RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In politics since 2004, Levar Stoney is Richmond’s youngest mayor. In 2016, he won the three-way race by a narrow margin and again he’s facing a crowded field.
“The next four years are critical as the next decade is critical,” said Stoney.
From his campaign office downtown, Stoney touts his accomplishments while in office, many of which have come to fruition in his final year. Those include three new schools, expanding after-school programs, building 19-hundred affordable housing units and tripling the affordable housing trust fund.
“This is the work I think is necessary to close the gaps between those who are black in our city and who are white in our city and that’s the work that we have to do,” said Stoney.
That work has been complicated by an unforeseen pandemic. Stoney says battling COVID-19 is now the number one issue with his focus on testing in Black and Brown communities.
In May, he drew controversy for getting the governor’s approval to delay moving the city into phase one of reopening just days before the transition was set to happen.
“2020 has been a challenging and I think a difficult time for a number of people,” said Stoney.
During his first campaign, Stoney ran as the education mayor. If re-elected, the 39-year-old says his priorities will shift by investigating where your children live.
“Transforming public housing is right at the top of the list,” said Stoney.
After a summer of unrest, vocal protests, painful apologies and toppled confederate monuments, Stoney says he’s the one to lead Richmond forward by bringing together community, police and city hall all through conversation and policy change.
“This is a very challenging time for us. And there’s going to be a healing process necessary after what’s happened here in 2020,” said Stoney.
Stoney says while he’s proud of removing confederate monuments from this city over the summer, it’s symbolic. He wants to be known as the person who brings about more tangible change.
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