Good morning, RVA! It's 63 °F, and it looks like our string of lovely, warm days is headed to a close. This afternoon, temperatures start to drop, drop, drop, and highs on Saturday will stay at or below 40 °F.
One week later, here are today’s updates on Virginia’s executive branch: The Virginia House Democrats have released a new statement that does not even mention the word resign. Meanwhile, Senators Warner and Kaine and Representatives Scott, Connolly, Beyer, McEachin, Luria, Spanberger, and Wexton released a different statement restating their call for Northam to resign, expressing shock at Herring, and noting their serious concern about Fairfax. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also issued another statement calling for Northam’s resignation but stopped short of calling for Herring to step down, saying “While we appreciate the candor of Attorney General Herring’s disclosure, we await further action on his part to reassure the citizens of the Commonwealth his fitness for leadership.” Al Sharpton was in town last night at VUU calling for both Northam and Herring to resign. Over on the other side of the aisle and down in the legislative branch, we found out that Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment‘s 1968 yearbook, which he was the managing editor for, is filled with awful racist garbage. He condemned the photos but did not apologize. OK! That’s a lot of differing opinions from a lot of different folks that all have different sorts of power. At the moment, the status quo feels held in place just from all the tension—that’s not tenable, though. At least not forever...right?
I love this headline from Ned Oliver in the Virginia Mercury: “Chaos envelopes the Capitol, but lawmakers from both parties insist (insist!) they can still do their jobs.”
Jonathan Spiers at Richmond BizSense says the old bank building on Brookland Park Boulevard should be renovated and up and running by the end of the year as a business incubator of sorts. We’ve not had a Brookland Park Boulevard update in a while, but that part of town is still rapidly changing—in both exciting and challenging ways.
The Washington Post has a column about tearing down Richmond’s Confederate monuments by...James Comey? I’m not sure I would have centered my argument around the lack of statues of James Longstreet, another Confederate general, but, hey, I’m not James Comey. What do I know?
Yesterday, AOC’s released her nonbinding resolution outlining the Green New Deal (PDF). This is a sweeping and broad plan to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers,” but it also looks at jobs, infrastructure, and justice. It’s an easy-to-read piece of legislation and outlines many of the steps we’ll need to take to reach these enormous goals—“clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation” is, of course, one of them. Since I spend lots of my time deep in Transit Twitter, I’ve seen some complaints that land use and sprawl aren’t addressed directly. Alex Baca has probably the best piece on this in Slate (although the title seems overly dramatic). If we want to address climate change we’ve got to reduce car trips, if we want to reduce car trips we’ve got to live near stuff, and if we want to live near stuff we’ve got to stop sprawling away from that stuff.
This morning's longread
Despite the headline, none of these photos are too gruesome, but, dang, people are intense!
I asked Winter Olympics athletes to send me pictures of their scars. I wanted to see the physical price they have paid for their dreams and the consequences of their pursuits of greatness. I wanted to know more once I started receiving them. I responded with interview questions about which injuries were the worst, and how they viewed the scars those injuries left behind, either from the original mishap or subsequent surgeries. I wanted to know whether they saw the wounds as things to be ashamed of and, if possible, eventually erased.
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