September marks a new year for RISC. It is your opportunity to join this passionate group of change makers. RISC’s work supports the protestors in the streets through community organizing that results in budgetary or legislative action.
Update from Emily Small, RISC Lead Organizer (2 October 2020)
Affordable Housing: Monday, September 28, approximately 150 RISC members virtually attended the City Council Meeting. On the agenda was a resolution put forward by Councilpersons Robertson and Lynch, that was calling upon Mayor Stoney to put $10 million annually into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, beginning next fiscal year (which begins July 1, 2021). This $10 million allocation is what Councilpersons Robertson, Lynch, Addison, and Mayor Stoney all committed to support, at our August 31st Zoom Action. The resolution passed (unanimously) with a total of seven council members signed on as co-patrons.
We need to ensure that the $10 million allocation actually happens, come time to approve the budget. And we need to turn our attention to ensuring the other piece of the goals we put forward at our Zoom Action – setting aside half of the funds for the creation of units for those making 30% AMI and less.” — Emily Small
Gun Violence: On September 30, approximately 80 RISC members attended a meeting we had with Mayor Stoney. Mayor Stoney reported that he and his team are considering putting together a program to address gun violence. The program was not the GVI (our RISC proposed solution). RISC had many questions about the Mayor’s blended program including who would put the program together and it’s timeline. He did not commit to funding. He could not tell us what “expert” would oversee such a process, nor a timeline.
We are saddened by Mayor Stoney’s decision, grieving for Richmond, and committed to continuing to work toward a solution we believe will work. — Emily Small
Update from Emily Small, RISC Lead Organizer (21 Sept 2020)
Housing: Councilmembers Robertson and Lynch are co-patroning a resolution that, if passed, requests the Mayor to honor his promise to RISC to dedicate revenue of at least $10 million into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund beginning in Fiscal Year 2022 (to begin next July). On September 22, at a press conference, the Mayor submitted his proposal for funding the AHTF and increasing the number of affordable housing units in the city. The resolution and Mayor’s plan will be a big topic of discussion (and possibly up for vote) at the City Council meeting on Monday, September 28.
Nearly half of all Richmond residents are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their income just on housing. Richmond’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund provides grants of up to $250,000 to fill funding gaps in the development of income-restricted housing.
— Partnership for Housing Affordability,
RISC needs to be there (virtually) in full force at the Council meeting to bring the power of organized people to bear and ensure a final vote in the favor of justice on this critical issue. Details are –
September 28: Pre-meeting at 5:30 pm, City Council meeting begins at 6 pm
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86495569421?pwd=MXZXWEJ0dzJzS3FzUFJOMGg4Z1UwZz09/
Dial-in Number: 1 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 864 9556 9421 Passcode: 538669
Group Violence Intervention (GVI): Mayor Stoney will meet with RISC about our “ask” that the City enter into a 6 month contract with the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC). In our meeting with the Mayor in August, the Mayor diverted from the issue saying the City is considering two other programs: Cure Violence or Advance Peace. RISC feels strongly that NNSC is the best program for Richmond. We have the opportunity to explain why directly to the Mayor. Mayor Stoney will meet with RISC on Wednesday, September 30th – at 10 am. Our hope, we told him, is that he will have chosen one of the programs, despite his “no” answer to that on August 31st. Similarly to Housing, we need as many people to be on the call with Mayor Stoney on September 30. Details are:
September 30: Meeting at 10 am
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85923029592
Dial-in Number: 1 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 859 2302 9592
GVI, like any evidence-based program, must be implemented with fidelity. When it is not, it does indeed fail. We hoped that you would have researched the many successful implementations of GVI throughout our country. Because when implemented with fidelity, Mayor Stoney, GVI is the opposite of an “over-policing model,” and is by far the most effective program at reducing homicides and shootings.
— RISC letter to Mayor Stoney
Virtual House Meetings to Introduce you to RISC
We begin a new year with a listening and sharing process. We will meet in small group settings that this year will be virtual, on Zoom. We continue to focus on evictions, affordable housing, and gun violence. St. Elizabeth parishioners will host two house meetings. Pick the day and time that is convenient with your schedule. Email or call the organizer. They will send you the log in information.
Sat. Sept. 26, 9:30 a.m., contact Chris Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 266-3596 (voice, no text)
Wed., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m., contact Chris Barrett at email@example.com or 266-3596 (voice, no text)
Sun., Sept. 27, 3 p.m., contact the Willifords at 329-4719 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For other possibilities, contact Nancy Kunkel at email@example.com or 364-4953
Report on Mini-Action Meeting with City Council & Mayor Stoney
521 people attended the virtual meeting with the Mayor and Councilmembers Lynch, Addison, and Robertson.
On the issue of Housing, all four said “Yes” to
• dedicate streams of revenue for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that equal at least $10 million yearly
• at least 50% of the Affordable Housing Trust funds going to the creation of units for households earning 30% AMI and below.
We asked Mayor Stoney to fully explore Group Violence Intervention (GVI), by entering into a 6 month contract with the National Network for Safe Communities within the next 30 days. He said no. Mayor Stoney did commit that he would meet with us within 30 days. Our expectation is that he will have chosen one of the three options on the table – GVI, Cure Violence, or Advance Peace.
Mark your calendar for our next big gathering – the Community Problems Assembly on November 9th, 7 pm on Zoom.
Emily Small, RISC Lead Organizer