Monday, June 28, 2010

National League of Cities Selects Richmond to Participate in Educational Alignment for Young Children Initiative

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today that the National League of Cities (NLC) has chosen Richmond as one of only four municipalities to join with the NLC in planning and hosting local "community conversations" on the topic of improving outcomes for young children by third grade. Richmond was chosen for the Educational Alignment for Young Children Initiative (the Initiative) after interviews with Dr. Carolyn Graham, deputy chief administrative officer for Human Services, and other city and school officials.

The city's outcome based budgeting approach, wherein family and individual economic stability is a focus for the Jones Administration, is part of what has set Richmond apart for this opportunity. Mayor Jones has called for the development of strategies that will lead to increased quality early learning opportunities for children 0-5 years. Recognizing that learning begins long before children enter school, these early learning strategies are designed to help prepare children to succeed in school.

"The NLC cited the leadership the city has already shown as well as the commitment of other partners in the community as a reason for the city of Richmond’s selection," said Mayor Jones. "We are very pleased that the NLC wants to not only highlight the city's efforts, but they want to support our efforts to promote young children's learning from the early years through third grade."

Under the Initiative, a community conversation will take place by the end of September 2010. This convening will focus on educational alignment efforts and seek to identify ways that community stakeholders can work together to improve outcomes for young children.

The NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families will provide technical assistance to city and school leaders in planning the event, including support in developing specific meeting materials and potential action steps for city and school leaders. Participating cities will also have access to opportunities to connect with national experts and resources, including research about promising practices.

"Obviously, we are pleased that Richmond Public Schools will be a partner and participant in the NLC's upcoming Educational Alignment for Young Children Initiative," said Richmond Public School’s Superintendent Dr. Yvonne W. Brandon. "The goals of the initiative, along with having access to national experts and research data, reinforce the district's commitment to providing children with a premier preschool learning environment. The timing of the launch also coincides nicely with the opening of the district's new regional preschool learning center for the 2010-2011 school year."

Other cities selected for the opportunity include Seattle, WA; Petal, MS; and San Antonio, TX.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pfizer Research and Development Facility Announcement

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Bob Sledd, Senior Economic Advisor to the Governor
Dr. Mark Gelbert, Senior VP, Global R&D, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
Peter Chapman, Deputy CAO for Economic & Community Development

WHAT: Pfizer Research & Development Facility Announcement

WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
2 p.m.

WHERE: Main Street Station
1500 East Main Street

BACKGROUND:

Mayor Dwight C. Jones will be joined by Bob Sledd, senior economic advisor to Governor Bob McDonnell; and Dr. Mark Gelbert, senor vice president for Global R&D for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for a formal announcement regarding the Sherwood Avenue R&D operations in the city of Richmond.

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Mayor Announces Richmond's Intent to Submit Promise Neighborhood Grant Application

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon, along with a collaborative of community organizations, announced today the intent to submit a Promise Neighborhood planning grant application to the U.S. Department of Education for the city’s East End.

President Barack Obama will launch an initiative to create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime, and low levels of student academic achievement, in cities across the nation. Based on the highly acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, the Promise Neighborhood Initiative will provide a full network of services to entire needy neighborhoods from birth to college.

"Our initiative is called, 'Richmond’s Promise Neighborhood,' and our collaborative approach will ensure the strongest possible outcome for our efforts," said Mayor Jones. "Our short term goal is to position Richmond’s East End to compete successfully for education dollars. Our long term goal is to end generational poverty, improve children’s achievement in school, and provide young people and their parents with opportunities associated with neighborhoods with greater resources."

The Promise Neighborhoods will seek to engage all resident children and their parents into an achievement program based on tangible goals, including matriculation to college for each and every participating student, strong physical and mental health outcomes for children as well as retention of meaningful employment and parenting schools for parents.

“The Richmond Planning team has been meeting for nearly a year in preparation for the application”, said Lynn McAteer, V.P Planning of Better Housing Coalition, the convening organization. “The team has gone through a rigorous process to select the East End and we feel that our application will be extremely competitive; we’ve been able to get wide range of support from neighborhood, local, and state officials.”

The Planning Team has identified Woodville Elementary School as the centerpiece of Richmond’s Promise Neighborhood. This important choice was based on the school’s record of achievement, leadership and commitment to an integrated partnership with Richmond’s Promise Neighborhood and shared responsibility for children.

The grant application is due on June 25th with awards being announced in September 2010.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mayor to Kick Off Youth Urban Conservation Corp

WHAT: Mayor’s Youth Academy: Youth Urban Conservation Corp Kick-Off Event

WHEN: Thursday, June 24, 2010
1 – 3 p.m.

WHERE: Robinson Theater Community Arts Center
2903 Q Street

BACKGROUND:
On June 24, 2010, Mayor Dwight C. Jones will kick off the Mayor’s Youth Academy: Youth Urban Conservation Corps as a part of his “Ending Food Deserts….Growing Green Richmond” program. The Youth Urban Conservation Corp is a Mayor’s Youth Academy program designed to involve more than 100 Richmond youth in an intensive horticulture and business development experience.

Each youth ambassador will have an opportunity to participate in the operational components of a farmers’ market and produce industry. Higher learning institutions, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Union University, will rotate every two weeks in teaching participants how to establish a business.

The Mayor’s Youth Academy draws upon the expertise and resources of leaders in local government, business, and non-profit sectors to promote the value of education and workforce skills for local youth. The benefits of the Youth Urban Conservation Corp are in line with First Lady Michelle Obama’s challenge to United States’ citizens to end food deserts in distressed and poverty stricken areas across America.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses and non-profit entities that have partnered with the Mayor’s Youth Academy and I encourage other interested entities to please do so,” said Mayor Jones. “Together we can promote the value of education and workforce skills needed for the development of Richmond’s future workforce.”

For more information on the Mayor’s Youth Academy: Youth Urban Conservation Corps contact the Office of the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services at (804) 646-5823 or (804) 646-3304.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Participate in the National Town Meeting


As a nation, we need to come together to put our country on a sustainable path by setting national priorities and making decisions about how we are going to pay for them.

Unless we take necessary steps to plan for the future, our national deficit and mounting debt will grow out of control. Planning ahead so that our nation can support its highest priorities will help to ensure that our country is able to create new jobs and maintain confidence in our financial markets. We need to make real choices now to ensure that our nation continues to invest in national priorities.

On June 26, 2010, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in an unprecedented National Town Meeting on our budget and economy. The National Town Meeting will include thousands of people in different locations all across the country connected live via satellite video, webcast and interactive technologies. AmericaSpeaks takes place in Richmond on Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Virginia State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street.

To register online, click here.
In up to 20 cities, thousands of participants reflecting the political, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity of the United States will attend AmericaSpeaks 21st Century Town Meetings.
Thousands more Americans will participate that same day in volunteer-organized Community Conversations.

Many more individuals will be able to tune-in from home to watch live video coverage online, participate in the discussion, and share their own priorities in an online forum.
After June 26, AmericaSpeaks will present the priorities that emerge from the national discussion to Congress and President Obama, as well as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and the Bi-Partisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force. Find out more about what happens after June 26.

If you prefer not to register online, contact AmericaSpeaks at 1-866-755-9293 or by postal mail: America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy, PO Box 623, Oxon Hill, MD 20750-0623.