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Mayor's Office

900 E. Broad St., Suite 201
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
Phone: 804-646-7970
Fax: 804-646-7987

Email: RVAMayor@richmondgov.com

The Richmond Equity Agenda

Help build our roadmap to a more inclusive and thriving city.

The city’s working definition of  true equity is the empowerment of communities that have experienced past injustices by removing barriers to access and opportunity.

Mayor Stoney established this as our shared mission in his 2021 State of the City address. We have the responsibility to act intentionally in righting the wrongs of our shared history and actualizing the opportunity this city should afford all its residents. 

Our roadmap to a more inclusive and thriving city is the Equity Agenda, which will be formally introduced to Richmond City Council as a resolution. But before it's introduced, we want to be sure it reflects the city's vision - that includes yours.

The engagement period is over. Please click here to view the final Equity Agenda. 

Below, you'll find the 10 guiding principles of the city's Equity Agenda. Under each principle are the recent city initiatives to advance equity along with the vision for the next four years and beyond.

Please, explore each of the 10 broader goals. Then, consider adding your own thoughts to the conversation using our community engagement tool, found in the "public engagement" box. (Note: this engagement period has closed. Thank you for your interest and participation.)

The city has:

  • Ensured and promoted citywide access to free testing through the Richmond City Health District;
  • Created a mask distribution network to ensure citywide access to face masks at more than 50 locations around the city;
  • Paid for a sheltering program for those who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and are unable to isolate from other members of their household;
  • Funded safety net care providers who have provided invaluable testing and treatment support throughout the pandemic;
  • Created the Infant and Maternal Health Task Force to identify and address the racial discrepancy in infant and maternal mortality rates, especially among Black mothers in our city; and
  • Convened the Racial/Health Equity Community Team in partnership with the Richmond City Health District.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Continue to ensure access to Covid-19 testing, vaccine, and healthcare, especially in communities of color;
  • Continue to ensure access to masks and sanitizer during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in communities of color;
  • Support the City’s contact tracing pilot program to provide integrated services to those who test positive for Covid-19;
  • Create mental/behavioral health and substance use disorder pilot program utilizing RCHD health centers in RRHA communities and continue to partner with RCHD to assist those experiencing substance use disorder;
  • Support the "Doula Fund" to help close health disparities for Black and Brown pregnant women and their children; 
  • Increase access to healthy, affordable foods and food education for lower income families; and
  • Establish an evidence-based model for gun violence prevention, approaching it as a public health issue and elevating community voices and experiences, with support from VCU, VCU Health, Richmond City Health District, and the Richmond Department of Human Services.
     

The city has:

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will: 

  • Continue to provide and advocate for rent and mortgage relief for families during the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Implement the Equitable and Affordable Housing Plan, which provides clear pathways to support both renters and homeowners;
  • Utilize the dedicated funding stream for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help meet a 10,000 unit need over 10 years – or 1,000 new units of affordable housing per year – partnering with the non-profit and private sectors;
  • Continue to fund Richmond’s Eviction Diversion Program and expand it to include eviction prevention and education funding;
  • Implement the Homelessness Strategic Plan and seek guidance from the Homelessness Advisory Council regarding gaps in our current system;
  • Transfer up to 100 City owned parcels to the Maggie Walker Land Trust over the next four years to help with homeownership opportunities; and 
  • Advocate at the state level for legislative changes, such as inclusionary zoning and stronger building codes, to support housing affordability.
     

The city has:

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will: 

  • Advocate for the City as a member of the Central Virginia Transportation Authority (CVTA);
  • Support the Office of Transit and Mobility and establish resources for office needs;
  • Create a “Mobility Action Plan” that prioritizes pedestrians’ mobility choices and their safety using an equity lens;
  • Invest in Complete Streets Projects;
  • Continue to prioritize Vision Zero initiatives in high-need areas, based on data; and 
  • Paint the Pulse “bus only” lanes red to ensure the safety and timeliness of the Pulse, partnering with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The city has:

  • Recommended the conveyance of city properties to the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust to promote homeownership;
  • Passed and promoted tax amnesty programs in 2020 and 2021 and the Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program;
  • Championed workforce development programs through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and Office of Community Wealth Building;
  • Created the Community Ambassador program to act as trustworthy resident advocates for those who could benefit from city support or have feedback to offer;
  • Called for the legalization of cannabis and recognized the disproportionate harm done to Black and brown residents of Richmond in regard to cannabis-related charges and incarceration;
  • Started the Family Crisis Fund, an opportunity for families who lost income during the first months of the pandemic to benefit from small grants to be used for any purpose; and
  • Founded the Richmond Resilience Initiative, the city's guaranteed income program that advocates for a living wage and a guaranteed quality of life for all Americans.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Work with the Virginia Governor and General Assembly to legalize marijuana and ensure future revenues are reinvested in Virginia’s children;
  • Work with state leaders to pass automatic expungement legislation;
  • Continue to invest in city workforce development programs, creating pathways to careers, and the Office of Community Wealth Building’s workforce programs, including the Community Ambassador program;
  • Continue to support the Richmond Resilience Initiative
  • Strengthen City policies and practices and partner with community organizations to create greater reentry support and outcomes; and
  • Conduct a disparity study in order to identify with particularity the existence of any discrimination suffered by minorities for the purposes of meeting federal constitutional requirements for the City’s use of race-conscious measures to promote greater minority participation in public contracting
     

The city has:

  • Built three new schools in predominantly Black and brown communities: Henry Marsh Elementary School in the East End and Cardinal Elementary and River City Middle School in the Southside;
  • Ensured every elementary schooler and middle schooler in Richmond Public Schools has access to an afterschool program at or accessible to their school; 
  • Launched the Office of Children and Families;
  • Provided emergency childcare for frontline staff at the beginning of the pandemic;
  • Built the Richmond Emergency Childcare Network, which expanded the capacity of childcare providers in the city by establishing new sites in unused school buildings and providing grants to providers with room to expand;
  • Established the Education Compact;
  • Established the Community Connectors and distributed hundreds of desks and other virtual learning necessities to families who needed them; and
  • Fully funded the operational budget of the Dreams4RPS Strategic Plan.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Continue to build out the Office of Children and Families; 
  • Begin to construct two schools over next four years: George Wythe and Tech High School;
  • Continue to support and expand out of school opportunities for youth and community center improvements;
  • Continue to support the "community connectors" program, which has helped to ensure students are successful in a virtual learning environment;
  • Create a Youth Advisory Council to advise the mayor and city council;
  • Advocate for state support for preschool and create a local framework for universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds in Richmond; and
  • Ensure that all Richmonders benefit from robust preparation for careers and college by supporting youth apprenticeship, mentoring, and employment opportunities across the city.
     

The city has:

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will: 

  • Continue the work and establish resources to implement RVAgreen 2050 equity-centered Net Zero and climate resilience goals;
  • Continue to equitably expand access to green space under the leadership of the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities, using the Climate Equity Index established by the Office of Sustainability;
  • Invest more in green infrastructure and use the Envision framework for city infrastructure projects to help mitigate the effects of climate change within the community;
  • Lead by example and implement a comprehensive plan to transition the passenger and light-duty municipal fleet to zero-emission vehicles and to improve the way the City designs, constructs, maintains and renovates its buildings for enhanced energy efficiency, resilience and renewable energy;
  • Work with community leaders and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive high performance building policy for private development- creating spaces that are highly energy efficient, healthier, resilient, and powered by renewable energy; and
  • Continue support of the Department of Public Utility’s lead service line replacement program to help homeowners with the cost of replacing lead water service lines running from the water meter serving their property into their homes. 
     

The city has:

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Establish a Marcus Alert System, working with community and state partners;
  • Create a Civilian Review Board;
  • Continue to evaluate and implement the recommendations of the Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety, such as greater accountability, transparency, and community involvement measures; and
  • Continue to advocate for necessary changes at the state level, such as a statewide law enforcement officer misconduct database.
     

The city has:

  • Removed monuments and symbols to white supremacy;
  • Founded the Shockoe Alliance, a group of professionals in place-making and longtime advocates for the protection and preservation of history spaces that meets regularly; and
  • Pledged to allocate $25-50 million for the commemoration and memorialization of Richmond's complete history, starting with the Shockoe Area.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will: 

  • Invest in the Shockoe Historical Heritage Campus, to ensure appropriate preservation and memorialization;
  • Pursue legislation to ban the display of white supremacist imagery on city property;
  • Work with the Richmond History and Culture Commission to ensure the complete history of Richmond is told and commemorated;
  • Implement City art installations at City Hall and other City-owned spaces with community input; and
  • Reimagine Monument Avenue working with the Richmond community and other partners, such as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the VMFA, to ensure that it is inclusive of all Richmonders. 
     

The city has:

  • Founded numerous task forces and working groups that invite community advocates to the table in an attempt to address key issues, such as homelessness and public safety;
  • Launched RVA.gov, the city's new website with a focus on open information and language access;
  • Held a Community Office Hours session with the mayor in each district on an annual basis, before the pandemic;
  • Engaged thousands of Richmonders through the Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth master planning process; and 
  • Solicited feedback on the draft Equity Agenda.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Create an Office of Public Engagement to provide consistent and reliable engagement opportunities for residents and ensure clear and inclusive citywide communications and responsiveness;
  • Utilize the new RVA.gov website to increase resident education and understanding of services;
  • Provide a digital engagement tool to help residents provide active feedback on city projects;
  • Ensure RVA311 has an easy to access and utilize platform for residents;
  • Double the number of Community Ambassadors in the Office of Community Wealth Building from 20 to 40 to ensure the city is connecting with its residents; 
  • Implement racial equity, diversity, and inclusion training for city staff, to include departmental racial equity action plans, and conduct a city equity study/analysis to ensure the City is removing barriers that create inequities; and 
  • Share resources, empowering the people in our community who are rich with lived experiences and knowledge and low on resources to help lead solutions.
     

The city has:

  • Distributed over $6 million in direct aid to small businesses in the City of Richmond;
  • Offered 600 PPE kits for small businesses to safely serve customers;
  • Created new jobs and opportunities for Richmonders by attracting Babylon Micro-Farms, Vytal Studios, CoStar, and other companies to the city;
  • Begun the public engagement process around a possible resort casino in the city;
  • Created the Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth master plan, which was unanimously adopted by Richmond City Council; and
  • Created the Office of Equitable Development with the hiring of Richmond 300 project manager.

Under the Equity Agenda, the city will:

  • Establish and support an Office of Equitable Development to facilitate the creation of the more sustainable, beautiful and equitable city envisioned by Richmonders in the master plan;
  • Redevelop core areas of the City, prioritizing community benefits, such as green space, affordable housing, and job opportunities for Richmonders;
  • Engage residents on economic development community benefits agreements;
  • Establish an Equitable Economic Development Scorecard; and
  • Provide the use of city land through the surplus property process to encourage affordable housing, community building, and economic development projects.
     

Thank you for exploring the city's draft Equity Agenda. The engagement period for this initiative has ended, but you can read other Richmonders' comments by clicking here. 

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