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Laying the Groundwork for Major Investment in Richmond's Youth

After being sworn in to the Council in 2013, I wasted no time developing a policy I believed would prepare every young person in Richmond for a bright successful future.

In May of 2013, I proposed a pilot project called the Pride & Purpose Promise to the Council. Modeled off of the Kalamazoo Promise in Michigan, this proposal would represent collaboration between businesses & the city to guarantee that every student in Richmond who graduates High School would have funds available to continue their education.

The Promise program ended up becoming the key point of negotiations between the City of Richmond and Chevron over the summer, as the City considered whether or not to sue Chevron in response to the 2012 fire. The Council ultimately decided that a lawsuit was necessary to hold Chevron accountable and the Promise program was put on hold.

But since the summer, the issue of how to better invest in Richmond's youth has remained a topic of discussion. A recent survey conducted by the City to determine voters appetite for a half cent sales tax in the fall to fund road maintenance, found that while a strong majority of voters would support such a tax, most would like to see a significant portion of the money go to programs for young people to "keep kids off the streets."

So there is still much work to do and I stand prepared to continue to lead efforts to increase the city's investment in our young people.