News & Thread:

I have made the decision to suspend my campaign for mayor.

Here's why 👇
Being a first-time candidate, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that in politics, money is far more important than ideas or platform. As a prudent economist, I have run the numbers and I do not think there is a large probability for me to be successful in this race.
In addition to that, I have found it's incredibly difficult to run a campaign solely on volunteers, and effectively engage potential voters in the age of COVID-19 (e.g. door-knocking). As an Independent, I do not have access to NGP-VAN, GIS mapping of voters, phone banks, etc.
That said, I am incredibly grateful for the people who have volunteered their time, energy, and effort; who have donated those to the campaign; and who believed in my platform and my ability to be a leader and facilitator. Y'all are great and I owe you the world.
However, I do believe there is value in pushing the discourse and showing alternatives to our current-state. To that end, I have decided to catch-up on my blog posts and continue them until the end of the race. I believe these ideas are worth further consideration and evaluation.
Another lesson learned is that many groups take "electability" (or odds of winning) into account, versus endorsing a candidate based on platform or ideas.

The issue is this only solidifies the "electable" candidate's odds of winning, rather than call attention to platform ideas.
If the election were today, I'd put Kim Gray having about an 80% chance of winning. Remember the demographics of who votes and who is (and is not) on Twitter. There is no value-judgement here (read: no should or should not), this simply is a statement of what is. This can change.
Remember, Richmond has a mini electoral college system, where it's not about who receives the most votes, but who wins 5 of the 9 council districts. I find this incredibly interesting from a strategy and game theory perspective, and I took this into account when estimating odds.
Another thought: all of the candidates seem to have grand ideas for programs and policies, yet no specifics on how we'll pay for them. I would encourage everyone to do their due diligence, and understand, in specifics, how these ideas will come to fruition.
I do very much believe a revenue crisis is brewing for the city. Many of the revenues from discretionary spending have fallen. Absent a surge in real estate property values (~40% of General Fund), the city may need to tap the Rainy Day Fund. No one has mentioned raising taxes.
Just to maintain "as-is" we'll need to make up lost tax revenues resulting from COVID-19. Then we'll need to have additional revenues to pay for these new programs. We could cut other areas (*cough* RPD *cough*) and/or become more efficient (mayoral salary as whistleblower fund).
Here's a screenshot of some of the current revenue sources, I think a good number of these will be negatively affected. See also page 64 of the Adopted Annual Fiscal Plan, here: richmondgov.com/Budget/documen…
Lastly, I'd encourage everyone to think of the remaining candidates and their motives. Follow the money, follow the connections (*cough* Commonwealth Victory Fund *cough*). Which are authentic? Which have platforms true to what you believe about them? Real eyes realize real lies.
And y'all, please, educate yourself. Take a walk in someone else's shoes. If it's not your experience, try to understand it. Listen to Tupac's Brenda's Got A Baby (1991), or Gil Scott-Heron's No Knock (1972). Read David Walker's Appeal (1830) or Jackson Rising (2017). Do more.

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