Good morning, RVA! It's 75 °F, and, while warmer, today looks a lot like yesterday. Expect highs in the 90s and a chance for storms later this afternoon / evening.
The 2019 Arthur Ashe Boulevard Celebration kicks off today, and the list of planned events is pretty great. Tonight, you can catch the Social Justice Forum and a screening of Ashe ‘68 and Johnnie and Arthur (7:00–9:00 PM at the VMFA). The Big Unveiling takes place on Saturday at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture from 11:00 AM–12:30 PM and features keynote speaker Rep. John Lewis! Whoa!
Chuck Richardson has formally announced his candidacy for the 5th District City Council seat, says NBC12. That makes five candidates in the running (that I know about): Nicholas Da Silva, Stephanie Lynch, Jer’Mykeal McCoy, Chuck Richardson, and Thad Williamson. It’s a crowded field already, and we’ve still got a couple of months until the filing deadline. I’m excited, though! This race should be good practice for the 2020 City Council elections—which, for sure, will be PACKED with candidates.
Mark Robinson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details on RRHA selling 55 vacant lots on the Southside to the Southside Development and Housing Corporation and the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. Out of those 55, 50 will end up as affordable housing—with the 21 heading to the Land Trust made permanently affordable. Robinson also dips into a bit of the history of Blackwell and the broken promises of public housing redevelopment that neighborhood has seen over the last 25 years (see below for more).
Whittney Evans has an interesting piece over on WCVE about outgoing Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring, cime in the City, and public housing neighborhoods. After a bunch of years on the job, Herring sees getting rid of our large public housing neighborhoods, aka The Courts, as the way to combat violence and crime citywide. You probaby could have guessed that this is not an uncontroversial opinion. Evans also digs into racial bias in policing, using data from the Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project (Facebook), and includes this bananas map of Richmond Police Department pedestrian stops. While I’d expect a large number of stops in the Fan because that’s where you’ll find a large number of pedestrians, the huge number of stops along Chamberlayne, Midlothian, and Route 1 are kind of shocking.
I’ve been known to frequent a brewery from time to time, and they are...not the most diverse places. Which is why Capsoul, an effort to diversify the brewery crowd, seems cool and necessary. Richmond Magazine has an interview with founder Eric Jackson.
I talk a lot about taking back space on the streets from cars and think scooters are definitely part of the work towards that, so I kind of love this picture of silent scooter protest I found over on /r/rva.
This morning's longread
Juneteenth was yesterday, and this is definitely worth reading today.
In 2019, Juneteenth will be celebrated as emancipation was in the old days: with calls for reparations. As the country marks 154 years since news of the end of slavery belatedly came to Texas, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the subject of reparations for black Americans. It is a watershed moment in the larger debate over American policy and memory with regard to an enduring sin. The hearing marks a return to the early black-American celebrations and jubilees, which were staged even as formerly enslaved people beseeched the Freedmen’s Bureau or the Union Army for land. And that’s for good reason. Juneteenth has always had a contradiction at its core: It is a second Independence Day braided together with reminders of ongoing oppression. Its spread from Texas to the rest of the United States accelerated in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., as a sort of home-going for King and other victims of white-supremacist violence, fusing sorrow and jubilation.
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