Richmond is on the cusp of greatness. Our city has grown into a destination through the hard work, vision, and the drive of our residents and businesses. The RVA brand has sparked a renaissance in Richmond. The future is in our hands. This election holds a new mayor, new city council, and new school board representatives on the ballot. Also on the ballot, is where this next chapter for Richmond goes.

We need a Mayor that is ethical, visionary, and committed to our city’s future. A Mayor with the experience to fix City Hall’s failures while captivating and motivating our city employees to make City Hall work for ‘we the people’. We need a Mayor that will attract the talent needed in key city leadership positions to make City Hall work in the 21st century.

From my work in City Hall, I have seen how the absence of strong, committed, and engaged leadership has delayed the growth of our city. Many of the headline grabbing issues about the City of Richmond stem from this absence. Throughout my career, I have worked with many great Mayors across the country, from Boston to Philadelphia, to Oakland and San Francisco. They personally showed me that being a great mayor takes courage. It requires being able to see where our city needs to go and to have the strategic vision to get us there. It takes being able to put in the hard work to build the relationships across the city to align the resources necessary to fix our schools, combat the effects of poverty, and to continue our small business growth to create the jobs and increased tax revenues needed to fix our schools and aging infrastructure.

The recent polls scare me about Richmond’s future. Joe Morrissey is everything Richmond does not need in its next Mayor. Already Joe has made headline’s in newspapers and even been the punchline in jokes on late night television. In this fragile, crucial, and vital stage of our growth as a city, we need a Mayor that is going to fix our operational challenges, focus on making City Hall work, while being able to lead this change to strengthen our relationship regionally to begin our overdue growth to improve public transit and yes a baseball stadium.

Right now, we need new leadership to walk across Broad Street to get the Commonwealth to give the additional millions in revenues due Richmond Public Schools. He has single-handedly angered the General Assembly through his past actions and no one wants to work with him. Joe will not be able to get our schools the money we are owed. This is the most important issue facing our next Mayor and he will be powerless where we need it most.

Personal character of elected officials is a vital element to our republic. The representative we vote into office should share the same vision, values, and ethics we uphold. The character and ethics of Joe Morrissey are repugnant:

  1. He has disobeyed the rules of the courtroom and been held in contempt so often that many judges refuse to work with him. Even going as far as punching another attorney, which he makes light of as part of his campaign materials. This would be funny if our kids weren’t watching.
  2. Speaking of kids, he served time for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
  3. He was kicked out of the Virginia State Bar and fled the country.
  4. He was convicted of assault. I could go on but you get the point.

Joe Morrissey is not fit to lead our city. I am stating my support for “Just Not Joe” for Mayor. I applaud Bruce Tyler for his leadership in ending his campaign for Mayor in fear of further supporting the possibility of Joe getting elected. I will vote for Jack, Jon, or Levar — I’ll vote for anyone — if it means beating Joe.

I have a Code of Ethics commitment on my website that I encourage everyone to review as you contemplate this serious threat facing our city. It is applicable beyond the First District City Council race. We must be open, transparent, accountable, and able to cooperate to build on our city’s great promise. Please join me in putting Richmond First.

Recovering bureaucrat. Pioneered as Civic Innovator. Now serving a second term on City Council in Richmond, VA. Words are my own.