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gonna be a long one folks.
we got out before ten last time. not gonna be so lucky tonight. couple of public hearings, including one on the police civilian review board.
this meeting started 9 minutes ago. allegedly. why did they bother moving the start time back half an hour if they can’t actually start until 7 ever?
councilors are s l o w l y finding their seats. lots of hand shaking with the new police chief.
city manager maurice jones introducing his office’s pick for the new police chief now.
after a lengthy description of the selection process & all the parties involved, maurice showed his true colors saying “...*I* have picked...”
the only applause was an awkward and lone four or five claps from wes.
chief brackney: i know this town has been through a lot, “i am not here to add to your burden.”
she asks us to be “patient” and “kind” as this process moves forward.
fuck you.
new police chief brackney, urging civility: “there is a person behind each and every one of the statements” out of the city.
yeah and everyone the police abuse, incarcerate, assault, disrespect, and murder is a person, too.
abolish the police.
former mayor dave morris now reporting back about the sister city commission trip to ghana.
the trip took a deep dive into the history of the transatlantic slave trade. past delegations averaged 10 members — this trip was 56!
i followed the trip through friends’ social media posts while they were gone!
the theme was “homegoing.” it sounds like it was a very powerful trip.
dave reminds us that slaves were auctioned in charlottesville just blocks from here at court square.
a local poet & businesswoman & member of the delegation to ghana is reading a poem she wrote for the trip. enthusiastic applause from a very full house ❤️💚🖤
mayor nikuyah walker, charlottesville’s first african american female mayor, says she is still processing the ghana trip. she’s speaking on the horrors of the slave trade & the sites they visited, places where slaves were killed for daring to resist colonizers and slave traders.
mayor walker:
“there is no more patience”
“the abuses did not stop. they only transformed.”
“‘most of the time people push to the comfort place and they don’t want to push past it. but we’re gonna have to push past it.”
she’s speaking in the context of the trip to ghana, about the centuries long struggle, about the slave trade, about asking people to be patient with change... but it is clear to me that she is subtly, powerfully calling out our new police chief.
kathy is reading a proclamation about national public works week. anticlimactic.
jones says there were no public comments from the last meeting that required a response from his office but he does have this powerpoint for us
he seems awful proud of himself for their hard work banning “a large number of items” from public demonstrations, now touting the success of the militia lawsuit — several groups have already settled & agreed not to return to cville armed under their banners.
don’t let it fool you — that lawsuit is bad on every level. not only does it not really prevent those people from coming back, it’s a scary precedent. redneck revolt is still fighting it.
far too little, way too late
maurice jones is an automaton. he continued reading the lukewarm powerpoint, a list of half steps and weak measures, as jeff fogel stood and yelled at him to fire gary pleasants.
nikuyah tiredly reminds the audience that public comment is later. mike asks jones who the public can contact with questions.
heather now reading names of folks appointed to city boards and commissions. keith woodard seems like a problematic pick for planning...
now on to matters by the public. the first name is someone who didn’t show. mary carey up now ✊❤️
she congratulates jones on answering her email promptly, for once. god love her.
she’s talking about the tree blocking visibility at the intersection on cherry again. it’s unsafe!
mary carey admonishes kathy for saying so often that she’s the oldest sitting councilor. mary: “i’m the oldest speaker! i’ve been comin’ in here since before he (councilor bellamy) was born!”
another good comrade at the mic: “there’s been no police accountability” since the events of last summer.
he has concerns about new chief brackney - she’s said she won’t investigate police misconduct re: A12.
“this is really concerning - she hasn’t even taken office yet.” what is she basing this decision on? the heaphy report? this report was paid for by the city & deeply flawed. how can she determine now that there should be no further investigation of police conduct last summer?
a very nice white lady has some concerns about racism & more training for white people about racism. interesting that she got a robust, sincere response from mike while the previous speaker didn’t get a word from the dais.
aaaaaaand mr civility is up. no thanks.
wow this dude literally cannot fucking stop with his crusade to rename emancipation park “swanson legacy park.”
buddy, there’s a process. the community agreed on a process. a long, tedious, ridiculous process. but your weird one man crusade isn’t part of it.
brendan is the real MVP. he couldn’t be here tonight but he’s still got this message for mr civility 😂🔥

next speaker is addressing mental health awareness month. virginia has a very serious shortage of beds in mental health facilities. folks in crisis can spend 48 hours in the ER waiting for help. this is unacceptable.
kathy is responding cattily to someone’s comment about what she called a “city sponsored gentrification program.” the city is giving away small, ornamental trees under the guise of environment improvement... but they have to go in front yards. it’s about property values.
“why aren’t we giving away big trees people can put in their backyards where they can enjoy them with their friends & families?” lena has a point. kathy needs to get phrases like “social equity” out of her mouth.
lena is a former member of the tree commission & knows her stuff.
star: “i’m appalled that the new police chief does not want to investigate” A12. “some of us cannot leave last summer behind” — star just had her fourth surgery on the leg james fields broke with his car because the city failed to place the proper barriers on 4th st.
star: “our pain will not let us leave last summer behind.”
star demands that they look at her scars. fields broke her back in two places. she had 18 screws in her leg.
not a fucking word from the dais. no response.
brandon is up to talk about the land bank, but he can’t get started without addressing star’s comment.
“we hope our new chief will stand up for us and protect us.”
brandon tells council NOT to pass the land bank ordinance tonight if they can’t get it right.
ms rosia is speaking some necessary truth. she is hurting but so powerful. “compassion is late. too late for the ones that are hurting.”
she is furious at the expectation that people who have suffered should be asked to be PATIENT again and again.
so much love for this woman.
a man just got up to complain about panhandlers... quickly devolved into him saying “black people have darker skin than white people but we all bleed the same.”
he pointed as wes and said something unintelligible about their palms being the same color.
he told BLM activist ms katrina that she “deserved” to be treated badly.
what the fuck is ever happening in this room.
there was a brief disorder, some chanting of “black lives matter.” a few people left (without being asked) but not one word from the dais.
nancy is hitting a lot of great points tonight.
- closing the downtown mall traffic crossings would save the city a lot of money.
- what has DBAC done with the $75k?
- fire gary pleasants
speaker up to talk about the comprehensive plan, but starts by noting that “checking the anti racism box by attending an implicit bias training is basically like doing nothing” — nikuyah expressed a similar sentiment earlier tonight.
she has some VERY good points about the facade of “community engagement” surrounding the comprehensive plan. i’d love to get a copy of these talking points. i’ll try to transcribe portions of it, at least, from the video later.
end of matters by the public. brief recess.
there is so much agenda left 😩
it ain’t a charlottesville city council meeting without some nasty racist piece of shit causing a scene. BYE ANTHONY.
asshole’s public comment was violently anti homeless. he said he “had a choice” whether or not to run over panhandlers with his car. that’s the wrong fucking thing to say in cville.
nancy says he has a history of cutting down homeless folks’ tents.
we chased him all the way out.
8:30am: in court to see a nazi plead guilty for nearly beating a black man to death.
8:30pm: chased a racist out of city hall.
just another day in charlottesville.
back in chambers just in time to see council approve the appointment of the new police chief. polite applause from the dais and nowhere else.
now for the pubic hearing on the police civilian review board.
jones providing a brief summary of the process so far. 7 people will be appointed by council for a one year term. this board will set the bylaws for the CRB.
“our city is in crisis. it’s a crisis brought about by the behavior of our own police department.” comrade jim, a candidate for the CRB, up first.
brendan did an incredible job live tweeting the CRB candidates’ forum last month! that thread is here, if you missed it:

walt calling for accountability & an investigation into city’s failures last summer. jones’ powerpoint talked about importance of rebuilding public trust... that requires accountability.
firing the last police chief ain’t enough. the entire culture of CPD needs to be addressed.
“you have to do a cultural review of the police department and i don’t think it’s up to the police chief to do that.”
we need an INDEPENDENT review board. a strong one.
ms katrina asking if the new chief’s statement that she won’t investigate the events of last summer means she won’t address ANY past complaints. good question.
ms katrina is at the mic pouring her heart out about police abuse. our new police chief is sitting in the front row, texting and looking bored.
ms rosia: “i have had several white officers put their hands on me.”
she was gassed twice at the klan rally last summer.
mike’s face when black women talk
gotta give it up to our new communications director, though. you can watch this nightmare of a meeting live right here on twitter!
“someone who goes against command orders to gas antiracist protestors should not be granted the graciousness to resign” - nancy calling for the firing of gary “you’re damn right i gassed ‘em” pleasants.
gary pleasants has no right to “protect & serve” this communitywJCO
how can cops protect us from the klan when COPS ARE THE KLAN?

this town doesn’t deserve mary carey ❤️✊
will whichever local high school government teacher who’s obviously giving extra credit for public comment at city council please stop doing it? this isn’t a game.
jeff fogel: how can this board be truly independent if it’s politicians selecting the members of the body?
the city doesn’t have a history of being forthcoming when it comes to information we need to hold police accountable. they went to court to try to get out of releasing stop & frisk stats.
“i urge you not to call it ‘responses to the public’ and instead call it ‘’mr jones’ opportunity to say whatever he wants’”
tell ‘im jeff!
dear comrade at the mic raising the issue of militarization of the police — they deployed chemical weapons against city residents.
“more and more, they’re acting like an occupying force.”
our comrade reminds mr jones that we never got answers about the man @CvilleDSA saw knocked unconscious in december.
disarm the police. abolish the police.
the speaker says he wouldn’t be surprised if the escalating police violence led to a death here. the police are surprised it hasn’t already.
next speaker talking about the black mamas bail out. they were unable to bail out any mamas this year... not because of lack of funds or incarcerated women, but because nonviolent offenders are being held in pretrial detention without bond.
meanwhile richard preston, a klan wizard CONVICTED OF SHOOTING AT A MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY, is out of jail awaiting sentencing. tyler davis, who beat deandre harris with a heavy wooden pole, is home in florida until trial.
support the work of @CvilleFund — they may not have found any black mamas to bail out for mother’s day, but they do good work here in this community. ❤️✊
for those not familiar with the cases i mentioned above, both preston & davis are violent white supremacists who nearly killed black men in this city on august 12. black women are rotting in jail, before trial!, for check fraud but tyler davis is comfortable in his florida home.
luis calling out the city’s failure to search for sage smith. sage is a young black trans woman who has been missing for five and a half years.
mark reiterating the calls for accountability for the failure to search for sage & reminds us of the CPD officer who was fired after ADMITTING to repeatedly raping a black woman... but the city failed to convict.
no one has been held accountable for jeff fogel’s unjust arrest last summer. no one has been held accountable for police failure to stop the violence on A12. no one has been held accountable for the police violence at the klan rally on july 8.
no one has been held accountable for gary pleasants gassing antiracist activists on J8. he’s about to retire with a full pension. no one has been held accountable for the outrageously racist stop & frisk stats.

no one. has been. held accountable.
“do we really need people with guns doing social work?”
disarm the police.
man up now taking the city to task: the people who came here to do violence last summer were identified by community activists, by @ShaunKing, by propublica. not our police. some of those ID’ed have not been charged!
“it makes me wonder what our police have been doing.”
who makes these estimates? it’s been an hour already. they had to know this would take more than 15 minutes.
mike signer now saying some of the delay in charging these men is that the police need to make sure they have all the information they need “to win in court.”
mike, you’re AN ATTORNEY. you know the prosecutor’s office does that, not the cops, right?
“i’m coming from a very lived experience,” mayor walker talking about her experience growing up in charlottesville. sage is a member of her community. her friends are among the missing, those failed by the police.
“i will do my best to honor it [what comes of the CRB]”
lotta folks got up to leave at the end of the hearing on the CRB. there was talk of taking a break... but i think they are moving on to a hearing on closing an alley. sanctioned or not, i’m taking a break. sorry to miss this riveting alley talk.
ok ok, babysitting this city means the boring parts, too. walked back in just in time to hear the city attorney say someone’s garage is 1.3ft over a property line 🙄
kathy motions to deny the ordinance to close the alley: “alleys are very much a way to access property without impinging upon” the public right of way, limit conflict points between pedestrians and cars.
kathy says we should endeavor to “preserve and activate” the alleys we have.
city has in the past, by default, vacated alleys. she says we should by default be preserving alleys. this is A THRILL RIDE.
“a growing body of city policy seems to be in the wrong direction.” well kathy i agree, but i wish you’d have used this line in other discussions.
5-0 vote to deny closing the alley. kathy proposes a new policy on alleys.
one cool thing that i just remembered is that i made dinner at 4pm but got sidetracked packing up my chalk before the CRB rally and left it uneaten on the kitchen counter.
glad i got the chalk out in time, though.
a lot of confusion right now about how many votes they need to get more information to maybe talk about alleys later.
it’s ten pm. this is agenda item three.
these developers want 64sq feet of public right of way so they can build their building in a more visually pleasing way? they want to barter some other land for it.
more information on p.139-145 of the agenda background.
member of the public raises a concern that this would affect access to the bus stop on water street. nikuyah says it would not.
mike discloses that a party to this issue is a past client, but the city attorney advises it is not a current conflict of interest. wow, it’d be nice if he disclosed his conflicts more often, like when he votes to give sweetheart deals to campaign donor developer woodard.
brief recess before we get to the rest of this endless agenda. another 90 minutes feels like a conservative estimate.
remember last time when we finished by ten? that was amazing.
the threat is nazis. please venmo me $100,000.
just close the vehicle crossings on the mall.
signer has questions how they arrived on the “very round” $100,000 figure. what’s the basis for this?
public works director’s response is roundabout, says the consultant exposes themselves to “a lot of risk,” legal liability for the engineering firm that does the design.
mike pushes back — this phase of the project isn’t even including design & engineering. what’s the liability of just doing the study? the response is still very opaque to me. so many layers of consultants involved here.
mike: “that’s more information, but it doesn’t exactly answer my question. it’s expensive because they have an insurance premium?”
the answer still makes no sense.
sounds like he’s saying any implementation based on the assessment could result in legal liability to the consultant who authored the original study.
everyone is more afraid of being sued than of us losing our lives.
jones: this is a longer term issue, other steps must be taken to secure the mall now, but this isn’t going to be resolved in the next few months.
buddy, you better be ready for this summer.
nikuyah points out that folks who commit terror attacks work around the measures in place. we can’t plan for all the ‘what-ifs.’
jones says he thinks this $100,000 study is the only way to move forward. where exactly is this money going? has there been an RFP for the consulting on this?
nikuyah wants to know what else we’re talking about besides street closures. (we can’t possibly be paying $100,000 to a consultant to come up with ways to keep cars off the mall, right? there has to be more to this! it seems like there... isn’t)
heather clarifies - the scope of the study is just water st to market st, the pavilion to the omni. just the mall. and traffic studies to see how the changes would affect downtown traffic.
“it feels like we’re missing something here. there should be facts...” mike is struggling to get this guy to justify this cost in any concrete way. I AGREE. let’s see some itemized costs. any kind of budget.
“tons of people made tons of money... there were a lot of round figure contracts” in the post 9/11 world of security consultants. (agreeing with mike feels weird but he’s right!)

response: “it’s probably suspiciously round because i rounded it.” THIS GUY
kathy says this is a “relatively small project” and is comfortable with the public works guy’s explanation. what explanation? where did this number come from?
wes moves to approve the allocation. kathy seconds.
mike: “i think we owe it to the public” to get more information about this money. “there’s no rationale here.”
the motion carries 3-2 with nikuyah & mike dissenting, “for different reasons,” she says dryiG6K
on to the next one. there is no possible way this doesn’t take at LEAST another hour.
11pm, chambers mostly empty. councilors getting loopy.
the chairman of the housing advisory committee is still talking. i’m so sorry i stopped listening for a few minutes.
kathy: “i’m just not sure i can process anything you just said. i just wanna vote on an ordinance.”
that’s a disheartening pair of statements.
nikuyah: “so what’s the answer to that?”
HAC chair: “why should it exist?”
nikuyah: “yes.”
HAC chair says the land bank is a “partnering tool” that is more agile, “can move things toward the proper direction.”
wes: sounds like a duplication of what the housing authority can already do?
wes says he’s using “jargon,” seems to be accusing him of obfuscating.
wes to the HAC chair: “i have the utmost respect for you, but it sounds a little underhanded.”
gettin’ spicy.
Wes: “how in good conscience would it be fair for me to make a decision” based on a doc the HAC chair wrote THIS AFTERNOON that hasn’t been shared with or commented on by CLIHC or other community partners.
chair is really whining about how he didn’t have time to do his homework
as brandon said in his public comment: if you can’t do it RIGHT, don’t vote for this tonight. it sounds like this isn’t ready to go.
nikuyah wonders how this can be the tool to create affordable housing if the plan doesn’t even define affordable housing in the way we should be talking about it.
kathy cuts in to officiously read a portion of the ordinance.
“we’re going to need a whole quiver of arrows”
“we’re building the plane while flying.”
someone put kathy to bed. she’s speaking only in nonsense corporate meeting buzz phrases.
they keep staaaarting to agree to table this, then getting back into it. they’re 15 minutes over the 20 minutes allotted to this item. it’s clear that no one came prepared. as usual.
kathy says, rightfully, that they can’t be getting information the night of the meeting. this matter has been deferred to a work session.
one laaaaaaast report, then @Jalane_Schmidt is up to request funding for the equal justice intiative lynching memorial trip.
“a choice is made by a pedestrian to go past the point where you’re supposed to go,” assistant city manager shrugs off the danger to pedestrians crossing main street where the construction has changed pedestrian traffic patterns.
putting in a crosswalk would make the city liable for anyone hit crossing the street. so we let ‘em get hit anyway, but at least this way you can’t get sued?
mike asks if we can just make the crosswalk and buy extra liability insurance in case someone dies using it.
all anyone cares about is getting sued.
mike looks exasperated & asks how long the construction is expected to go on. no one knows. the developer probably gave an estimate early in the process, but there’s no penalty for not sticking to it.
i feel like usually when you get sick, it either happens so slowly you can’t pinpoint the moment it came on or you just WAKE UP sick one morning. folks, i’ve been in this meeting so long that i wasn’t sick when i got here but i am now. please god let this end.
a woman in the gallery is arguing with the city employee at the podium about construction vehicles parking where she used to put out her trash cans.
and @Jalane_Schmidt’s up! she opened with a very chipper “good morning!” because it is now after midnight.
mike says he has a hard time allocating funds to “a trip” “because of the precedent that it sets.”
“where do we draw the line?”
he says maybe $5000 would be ok; $55,000 is being requested. the city schools have already pledged $10k to the total $65k amount needed.
wes: “i understand councilor signer’s concern about being fiscally responsible, but this is what we discussed when we talked about moving our community forward”
kathy: this project is in keeping with the vision & mission of the blue ribbon commission, there are many pools of money they can draw from. she’s in full support of this pilgrimage.
nikuyah encourages council to think about all the times in the past they’ve given money to projects that have hindered causes like this.
mike is doubling down and digging a very racist hole.
wow it’s 12:20am and this very fragile white man is playing devil’s advocate about money for a lynching memorial.
have your tantrum, mikey. no one is on your side. you aren’t gonna change the vote, you’re just embarrassing yourself. keep digging that hole.
wes has packed his backpack and is sitting with it on his lap. he’s ready to GO. he motions to put the allocation on the next consent agenda, kathy seconds. mike is pouting.
heather WHY? how DARE you say “one more thing” at 12:25am?
i just looked around and noticed there is exactly one other person still sitting in the gallery.
something about oversight for the millions of dollars they contributed to the tourism board? sure, seems minor.
no one wants to do it. they’re scrambling. wes nominates mike & kathy, says they can rock paper scissors for who has to do it. sounds like they ended up picking kathy? i don’t know. we’re adjourned.
they issued the perfunctory call for additional matters by the public to the deserted chambers. mike looked at me, “ms molly? nothing?” i don’t even have the energy to offer him more than a withering look. i’m going home.
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