Once upon a time I ran a news site, now I just have opinions on the news. 

Good morning, RVA: Education advocacy howto, more parking meetings, and a $15 minimum wage

Good morning, RVA! It's 29 °F, and today we’ve got highs in the mid-30s, just above freezing. Richmond should be cold and grumpy, but definitely open for business.

Water cooler

It’s been awhile but RPS Superintendent Kamras is back with another email you should read. There’s lots to dig into in this issue, but I’m most interested in the links to the District’s 2019 legislative agenda (PDF), the Superintendent’s advice on how to get involved in state-level advocacy, and a neat toolkit (PDF) that’s got a lot of useful information for anyone wanting to advocate for anything at any level. I especially like that the legislative agenda exists as a public document so folks can know exactly what to yell at their state legislators about instead of just “more and better education funding.”

Richmond City Council met last night to approve a higher minimum wage for City employees, and Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details. I neglected to mention this yesterday, but the plan has been kicking around City Hall for a while. Also, committee assignments and appointments were announced! I don’t think the full listing exists on the internet anywhere, but I do have this incomplete picture via Councilmember Jones. With any luck, I’ll dig up a PDF later today.

The seemingly never ending Richmond 300 parking meetings are back! Tonight you can weigh in on the recommendations the parking consultants have come up with for Carytown from 6:00–7:30 PM at 2810 W. Cary Street. Scrolling around the Richmond 300 parking section, I just discovered that they’ve posted the recommendations for Brookland Park Boulevard / Six Points, Libbie / Grove / Patterson, and The Fan. For each of these, you can read through the findings, concerns, potential initiatives, and give your feedback. I haven’t looked through all of the materials, mostly because I didn’t know they existed until right now, but I’m already fascinated by the differences in the recommendations for each neighborhood. The “Most Common Concerns” sections will give you a good idea about how grumpy each neighborhood is about parking. For example, from the Libby / Grove / Patterson folks: “Traffic through the area is already heavy, so proposed solutions cannot reduce the width or number of travel lanes,” and, horrifyingly, “Interviews with community stakeholder groups indicated their was an interest in understanding the costs and benefits to converting existing public park lands in the area into surface parking lots.”

Awhaaaaaa? A $15 minimum wage bill escaped a Republican-controlled Senate committee in the General Assembly? Ned Oliver at the Virginia Mercury reports. There’s some deep, gross, state-level political strategy chatter in that story by Oliver, but I think I’ll choose to ignore it and believe that a wider conversation on progressive policies is usually a good thing. You can read the full text of SB 1200 here.

The latest episode of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast, episode 63, is up and ready for your listenage. On this episode I talk about my newish camera and my attempts to focus on photography as a hobby, and Sam introduces me to his passion for Constitutional law (and assigns me some homework).

This morning's longread

The Graphic Art of Incredibles 2

From Patron Caitlyn, here’s an incredible behind-the-scenes look at the art of Incredibles 2. Lots and lots to take in here—you won’t regret it!

I remember seeing the first Incredibles film in college with a few friends. We went on opening night and the theater was packed. I remember thinking that the way the movie opened with the old film footage of a younger Mr Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone being interviewed was such a different way to open an animated film, and it just got better from there. The whole thing was so stylized and just…cool. I loved the mid century aesthetic. When I got to Pixar and heard that they were working on a sequel, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I joined the Incredibles 2 art department in the Fall of 2016 and one of the first things we did as a group was take a research trip to Palm Springs. At the time, the story was still in its early stages and a few of the sets were under way. There was still a lot left to do and Palm Springs was the perfect one-stop-spot for us to find design inspiration.

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Good morning, RVA: Council committees, ERA progress, and a gluten-free pizza crawl.

Good morning, RVA: Crystalline city, lots of apartments, and the ABC update