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Agenda Review: Tuesday, December 5, 2023

12/05/23 Agenda Review [Agenda.pdf]* Updated 12/07/23


  • O.5.c: Contract with American Global Security for Site Security at the Castro Encampment.

    • This item was not of concern to me. I believe that we do need to secure the site to give us time to create and execute a long term plan. We have invested over $4M to resolve the Castro site and need to keep moving the site towards other uses. I believe this investment will free up resources to help people who find themselves unhoused directly instead of spending so much on illegal dumping clean-up and other things that do not support getting people housed.

  • P1: Update and Funding Options Using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Environmental and Community Agreement (ECIA)

    • Although I agree with using some funds to resource unfunded CIPs and allocated funds to support the development of more low income housing, I believe the staff recommended allocations do not sufficiently address the intent of ARPA funds which in my opinion focus on resilience and recovery from the pandemic / disasters.

    • As a result I would like to see:

      • More funds allocated to strengthening the most vulnerable Richmond businesses that were at extreme risk during covid (Gross profit under $250k, owned by Bi-poc or other disadvantaged communities, located in census tracts most impacted by covid) . And listen to their requests made known through the community needs assessment, for capacity building and tech assistance and business development grants rather than more debt capital. I believe if we invest in strengthening our most vulnerable businesses (our tax base) we will become a more resilient city during a crisis and not during a crisis. I believe that tech assist and capacity building support if properly offered will enable businesses to make their own facade improvements and be more able to apply for other sources of funding and support. This is the best way to make a one time source of funding become a long term investment. $1.25M

      • Funds to improve city infrastructure that specifically responds to emergency relief like doing much needed repairs to the storm drain system $750,000

      • I also believe that creating new outdoor spaces, such as soccer fields and investing in city park maintenance and other playing fields and park facilities, where people can safely socialize and nurture their health and social connections is important $3.9M and $250k

    • I look forward to working with my council partners to make adjustments to the staff proposed allocations to meet these community needs.

  • Q.1: Cannabis Ordinance Amendments - POSTPONED

    • I look forward to learning more about the impact of this ordinance - I know there is community concern regarding the proliferation of cannabis operations in Richmond. Learning the differences in impact, location and risk between grow operations and retail sales is important. Also, understanding the economic benefits, and potential costs, of including cannabis in our city’s economy is important.

    • I also want to better understand the barriers to entry into legitimate cannabis retail and delivery businesses for those who suffered from the impacts of war on drugs so as we create these new categories with the intent of addressing historic inequity that we make sure our proposed solution actually solves the problem instead of creating new opportunities to tokenize or create mascots of member of disadvantaged communities for the benefit of wealthy backers. I want to make sure our ordinance makes sure that disadvantaged owners actually have decision making power in the day to day operations and strategic planning of the businesses and benefit from any profits

    • Research Requested:

      • I have requested documentation that shows the amount of funds the city has collected from cannabis operations to date and where those funds have been used. I have also asked for a report of projected increases expected from creating the proposed new licenses.

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