Today Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond would recognize Monday, October 14, 2019 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
In the presence of representatives from the Nottaway, Chickahominy, Patawomeck, Mattaponi, Upper Mattaponi, Cheroenhaka and Pamunkey Indian Tribes, the mayor expressed thanks for the groups’ partnership and appreciation for their contributions to the Richmond community.
While the federal government recognizes the second Monday in October each year as Columbus Day, the City of Richmond has never recognized Columbus Day as an employee holiday.
“The City of Richmond will again be open for business this Monday, but this year requests that employees and residents alike use Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an opportunity to reflect not only upon the culture and heritage of native peoples, but also to celebrate their influence, accomplishments and resilience in the face of extraordinary hardship,” the Mayor’s office said in a statement.
“Native Americans were the first residents of Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney. “They were here before any non-natives arrived in this country, Commonwealth, or city. So it’s only fitting, and about time, that we acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions they have made to shape our city.”
Protests turn violent in Downtown Richmond Friday night
Hundreds took to the street to protest the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. A police cruiser and Pulse bus were torched, and several shots rang out into the air overnight.
Hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed earlier this week by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, took to the streets of Downtown Richmond last night to make their voices heard.
While the protests started off peacefully, things quickly took a turn. Around 10:45 PM Friday, a Facebook Live stream showed WWBT/NBC12 reporter Karina Bolster, who was reporting from the scene, struck in the head by a protester chanting “stop recording” using a water bottle. Her phone was also tossed to the street. Bolster, clearly shaken, did not stop recording and continued reporting through tears as she came to terms with what just happened.
As the night progressed, protesters set a dumpster on fire and later marched to Richmond Police headquarters at 200 W. Grace Street and surrounded the building. Richmond officers were joined by State Police and backup requested from surrounding localities to protect the building and officers inside. Nearby, a police cruiser was torched.
Into the early morning hours of Saturday, a GRTC Pulse bus was also set ablaze, the shell of which remained near the corner of W. Broad Street and Belvidere Street as dawn broke.
Several arrests were made overnight, but Richmond Police has yet to confirm a number.
PHOTOS & VIDEO: Dominion Energy Headquarters is imploded in Downtown Richmond
This morning’s implosion seemed to go off without any issues.
Stoney: City to “cautiously move” into Phase 1 of reopening plan on Friday, May 29th
On Thursday, Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond will cautiously move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan. Masks will be required in all indoor spaces and restaurants will be asked to voluntarily connect patrons’ information for contact tracing purposes.
On Thursday, Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond will cautiously move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan.
“When I look at the picture in totality, given the added tools at our disposal, the current trends in our local data and my faith in Richmonders to look out for one another, I believe that Richmond can cautiously move into Phase 1 on Friday, May 29,” said Mayor Stoney at Thursday’s press conference.
During the first delay that the City of Richmond requested, the Stoney administration and Richmond City Health District expanded testing efforts, implemented a contact tracing effort, ensured every COVID-19 positive Richmonder will be able to isolate safely and securely with supported isolation, and advocated for a statewide mask requirement.
The city initially requested a modified Phase 1 reopening that maintained restrictions on places of worship and personal care and grooming services, as mass gatherings and close personal contact for extended periods of time both significantly increase chance of community spread.
Because the governor denied the city’s modified plan for reopening, Richmond will move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan, with strong recommendations reflecting the mayor’s proposed modifications. Local guidance and helpful links to state guidance are available here. The state has yet to provide guidance on what Phases 2 and 3 will include.
The mayor detailed a number of best practices for residents and business owners to ensure that the city moves into Phase 1 cautiously. The best practices emerged from conversations between the Stoney administration and members of the business community, faith leadership, and health professionals.
- All residents who are medically able to should wear a face-covering that covers the mouth and nose when in public spaces. The wearing of a face covering does not negate the need for 6-foot social distancing.
- Faith communities should continue to meet virtually if possible. If in-person meetings are absolutely necessary, the mayor strongly recommends faith groups meet outside while practicing strict social distancing and enforcing the face-covering requirement.
- Food and drink establishments that choose to offer outdoor service at half capacity are asked to request a name and contact information of patrons who dine in for contact tracing purposes. This practice is voluntary for both patrons and restaurants. However, collecting this small amount of information for each dine-in party will go far in assisting the Richmond City Health District in tracing and containing outbreaks. Guidance on this practice is available here.
The mayor made two requests of the state: to continue to assist the city in further expanding testing capacity and in providing adequate face-coverings and hand sanitizer throughout the capital city.
“Quite frankly, we’re going to need more support from the state for our residents and our businesses to reopen safely and sustainably,” the mayor noted in his appeal. “I make these recommendations and requests of the state because, as has been my mantra this entire pandemic. Reopening should be slow and steady.”
“When public health is on the line, blindly pushing forward is not an option. Decisions must be thoughtful, and they must be based in our collective knowledge of and love for our city.”
See more reopening guidance for local businesses here: www.rvastrong.org/reopeningguidance.