Crusade for Voters to hold forum Feb. 20 on proposed meals tax hike
2/16/2018, 2:27 p.m.
The Richmond Crusade for Voters on Wednesday urged Richmond City Council to delay for two weeks a vote on raising the meals tax to allow the organization hold a community forum on the proposal.
Richmond’s oldest and largest African-American political group issued the call in announcing plans to hold a forum on the meals tax at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Military Retirees’ Club, 2220 Chamberlayne Ave.
The forum is to be free and open to the public. The goal is to allow advocates and opponents to have their say as part of educating the public, according to Crusade leaders.
Crusade President Bernice Travers said a two-week delay would not hamper Mayor Levar M. Stoney or City Council as the proposed meals tax increase to help fund new schools would not go into effect until July 1.
“Our children and their futures are at stake here,” Ms. Travers said. “They need modernized schools and educational environments that are conducive to learning.
“The food tax will not generate sufficient revenue to renovate or build all of our deteriorating schools,” said Ms. Travers, whose group supported a referendum to require the mayor to come up with a plan to fully fund school building needs.
“The community and parents need to be better informed on the mayor’s and council’s meals tax proposal and plans to modernize our schools.”
Johnny Walker, chair of the Crusade’s Research Committee and organizer of the forum, said the Crusade, along with many in the community, are concerned about the rush to pass the legislation without sufficient community discussion.
He said the push to pass significant legislation without allowing more community discussion flouts past practice.