the 1619 arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English North America to the present day. The exhibit traces the ways in which black people have profoundly shaped the course of American history and the nature of American democracy through their fight for freedom, equality and justice. Determined features dozens of artifacts that tell the compelling stories of a selection of remarkable Virginians, including Arthur Ashe, Jr. Click here to view the VHMC release further detailing the exhibition.

“We are deeply honored to host this important ceremony, and excited about what it means for the future of this historic institution, our great city and our Commonwealth,” said Jamie O. Bosket, president & CEO of VMHC. “It will be a special privilege to welcome dignitaries and special guests from our city, around Virginia and across the nation as we make an important step forward in remembering one of Richmond’s most famous sons and better tell a complete story of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

On June 22, the public will be invited to park at the Arthur Ashe Center, 3001 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Shuttles will operate on the Arthur Ashe Boulevard corridor to assist with public attendance.
The official sign unveiling will occur in front of VMHC beginning at 11 a.m. After the unveiling the museum will be open free to visitors to view the new exhibit.
In addition, the City of Richmond will be hosting an Arthur Ashe Boulevard Community Celebration starting at 1 p.m. at the Arthur Ashe Center. The community celebration will be open to the public and will include tennis clinics, musical guests, food trucks and more.

For more information on the VHMC, contact Lizzie Oglesby, Manager of Public Relations and Marketing, VHMC at loglesby@VirginiaHistory.org or call (804) 342 – 9665.

For more information about the event, contact Tamara Jenkins, Public Information Manager, City of Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at tamara.jenkins@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646 – 1087.