Mayor Levar Stoney delivers State of the City

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 11:24 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tuesday night Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney highlighted his office’s work in 2022 and set goals for 2023 in his State of the City address.

“In our quest to be the best city we can be, Richmond is winning,” Stoney told a crowd inside Main Street station.

Stoney started his speech by saying how the city has progressed in many areas, including telling the forgotten and painful story of Richmond’s past.

He explained how the city removed the last of its Confederate monuments last year and days later announced it had won a competitive grant for $11 million from the Mellon Foundation to create an Interpretive Center for the Shockoe Heritage site.

Stoney went on to say the city is also growing economically and gained more than 2,000 new jobs in 2022, along with $550 million in capital investments.

He also highlighted significant infrastructure enhancements around the city.

“We improved more than 200 miles of streets. We repaved Broad and Main Streets, and we repaved, and we repaved Gilpin Court for the first time in 30 years,” Stoney said.

This year Stoney said they’re also paving a new road to help more students in Richmond Public Schools continue their education.

The city will invest $1.5 million in a pilot program starting this fall to help get high school graduates through community college.

“We will pair a traditional scholarship with a monthly cash allowance, mentorship, and additional support so that more RPS graduates have the opportunity to receive post-secondary success,” Stoney said.

The mayor also announced a goal of creating 2,000 new homeownership opportunities for low-income Richmonders by 2030.

“In the coming months, we will finalize our plan of action, which will not only focus on building, preserving and protecting homes but on creating sustainable homeownership opportunities for families,” Stoney said. “We’re going to do that through downpayment assistance programs and financial empowerment education.”

Adding to trying to build a safer community, Stoney said the city has received a $750,000 grant to launch Richmond’s first Real Time Crime Center (RTCC).

“Think of this as an air traffic control for officers in the field using cameras and other modern technology,” Stoney said. " Real Time Crime Centers have the ability to maximize the efficiency and speed of investigations.”

The mayor said cities like Las Vegas and Miami use these crime centers to lock up offenders and locate illegal guns.

He also announced a $250,000 grant to the nonprofit “ Help Me, Help You” to launch a pilot program to help those who were once incarcerated find work when they return home.

“Despite a global pandemic paired with social and economic upheaval, we are experiencing much more than a comeback. As you heard tonight, our city is roaring back,” Stoney said.