A Green Richmond For Us. The health of the environment impacts all areas of our daily lives. Every neighborhood deserves access to green areas and parks -- their presence in our lives is invaluable. Unfortunately, there are large disparities across Richmond based on race, income and zip code.
There is an obvious disparity between different neighborhoods and a lot of the obstacles we see within our built and natural environment were done by design. We cannot afford to let these issues go unaddressed.
As mayor, I will do everything within my power to dismantle redlining and reinvest in communities with green infrastructure so every resident has access to healthy parks, community gardens, beautiful school campuses and the resources needed to maintain our green spaces no matter where you live in the city. I will prioritize breaking down systemic and structural barriers to clean energy, air, and water. My campaign and my administration will work to restore public trust by centering community voices throughout this process, not Dominion Energy.
Investing in green infrastructure is how we will continue to build wealth in our communities. To work toward true equity in Richmond, the city needs to prioritize reinvestment in the communities most affected by redlining. I will do that by: Reinvesting in neglected communities through green infrastructure and a green workforce to create equity. Currently, most of the heavy lifting to increase canopy cover is done by community groups. More investment from the city is needed to support city arborists and a green workforce to plant and care for street trees and green spaces. This will close the gap between neighborhoods in certain communities that do not have the access to money and resources to maintain public spaces.
Reinstating the Urban Forestry Commission. Richmond has not updated its tree ordinance in nearly 30 years nor created a long-term vision for forest management. The Commission will be responsible for creating an urban forestry master plan that will include updating the city’s outdated tree ordinance and increasing canopy cover in the city.
Committing to increase city-wide tree canopy to 60%. Excessive heat is the greatest weather-related cause of death in the U.S., where our most vulnerable residents -- including low income families, those without air conditioning, and those with respiratory illnesses suffer the most. By prioritizing areas with the greatest heat vulnerability index, we will not only increase shade and produce cleaner air, but improve the overall health of residents.
Increasing air quality monitoring in every district. Richmond remains one of the top asthma capitals in the country, where we rank eighth in the country for emergency room visits. And in areas within close proximity to garbage incinerators, factories and industrial waste, we see an increase in health risks. Because toxic waste is primarily located in low-income neighborhoods, our neighbors in the Southside and East End experience higher health risks. Working with city agencies, academic institutions and community groups, we will collect data and monitor air quality in every district of the city, especially in low-income areas, to learn where improvements need to be made.
Making Richmond a clean energy leader, including greener city-owned buildings and vehicles. Our city government must continue to lead by example by reducing its own energy consumption. Additionally, by fixing Richmond's broken permit process we will eliminate barriers to solar energy for our neighbors
Updating existing parks, playgrounds and school campuses so all residents have equitable access to nature within a 10-minute walk. Our effort to greenline neighborhoods includes beautification and trash cleanup, developing greenways to improve pedestrian access and creating new pocket parks in areas with little access so residents can recreate.
Protecting natural assets, such as the James River, to ensure a healthy watershed and ecosystem. Every Richmonder relies on the James River for their drinking water. It’s necessary to invest in infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number of trash and recycling bins around the city to limit pollution, strengthen public education and maintain the river’s value for recreation, tourism and business.
Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Alexsis Rodgers Copyright 2020