The Richmond Crusade for Voters held a public forum for the candidates for city council Tuesday night at the Military Retiree’s Club at 2220 Sledd Street. Recurring issues among the 18 candidates running for the 9 seats were economic development and affordable housing, with public safety and education coming up as well. From their comments at the forum, the two candidates for the 7th District seat might be living in 2 different neighborhoods…
Challenger Clarence Kenney paints the picture that the 7th district is stagnating and that a change needs to be made. Asking “are you better off 9 years later?”, Kenney says that “crime is as bad as it ever was” and that “people the are being duped out of their homes”. His approach is that education will take care of the social ills of the city’s neighborhoods, but that “we have a lot of schools that have a lot of problems” and “the kids are being miseducated”. On a positive note, Kenney said that “more people need to come off the sidelines and get involved”. He called for a need to weed out juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, the ABC store on 25th Street, and the corner stores that sell alcohol.
The incumbent Delores McQuinn says that “Richmond has the greatest of potential to be a destination city” but that there is much work to be done. Speaking on the schools in the district, she says that “my commitment has always been there” and reiterated her awareness of the need to advocate for and encourage the young people. McQunn described positive public safety changes, saying that the streets are safer and more full of people, 25th Street improvement is ongoing, and the schools in the district have shown notable improvement while she has been in office.
The Richmond Crusade for Voters was founded in 1956. The organization grew out of the Council to Save Public Schools, itself initially formed to fight a January 1956 law which allowed cities in Virginia the option of closing public schools rather than integrate them.