Showing posts from 2020

Mayor Levar Stoney named Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow

Past fellows include Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Rep. Gabby Giffords Mayor Levar Stoney has been named a Rodel Public Leadership Fellow. The Aspen Institute’s Rodel Public Leadership Fellowship is a nonpartisan program that identifies and convenes political leaders to explore and examine the responsibilities of public leadership and its role in American democracy.  Past fellows include Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, Stacey Abrams and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “I’m honored and excited to be a part of this cohort of service-minded elected officials, including many of my fellow mayors,” said Mayor Stoney. “I believe Richmond can serve as a shining example to other cities of how to remove barriers for residents and make democracy work, a mission entirely in line with the values and goals of the Rodel Fellowship.” Says Vice President at Aspen and program leader John Kroger: "The Rodel Fellowship brings together the nation’s most promising po

Stoney administration issues RFQ/P for world-class resort casino

City’s opportunity for revenue-increasing economic development project subject to voter referendum  Mayor Stoney announced today that the city has issued a request for qualifications/proposals (RFQ/P), launching a competitive process to bring a world-class resort casino to Richmond, subject to voter approval.  The proposals are due to the city by no later than 3:00 pm EST on February 22, 2021. At that time, the administration will begin the selection process, which will include resident feedback and third-party expert consultation.    Legislation adopted by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Northam earlier this year authorizes the city to host a casino gaming establishment, subject to the residents of Richmond approving a casino referendum. That referendum is anticipated to be on the ballot in November of 2021. The law requires that, prior to requesting the court to order a casino referendum, the city select a preferred casino operator and location.    “This

City of Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development and small businesses partner to assist Richmond’s minority businesses with development

The City of Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development (OMBD) is accepting applications for participation in a program to assist businesses with business development. As a source of relief from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, this program is made possible by CARES Act funding. Qualifying businesses will benefit from one-on-one training and services in the areas of financial assistance, website design and strategic market plans. Businesses interested in participating must complete the program application by visiting and return the application to LaQuiana Bailey, Program Manager at no later than December 10, 2020.  There are 30 slots available for each program. Participants will be selected on a first-come first-served basis. Businesses can qualify to participate in more than one program. Qualifications 1. Business must be located in the City of Richmond (Paid B

Stoney administration receives $500,000 grant to expand Richmond Resilience Initiative

The grant, made possible by the city’s partnership with Robins Foundation and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, will allow the program to serve up to 37 more families Mayor Stoney announced today that the Richmond Resilience Initiative, the city’s pilot guaranteed income program, has received a $500,000 grant to expand the program.     The additional $500,000 will allow the city to select up to 37 more families to participate in the program, in addition to the 18 already participating. All $500,000 will go to families participating in the Richmond Resilience Initiative in the form of monthly payments for the entire pilot period of 24 months.   “The launch of the Richmond Resilience Initiative in late October constituted a significant investment in the health, wealth and dignity of Richmond families,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Receiving this generous support so quickly after Richmond’s launch not only multiplies the city’s capacity to empower hardworking heads of household but endorses th

La administración del alcalde Stoney abre una encuesta pública para informar acerca de la propuesta sobre la construcción de un resort con casino

Se anima a los habitantes de Richmond para que den su opinión sobre esta oportunidad de desarrollo turístico y económico  A partir de hoy, los richmondeses pueden llenar una encuesta en internet aquí en la que se les pregunta si creen que la administración debería considerar la propuesta sobre la construcción de un resort con casino en Richmond. La encuesta estará abierta hasta el 14 de diciembre a las 11:59 p.m. Los resultados de esta encuesta alimentarán el documento de Solicitud de Calificaciones y/o Propuestas (RFQ/P), el cual dará inicio al proceso competitivo para seleccionar un operador y una ubicación para el resort y casino. Esta RFQ/P delineará las expectativas que la administración de la ciudad y sus residentes tienen hacia el desarrollo de propuestas completas y competitivas. Esta encuesta es sólo el comienzo de la participación comunitaria en el desarrollo potencial de un resort y casino. El proceso de selección tendrá en cuenta las opiniones de la comunidad y un referend

Richmond Recovers II otorga subvenciones para los pequeños comerciantes

La ciudad de Richmond anunció el lanzamiento del programa de subvenciones “Richmond Recovers II” para los pequeños empresarios. El programa es financiado con $2 millones de los fondos del Acta CARES otorgados a la ciudad y será administrado por la Agencia de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Richmond. Este nuevo programa de subvenciones expandirá el esfuerzo hecho por el programa de subvenciones “Richmond Recovers”, el cual en su primera etapa aprobó 260 subvenciones por un total de $2.79 millones. “Los pequeños negocios son el pilar de nuestra economía local, y el COVID-19 sigue afectándolos desproporcionadamente”, dijo el alcalde Stoney. “Estos fondos no son ni remotamente suficientes para resolver el problema en su totalidad, pero ayudarán. Continuaremos trabajando para obtener más apoyo del gobierno federal hasta que Richmond se haya recuperado completamente”, añadió. Los pequeños negocios podrán recibir subvenciones de hasta $15 000. Estos fondos pueden ser utilizados para reem

Richmond Recovers II provides grants for small businesses

  The City of Richmond announced the launch of the Richmond Recovers II Grant Program for small businesses. The program is funded with $2 million from the city’s CARES Act appropriation and will be administered by the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond. This new grant program comes on the heels of the Richmond Recovers Grant Program which has approved 260 grants totaling $2.79 million.   “Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and COVID-19 continues to impact them disproportionately,” said Mayor Stoney. “This funding is not nearly enough to solve the problem, but it will help. We will continue to work to secure more support from the federal government until Richmond has fully recovered.”   Grants in the amount of $15,000 will be awarded to small businesses. Grant funds can be used to reimburse the costs of employee wages including the cost of benefits; rent and utilities for commercial workspaces; PPE and cleaning supplies; E-commerce expenses; and

Human Rights Campaign recognizes Richmond as leading Virginia municipality in LGBTQ+ protections

Richmond scores 100 on 2020 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard The City of Richmond has scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index Scorecard, a national measurement of a locality’s policies, practices and procedures in place to fight discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.     When Mayor Stoney took office, Richmond’s MEI score was 42. Since then, it has climbed to 100, making Richmond the municipality with the fastest growing and one of the net highest equality ratings in the entire Commonwealth.   “This city has made an immense amount of progress toward true equality in the past four years,” said Mayor Stoney. “Since 2017, we’ve been fighting to tackle the systemic injustices that reduce quality of life for LGBTQ+ individuals, and especially LGBTQ+ people of color.”   This year, city leadership increased Richmond’s MEI score by adopting city contractor non-discrimination practices.   State level advocacy for anti-discriminatory legislation has been an ong

Stoney administration opens public survey to inform resort casino proposal request

Richmonders encouraged to weigh in on a tourism and economic development opportunity Starting today, Richmonders can take a survey asking what they believe the city should consider in a proposal for a potential resort casino in Richmond. The survey will be open through 11:59 p.m. on December 14. The results of this survey will inform the Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) document, which will begin the competitive process to select a resort casino operator and site. The RFQ/P will outline the expectations the city and its residents have for a complete and competitive development proposal. This survey is only the beginning of community engagement for a potential resort casino development. The selection process will consider community feedback, and a citywide voter referendum will determine if Richmond moves forward with the project.  “A competitive selection process will allow us to assess the best opportunity for Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney. “This survey is your opportunity

City of Richmond sells bonds at lowest interest rates in history

Sale allows city to save more than $41 million in additional interest costs over next 20 years; reduce s   payment period for new school construction by five year s F ollows reaffirmed AA+ bond rating by Fitch and Standard & Poors, Aa1 rating by Moody’s   Based on a competitive bidding process finalized on November 19, on December 10, 2020, the City of Richmond will close on its $103.5 million tax-exempt General Obligation (GO) Bonds, Series 2020A in order to issue new debt for city and schools projects, and its $51.6 million taxable Series 2020B bonds to refund existing debt service for interest rate savings.   Through the tax-exempt bond sale, the city is avoiding about $41.6 million in additional interest payments over the next 20 years compared to previous borrowing assumptions.   The overall true interest cost of funds for the city’s 2020A Bonds was approximately 1.42 percent, which is the lowest cost of long-term GO bonds for city and schools projects in the city’s history, o

Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety publicizes final report

The Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety today publicized its final recommendations to the Stoney administration.   Click here to read the report.  The final recommendations come after the task force met twice monthly for three months. The task force’s three subgroups met weekly throughout that time.    Statement from Mayor Stoney:   “I’m mindful and appreciative of the emphasis the task force placed on equity and restorative justice throughout the process. The report is firmly rooted both in those shared values and an acknowledgement of the difficulty of changemaking on a large, permanent scale.  “My administration is committed to starting the necessary work to turn these recommendations into the policies, procedures and practices required to make this a safer city for each and every resident.    “Building the long-term, innovative, equitable public safety infrastructure envisioned in this report will take sustained effort, community engagement and education, but I have full faith th

FY2022 non-departmental grant process open for applicants

Application materials are available here Applications for the city’s General Fund non-departmental grants, which go to local organizations to fund community-oriented programming, are now available on the city website.     Eligible organizations may apply for the city to fund specific programming in three key priority areas: children, youth and education; housing, human services and health; and the arts and culture. Additionally, this application continues to be the form for all quasi-governmental organizations to apply for city funding.   This is a one-year funding opportunity for non-profits and public sector organizations working on a grassroots level to promote equity in the City of Richmond.    A virtual informational workshop will be held in early December to assist applicants with completing their materials. Information on that opportunity will be available on the same webpage as the application materials,  here.   All proposal materials are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, December 18,

Virtual Learning Project to connect Richmond students to resources

The City of Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building (OCWB) Ambassadors have partnered with Richmond Public Schools and the Virginia Health Department to launch the Virtual Learning Project (VLP) in Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority (RRHA) communities.   The Virtual Learning Project is a community engagement response to ensure RPS students and families have what they need for a productive day of learning.   Each school day, a “Community Connector” will be responsible for safely checking in with each household and student to ensure they are prepared to learn. This will include offering support to parents, engaging students, and helping students gain access to the resources RPS provides every day, like online programming, meal distribution, and tutoring sessions.   “Considering the expansive network of support the city, school district and nonprofit community offer, sometimes the most valuable resource for families is a trusted navigator,” said Mayor Stoney. “This progra

Stoney administration to launch Richmond Resilience Initiative, guaranteed income pilot program

  The City of Richmond is joining a growing nationwide effort to foster economic security among working families.   Today, Mayor Stoney announced that the city, in partnership with Robins Foundation, has launched the Richmond Resilience Initiative (RRI), a guaranteed income pilot program. Under the program, 18 working families who no longer qualify for benefits assistance but still do not make a living wage will receive $500 a month for 24 months.   The program is part of a larger national movement to foster economic security in a data-driven, research-tested capacity, and is modeled after successful pilots in cities like   Stockton, California .   Mayor Stoney recently joined Mayors for Guaranteed Income , a coalition of more than 25 mayors committed to piloting universal income programs to promote economic empowerment.   “The Richmond Resilience Initiative pilot will go far in both supporting hardworking families and providing the necessary data points to design policies that promote

Parking Restrictions will be Enforced near Polling Locations during General Election

~Ticketing and towing will be enforced for unauthorized vehicles~ Special on-street parking restrictions will be in place near polling locations on Tuesday, November 3 during the General Election to accommodate chief election officers, those working the polls on Election Day and for voters in some areas. Parking will be prohibited in the following areas from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Three parking meters/pay stations on the west side of the Main Library (Election Officer placard must be displayed) • All parking on the north side of Main Street between North Cherry and North Harrison streets will be designated for voters and election officers only • All parking on the west side of North Cherry Street between West Main Street and Floyd Avenue will be designated for voters and election officers only • All parking on the east side of Beaufont Hills Drive between LaCorolla Avenue and Lamar Drive will be designated for voters and election officers only Towing and ticketing of unauthorized

Office of Multicultural Affairs to publish “Portraits of Immigrant Voices” digital exhibit in celebration of National Immigrants’ Day

  The City of Richmond’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will unveil a new content initiative, “Portraits of Immigrant Voices,” on  RVAStrong   to honor National immigrants’ Day on Wednesday, October 28.   OMA will publish three portraits the first day and will continue to publish one portrait every weekday through Thanksgiving.   Click here   for the online gallery of available portraits, which will be updated daily.   Artist Alfonso Pérez painted each portrait and writer Joe Kutchera interviewed the subjects and wrote the life story that accompanies each portrait. Virginia Humanities and the City of Richmond’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) have funded the project.   “We are excited to launch this art and storytelling initiative to tell the stories of 24 immigrants who have come to Richmond from around the world,” says Karla Almendarez-Ramos, the manager of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “Not only do these stories exemplify the diversity of immigrant experiences in

La Oficina de Asuntos Multiculturales publicará la colección digital “Retratos de Voces Inmigrantes” en la celebración del Día Nacional del Inmigrante

  La Oficina de Asuntos Multiculturales de la Ciudad de Richmond, OMA, por sus siglas en inglés, develará su nueva iniciativa de contenido “Retratos de Voces Inmigrantes”, en para honrar el Día Nacional del Inmigrante que se celebra el 28 de octubre. OMA publicará tres retratos el primer día y continuará la publicación de un retrato diario cada día hasta el Día de Acción de Gracias. Haga clic aquí para visitar la galería digital la cual estará disponible para apreciar los retratos y será actualizada diariamente. El artista de origen Colombiano Alfonso Pérez pintó los retratos, y el escritor Joe Kutchera completó las entrevistas y escribió las historias que los acompañan. La Fundación Virginia Humanities y la Oficina de Asuntos Multiculturales (OMA) han patrocinado el proyecto. “Estamos muy emocionados por el lanzamiento de esta iniciativa de arte e historias, que cuentan 24 relatos de inmigrantes que han llegado a Richmond de todas partes del mundo,” dijo Karla Almendarez

Mayor Stoney announces new George Wythe High School to be next school construction project

Today, in front of George Wythe High School, Mayor Stoney announced that the Southside high school will be the next major school facility project to benefit Richmond’s students.     The Dreams4RPS Strategic Plan, supported by the School Board and funded in full by the Stoney administration, identified Wythe as the next facility in need of reinvention and rebuilding after the three new schools the administration unveiled this summer: Cardinal Elementary, Henry Marsh Elementary and River City Middle.   With the commitment, the School Board has the responsibility to lead a rigorous community engagement process to ensure plans for the school reflect the values and priorities of the community.    “Just this summer, we’ve proven this is possible when we put aside the self and focus on the community,” said Mayor Stoney of the school redesign process. “Together, we’ll build a high school that reflects the potential, innovation and spirit of the students inside.”   Mayor Stoney was joined by Co

City provides update on Greater Richmond Continuum of Care services for those experiencing homelessness

The mayor was joined by Kelly King Horne, Executive Director of Homeward, the lead agency of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC), to provide an update on services for unsheltered individuals and families in the coming months.  The city is a key funding partner of the GRCoC, the region’s network of support for those at imminent risk of or experiencing homelessness.  The GRCoC offers wraparound services for unsheltered individuals, from housing to food delivery to job training. The variety of GRCoC member organizations currently provide a spectrum of services. Most shelter options are non-congregate, traditionally a hotel room to allow for privacy and independence and guard against community spread of the coronavirus.  Said the mayor of the challenge: “Until the Richmond region and the nation as a whole address its affordable housing crisis and eradicate poverty, there will always be more individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability who rely on an