Good morning, RVA! It's 73 °F, and highs in the mid to upper 80s mean fall is still around the corner. You can expect more of the same until this weekend when temperatures should drop like whoa.
City Council will meet tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 PM. Big on the agenda tonight: RES. 2018-R073, Councilmember Jones’s resolution to ask the General Assembly to give the City the authority to take down Confederate monuments. This resolution is the barest minimum of progress towards removing our huge, offensive statues and really should pass Council unanimously—mostly because it doesn’t do much of anything. This is a non-binding resolution to ask the State to do a thing (which they probably will not do) and says absolutely nothing about whether or not we should actually do the work of taking down these monuments. I’m looking forward to hearing what reasons the Councilmembers who decided to vote against this resolution come up with. Also of note on the agenda: Free GRTC fares on Election Day, tax incentives for the developer of 400 Hull Street Road in Manchester, and an interesting ordinance from Councilmember Robinson that looks to clarify what we mean by “affordable housing.” I’ll let the housing folks tell me if that last one is a good idea or not.
It’s becoming weekly advice, but you should read Superintendent Kamras’s email after a hard week for Richmond Public Schools and a hard week for America in general. I want to quote a few sentences that are about schools but, I think, apply to the larger moment as well: “The brutal facts are clear: RPS is a system in crisis. We have a moral obligation to be honest about the injustices, inequities, and inefficiencies gripping our division. But we also have a moral obligation to be undeterred in our commitment to confronting and defeating them. We must not remain mired in despair and defeatism. Our children expect us to stand up and lead with courage and an unwavering sense of possibility. And that's exactly what we will do.”
Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury interviewed Del. Stephen Heretick, the Democrat who voted for the Republican redistricting Plan. His party was...not happy about that. In my opinion, every word in this piece is more evidence that we need nonpartisan redistricting in Virginia. If these sorts of shenanigans really stick in your craw, head over to OneVirginia2021 and get involved in the work to bring fair redistricting to the Commonwealth.
Reed Williams in the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a long report on housing available for women with children recovering from addiction. The picture is grim, but it does sound like several folks in the area are working to address the issue.
It is October! This means scary movies, haunted hayrides, and creepy decorations. I dislike actual Halloween night, but do really enjoy all the other spooky-adjacent stuff in this transitional month between summer and the High Holidays. All that to say: /r/RVA is looking for some haunted hayride/trails/house recommendations.
Over the weekend Virginia Union beat Lincoln University 90-0!? Six different humans scored rushing touchdowns for the Panthers. That’s just incredible.
This morning's longread
Something to think about today...
Meanwhile, communities of indigenous people lead calls to rename holidays evoking the name of Christopher Columbus. Though he was indeed a remarkable navigator and explorer, Columbus also led violent campaigns of enslavement and ushered in centuries of abuse and exploitation of native peoples in the Americas by European forces. Indigenous Peoples Day now replaces Columbus Day in at least 55 cities nationwide. In January the city council of San Jose, California, voted to remove a statue of Columbus from its city hall lobby. Like all other dialogues concerning memorializing controversial historical figures, the decision to boot Columbus from city hall was not an easy one, says council member Sylvia Arenas.
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