Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mayor Jones and Sheriff Woody to Dedicate City’s Justice Center

WHO:             Mayor Dwight C. Jones
                      Sheriff C. T. Woody

WHAT:           Opening of City’s Justice Center

WHERE:        Richmond City Justice Center
                    2nd Floor Lobby Area & Sheriff’s Command Center
                    1701 Fairfield Way
                    Richmond, VA 23223

WHEN:          Monday, July 28, 2014
                      2 p.m.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Sheriff C. T. Woody will officially open the City’s new Justice Center at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 28. Immediately following prepared remarks, questions will be taken in the Sheriff’s Command Center, which is also on the 2nd floor of the new Justice Center.
Parking is available in the parking lot facing Fairfield Way. Follow the sidewalk on the left side of the old building for entry into the new facility.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Join in Promoting the Benefits of Breastfeeding With RVA Latches On! on Saturday, August 2

For the third consecutive year, RVA Latches On! encourages nursing mothers to come together with their children and babies to participate in synchronized breast-feeding. This year’s RVA Latches On! event is scheduled for Saturday, August 2 at the Capitol Square Bell Tower, at the intersection of 9th and East Franklin streets. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. however participants should arrive at 10 a.m. for registration. Parking is available in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church garage. Entrance to the garage is on 8th Street between East Grace and East Franklin streets. For more information please visit

RVA Latches On! is sponsored by the Richmond Health Action Alliance, a Healthy Communities Action Team (HCAT) funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and administered by the Richmond Healthy Start Initiative, a division of the City of Richmond Department of Social Services. The Richmond Health Action Alliance seeks to reduce childhood obesity in the city of Richmond through policy, infrastructure and environmental changes that promote a breastfeeding-friendly and physically active community. RVA Latches On! is supported through partnerships with VCU Medical Center, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, HCA Healthcare, Anthem Healthkeepers Plus, Capitol Area Health Network, William Byrd Community House and Nurture.

“The City of Richmond is proud to be a lead sponsor of RVA Latches On! as it raises awareness of breastfeeding’s critical and lifelong benefits, and reflects active community involvement in supporting our newest families in reaching their breastfeeding goals. This is a truly wonderful educational event for new mothers that would not be possible without the support of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Breastfeeding Commission," said Rose Stith-Singleton, Richmond Healthy Start Initiative Project Director. “According to a recent Bartik and Reinhold study, the United States incurs $13 billion a year in excess pediatric health care costs because mothers are not able to breastfeed their children according to medical recommendations. And, behind every health care dollar lost, is the human cost of preventable, sometimes life-threatening illness.”

"VCU Medical Center is delighted to support RVA Latches On! with our health care colleagues in the community. We all want what is best for our infants and mothers, and breastfeeding is the most effective prevention, boosting babies with antibodies that will fight infection and promote health from the earliest days and beyond," said Dr. Gauri Gulati, a pediatrician and board certified lactation consultant who provides comprehensive breastfeeding support through the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “With breastfeeding, the return on investment is enormous for families, the community and employers. For every 1,000 babies not breastfed, there is an excess of 2,033 physician visits, 212 days in the hospital and 609 prescriptions. Our job as healthcare providers is to ensure that all families are aware of the benefits of breast milk and the risks associated with not receiving breast milk to allow them to make a truly informed decision.”

In 2012, VCU Medical Center was selected in a highly competitive process as one of 90 hospitals in the United States to participate in a collaborative, Best Fed Beginnings, to improve outcomes for mothers and infants by increasing the initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding and is in the final phase of pursuing the Baby Friendly Hospital designation. This is a tremendous effort to help decrease infant mortality and promote the well-being of mothers and children in Richmond, VA.

“Bon Secours is proud to support RVA Latches On! to increase awareness of the important health benefits associated with breastfeeding,” said Blake Slusser, Women’s Services Director of Education for Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “Everyone at Bon Secours is committed to being good help to the communities we serve. This includes not only treating diseases, but preventing them whenever possible. Research shows that infants who are breastfed have stronger immune systems, lower risk for allergies, and a decreased incidence of childhood cancers and other diseases. The benefits continue throughout childhood and into that baby’s adult life. There are also positive health benefits for mom, as mothers who breastfeed are at a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Knowing this, it is crucial that we give women the opportunities to learn more about breastfeeding before the baby arrives and give them the tools they need to succeed early in baby’s life. This type of event is a great chance to raise awareness of the many health benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby.”

Bon Secours is committed to helping moms succeed at breastfeeding by offering classes and nursing mothers’ support groups through their Love and Learn program, practicing Family Centered Maternity Care with access to Lactation Consultants during mom and baby’s hospital stay, and providing families a place to turn when they need support once they are home through A Woman’s Place Lactation Center and Boutique. Bon Secours not only supports its patients, but also employees with pumping locations at every facility and steeply discounted breast pumps for purchase.

“The 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card issued by the Centers for Disease Control, reports that 77 percent of infants in the U.S. start breastfeeding and we are making progress in increasing this number. HCA Virginia supports breastfeeding efforts such as skin to skin contact, breastfeeding in labor and delivery and keeping mothers and their babies together - recognizing that the immediate postpartum time is critical in establishing successful breastfeeding,” said Denise DiCicco, Lactation Services Coordinator, HCA Virginia. “Participation in RVA Latches On! provides an additional opportunity for HCA Virginia to partner with families, communities and our health care colleagues to raise awareness of the benefits that breastfeeding provides as well as collaborating to increase the numbers of infants who continue to breastfeed for at least one year.”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

City Urging Residents to Help Water Trees

~New trees need at least 15 gallons of water weekly~

The City is currently experiencing extremely dry weather, which is putting trees in jeopardy. Those planted within the past three years are at a greater risk, as that is the time most critical to their survival.  The City’s Department of Public Works and the Richmond Tree Stewards are asking residents to help water City trees by filling any empty green water bags on newly planted trees near their home. The water bags, also called gator bags, provide a continuous supply of water to the trees until the bags are empty. 

Typically, in order to withstand hot temperatures, a newly planted tree either needs 15 gallons of water each week or one inch of rainfall.  A City contractor waters new trees during the first year.  Adopt-A-Tree participants water them for the first two years and City crews water them during the second and third year following transplantation.

So, while the City has been getting occasional storms and showers, the amount of rain has not been enough to keep the trees watered sufficiently. Due to the current weather conditions, some trees are not receiving enough water to survive and thrive, even with the contractors, volunteers and City workers.  Any assistance residents can provide is appreciated by the City and its urban forest.

If you would like information on how to become a Richmond Tree Steward or how to Adopt-A-Tree, please visit

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

City Riverfront Public Art Project – Call for Artists

The City’s Public Art Commission seeks to commission an artist to create outdoor public art along the James River adjacent to or within the project site for the Brown’s Island Dam Walk and Southbank Pathways. Interested artists should review the Request for Qualifications and submit all required materials by 5 p.m. on September 5, 2014. The estimated budget for this project is $200,000.

This project is overseen by the Riverfront Public Art Project #1 Site Selection Team (SST), which has 11 members from the Public Art Commission and the Richmond community. The SST will select the artist, approve the artwork, and select and approve the artwork location.

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mayor Jones to Discuss Anti-Poverty Initiative With Richmond School Board

WHO:             Mayor Dwight C. Jones
                        Members of the School Board of the City of Richmond
                        Dr. Thad Williamson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building
WHAT:           Special meeting to discuss the City’s Anti-Poverty Initiative

WHEN:          Monday, July 14, 2014
                        5 p.m.

WHERE:        City Hall 
                        2nd Floor Large Conference Room
                        900 East Broad Street


Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Dr. Thad Williamson will discuss the City’s Anti-Poverty Initiative, which is now known as the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty, with the School Board of the City of Richmond at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 14 at City Hall, 900 East Broad Street, in the 2nd floor large conference room.