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Early Voting Begins Today

A short summary of your voting options.

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Early voting begins today in Virginia and ends the Saturday before Election Day. You do not need a reason to vote early in VA, just be able to provide your name, address, and proof of identification: ID, passport, bill or bank statements, paychecks, or voter confirmation docs. You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day. Before visiting your local registrar’s office, you may wish to check your registration status or call your registrar’s office. You can find your registrar’s phone number here.

Richmond’s Registrar’s new office is located at 2134 West Laburnum Avenue. The old downtown office at 900 E Broad St #105, will remain open for the current election as a ‘satellite’ in-person voting site. There will also be satellite locations at City Hall and the Southside Social Services Center from October 24-31 to conduct voter registration and accept in-person absentee ballots. VPM has an excellent article about the move of the Registrar’s Office and its lack of access for those dependent on public transport.

Additionally, Virginians eligible to vote in a general election will be able to request and cast absentee ballots without citing a state-approved excuse. Request an absentee by mail ballot through the Department of Elections website at vote.elections.virginia.gov. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Friday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots submitted by mail must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by noon on Nov. 6 to be counted.

As always you’ll be able to vote in person on November 3rd. Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Find your polling place at: elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/

 

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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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Lamplighter co-owner cooking up new Chipotle-style breakfast concept in West End

Zach Archibald, co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters, is betting on a new Chipotle-style breakfast concept near Freeman High School.

RVAHub Staff

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From Richmond BizSense:

Zach Archibald is betting there’s a place in the West End for his style of breakfast.

The co-founder and co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters will launch Surrounding Counties Specialty Coffee Explorers Club, a quick-serve breakfast concept on Nov. 1 at 8801-A Three Chopt Road.

The 1,500-square-foot spot in the Westbury Shopping Center will sell coffee drinks and breakfast food in a to-go format with a cafeteria-line format similar to the Chipotle experience.

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Downtown

Virginia lawmakers pass legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday

Juneteenth has officially become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly special session.

Capital News Service

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By Sam Fowler

Juneteenth has officially become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly special session.

Juneteenth marks the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, which was the last state to abolish slavery. The companion bills were introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, and Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Richmond. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the legislation on Oct. 13.

“Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States,” Northam said during a press conference held that day. “It’s time we elevate this, not just a celebration by and for some Virginia, but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us.”

Del. Joshua Cole, D-Fredericksburg, introduced a bill in the legislative session earlier this year to recognize Juneteenth, but the proposal didn’t advance.

Northam proposed making Juneteenth a state holiday in June during a press conference that included musician and Virginia-native Pharrell Williams. Northam signed an executive order that gave executive branch employees and state colleges the day off. Some Virginia localities, such as Richmond and several places in Hampton Roads, also observed the holiday this year.

“I think it is overdue that the Commonwealth formally honor and celebrate the emancipation and end of slavery,” Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, a co-patron of the bill, said in an email. “It was a step towards fulfilling the promise of equality contained in our founding documents.”

The Elegba Folklore Society, a Richmond-based organization focused on promoting African culture, history and arts, is one of the groups that has been celebrating the holiday for decades. The celebration usually is a three-day weekend event that looks at the history of Juneteenth. A torch-lit walk down the Trail of Enslaved Africans in Richmond is also held, said Janine Bell, the society’s president and artistic director.

“We take time to just say thank you to our ancestors, their contributions, their forfeitures, their trials and tribulations,” Bell said. “We invite people to Richmond’s African burial ground so that we can go there and pay homage from a perspective of African spirituality.”

Juneteenth should not be used as another holiday to look for bargains in stores, Bell said. It should be a time for reflection about liberty, as well as for celebration and family strengthening.

“It’s a time for optimism and joy,” Bell said.

The Elegba Folklore Society broadcasted its Juneteenth event online this year due to the coronavirus. Although there were still around 7,000 views, Bell said that it is usually much larger and has international influence.

Cries for police reform and social justice continue to increase, Bell said. More attention is being drawn to the racial disparities across America. With this, people have been changing their priorities concerning issues such as discrimination.

“This was a step towards equity,” Bell said about the bill. “A symbolic step, but a step nonetheless.”

State workers will be off during Juneteenth. If the job requires individuals to come in to work, then they will be compensated with overtime or extra pay, said Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, a patron for the bill.

The General Assembly wrapped up the agenda last week for the special session that began Aug. 18. Northam called the session to update the state budget and to address criminal and social justice reform and issues related to COVID-19.

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Downtown

Daily Planet Health Services holding supply drive through end of October

A full list of in-demand items is available on the nonprofit’s website, but among other things, the needs include generic freezer bags (quart and gallon in size); new men’s and women’s underwear, new or gently used t-shirts and socks; prepaid phone cards and prepackaged snacks.

RVAHub Staff

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In advance of colder temperatures and the winter months, Daily Planet Health Services (DPHS) will hold a supply drive throughout the month of October. Supplies collected will be distributed directly to those experiencing homelessness and patients of the nonprofit’s Medical Respite and Safe Haven programs, which offer patients a place to recuperate, re-establish and reconnect – including homeless and veteran populations.

A full list of in-demand items is available on the nonprofit’s website, but among other things, the needs include generic freezer bags (quart and gallon in size); new men’s and women’s underwear, new or gently used t-shirts and socks; prepaid phone cards and prepackaged snacks.

“Traditionally, the summer and winter months are the most difficult for those experiencing homelessness to navigate, and this time of year will be further complicated because many of the resources traditionally utilized by this population have been affected by COVID-19,” said Taylor Garrett, outreach coordinator for Daily Planet Health Services. “Many of the creature comforts that we take for granted on a day-to-day basis are inaccessible for those experiencing homelessness, and these donations will make an impact right away.”

Donated items can be brought to the nonprofits 517 W Grace St Health Center M-F from Oct. 12-30 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. In an effort to promote social distancing within the facility, those participating are encouraged to call 804-783-2505 to notify DPHS of the delivery, and a member of the team will come out to collect the items.

“In July and August, we were absolutely heartened by the generosity and support shown by the Richmond community, who turned out and supported our work to keep the homeless population nourished and hydrated during the hottest months of the year,” said Anita Bennett, acting CEO of Daily Planet Health Services. “We truly would not be able to succeed without the support of the Richmond community, and our hope is that those around the city will come together with the common goal of continuing to assist those in need.”

Individuals and families also are encouraged to take part in service projects, and a full list of opportunities is available on the nonprofit’s website. The projects were designed to help educate and engage those who want to help in a hands-on way, but have been prevented from doing so due to the pandemic. A range of options are available, which can be completed individuals, families or groups of students, church groups or offices.

If individuals would like to assist the DPHS in this effort, but are uncomfortable with purchasing items in-store and dropping them off at the health center, fiscal donations can be tagged with “Supply Drive” in the additional comments section of the online donation form under “Donate” at dailyplanetva.org, which will be used by the nonprofit to purchase resources off of the supply list.

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