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Showing posts from 2020

Stoney administration opens public survey to inform resort casino proposal request

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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

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  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

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  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 RVAStrong.org 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

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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

Stoney administration proposes surplus funds to address three public health needs in city

Mayor Stoney recommends City Council allocate funding to mental health pilot, doula fund, gun violence prevention   The Stoney administration, working alongside Richmond City Health District, has proposed $500,000 of special purpose reserves from the projected FY2020 budget surplus go to funding three distinct public health efforts in the city.   The mayor is proposing the following: $200,000, Resource Center Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Pilot, partnering with Richmond City Health District, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.  The yearlong pilot will fund a full-time clinician, a licensed substance use disorder counselor and a peer recovery specialist to work out of RCHD’s resource centers and provide necessary services to residents in their communities.  $150,000, Richmond Doula Fund,  partnering with  Richmond City Health District.  The Doula Fund will reimburse doulas for services and fund doula training with the goal of decreasing racial disparities in maternal and in

Stoney administration offers curbside tax relief document pickup for elderly and disabled

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For the first time, the City of Richmond Finance Department will pick up application materials for those interested in applying for the city’s Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program.   “Due to the ongoing pandemic, we know some seniors are uncomfortable visiting public spaces like a post office or City Hall,” said Finance Director John Wack. “We want everyone eligible for this program to participate, but transportation and public health concerns are very real barriers to participation. With curbside document pickup, we can remove that barrier.”   If applicants request curbside service, Department of Finance staff will visit the provided address to retrieve application materials from residents. Pickup will be contactless to comply with public health best practices.   At the Monday, September 28 meeting of Richmond City Council, the council approved the Stoney administration’s request to extend the deadline for the Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program to October 30.  

Stoney administration awards $1.32M in support to businesses, extends deadline for grant program

The City of Richmond has approved the first wave of grant awards for the Richmond Recovers Grant Program. 123 applicants were notified of their approved grant applications and will receive a total of $1.32 million in grant funding.  Of the 123 approved grant recipients, 42 are restaurants and nine are non-profit organizations. The city allocated three million of its CARES Act dollars to fund the grant program. “This grant program is providing much needed financial relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that have lost revenue due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “We will continue our efforts to make more financial resources available to help our Richmond businesses.” The Richmond Recovers Grant Program still has $1.68 million to award. The Department of Economic Development is working with grant applicants to ensure that all of the required information is submitted in order for their application to be evaluated. “Nearly 500 grant applications were started using ou

City receives Capital One grant to help fund equity study, training, action plans

  The City of Richmond has received a grant from Capital One through the company’s recently launched Impact Initiative, a program that seeks to close gaps in equity and promote social and economic opportunity in the Richmond region.  The support from Capital One will help the city fund an equity study, equity and inclusivity training for city staff, and the development of action plans to operationalize solutions throughout city policies, practices and procedures.  “Our goal is to normalize racial equity and justice within city conversations, work and culture and operationalize them so that equity and justice are visible in everything our city does,” said Mayor Stoney. “We are truly grateful for the support of partners like Capital One helping to expand our capacity to do this critical work.” “Richmond was once the second largest epicenter of the domestic trading of enslaved Africans, served as the former capital of the confederacy and was a stalwart of Massive Resistance, so it is uneq

Stoney administration introduces ordinance to amend scope of Devil’s Half Acre project, acquire part of Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Slaves

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  At the September 28 meeting of Richmond City Council, the Stoney administration introduced an ordinance to amend the proposed Capital Improvements Projects for FY2020-2021, expanding the scope of the Heritage Center/Lumpkin’s Jail (Devil’s Half Acre) project. The ordinance proposes the city acquire 1305 North 5 th   Street, which historically served as part of the Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Slaves.     The ordinance amends the Devil’s Half Acre program in alignment with the recommendations of the Shockoe Alliance and tireless work of community advocates. If the ordinance is adopted, the project would include: A pavilion and museum at the Devil’s Half Acre Site; Planning requirements for the proposed Heritage Center; Design of and improvements to the Richmond Slave Trail and Trail Head; and The acquisition of 1305 North 5 th   Street and extension of the Slave Trail to that property.   1305 North 5 th   Street was historically used as part of the Burial Ground for Fre

Biennial real estate plan proposes to allot parcels for affordable development, homeownership

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Update: Biennial real estate plan proposes to allot parcels for affordable development, homeownership The Biennial Real Estate plan, which was in draft form until submitted to Richmond City Council as required by ordinance, has been supplemented to include additional parcels dedicated to increasing affordable housing opportunities and providing a CIP fund stimulus. Now, the plan recommends four additional parcels go to the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust and three additional parcels be conveyed to non-profit affordable housing organizations for affordable development. The plan also identifies four more high-value parcels to convey to developers at a competitive rate. The plan also specifies that if the Richmond School Board officially declares any former public school buildings surplus, then future use opportunities for those parcels could be brought before Richmond City Council. The Biennial Real Estate Plan is a set of non-binding proposals reflective of the city’s real estate pri