Good morning, RVA! It's 67 °F, and while today’s highs will stay in the mid 60s, expect some rain, possibly some thunderstorms early on, and lots of wind.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Virginia Union University will host a remembrance tonight at 6:15 PM in the chapel and will participate in a nationwide ringing of bells followed by a slate of several local speakers who will focus on the question “Where Do We Go From Here?” Michael Paul Williams, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, talks with Sen. Jennifer McClellan about King’s legacy in Virginia and the State’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission. He and the Senator remind us that King’s work extended well beyond his “I Have a Dream” speech and that we’ve still got a very long way to go.
Mike Sarahan has a column in the RTD about the Monument Avenue Commission’s public process—or lack thereof. Remember, the first, big, public Monument Avenue Commission meeting kind of went off the rails (here were my unsolicited suggestions on improving the format) and took place just a couple of days before the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. It’s totally understandable that moving forward in an entirely different landscape post-Charlottesville, the Commission would want to take things slow and be extra careful about the types of events and spaces they were creating. But, now, it’s time to move forward. If we’re committed to a public process, I agree with Sarahan: What we’ve done so far may check a ”public engagement” box, but does not succeed in a meaningful way. I wonder who’s in charge of the Commission and if the City needs to spend some money to hire a person or two to help support and organize their work? You can, of course, submit your own thoughts and opinions about what should be done to Monument Avenue over on the commission’s website.
I posted City Council’s fourth budget work session to the Boring Show, and it is by far the most interesting one to date. If you’re on the fence about listening to boring public meetings, give this one a shot—especially the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s presentation. Also during this meeting, Councilmember Trammell asked for a bunch of the original budget requests that the departments sent over to the Mayor’s office—the information he then used to construct the budget that Council now holds in their 18 hot little hands. The Mayor’s office denied this request, citing FOIA’s working papers exemption. I can totally see both why Trammell wants this information and why the Mayor’s office would not want to provide it. It sounded like the City Attorney was going to do some research and report back. See! Look at all the totally not boring stuff you’re missing out on by not listening to hours of public meetings!
It’s gardening season, which means I get to link to gardening-tips articles! Here’s one from Susan Higgins in Richmond Magazine about companion planting.
- Nats fell to the Braves, 6-13 and wrap that series up today at 12:10 PM.
This morning's longread
This piece comes from Bree Newsome, the woman who took down the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina state house.
Then, as now, getting arrested or jailed or associated with criminality in any fashion, whether in a hoodie or a suit and tie, was bound to upset the political establishment. When Black Lives Matter activists blocked traffic and engaged in other acts of mass civil disobedience, many white liberals and older black activists charged that King wouldn’t have approved of the type of disruption these protests caused. While the likes of King and Rosa Parks are now celebrated for their acts of defiance, their protests were no less controversial at the time, even within the civil-rights movement.
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