My Statement & Response to the calls for justice, equity, & confederate statues

This morning, Governor Northam ordered the removal of the Robert E Lee statue on Monument Avenue. The events of this weekend in our City and across the country have demonstrated the need for change. Over the past several days there has been an incredible outpouring of support from First District residents to remove the confederate statues. I join Councilman Jones and Mayor Stoney as a co-patron in the removal of the remaining statues. While the removal of these statues does not erase the systemic racism that remains in this country, these symbols have become idols of division. Now is the time to bring Richmond together. This is a visual response to the need for change. I am committed to working to support the larger needs in response to this call for action.

  1. I support the creation of Civilian Review Board. I will apply best practices from around the country to this effort.
  2. The “Marcus Alert” initiative must be fully implemented by RPD immediately.
  3. Establish community round table discussions with the Chief, RPD leadership, and residents around training, policies, and practices for building trust in our Community Policing Model.
  4. Create a public conversation around “How to talk to your children about the events of this weekend.” The impact and gravity of this moment must be expressed to our next generation.

This is not the end or the answer, but it is the time to acknowledge that change is needed in all areas. I do not take this decision lightly, and look forward to our continued conversation as a city around building equity and justice for all. This is the next step in reconciliation.

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