Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney sworn in for second term
Following four years of significant accomplishments and improvements in education, neighborhoods, infrastructure and equity, Levar M. Stoney today was sworn in for a second term as mayor of the City of Richmond.
Reflecting on a year of racial reckoning in the midst of a global health pandemic, Mayor Stoney pledged to lead by engaging the community in the hard work of reconciliation and breaking down barriers to put the city on a path toward social and economic justice.
“Richmonders want, moreover they deserve, more than the status quo,” the mayor said this afternoon, in remarks following his swearing in at Henry Marsh Elementary School – one of three new schools built in communities of color during his first term in office.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to build a city that meaningfully reflects the lessons learned not only in 2020, but also throughout centuries of our unique, tumultuous history,” he continued. “We must fill the potholes, pave the streets, pick up the trash and issue the permits on time. But my priority will always be serving as a champion of Richmonders burdened by generational poverty.”
The mayor said that despite the challenges of the last year and facing the city in 2021, he is confident of the city’s path forward, having witnessed the strength, resilience and hope embedded in its residents.
“Over the last four years, I have witnessed that same hope with my own eyes,” he said. “I’ve talked to the mother, bone-tired after working multiple jobs, still concerned about the quality of education her children will receive. That’s hope.
“I’ve spoken to the returning citizen, crippled by a felony conviction, shedding tears of joy and gratitude for an opportunity to work again,” he continued. “That’s hope.”
“On my visits to each and every school in our city, I have met beautiful boys and girls who proudly share their big dreams with me. That’s hope.”
Professing his love for the city and gratitude for the opportunity to serve, the mayor said he would fight for families, listen to communities, double down on unity and gear city hall even more toward service in the next four years, completing the transformation of Richmond from the former capital of the confederacy into a “capital of compassion.”
The mayor concluded his remarks with a call for residents to unify and meet the challenges of 2021 by working together.
“Richmond, we must meet our moment,” the mayor said. “It won’t come easy. It will require a Herculean effort from each and every one of us. But I know we will get there. Yes, 2020 may have been a dark year, but dawn is on the horizon.”
The swearing in was conducted by Judge Kevin Duffan, a friend of the mayor’s and the first African American judge appointed to the Circuit Court in the City of Virginia Beach.
It was attended by 7th District City Councilmember Dr. Cynthia I. Newbille and witnessed by Richmond Electoral Board Chairman James Nachman.
Pastor Yvonne Jones Bibbs of the Sixth Baptist Church of Richmond provided the invocation. Acting Chief Administrative Officer Lincoln Saunders was also in attendance.