Written by Brandon Jarvis
In 2017, Richmond is a city that is focused on moving forward together as one. The country is divided, our state government is controversial, but RVA is still fighting to try and stay unified. January was one of the most violent months in the past 3 years. It was also Mayor Levar Stoney’s first month in office. He has been a beacon of light and hope for Richmonder’s that want to mute the outside noise.
Today, February 6th, Mayor Stoney announced that he is asking the Chief Administrative Officer to ignore the presidents orders and keep RVA as an inclusive city. “Our City will protect and promote polices of inclusion for all of its residents.” He also asked the police department to “Not consent to participate with the Immigrations Customs Enforcement 287(g) agreements”. Essentially he wants to make sure that Richmond is a safe city for all of its citizens. See his entire press release below.
January 1st was Levar Stoney’s first day as acting Mayor. On January 6th, the City of Richmond braced for its first snow storm of the season. This snow storm was the first test of the Mayor’s capabilities and leadership. The majority of citizens had positive reviews of the response from the city in plowing the streets.
“I think our Mayor ‘The Peoples Mayor’s’ really did a great job with this snow storm. He wants to show all of us that he really cares and he wants all us to know he is ready to lead as the ‘People’s Mayor'”. -Councilwoman Reva Trammell.
The Mayor was extremely visible on social media throughout the entire storm and RVA noticed.
“The visibility of Mayor Stoney over the last 48 hours and the outreach via social media and the news has been incredibly strong. I sincerely appreciate those efforts and I have heard from many folks in my district that they appreciate it too.” – Richmond Councilwoman Kristen Larson
He even went sledding for the first time in his life.
The country is in a state of transition that is scary to a lot of citizens. The President issued a ban on immigrants from 7 countries, primarily muslim countries. Richmond, and its citizens are known to be diverse and accepting. Our Mayor immediately responded and to the Presidents actions on Twitter.
“Denying federal funds to cities that are welcoming to immigrant communities is ill-informed, wrong and unconstitutional. #1RVA”
He even addressed the issue in his speech at the Richmond Police Academy graduation.
Richmonder’s have peacefully protested across the city since the Inauguration of President Trump. From the March on Monument, to the protestors walking across The Fan on the night of inauguration, Richmond made it clear that they will not stand for intolerance.
The March on Monument had a huge turnout with thousands of people that showed up to demonstrate. State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Congressman Donald McEachin joined the crowd.
“Hate cannot defeat hate, only love can do that,” McClellan said, paraphrasing MLK. “We fight like we’ve never fought before to make sure that all Americans are treated with dignity, love and respect.”
Multiple signs also displayed dissent toward President-elect Donald J. Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Seventy nine percent of people who voted in Richmond City on Nov. 8 voted for Hillary Clinton.
Richmond is not perfect by any means, we still have a lot of violence happening in our city limits. This is not a mayor problem, a citizen problem, or a police problem. This is a RICHMOND problem that we need to fight as one.
In the first month of 2017, the city experienced a very high homicide rate. 9 homicides to be exact.
Richmond is a city that wants to be safe for everyone to live and breathe without fear. WE ARE GREAT. This is not a political article, or an article trying to sway you against any type of political view. This is an article about the city that I love. I hope you love it too.