City will receive $25,000 plus other assistance and support to help fight blight Richmond, VA – Cities of Service today announced Richmond as a winner of its Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block competition. Love Your Block enables local governments to engage communities in neighborhood revitalization efforts benefiting low-income communities. In Richmond, the city will provide mini-grants to collaborative community organizations and other groups to address blight associated with derelict houses and businesses, graffiti, illegal dumping and trash in the public right-of-way. The Love Your Block investments will be made where economically, racially and culturally disadvantaged residents are concentrated, as well as where there is a diminished voice in influencing policy and investment. Removing blight from the city is a top priority for Mayor Levar Stoney, who understands the adverse impacts of blight on individuals, families and communities in areas of health, employment, economic development, education and housing. Richmond is committed to creating neighborhoods that are aesthetically attractive, and where residents feel healthy, safe and proud to live. “Thanks to Cities of Service, AmeriCorps and the tremendous efforts of our Neighbor-to-Neighbor program and Human Services team, we’re able to do more to benefit our low-income communities,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “This is how we build One Richmond; the Love Your Block program and further investment in Richmond will make a needed difference in people’s lives.” Indeed, a recent study from the Urban Institute found the connection Love Your Block forges between city leaders and citizens at the neighborhood level can be an essential catalyst for collective action by neighborhood residents. The other winning cities are Buffalo, New York, Gary, Indiana, Hamilton, Ohio, Hartford, Connecticut, Huntington, West Virginia, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Newark, New Jersey and South Bend, Indiana. For more information about Richmond’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor program and application of the Love Your Block initiative, please contact Paul Manning at email@example.com or (804) 646-6528. For more information about Cities of Service and the Love Your Block program, please visit citiesofservice.org or contact Karen Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 324-8390.