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Councilpersons Larson and Gray, Citing Lack of Transparency, to Vote Against Resolution Requiring Report and Recommendations on Police Funding Changes

RES. 2020-R047 would require the Chief Administrative Officer to produce a report that would give recommendations to transfer RPD budget to community mental health, substance abuse, and social service programs designed to perform such functions.

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First up the resolution in question.

RES. 2020-R047

To request that the Chief Administrative Officer cause to be prepared and submitted to the Council and the Mayor a report identifying funding in the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 General Fund Budget and the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Special Fund Budget appropriated to the Department of Police for mental health, substance abuse, and social service functions and that provides recommendations, to the extent permitted by law, for the re-appropriation and transfer of such funding from the Department of Police to other City departments and to community mental health, substance abuse, and social service programs designed to perform such functions.

Next up on the logic for voting against the measure.

Statement from Councilpersons Kristen Larson and Kimberly Gray

Today, Councilmembers Kimberly B. Gray and Kristen Nye Larson call on their fellow councilmembers to support an alternate path to police reform.

“Dangerous protests have happened in Richmond, including this past Saturday, and they are unacceptable. They include damaging small businesses that are trying to reopen, destruction of public assets, and acts of arson that could have seriously harmed residents and protesters alike. This kind of protest is unacceptable.

“Tonight, Richmond City Council is scheduled to vote on resolution No.2020-R047 to ask for recommendations from the city administration to defund the police. Because of the lack of any clear policy direction related to this proposed budget reallocation, and the surrender of our Council fiscal duties under the City Charter, we cannot support this resolution.

“To be clear, we support the creation of a Citizen Review Board and the implementation of a Marcus Alert system. To start this process, Council needs cost estimates and a list of possible policy and implementation issues to begin a public, accountable, and transparent budget process.

“We support efforts to have a third-party analysis of the Richmond City general fund budget, including Richmond Police Department budget.

“However, this resolution does not speak to policy initiatives and does not guarantee accountability in any budget reallocations.

“We support the following processes to consider reallocating funds in the budget to areas aligned with council and citizen priorities. Richmonders have expressed a strong desire to be involved in our budget process and we respect and want to honor their wishes:

  • First, as we proposed during the budget process in 2019, we again reiterate our support for a third-party audit of the Richmond City budget to go above and beyond the regular audit process.
  • We also ask for an amendment to resolution No. 2019-R051 that would include the General Fund budget in the participatory budget process. This process is an intentional, transparent, proactive budget process that includes public participation from the beginning. We support a budget process that is community driven.
  • Accountability measures should be built into any budget re-allocations. Moving taxpayer dollars without that accountability is reckless. We support funding programs that have clear goals, purpose, and accountability.

“We recognize that our city and our country need to transform the way we look at policing, public safety and our overall budget. We also recognize the revenue reality of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We need to start with realistic revenue and COVID-19 cost estimates.

“We support a practical, accountable, and transparent process for our next budget cycle and we are ready and willing to work with the community to make this happen.”

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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VCU Student Affairs Recommends Permanent Ban For Delta Chi Fraternity Related to Death of Student

The investigation into the death of Adam Oakes

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It’s believed by preliminary reports that Adam Oakes died as the result of a hazing incident on the night of February 26th into the morning of the 27th. Adam was found unresponsive in an off-campus home.

Full statement below.

On Monday, May 3, VCU’s Division of Student Affairs initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Delta Chi Fraternity chapter at VCU with a recommendation that the Chapter be permanently removed from VCU if reported allegations result in findings that it is responsible for misconduct.

The process starts with a report and a recommendation to leaders of VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee. The report submitted by VCU’s Division of Student Affairs is based on multiple reports and allegations of violations of university policies and directives regarding chapter events, COVID-19 protocols, recruitment activities, alcohol and hazing on February 26 and 27 in the hours before the death of VCU student Adam Oakes.

The next steps include a review of the report by VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee and a determination if violations occurred and, if so, the appropriate sanctions. VCU expects the process to be complete this summer.

The Richmond Police Department investigation continues into Adam’s death. The ongoing police investigation, and any subsequent VCU Student Code of Conduct investigation, may identify additional information or violations of university policy. If so, the initiating report against Delta Chi, and recommendations, maybe updated accordingly

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3rd Street Diner Sold

The exact plans for the space are unknown at this time but it supposedly will be a new restaurant.

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The iconic corner cafe’s sale was announced yesterday.

Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is pleased to announce the sale of the former 3rd Street Diner property located at 218 East Main Street in the City of Richmond, Virginia.

Ya Hua Zheng & Jianwei Tang purchased the 3,928 square foot retail building from 3rd Street LLC for $550,000 and will operate as a new restaurant.

Reilly Marchant of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.

I’ll confess to having never set foot inside the diner but I’ll be bummed to see the neon go away if they go down that path.

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Richmond BizSense Reporting a Brewer’s Cafe Move and Juice Bar Plans

Lovers of Brewer’s Cafe don’t panic. They’re just moving a block or so over to Hull Street.

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Richmond BizSense has the news of a move and a spinoff. Great to see Brewer’s growing.

Brewer is relocating his Brewer’s Cafe, which has operated since 2015 at the corner of Bainbridge and 12th streets, to a new space at 1012 Hull St.

The new cafe will be similar to the current concept, but will also feature a full bar and incorporate menu items from Brewer’s Waffles & Milkshakes, which permanently closed in February at 1309 and 1311 Hull St.

“We have had a need to expand Brewer’s Cafe for probably about two years now and we just thought this was the best opportunity to do so,” Brewer said, adding that the new Hull Street space is 3,300 square feet, an increase from 670 square feet on Bainbridge.

He’s also not backing away from Bainbridge. He plans to continue the lease on the original Brewer’s Cafe storefront after it relocates, and open a juice-bar concept built around the line of cold-pressed juices he launched last year. Brewer hasn’t settled on a name for the spin-off juice bar.

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