I’ll be live tweeting this event on this thread! #RVACouncil #RPSBoard
We’re getting the tech sorted in preparation of getting started. Sounds like we’re starting with #RVACouncil candidates first so you’ll want to follow @williefor3rd, @ElaineRVA3rd, and @AnnCan2020.
First each candidate will give a 3 minute intro. @AnnCan2020 starts. She wants to make RVA #1. Preserving history for future generations is the theme of her campaign. Says we have to deal with systematic racist policies of the past. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 continues by listing her policy filled work background. Her dog is chiming in! I want to see the puppersss. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd is up next. She’s an 18 year resident of Richmond. She’s a RPS parent. Has devoted her life to making a difference through non profits. Says she will prioritize what she’s been hearing from 3rd district residents: city services, public schools, local businesses,
affordable housing. @ElaineRVA3rd says she’ll use a lens of equity for all policy decisions and will use transparency, accountability, and accessibility. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
Next is @williefor3rd. Willie is a Northside native and has worked in community engagement for 15 years+. He has a lot of community org experience. Says our city is dealing with a transformation. He’s an affordable housing advocate. Wants to push property tax reform. #RVACouncil
.@williefor3rd says he’s already doing the work as a leader in the community and now he wants to step up to make it happen in a different role. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q1. Discuss incentives to spur economic development, especially among small and minority-owned businesses in #RichmondVA and what specific plans do you have for local #COVID19 economic recovery? #RVA #RVACouncil
First up is @AnnCan2020. She is a former restaurant owner and totally understands the crisis. She’s looking to bring a vertical farm to lessen the carbon footprint. She’s looking to bring some kind of tax incentive. And that’s time. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
Next is @ElaineRVA3rd. She’s talking about her past experience with a low cost loan program that was matched with technical assistance. Says that’s where they need to invest. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
Now is @williefor3rd who is president of brookland Park area association. As that he’s been advocating for loans. They’ve also advocated for zoning changes. Says he wants to advocate for federal dollars as well.
#RVA3rd Q2. In the #BrooklandParkBlvd area there are many commercial buildings purchased and left unimproved; how will you encourage or require developers to put these properties to use and what assistance would you offer for aspiring business owners to fill those properties?
.@ElaineRVA3rd says when you enter into an agreement there’s a clear contract and community benefits agreement with a timeline for development. If they aren’t living up to their end, need to have an out. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd praises work @williefor3rd is doing on BPB.
.@williefor3rd says the bank building was a sweetheart deal the previous councilman gave to someone and he would never give away anything like that. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 says we need to talk about access to capital. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q3 Many long-time resident-homeowners of our neighborhoods are facing housing insecurity as property taxes and maintenance costs put their homeownership at risk; what programs will you support to assist these homeowners to keep them from losing their homes? #RVA
.@williefor3rd is an affordable housing advocate and started a non profit last year for that. He wants to see happen is improving access to existing tax relief programs. Thinks tax abatement program needs to be reconsidered as it benefits mostly developers. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 supports the housing trust fund. Open to exploring affordable home ownership options like SIP panels. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd would like to see an ombudsman program to work with seniors or work with VCU to create a home visiting program. Make sure they are connected to Project Homes for weatherization. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q4 What do you see as the root cause or causes of economic disparity along racial lines in our city and how do you propose to address the issue? #RVA
.@AnnCan2020 says we gotta talk about systematic racism. Speaks on the highway going through JWard and displacing black residents creating disparities. Says we have to deal with our history. She’s a bridge builder. Look at ordinances on the books today. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd says look at policies of the past and current day. Brings up redlining and access to capital. Says in the 3rd we have Gilpin Court— white housing built on black homeownership. Need to look at redevelopment of Gilpin with 1 for 1 replacement and resident voices.
.@williefor3rd says redlining is cause of biggest disparities. Give voices to the voiceless. Brings up subtle racism of things like the trees on BPB that were removed in 2005 and never replaced but now trees are suddenly back. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q5 The neighborhoods of our district are in transition, and the needs and priorities of residents are often divided along socioeconomic and racial lines. What are your plans for understanding, engaging and supporting the needs of all residents? #RVA
.@ElaineRVA3rd says she’ll be accessible and responsive but also out in the community with regular office hours. Also take advantage of virtual tools. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@williefor3rd is the head of a historic collaborative that does community engagement. Says he’s been there and will continue to be there and accessible. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 says she’s open for ideas and here to listen. Says Gilpin Court needs to be called North Jackson Ward. Says they will have town halls and community meetings with virtual connectivity. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q6 Due to the economic impact of #COVID19, we’re assuming that there will be larger impacts to the #RichmondVA budget. What are your thoughts on the state of Richmond’s budget? And what would be your plans to fund the programs that you’re advocating. #RVA
.@williefor3rd says #RVAMayor’s projections on revenue are “out there.” He would propose a split rate property tax reform measure. Also says go through the waste to clean up what’s going on in city hall.
.@AnnCan2020 says need to look at the mandated requirements by the state and city charter then look at the cuts. One suggestion is non departmental budget. Need to look at capital improvement projects. Leverage partnerships with state/federal govt for shortfall. #RVACouncil
.@ElaineRVA3rd sees a couple tough budget seasons due to COVID. Work to bring new businesses to the city that want to be here. Also says hold city departments accountable with performance based management plans. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q7 What types of reforms do you believe are needed for the Richmond Police Department, and can you discuss how those changes would be funded? #RPD #RVA
.@AnnCan2020 says let’s not talk about defunding police but about transforming police. Says training. Transparency. Accountability. Thinks the Dept knows who the bad cops are and we have to address it. Says it comes back to education. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd says the civilian review board. Says that would help repair the trust with community and police. Also says the #MarcusAlert. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@williefor3rd says we have a state wide reform issue with policing. Brings up regressive nature of VCU PD. Doesn’t like word defunding police. Supports civilian review board & #MarcusAlert. Says we need to demilitarize the police and invest the funds into affected communities.
#RVA3rd Q8 In the past few years there have been transit expansions with the GRTC and added bike lanes, like on Brook Road. Do you support a similar rapid transit service through our district, and what type of transportation enhancements would you propose if elected? #GRTC #RVA
.@ElaineRVA3rd brings up the regional transit authority. Would be supportive of using those additional funds to expand frequency of high service routes. Need to work with riders to identify opportunities for growth. Brings up shelters/benches. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@williefor3rd he’s advocating for expanding services in low income communities and places that lost service when the Pulse came around. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 yes she supports it and expanding through the region. Need more bus stops and trash cans at bus stops. Oh, fun fact! She’s a rollerblader who utilizes the bike lanes. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd Q9 What do you see as the biggest opportunities for support/change in our district? How will you address these opportunities in your first year in office? #RVA
.@williefor3rd says the chance to do something meaningful within communities like housing services. Now is the time to put policies into place that keep people in their homes. Also needs retail revenue along Chamberlayne and near VUU. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@AnnCan2020 speaks on propelling youth to empowerment so they have opportunities to grow when they graduate. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
.@ElaineRVA3rd says in short term the removal of the AP Hill monument as it’s a monument to white supremacy that’s also a major traffic hazard. #RVACouncil #RVA3rd
Intros first! @kenyaRVA is the incumbent who ran because she thinks communities thrive when they are empowered. She’s talking about all the wins she’s had with the community for the schools. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
.@better2gether20 is the PTA president at Barack Obama. She’s taught special ed. Is running for #RPSBoard because during rezoning there was a lack of trust with community and schools. #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd School Board Q1 Please talk a little about our operating expenses per student (including how you believe that funding is allocated today and where you’d like it to be) and any plans you have to address funding inefficiencies and deficiencies.
.@better2gether20 says it’s high because we have a high need population. Also VA as a whole spends less on their students than other places. Says students need services and appropriate curriculum. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
.@kenyaRVA says this is as designed because of Title 1. The unfortunate thing is while they get more money, we don’t know how much is really needed to level the playing field. She’ll continue to advocate for more money. Calls for enhanced transparency. More adults in building.
#RVA3rd Q2 Without a doubt, #COVID19 will impact the City and School District’s funding. Assuming there will be hard budget choices in 2021, where should the city prioritize available funds & how do you think we can improve education now, even if future budget doesn’t increase?
.@kenyaRVA hopes the budget can remain flat. Without an increase the future board would have to look at cuts which is a hard convo because there’s not a lot of fluff in the budget. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
Cora Jean has been riveted by this #RVA3rd forum. #RVACouncil #RPSBoard
.@better2gether20 says they would have to wait and see what happens with covid and the impact. If there is a budget shortfall they could work with local partnerships to fill the gap. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd School Board Q3 Can you talk about the state of the city school facilities and where you will prioritize spending between facility improvements and new school construction?
.@better2gether20 is worried that we aren’t providing maintenance for existing schools while being focused on building new schools. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
.@kenyaRVA says maintenance and new build comes from separate budgets. Maintenance budget is very low. Says they have cut number of custodians in buildings. Says a facilities audit was never completed. Focus now is getting buildings ready for COVID times. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd School Board Q4 What do you think is the state of diversity and equality in the Richmond Public School Schools, and what is your vision for racially & economically diversifying RPS schools?
.@kenyaRVA speaks on the need for an equity audit. Also discipline is a hot topic. African American and special needs students that undergo discipline is disproportionately high. That’s a current discussion with #RPSBoard. #RVA3rd
.@better2gether20 says schools are very segregated and this disproportionately impacts PTAs. Needs one large PTA. Another piece is discipline piece by looking at SCORE and an equity committee. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
Mediator
@lewisnelson
: Late last year School Board veered away from a controversial elem. school pairing proposal many believed would make our schools more racially balanced and approved a rezoning measure that saw no change to the 3rd District elem. zones.
#RVA3rd School Board Q5 Can you discuss briefly what role rezoning plays in creating more equitable schools and what rezoning plans, if any, you would support or advocate within the 3rd District over the next four years?
.@better2gether20 wants to undo some of the rezoning that is already there when Holton was built as they were drawn to be inequitable. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
.@kenyaRVA says racial justice is really about funding. Says Holton PTA budget was less than $50K when she was president. Pairing proposal would have cost $1M. Says that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t get at larger issue. Need to look at open enrollment. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
#RVA3rd School Board Q6 What do you believe are the top 3 priorities for the Richmond Public Schools over the next four years?
.@kenyaRVA “all of the above.” All needs are at a critical level. Buildings falling apart. Discipline putting students in jail. Insufficient school support. Teacher retention. Everything matters. She pushes for good governance and participation. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
.@better2gether20 says lead by example and showing up at the schools then drive policy by that. Work on reading scores. Wrap around services for children. #RPSBoard #RVA3rd
And that’s the end of the forum. Shout out to North Central Civic Association for putting it together and our moderators/hosts @eric_axelson and @Lewis nelson! #RVACouncil #RPSBoard #RVA3rd

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