Taking a RISC

3/21/2024, 6 p.m.
It is gratifying to read Free Press reporter George Copeland Jr.’s article about the commit- ment shown by Richmond’s current …

It is gratifying to read Free Press reporter George Copeland Jr.’s article about the commitment shown by Richmond’s current and potential political leaders who attended a forum focused on affordable housing, mobile home repair and replacement, and gun violence prevention.

Tuesday night’s forum, which drew hundreds of parishioners from more than 20 member congregations to St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Henrico County, was organized by Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities, also known as RISC.

Such a turnout is incredible and worthy of several rounds of “Amazing Grace" performed by our Forever President Obama!

During the RISC meeting, pledges from City Councilmembers Stephanie A. Lynch, Andreas D. Addison and Ann-Frances Lambert for an additional $2 million in mobile home funding in next year’s budget and a resolution guaranteeing money owed from the 2022-23 fiscal year would be added to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Ms. Lynch agreed to patron the Trust Fund resolution and to ensure a mobile home fund amendment would be in the budget if it wasn’t already there.

She also charged the RISC members present to bring this same energy and collective organizing to other political offices outside the City of Richmond.

“It is not in any way equitable, just or Christ-like that we live in a country with so much and yet so many suffering with so little,” Ms. Lynch said. “If you live in Henrico, you live in Chesterfield, you live in other localities, I want you to push your electorate and challenge your elected leaders to do the same.”

Councilmembers Addison and Lambert agreed to co-patron the resolutions. Councilmember Ellen F. Robertson also agreed to support efforts in improving affordable housing and supporting mobile home repair and replacement, though she said additional budget amendments might not be necessary.

The additional funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Mobile Home Repair Program will help address critical needs in the city. The focus on gun violence prevention through the Group Violence Intervention solution also is commendable, as it has garnered success in other areas.

Say “Amen,” somebody.