Friday, June 27, 2014

City to Host Building Better Business Mentorship Program Informational Session on July 9, 2014

The City’s Minority Business Development invites small business owners to attend the Building Better Business Mentorship program informational session on Wednesday, July 9 at 9 a.m. at Main Street Station, 1500 Main Street. The Building Better Business Mentorship program is designed to help develop the capacity of minority and emerging small businesses.

A participating business can expect the following from the mentorship program:

·         A 12- month relationship commitment with an associate who takes active interest in their business success
·         Consultation in a specific, needed area of expertise
·         Business development suggestions
·         A sounding board 
·         One-on-one interaction (by phone or in person) for at least one hour per month
·         A meaningful business relationship with a qualified mentor.
·         A match based on an initial assessment of mentee needs and mentor skills
·         Manageable time commitment
·         Classes and workshops designed to promote business growth

For more information about the Wednesday, July 9, Building Better Business Mentorship program information session, call the City’s Minority Business Development at (804) 646-5947.

Register today at 
Register today as seating for the information session is limited.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Workforce Development and Social Enterprise Announcement

WHO:     Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City of Richmond
                Matt McGee, President, Strickland Machine Company
               Jamison Manion, Programs Administrator, City of Richmond’s Workforce Development Program
               Thad Williamson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building
               Jakob Helmboldt, City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator

WHAT:       Workforce Development and Social Enterprise Announcement

WHEN:      Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:    Strickland Machine Company
                     2400 Magnolia Court
                     Richmond, VA 23223


The City of Richmond will highlight specifics of a workforce development agreement with Strickland Machine Shop to produce bicycle racks for locations around the city during a 9:30 a.m. press event on Thursday, June 24 at Strickland Machine Company, 2400 Magnolia Court.

The City's Workforce Development Program is an outgrowth of recommendations of the Mayors Anti-Poverty Commission, now known as the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. The Workforce Development Program’s focus is the education and development of a viable workforce in the city of Richmond. As more employment opportunities and businesses come to the city, it is important that the workforce is prepared to compete and excel in today’s job market. The Program has assisted in the training and employment of hundreds of city residents, and the City wants to encourage more businesses to get involved in providing additional employment opportunities.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mayor Encourages Youth to Read on Summer Learning Day

~ Support learning throughout the community on Summer Learning Day, June 20~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones joins leaders across the country to recognize the importance of learning throughout the summer and encourages City youth to participate in Summer Learning Day. Friday, June 20 is Summer Learning Day, a national advocacy day to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for the nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development.

“I encourage all City youth to participate in Summer Learning Day by reading for at least 15 minutes this Friday and I am hopeful that our youth will continue to read for at least 15 minutes every day this summer,” said Mayor Jones. “Reading is a wonderful tool that can expand learning opportunities while taking the reader on amazing journeys, provide insightful how-to’s and teach the reader more about our world. I encourage everyone in our community to stop and read 15 minutes a day, every day, especially with a child.”

Richmond’s Grade Level Reading Initiative, with more than 30 partner organizations, encourages youth to read 15 minutes every day during the summer. Children who do not read over the summer school break show loss of reading, spelling and math skills – entering school in the fall farther behind than when they left school in June. Research shows that reading as little as 15 minutes a day can help children retain reading and spelling skills.

On Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day, Richmond Public Library's branches will have special book displays featuring STEM and other different kinds of books for learning --- cookbooks, craft books, science experiments as well as promotional materials for the Library Summer Reading Program Fizz, BOOM, Read! Partner organizations include PBS, Communities in Schools and Richmond Public Schools.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Public Invited to the Mr. Smedley Statue Official Unveiling

Residents are invited to attend the official unveiling of the Mr. Smedley Statue at his new location in Jefferson Hill Park, at the intersection of North 21st Street and Princess Anne Avenue. The unveiling will occur on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. during the annual Union Hill Civic Association Potluck Picnic.

Mr. Smedley, also known as “The Street Entertainer”, is a statue of a smiling, tall, lanky entertainer doffing his bowler hat, revealing a mouse perched on his head. The statue was crafted by sculptor John Temple "Jack" Witt and was originally placed in the food court of the former 6th Street Marketplace.

The location of Mr. Smedley in Jefferson Hill Park along a walkway, near a lighted entrance, will allow the statue to greet visitors of the park. The statue will also be visible from the right-of-way and will be in close proximity to the park’s playground, allowing interaction between children and the statue, which is the original intent of the sculptor.

For Public Art Commission meeting announcements including meeting date, time and location visit

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

RVA Streets Alive! - June 21, 2014

Inspired by open street projects all over the world, RVA Streets Alive! is about closing streets to cars and opening them to the public -- for one day -- to create a whole new health, sustainable and vibrant city street experience. FREE and open to every to do what you wish -- run, walk, bike, roller blade, WHATEVER! Make sure to check out the vendors lining the streets with free activities for the entire family.

RVA Streets Alive! is on Saturday, June 21 and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The route is Broad Street from 2nd Street to N. Henry Street and Brook Road from Adams Street to Leigh Street. Click here to see a map of the route.

Any activity that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle is encouraged along the streets which will be closed to vehicular traffic. We are looking for a diverse mix of different sports organizations, active lifestyle groups, preventative health & wellness programs, and any other organization that wants to promote physical activity. To apply to be a vendor, please fill out this form. Vendor registration ends June 6.

For more information please visit: Mayor's Healthy Richmond Campaign or SportsBackers.

Governor McAuliffe to be Guest Speaker for June 20 Richmond Drug Court Graduation

~ Ceremony will also recognize retiring Judge Margaret P. Spencer ~

The Honorable Terence ‘Terry’ R. McAuliffe, Governor for the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be the guest speaker for the Richmond Adult Drug Court graduation ceremony on Friday, June 20, at 1 p.m. at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 West Graham Road. The Honorable Betsy B. Carr, of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 69th District, will present a commemorative resolution to the Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court for the program’s outstanding work in the field of criminal justice for the past 15 years. Additionally, a special presentation will take place honoring the years of service for retiring Judge Margaret P. Spencer; Richmond Circuit Court and Presiding Drug Court Judge from 1998 through 2014. The graduation ceremony will mark the completion of an intensive 18-month outpatient program of drug treatment, probation supervision, judicial monitoring and community service for seven Adult Drug Court participants.

As one of more than 2,000 drug courts operating in the U.S. and one of 36 drug courts in Virginia, the Richmond Adult Drug Court monitors non-violent, drug-addicted offenders with pending cases in Richmond’s Circuit Court. Offenders volunteer for the program, and participate only after approval of the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney. They must meet all program requirements, which include maintaining gainful employment and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and crime, to successfully complete the program. They are also required to attend regular Drug Court hearings in Circuit Court, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or similar external recovery meetings, and group and individual counseling sessions with licensed substance abuse clinicians. In addition, they must perform community service. Compliance with these requirements is rewarded with incentives and non-compliance is addressed with sanctions that include incarceration. This integration of court, probation, and treatment services leads to higher retention rates in treatment, and lower crime and drug use rates following program completion.

Unlike the majority of drug court participants in Virginia and the nation, Richmond Adult Drug Court participants enter the program with long-term drug addictions to cocaine or heroin, and lengthy non-violent criminal histories. More than 98% of the participants are probation violators, and do not receive a reduced or dismissed charge upon graduation. Reducing or dismissing charged offenses is a standard practice in most drug courts. Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) found that completing the Richmond program resulted in lower costs, lower recidivism, and better employment outcomes relative to comparison groups completing other similar programs and probation. Richmond Adult Drug Court participants also pay taxes and child support, and save taxpayers the costs of re-entry into the criminal justice system.

The ceremony honoring the June 2014 graduates, and the reception following the ceremony, are open to the public. For more information, please contact Tanisha Moseley at (804) 646-3655 or at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

City Invites Public To Neighborhood Planning Workshops For VUU & Chamberlayne Industrial Center Areas

The City’s Department of Planning and Development Review invites the public to participate in a neighborhood planning effort for the area surrounding Virginia Union University, Brook Road and Chamberlayne Avenue. The public is encouraged to attend Neighborhood Planning Public Meetings and Planning Workshops that will be hosted by the City on June 16 - 19 at the Dovetail Construction Company, 1620 Brook Road.

       Public Meeting No. 1:    Monday, June 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
       Public Meeting No. 2:    Thursday, June 19, 6 to 8 p.m.
       Open Design Studio:    Tuesday, June 17, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.
                                            Wednesday, June 18, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

The City has selected Urban Design Associates to assist in the development of the plan and facilitate public meetings during the week of June 16. At the first public meeting on Monday evening, attendees will be introduced to the design team who will lead a public discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the area and a vision for its future. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the team will engage attendees in an on-site design studio of preparing design alternatives to address the issues raised at the public meeting. At the second public meeting on Thursday, June 19, the team will present initial design solutions followed by roundtable discussions for public evaluation. A third public meeting will be held in early fall to present more fully developed recommendations based on resident evaluations.

Once complete, the plan is expected to guide the programming and design of future land uses, inform the City’s capital improvement process, identify strategic partnerships with private landowners, and generally outline the relationship of the built environment to the growth and vitality of the area. The final product of this effort will be a plan to be adopted by the City Planning Commission and City Council as an amendment or supplement to the City’s Master Plan.

For questions regarding the neighborhood planning workshops please contact James Hill at (804) 646-7552 or

Friday, June 6, 2014

Scam Alert – City Taxpayers Receiving Fake Collections Calls

The City has received several reports of individuals posing as collections agents working on behalf of the City of Richmond and attempting to collect taxpayer financial information. The individuals are soliciting credit/debit card information from taxpayers for payments on alleged outstanding tax bills.

If a taxpayer receives a call that they feel is not legitimate, or has questions regarding their account balances, they should call the City of Richmond Customer Care Line at 3-1-1 (646-7000). Finance representatives can review customer accounts and if an outstanding balance is due, can refer customers to the proper collections agency.