Dear Community Members and Friends,
It has been my distinct honor to serve as the first Director of the Office of Community Wealth Building for the City of Richmond. Mayor Dwight C. Jones charted a bold vision for tackling the multiple causes of poverty in our city simultaneously, with the long-term aim of reducing poverty in Richmond by 40% over the next fifteen years. With the support of City Council, the Mayor acted to institutionalize this vision by making the Office of Community Wealth Building a permanent entity responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive poverty reduction plan for Richmond.
In the past two years, we have hired and assembled a staff of thirteen people; launched or help launch five new programs impacting low-income residents in the City; expanded the City's workforce development program; established a system of goals, metrics, and accountability for the effort; secured support from a major national foundation; and built strong partnerships with other public agencies and the local philanthropic and business community. Our initiatives are touching Richmonders from preschool to adulthood, in every corner of the City. During this time period as well the City has made major strides on large-scale initiatives such as Bus Rapid Transit, development of the Port of Richmond, tackling food deserts in the East End, and pursuing the transformation of public housing communities into thriving neighborhoods.
As we have said repeatedly, this is long term work. It is the work not of a single administration, but of a generation. And it is the work not of one or two leaders, but of the entire community. For that reason, I could not be more pleased that Mayor Jones has selected an experienced and esteemed community leader to continue this effort as the next Director of the Office.
On behalf of the staff of the Office of Community Wealth Building, I thank you for the support and engagement of in our work so far, and look forward to continued partnership and progress in the years to come.