RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - She’s often gone head-to-head with the current mayor, but now Kim Gray is making the pitch to take over the job. She’s a current city councilor who says city hall needs to be cleaned up.
Gray says the current administration is plagued with corruption and red tape. If elected, she says a Gray administration will bring common sense to the city hall.
Gray is no stranger to politics. From Richmond’s school board to the city council, she’s been in public office in the city for the better part of a dozen years.
“We talk about affordable housing but we’re holding up affordable housing projects for months or years on end,” said Gray.
The candidate says those holdups are part of the reason why she’s running. The 49-year-old says she will speed things up as mayor and will make affordable housing a top priority along with a plan to modernize all Richmond Public School buildings over the next decade.
“Consolidating and right-sizing our schools is necessary to accomplish that but the benefits far outweigh any of the negatives of school closures,” said Gray.
On the city’s COVID-19 response, Gray says the current administration was slow to get out personal protective equipment to people in need. Her future focus will be on funds for local businesses hurt by the economic downturn.
“We need an overall recognition of the importance of supporting commerce in our city,” said Gray. “If we throw barriers in front of our businesses and they end up having to shut down we are hurting our long-term revenues.”
Following a summer of unrest and heightened tensions between activists and police, Gray says they need to find a baseline of communication and set expectations. She wants a focus on community policing with teams helping those dealing with a mental health crisis.
“When our police are unknown to the communities they are serving it presents more issues especially with people who are in a mental health crisis,” said Gray.
Gray was also a champion behind the renaming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard. She says the move was to make Richmond more inclusive for all.
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