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

Good morning, RVA: Banning guns, help out at schools, and a RAICES update

Good morning, RVA! It's 68 °F, and today you can expect highs in the mid 80s—so not as hot as this past weekend. The skies look dry until at least Wednesday.

Water cooler

City Council will meet tonight at 5:00 PM to vote on the Mayor’s ordinance to preemptively ban guns from city-owned buildings and parks (ORD. 2019-165). The General Assembly will meet for their special session next week on July 9th.

Even though we’re defintitely fully in to summer break, there’s a new edition of RPS Superintendent Kamras’s email out for you to read. Of note, RPS Shines 2019 has launched, and it’s a great way for you to get involved at your neighborhood school—doing things like mowing, painting, fixing up bathrooms, and painting murals. If you’re looking to go beyond sending thoughtful emails to elected representatives about school facilities and funding, check out what RPS Shines has available, and do some stuff with your actual hands! Or, heck, just donate some cash from the comfort of your own couch. Kamras also links to four different summer reading programs for students, and that makes me wish we had summer reading programs for adults.

The shenanigans going on over at the Hanover County Board of Supervisors had kind of falling off my radar, so I’m thankful for this column by Michael Paul Williams at the Richmond Times-Dispatch 💸 to bring it full back on said radar. Williams dives into the shady details of how the Board did not reappoint School Board member Maria Coleman (FYI, Hanover has appointed School Board members, unlike Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico). Coleman was one of two folks who voted to rename Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School to something less pro-Confederate. You can connect the fairly obvious dots.

On Friday, Mel Leonor, writing for the RTD, had the surely-not-final update on the Republican nominee for the 97th House District 💸. She says that the State Board of Elections accepted a letter from the Republican Party of Virginia’s chairman declaring that Scott Wyatt will be their for real, for real nominee. I’m not sure where this leaves incumbent Chris Peace and what his remaining options are, but I’m sure we will find out rather shortly.

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the SCOTUS wants to have no hand in addressing partisan gerrymandering. Brian Cannon from OneVirginia2021 addresses that decision and how it impacts Virginia’s ongoing attempts to create a redistricting committee in the Commonwealth and help end gerrymandering here for good.

Well, y’all continue to astound me with the speed and depth of your generosity. As of this morning, Team Premier Daily Zoning and Rezoning Email (that’s us) has raised $2,910 for RAICES, an organization dedicated to helping separated families, detained families, unaccompanied minors, and others who are seeing asylum in the United States. The goal was $2,000 before July 4th, and, I think it’s fair to say, we crushed that goal. Thank you for acting, moving beyond angry Twitter threads, and, collectively, making me feel more hopeful. P.S. If someone wanted to put us over $3,000 before Thursday, that’d be great.

This morning's longread

A Family Portrait: Brothers, Sisters, Strangers

A photographer conceived using a sperm donor finds all (or at least most?) of his half siblings and takes some rad photos of them.

I knew a lot of other children whose parents had used donors to conceive because every summer we went to a camp for same-sex families. Last summer, news traveled through the community that two kids from two families who attended the camp for years had independently gone on to a registry for family members trying to connect with donors or donor siblings. The two discovered that they shared a donor — that they were half siblings. Until that moment, it had not really occurred to me — or my mothers, even though one is an ObGyn — that I might have half siblings out there. It makes no sense that we didn’t think about that, because my parents deliberately chose a donor whose sperm had successfully produced at least one live birth, whose sperm had, in a sense, “worked.” I think they were just so focused on thinking about the new family they were creating that they never stopped to think about the implications of the huge, inadvertent social experiment they were joining.

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Good morning, RVA: Assessments, preemptively banning guns, and a casino opens

Good morning, RVA: School rezoning maps, single family zoning update, and assessments