Sagal Ahmed, Contributing Writer
Along with nominations for president, vice president and state officials, voters will see Richmond City Council candidates on their ballots. Here is some background on candidates running for seats in Richmond’s 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th districts, all seeking to represent areas near VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.
Richmond’s North Central 2nd Voter District includes neighborhoods such as the Fan and Scott’s Addition. The district runs between Laburnum and Floyd avenues, spreading southeast from some areas west of Arthur Ashe Boulevard to the intersection of Chamberlayne Avenue and Broad Street.
Katherine Jordan supports an increase of pay for teachers and staff in Richmond Public Schools as well as ending the school-to-prison pipeline. The Fan District resident supports demilitarizing police, banning tear gas and establishing a statewide Marcus Alert, which would send teams of mental health professionals into the field with police responding to crises.
Tavarris Spinks is running against budget cuts in Richmond Public Schools, working with the school board, superintendent and advocates to ensure funding is allocated properly. Born and raised in the East End, he aims to work with community organizations and administration to address the housing issue in the 2nd District with expanded housing vouchers for low-income families, elders, and the disabled.
The Central 5th Voter District includes neighborhoods south of Floyd Avenue — such as Randolph and Carytown — as well as Woodland Heights in the South Side.
Stephanie Lynch, an incumbent and Woodland Heights resident, wants to establish a permanent teacher advisory committee. She supports offender rehabilitation, transparency and discipline in police forces, as well as removing armed officers from schools. Lynch also supports the Eviction Diversion Program and expanding the Housing Affordability Trust Fund.
Jer’Mykeal McCoy is a business development manager with Schutt Sports and a capstone adviser at Georgetown University. McCoy supports teacher pay increase, fully funding schools and restorative justice alternatives. He supports public health services, violence prevention programs and holding law officials accountable. McCoy hopes to increase the Richmond Health District’s funding to allow more COVID-19 testing and assistance.
Mamie Taylor, a former RPS teacher and school board representative, plans to increase school funding and hire additional African-American male teachers. Taylor prioritizes affordable housing, renters’ resources and homeownership opportunities. Taylor did not support the Navy Hill Project and plans to implement public input in future development efforts.
Running along I-95 and covering the area around Richmond City Hall, the Gateway 6th Voter District would have been the site of the failed Navy Hill development. Other neighborhoods in the district include part of East Highland Park and Highland Park Southern Tip.
Ellen Robertson has served as 6th District City Council Member for 17 years. Robertson is the first African American woman to serve as chair of the city’s planning commission. Her platform focuses on issues including food accessibility, affordable housing, poverty, healthcare and racism.
Allan-Charles Chipman was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He supports empowering schools with developmental authority and assessing impact on marginalized groups before decisions are made in the city. Chipman also plans to provide COVID-19 resources and testing to the Richmond community.
The 7th District covers the East End of Richmond, including Church Hill, Union Hill, Whitcomb Court and Mosby Court neighborhoods.
Cynthia Newbille has served in City Council’s 7th District for 10 years. She supported the council’s plan to use tax revenue for education and school renovation. Newbille plans to use resources to provide residents with personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing, mortgage and rental assistance, homelessness programs, tax relief for seniors and the disabled, and child care for essential workers.
Joseph Rogers is a community organizer and advocate who hopes to raise the corporate tax rate and allocate additional funding toward schools. He supports defunding the police, removing police from schools and banning chemical agents as a form of crowd control. He supports reforms such as the Marcus Alert bill and a civilian review board.
This article was updated Oct. 23 to remove a graphic that misspelled 6th District candidate Allan-Charles Chipman’s name. We regret the error.