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Crusade’s candidate for 5th

10/31/2019, 6 p.m.
The Richmond Crusade for Voters is proud of its heritage rich with the tradition of supporting candidates whose primary interest ...

The Richmond Crusade for Voters is proud of its heritage rich with the tradition of supporting candidates whose primary interest is eliminating injustices, creation of equality and providing a voice for the downtrodden, disabled and disaffected citizens in our community.

We do not take our responsibilities lightly and take careful consideration in our evaluation process, interview- ing each candidate and making a close assessment of their qualifications as well as their concerns.

When evaluating candidates for the 5th District City Council seat, we considered experience the most important criteria for a number of reasons. This candidate in this special election should become an asset to the City Council, capable of making a contribution to the myriad of issues currently confronting the city.

That being said, the candidate elected should be knowledgeable about budgets, finance, bonds, planning, development, ordinances, special use permits and legal issues. This is not a time to put a person in office for on-the-job training in matters that will affect the city and its residents.

The issues are regarding our deteriorating schools, the all-important Downtown development project costing $1.5 billion and the increasing culture of nepotism and cronyism that appears to be infecting our administrative ranks at its highest level. Riverfront developments, burial ground issues, gentrification, the pending razing of public housing developments without plans for affordable housing for the low-income residents — all must be considered when selecting the next 5th District council representative because that person will not just serve the 5th District, but will make decisions affecting all voters in the city of Richmond.

A number of candidates have no experience in government administration, policy making or leadership. The next individual who occupies this council seat should be able to hit the ground running, be an independent voice for the people of the 5th District, understanding how to best serve their needs with no allegiances or attachments to any individuals or groups beyond the citizens of the 5th District.

It is clear to us that after careful consideration the Research Committee of the Crusade for Voters, having conducted individual interviews, public forums and background evaluations, that former City Councilman Chuck Richardson stands head and shoulders above the lot of contenders. His previous nine consecutive terms on council offers him the experience necessary to grasp the complexities of the machinations in city government and the proposed Downtown development project to prevent the city from making mistakes that other candidates have yet to recognize.

We received his list of past achievements and they represent a demonstrated record of solid performance and a conscientious councilman capable of attending to his district’s problems as well as citywide issues. Mr. Richardson’s previous abilities to navigate the city around difficult funding dilemmas, such as the parking decks in Carytown and the redesign of the Convention Center, is clear evidence of his ability to think outside the box and get things done.

BERNICE TRAVERS,

President

JOHN DIXON,

Research Committee chairman Richmond Crusade for Voters