We started 2017 with a focus on unlocking the language of government (policies, regulations, and budgets) to serve others in advocating for change. This directive, led us to set an ambitious list of goals. Read our 2017 recap to see where our journey took us!
Budgets are important because they show our real intentions. We, the people, need to let our elected representatives know that next year’s budget (and Capital Improvements Plan or CIP) is where we demand to see major action on school facilities. The problem, is that we’re running out of time.
If ten (10) people were to speak during public comment at the School Board meeting (17th floor City Hall) on November 6th at 6pm and call for action on school facilities, the immediacy of this issue would be remembered. From my analysis, we need the School Board to (1) endorse a list of facilities actions (e.g. new construction, rezoning, community schools, etc.), and (2) appoint members to the Education Compact.
October 16th was supposed to be a big day for school facilities action. Now, the earliest action would be November 6th. We can't sit idly by and wait. I encourage you to voice your concerns to the School Board or speak during public comment tonight!
On November 7th your vote will decide whether the School Modernization referendum's short-term required action is necessary to overcome Richmond stagnation, or whether trust in Mayor Stoney's Education Compact will provide us the institutional change we so desperately need. Read our analysis to help inform your decision.
The School Board will hold a 6pm public hearing on Monday, July 31st at Mason Elementary to consider actions before the school year start. This has the opportunity to become a monumentally important step for Richmond for two reasons:
It represents this School Board’s first step and first opportunity to address long-standing facility needs.
The coalition of north, south, and west side Richmonders showing up to support the east side Mason community is a positive step in addressing our RVA and Richmond divide.
However, the School Board could just as easily vote to do nothing. Doing nothing is a choice to continue the status quo of a broken commitment to our children as realized through failing school facilities. This perpetuates the divide between RVA and Richmond.
It's time for you to stand up and make sure action is taken to move Richmond Forward.
Today we're in the same emergency situation for Mason Elementary. The difference is that it’s not the warnings of a facilities plan or Superintendent Kranz, but a coalition of Mason community members speaking up. It's up to us as a Richmond community whether we will stand in support to move these kids to safety. If we are serious about being ONE Richmond, we need to act now.