Good morning, RVA! It's 36 °F, and it is rainy. The rain and cooler temperatures should continue for most of the morning, and then, after a short respite, probably more rain overnight.
Last night City Council met and voted 8-0-1 to approve renaming the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard (ORD. 2018-228) with only Councilmember Trammell abstaining. RVA Dirt, as usual, covered the meeting and public comment live over on their Twitter if you’d like a blow-by-blow, and RVA Coffee Stain and Mayor Stoney were both brief and to the point in their immediate reactions to the vote. So! Step one of one million toward undoing the many ways systemic racism has impacted our City all the way down to the bones of its infrastructure complete! Related: I really like some of these additional, administrative next-steps that the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality proposed last night. Turning off the Confederate monuments’ spotlights seems particularly clever (as long as that doesn’t make the areas less safe for humans). Let’s get to work on step two of one million immediately. Michael Paul Williams puts it way better in his column today 💸: “Arthur Ashe Boulevard will not bind all wounds. But reconciliation should not be pain-free. We haven’t earned the right to complacency, or the audaciousness to cite inconvenience as a reason not to redress grievous wrongs, past and present. And as Councilman Michael Jones said Monday, we haven’t earned the right to be satisfied and stop this work because we’ve renamed a street.”
Remember yesterday, when Del. Patrick Hope was all set to kickoff a process to impeach Lt. Gov Fairfax? After circulating the draft of his resolution to do just that to a couple fellow Democrats—and not getting a ton of positive feedback—he decided to slowly back away from anything so drastic. Here’s his statement, which does still leave open impeachment as an option, but, honestly, seems unlikely at this point. Michael Paul Williams, again from the aforelinked column, nails it: “True reconciliation requires people in a position of power or privilege to give something up. Its practitioners do not demand reconciliation only on their own terms.”
I totally did not know about Diversity Richmond’s Black and Bold Awards, which recognize the leadership of Black LGBTQ Virginians! Now I do, though, thanks to this piece from Style Weekly’s Karen Newton. The Black and Bold Awards take place on February 15th at 8:00 PM at Virginia Union University. You can learn more on Diversity Richmond’s website, and, while you’re there, read the post titled “White people, where are you?”
Catherine Komp from WCVE has a good thread on Twitter about the history of Fulton and how it (should) provide context to a new, proposed development (PDF) just north of Rocketts. Not knowing a ton about this development, I can still tell you one thing, there’s way too much parking involved—especially for something so close to the highest-quality public transportation we have in the region.
The RTD has decided to quit syndicating Non Sequitur after the artist hid some disparaging four-letter words about Trump in a recent comic. I get it, but this statement from the paper seems a little much: “Non Sequitur has been popular among our readers, but the use of such foul and offensive language is unbecoming a newspaper that should be a model of civic discourse.” Yet they still syndicate folks like Walter Williams? He’s part of what they consider “a model of civic discourse?” OK.
This morning's patron longread
From Patron David. Bikes are and always will be rad!
As bad as you may think the roads are today, they are an endless stretch of undisturbed memory foam compared to the ass-shattering wagon tracks that passed for interstates in 1897. The rocky, rutted mud paths were so bad, in fact, that the men often opted to brave the predictable agony of riding along the railroad tracks instead. Even more ludicrous, many of the Burlington and Northern Pacific railways in the west were newly constructed, and oftentimes they lacked any ballast or gravel, meaning between railroad ties were nine-inch-deep holes up to two feet wide. To get some idea how this might have felt, take an old, heavy steel bike — one you don’t care about too much — and throw yourself and it down a 10-mile flight of stairs twice a day for a month.
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