Showing posts from 2013

Mayor Dwight C. Jones Named 2013 Richmonder of the Year

City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones has recently been named '2013 Richmonder of the Year' by Style Weekly. Click here to view the full article.

RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle will be Suspended After This Weekend

~ City cites fiscal responsibility as reasoning behind shuttle suspension ~ After nearly two years of offering free and greatly reduced cost shuttle services to local grocers, the City has decided to suspend the RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle after this Saturday’s service due to operational costs. As a result, December will be the final month of the shuttle’s operations. The shuttle has experienced a steady decline in ridership, which has increased the cost per user beyond a fiscally responsible scenario for the City to continue the service.  The RVA Shoppers’ Shuttle was started as a pilot project in February 2012 as a transportation support system that is focused on areas within the City of Richmond that are deemed as food deserts – areas without easy access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food. The targeted areas also have a high concentration of poverty and large populations without personal transportation. The City is dedicated to helping City residents’ access healthy foods,

City Technology Project Wins Multiple Awards

The City’s Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team continues to be recognized for the success of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program. The program is an American National Standard and has expanded to several 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and alarm monitoring central stations across the United States. The ASAP project was chosen as one of 15 Government Computer News (GCN) award winners for "Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government" in 2013. According to the announcement from GCN, this year's winning projects were selected from more than 200 nominations submitted to GCN, based on the degree to which a given IT project improved an agency's ability to operate more efficiently or serve the public more effectively. The City’s project team was formally honored at the 26th Annual GCN Awards Gala on November 19 in McLean, Va. The City’s technology project won another award recently when Donna Roy, Execu

City Arts and Cultural District Micro Grant Program Announces First Funding Cycle Awards Totaling More Than $10,000 to District Organizations and Artists

The City of Richmond and partner CultureWorks are pleased to announce the first awards made through the Arts and Cultural District Micro Grant Program.  The Micro Grant Program is one of several recent City initiatives targeted to the Broad Street Arts and Cultural District. The purpose of the Program is to increase the activity and vibrancy of the Arts and Cultural District through the combined effect of several, small grant funded projects and improvements. Two categories of grants are available: project support and capital improvements. Project support grants of up to $1,000 are designed to help fund special events, installations or activities presented within the boundaries of the District. Projects can be of any medium or cultural discipline and must have a component that is free and open to the general public. Capital improvements grants of up to $2,500 are available to fund items that can substantially increase an entity’s ability to host arts and cultural related activiti

City’s Department of Public Works Receives Reaccreditation

~ Commended for Strategic Plan and Electronic Ethics Training Standard~ The City’s Department of Public Works has received official notification of its national reaccreditation by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The City department became fully accredited in 2005 and was reaccredited in 2009. The current status is for a four year period, November 2013 through October 2017. The DPW Team did a spectacular job working to review the standards and to update information within each to reflect enhancements to operating procedures and safety procedures in preparation for recertification,” said James A. Jackson, Director of the City’s Department of Public Works.  During the reaccreditation process, three APWA evaluators visited DPW facilities and reviewed 157 of 364 standard practices applicable to DPW operations. The evaluators determined 156 or 99.3 percent of the practices were fully compliant.  Only one of the practices reviewed, or .6 percent, was substantially comp

City’s Minority Business Development Marketing Conference Makes Impact on Business Community

The City of Richmond’s Minority Business Development Department (MBD) in partnership with the City Department of Economic and Community Development’s Marketing Conference held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, was filled to capacity as businesses were empowered to promote their services and products more effectively. The conference trained businesses on how to achieve their marketing expectations by clearly identifying what they wanted to accomplish (promotions objective), establishing who their potential customer is (target), how to reach the customer and some perspective on cost. Several businesses won giveaways such as a free consultation, graphic design for marketing collateral, advertising space and much more.  The conference offered free on-site marketing consultation, discounted marketing packages, networking opportunities and was free to attendees and exhibitors. Featured marketing experts included Johnson, Inc., Four Deep Multi-Media, X-Ray Market Research Services, The Sca

City Seeks Removal of Twitter Impersonation Account

On Sunday, November 17, 2013, a Twitter account under the username @MayorJonesRVA sent out its first tweet. The account holder is not Mayor Dwight C. Jones and is impersonating the Mayor in a public arena. This impersonation of an elected, government official is not appropriate and poses a dishonest voice to the public. The Office of the Mayor is currently completing all necessary paper work to have this account removed from Twitter. For official news from the City of Richmond, please follow @CityRichmondVA.

Mayor Jones Presents Revitalize RVA Plan

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today unveiled Revitalize RVA, a plan for economic development in Shockoe Bottom, slavery and freedom heritage, and baseball. Describing his plan as a strategy to develop downtown and to attract the people and businesses that will fuel the future growth of the city, Jones said, “Our city has a rich history that we must acknowledge and honor. And if we embrace who we are and move forward together, our city also has a bright, bright future.” Citing the city’s 26% poverty rate, Mayor Jones indicated that all decisions are being made through the lens of economic development, creating jobs and expanding the city’s tax base. Revitalize RVA includes a new baseball stadium, a slavery and freedom heritage site, and brings retail, residential, hotel space, office space and parking to the area. The overwhelming majority of the improvements will be privately financed. “The plan will generate almost $200 million in net new revenue over the next 20 years,” said Mayor Jones. “T

Virginia Capital Trail’s Great Shiplock Park Trailhead and Chapel Island Park Marks Strides in City’s Riverfront Plan

The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation (VCTF) and the City of Richmond jointly announced today the opening of the Virginia Capital Trail western trailhead at Great Shiplock Park. “We are excited to open the new Great Shiplock Park Trailhead where we can welcome residents and visitors to Richmond’s spectacular and historic riverfront,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “We’ve made great progress on the Virginia Capital Trail since the official kickoff in 2009, and we are grateful to the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation and all the donors that have made these improvements to Richmond’s Trailhead possible.” “Shiplock Park is the perfect place for Virginia Capital Trail users to begin or end their trail experience. It’s historic, it’s scenic and now it encourages people to linger and explore more of the surrounding area”, said Virginia Capital Trail Foundation executive director, Beth Weisbrod. “Once the trail is complete in 2015, hundreds of thousands of people will come through this

City Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

The City’s Department of Economic & Community Development received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2012 brochure in the category of Specific Purpose Brochure for communities with populations of 200,000- 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 8, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held October 6-9, in Philadelphia. “The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the city of Richmond’s Department of Economic & Community Development as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said IEDC chair, Paul Krutko. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities. This organization uses creative solutions and inventive ideas, and offers other regions a wonderful example to learn and benefit from. Th

Richmond Selected To Participate In National Initiative To Help Young Children Succeed

The City of Richmond has been selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) to receive technical assistance as part of a national initiative to increase the likelihood that city children will achieve educational success demonstrated by reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. Researchers, practitioners and policymakers increasingly believe that a more seamless educational pipeline that addresses a range of academic, behavioral, health and family issues could serve young children more effectively. Through the Municipal Leadership to Promote Educational Alignment for Young Children initiative, Richmond will receive practical guidance as it takes steps to implement and improve educational alignment from PreK to 3rd grade.  NLC will provide cities with customized assistance, access to best practices and national experts, and opportunities for peer learning as they develop or enhance a plan for educational alignment and work with stakeholders from across the community. Empha

Venture Richmond and the City of Richmond Announce A Botanical Makeover of the RVA Arts District

Venture Richmond has been working in partnership with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, City departments and local businesses to develop a plan to beautify the RVA Arts District by enhancing existing landscaped areas and adding planters to the concrete medians on Broad Street.  “This project supports our vision for a clean, safe, and beautiful Downtown,” said Jacqueline McClenney-Wallace, Chair of Venture Richmond, “and it supports the Mayor’s efforts to further develop the Arts and Culture District.”   “The RVA Arts District Beautification Plan is literally a “botanical makeover” of the Broad Street gateway and the 400 block of E. Grace Street.” said Lucy Meade who is leading the project for Venture Richmond. “The planting designs are stunning and were created by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden , our lead design consultant on the project. The project includes a total of 13 blocks, 49 planters, 526 bags of mulch, 460+ bags of soil, and 1,200+ plants. Locally-owned Colesville Nursery i

City Announces Medicaid Application Changes

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, city residents now have access to the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace to purchase health insurance. City residents who are already covered by Medicaid or the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security programs will remain on those programs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does not affect eligibility or enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries. Effective immediately, Richmond residents are now able to file applications for Medicaid in several different methods with no interview or office visit required. For many applications, verification will be provided electronically via the new federal Data Hub. Verification from applicants can also be provided by mail, fax, e-mailed scans, or in person. ·          Applications for subsidized health insurance can be filed on-line via the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace at or by calling 1-800-318-2596 . These applicants will also be evaluated f

Atlantic 10 Conference to Move Women’s Basketball Championship to Richmond Coliseum

The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Thursday it has entered a three-year partnership with the City of Richmond to bring the A-10 Women’s BasketballChampionship to the Richmond Coliseum beginning in 2014.  The announcement was made at a joint press conference held at the Richmond Downtown Marriott. “The opportunity to establish a long-term home for our women’s basketball championship and partner with the City of Richmond was one we could not pass up. We selected Richmond because it gives us the ability to build on our record attendance from last year’s championship and provide a true March Madness environment for our women’s basketball student-athletes,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “I want to thank our head coaches and Directors of Athletics for their leadership in this selection and commend the City of Richmond, SMG and my staff for their commitment to making this a true win-win partnership for everyone involved.” The 2014 13-team event will take place at the R

Officials Break Ground on Gateway Plaza in Richmond

New High-Rise Office Building Features Modern Technology, ‘Green’ Amenities Officials with the City of Richmond and Clayco today celebrated the construction of Gateway Plaza, Richmond’s newest high-rise office building, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project’s site in the heart of the downtown business district.  “Gateway Plaza is becoming a reality. Its creation is cause for celebration by the City of Richmond, the area’s business community, the lead tenant McGuireWoods and Clayco. It represents an incredible commitment to the city by McGuireWoods, and we appreciate the confidence everyone has shown in Clayco. Gateway Plaza also offers a superb combination of the highest quality materials, technology and construction techniques to create a truly Class A business setting that is efficient, convenient, environmentally-sensitive and geared to the needs of 21 st century organizations,” said Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive officer of Clayco. Richmond Mayo