Good morning, RVA! It's 56 °F, and rather than rain all day it looks like we’ll have a decent chance for storms just between 12:00 and 4:00 PM. Expect temperatures to rocket up to the mid 70s, too. Weird Election Day weather, but I’ll take it.
Police are reporting two separate murders that took place over the last couple of days. Early Sunday morning, Aaron T. Brockington, 30, was shot to death on the 2100 block of Deforrest Street. Then, midday on Monday, Jerome Williams, 52, was fatally shot on the 1200 block of Lakeview Avenue. These are the second and third murders in the City over the last week.
It is Election Day! Polls are open from 6:00 AM–7:00 PM. You can figure out all of your ballot stuff (including polling location) by typing your address into this form on the Department of Elections website—and make sure you bring your ID! To help you get around and cast your vote, especially if the rains begins this afternoon, all local buses within the city limits are free today. If the bus doesn’t get you where/when you need to go, both Uber and Lyft are offering discounts as well. As results trickle in tonight, I imagine there will be a few places to track the data live—keep an eye on the Department of Elections results page, the Virginia Public Access Project, and maybe even a few hobbyist sites. Have your bourbons and beers at the ready, and buckle in for what will most likely be a long night. But! First make sure you go vote!
Housing watch: J. Elias O’Neal at Richmond BizSense says the first units at the former American Tobacco Co. complex are just about finished. This project includes “income-based” apartments, but I’m not sure exactly what the income requirements are or how affordable they may be. More housing all the time, everywhere!
Today, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Michael Paul Williams has a piece demanding that City Council fully restore the over $2 million they stole from the Percent for Arts Fund last budget season 💸. I’ve talked about this a ton of times already and will continue to until Council makes it right.
I’m on page 152 of the Coliseum redevelopment proposal PDF (out of 181 total pages), and I continue to post thoughts as I have them in this Twitter thread. I’m also continuing to collect questions folks may have, so, please, send them my way if you got ’em.
Remember how VCU cancelled their university-wide commencement because the Coliseum could, potentially, be reduced to rubble by then? President Rao has reversed course and now says, “Fortunately, some venues across the region that were previously unavailable may now be options for us.“ Hmmm, I’m trying to think of a space in one of the counties big enough to hold all of those VCU students. Maybe a super big church? I know it’s not “across the region” but is the train shed big enough? Hmmmm, I say, hmmmm!
Michelle Hankerson at the Virginia Mercury has a good explainer on Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, a case in front of the Supreme Court as we speak. The Washington Post has updates from yesterday’s deliberations.
What’s better than beautiful drone photos of Richmond? How about beautiful drone video of Richmond?? This one is extra soothing.
This morning's longread
This is, admittedly, a very intense longread for Election Day. May it gild your voting plans and stick with you on your way to the polls.
So much of what is at stake is the definition of “us”, “ours” and “we”. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,” says the preamble to the constitution. It was murky about who “we” were, and who “the people” were. That document apportions each state’s representation according to “whole Number of free Persons, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons”. “All other persons” is a polite way of saying enslaved black people, who found the union pretty imperfect. “Who’s your ‘us’?” could be what we ask each other and our elected officials.
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