Robert Bobb Endorses Jack Berry for Mayor

RICHMOND – Robert Bobb, long-time City Manager of Richmond, today announced his endorsement of Jack Berry for Mayor. Jack served as the Deputy City Manager and Chief of Staff under Mr. Bobb.

“I encourage Richmond citizens to vote for Jack Berry for mayor,” said Bobb. “He was my budget director when I was city manager. Jack is someone who will bring not only financial integrity to the city, but someone who will bring people together. I’ve seen that first hand.”

“Bob was instrumental in guiding Richmond through very difficult times,” said Berry. “I was fortunate to be part of a very talented team while Bob was City Manager. Bob loves Richmond and is known for his professionalism, integrity, and caring for all people. We are honored to have him support our campaign to build a high-performing City government.”

Robert C. Bobb served as City Manager of Richmond for 11 years. Today, he is the owner, President and CEO of The Robert Bobb Group, LLC (RBG), a multi-faceted private/public sector consulting firm. Recently, Bobb served as Emergency Financial Manager of the 87,000-student Detroit Public Schools (DPS) from March 2009 through May 2011. DPS was a school district in crisis due to decades of mismanagement and corruption. He immediately assembled a team of national turnaround experts to address the district’s legacy deficit and develop a Master Education Plan for 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

Bobb is the former City Administrator and Deputy Mayor for Washington, D.C. and served as the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security Advisor. In November 2006 he was elected city-wide as the President of the Washington, D.C. Board of Education and served on the Washington, DC State Board of Education. Prior to this, Bobb served as the City Manager of Oakland California and Executive Director of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency; City Manager of Richmond, Virginia; City Manager of Santa Ana, California; and City Manager of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Bobb holds the distinction of having served on a continuous basis as the longest tenured African-American City Manager/City Administrator in the Nation. He is an expert on the issues facing urban government in the realms of education, economic development, community and neighborhood development, municipal budgeting and finances, contract negotiations, public/private partnerships of sports franchises, libraries and recreation facilities, and public safety.
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Jack Berry Announces Education Priorities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2016

Contact: [email protected]
Phone: 804-382-8371

RICHMOND – Jack Berry today released the public education priorities he will champion as Richmond’s next mayor. His top five priorities focus on uniting the community around Richmond schools, creating a five-year financial plan for RPS, supporting the city’s teachers, fixing neglected buildings, and implementing school improvement programs.

“Richmond parents desperately want a school system that meets the needs of their children,” said Berry. “They want classroom environments that are conducive to learning. They want administrators that listen, respond and communicate well. They want school buildings that aren’t falling apart from neglect.”

“Parents are weary of budget battles and political drama,” Berry continued. “They just want schools that are accredited, with test scores that are improving, not declining. They want to live in a community that values public education and pulls together to support our kids. Parents want their children to learn and thrive in a safe, nurturing environment.”

“We need a mayor who will unite the community in support of public education,” added Berry. “We need a mayor who will bring financial and community resources to the task of improving Richmond Public Schools. The first step is demonstrating a level of competency and caring that earns the trust of the community.”

“Growing up, I saw first hand how transformative education can be,” said Berry.
“My mother was a public school teacher. I am proud of the fact that she was a civil rights leader in Lynchburg in the 1960s. She believed in civil liberties and she believed that a good education was a basic right. She was very intentional about building close personal relationships across racial lines and she stepped up for justice and equality when others did not. I’ll never forget the impact she had on the community’s mindset when she volunteered to be the first white teacher in an all-black school. I still have artwork from her students, and some still share memories of her from many decades ago.”

“My top education priority as mayor will be to bring our community together to fix our troubled schools, support our teachers, and marshall the community resources that will put all of our schools on a path to success,” Berry concluded.

On October 10, 2016, Berry will hold a “Back to School Town Hall” at Holy Rosary Catholic Church with parents and teachers to discuss the future of public education in Richmond. More information will be available soon.

“When Jack was County Administrator for Hanover County, he brought the community together and helped to lead the largest ever bond referendum for school construction and improvements,” said John Gordon, former chairman of the Hanover County School Board and Board of Supervisors. “It was his leadership, capability and dedication to Hanover’s schools that made this possible. I know he will bring the same leadership to Richmond as mayor.”

Jack Berry’s Top 5 Education Priorities

 

1. Unite the community in support of Richmond Public Schools

As Mayor, Berry will convene a Mayor’s Education Advisory Council with representatives of the Mayor’s Office, School Board and Superintendent, City Council, nonprofits serving Richmond schools, the business community, parents and teachers to create a united effort to support and to stimulate change for Richmond Public Schools. With Berry as Mayor, City Hall and the school system will no longer work against each other, but instead, will work in tandem with the community to improve Richmond schools. There will be regular meetings of elected and appointed officials, a designated liaison from the Mayor’s Office to RPS, and a coordinated strategy. Just like he did in Hanover, Berry will make City Hall a credible and capable partner so that community resources are drawn to the effort, not repelled by dysfunction. Berry does not just talk about unifying efforts to support kids he has done it.

2. Create a Five-Year Financial Plan for Richmond Public Schools

Berry believes that funding for RPS should be predictable and reliable. Berry will create a Five-year Financial Plan with a funding stream for the baseline budget that is tied to a percentage of the city’s real estate tax revenues. In the future, budget debates will focus on enhancements not core services. Five-Year budget planning was a hallmark of his tenure as the Hanover County Administrator. It forced a constant dialog about issues, opportunities and constraints, which made everyone aware of the challenges faced by each other, and promoted teamwork toward the common goal. Berry does not just talk about results-oriented budget planning he has done it.

3. Value teachers and reward performance and experience

We need to do a better job retaining teachers in city schools. Currently, almost half of RPS teachers stay five years or less. Many teachers face burnout and are discouraged when merit increases are withheld year after year. Through the budget plan, Berry will ensure that adequate funding is in place to reward experienced teachers, provide classroom support and implement recruitment efforts to attract the best teachers to Richmond’s schools. In the past, Berry has helped lead recruiting missions to teacher job fairs in other cities in partnership with local companies, and has annually hosted teacher recognition events to thank new teachers for their commitment to our children. Berry does not just talk about valuing teachers he has done it.

4. Fix neglected buildings and build for the future

Every child in the city deserves to be learning in clean, safe, high-quality classrooms fit for 21st century learning, not buildings with ceilings falling down and mold issues. Every building does not have to be new, but every building should be functional. Much work has already been done to chart a course for renovations, consolidations, expansions and new schools, but plans are meaningless without an implementation strategy. The City’s debt capacity is limited, but there are creative financing strategies to get the first phase of improvements underway quickly. In the first 60 days as mayor, Berry will propose a plan of finance that breaks the log jam, honors the City’s financial and debt policies, and preserves the City’s credit rating. He will redirect savings from the City budget to schools, re-order some of the priorities in the City’s 5- Year Capital Improvement Program, and pursue interim financing strategies that overcome short term constraints. He will work with the Superintendent to fix RPS school buildings that are falling apart and improve learning environments at neglected RPS schools.

5. Support school improvement programs targeted to schools facing biggest challenges

Too many children are attending underperforming schools because of where they live, and because other opportunities are not within reach. Schools are not immune from society’s ills and are often a reflection of the communities they serve. Berry will work in tandem with RPS to target resources to the greatest needs within struggling schools. He will support school turn-around programs that may include lower class sizes, more reading and math specialists, more teacher aides, and incentives for teachers to take on the toughest assignments. He will also support community efforts such as existing faith-based mentoring initiatives and the Communities in Schools program. His school strategy will go hand in hand with his strategy to reduce poverty and build healthy, mixed income neighborhoods.

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Upcoming Mayoral Forums

Jack Berry will be discussing his vision for Richmond at several upcoming mayoral candidate forums. Event and attendance information can be found at the web links below:

Tuesday, Sept. 20: Southside Mayoral Forum, 7-9 p.m. at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 4401 Forest Hill Ave. The event is hosted by a coalition of neighborhood organizations.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/249893165411285/

Saturday, Sept. 24: Richmond Mayoral Candidate Forum on Criminal Justice Reform, 2-4 p.m. at Richmond Public Library Main Branch (Auditorium) 101 E. Franklin Street
Hosted by New Virginia Majority in partnership with Richmond Branch NAACP and Kinfolks Community, Inc.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1675433919444073/

Thursday, Sept. 29: Mayorathon, 6:30-9 p.m. at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Bouelvard. The event is organized by James River Association, Richmond Forward, Richmond magazine, RVA Rapid Transit, Sports Backers/Bike Walk RVA and Storefront for Community Design.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1016537185081938/

Tuesday, Oct. 4: Mayoral Candidate Forum, 7-9 p.m. at Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave.
Sponsored by:
A Philip Randolph Institute * Advocates for Equity in Schools * Alliance for a Progressive Virginia * Brown Virginia * Diversity Richmond * Latinos and Amigos * Mothers and Others of Va * Senior Center of Greater Richmond * Sierra Club- Fall of the James * Virginia Organizing * Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance * Women-Matter.org * WRIR 97.3 media sponsor
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1661397580844855/

Tuesday, Oct. 11: Create the VOTE: A Mayoral Forum on Tapping RVA’s Creative Culture, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Historic Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre at Virginia Rep Theatre, 114 West Broad Street. The event is organized by CultureWorks Richmond.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/295104870854068/

Thursday, Oct 13: Richmond Justice: The Mayoral Debate, 7-9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 815 E Grace St. Richmond Justice gathers candidates for mayor to discuss urgent issues in criminal justice three weeks before Election Day.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1810173715868917/

Monday, Oct 17: ChamberRVA Richmond Mayoral Debate, 6:45-8:30 p.m. at Altria Theater, 6 N Laurel St. This debate is free and open to the public, and will also be broadcasted live on NBC12, WCVE FM radio, and WCVW-57.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1771686009787819/

Jack Berry Announces Intent to Halt Reedy Creek Relocation Project as Mayor of Richmond

After touring the Reedy Creek relocation project area with neighbors and environmental scientists, and joining the League of Conservation Voters in a volunteer work day removing invasive plants from park, Jack Berry announced that as mayor he will halt the Reedy Creek relocation project pending a comprehensive analysis of alternatives for improving water quality in the watershed.

“The Reedy Creek restoration project is a misnomer.  It is not about restoration, it is about relocation of natural streams into engineered channels,” said Berry.  “Just because the City project is relatively easy to construct does not mean that it is good for the park, the natural environment, the watershed or the Chesapeake Bay.”

This project is being pursued by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in order to obtain “credits” for work done to improve the Chesapeake Bay.  This particular project was selected in part because the City owns the property and would not need to obtain easements from private property owners.

Stream restorations are a popular way for localities to obtain credits for removing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.  Some projects have much more environmental benefit than others.

“The relocation project will do nothing to change the underlying problem, which is the volume and velocity of the water coming down the channel from the large upstream drainage area,” said Berry. “There may be much better alternatives than clear-cutting a large section of the park, removing over 400 trees, and relocating and backfilling portions of several natural stream beds.  More attention should be focused on the upstream source of the problem.”

The project includes Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch, a tributary within the Crooked Branch Ravine Park. The project is downstream from a concrete channel that concentrates storm water.

Jack Berry for Mayor Announces Campaign Co-Chairs

Richmond Leaders Zarina Fazaldin and Jim Ukrop to Serve as Campaign Co-Chairs

 

RICHMOND – Jack Berry announced today that Zarina Fazaldin and Jim Ukrop will serve as co-chairs of his campaign for mayor. Both Fazaldin and Ukrop are long-time leaders in the Richmond community.

 

In announcing their leadership position, Berry noted, “I am honored to have Zarina and Jim leading my campaign for mayor. I have known both of them for a very long time through our mutual activities working to improve the City of Richmond, bring more people downtown, and grow investment in the city. I look forward to working with them to build support in all nine districts of the city and spread our message that we must make Richmond a higher performing city that is a magnet of opportunity for young people, families and those who have been left behind.”

 

Speaking about today’s announcement, Fazaldin said, “When I think about ‘RVA’ and the energy and excitement going on in the city right now, I’m proud to know that Jack Berry was behind the groundswell we are experiencing today. Jack is a uniter, and has the background and proven record to bring everyone together to fix our school system, attract young people to the city, make a comfortable living for seniors, bring jobs and new opportunities here, and bring transparency and accountability to our city government.”

 

Ukrop added, “Jack Berry is the leader we need in city hall because of his proven experience as the former CEO of Venture Richmond, county administrator of Hanover County, and deputy city manager for the Richmond. He understands what is needed to run a complex organization, get our budget back on track, and bring new opportunities to Richmond. Jack is the kind of leader that identifies a problem and immediately sets to work to fix it, working in tandem with stakeholders and community leaders to make it happen. He’s done it time and again. He’ll bring that passion and experience to City Hall and get the politics out of city government.”

 

Zarina Fazaldin Bio

 

Zarina Fazaldin is the co-founder of L&Z Historic, LLC, a real estate community development business targeted at the restoration of dilapidated old historic houses primarily in Carver, Jackson Ward and Woodland Heights in Richmond for over 15 years. L&Z Historic has focused their work on assisting in renewing and revitalizing communities in the City of Richmond.  L&Z Historic has invested over $ 3 million dollars restoring historic homes in Richmond.

 

A long-time Richmond community activist, Fazaldin has been involved in local and state races since 1990, including: Governor Wilder for Governor; Mary Sue Terry for Governor; Tim Kaine for Governor; Terry McAuliffe for Governor; Mark Herring for Attorney General; Bobby Scott for Congress; Doug Wilder for Mayor; Mike Herring for Commonwealth Attorney; Daniel Gecker for Chesterfield County Supervisor and Senate; Chris Hilbert for City Council; Bill Pantele for City Council; CT Woody for Sherriff; Jennifer McClellan for Delegate; Aneesh Chopra for Lt. Governor; and, Charles Samuels for City Council. Because of her dedication, the Richmond City Democratic Committee awarded her the Spotswood Robinson Award in 2007.  She is a 2005 recipient of the Richmond Star Award for Small Business Ownership from the Richmond Business Women’s Association, and Outstanding Employee/Teacher Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Correctional Education. She is a member of the Coalition for Greater Richmond, Richmond Crusade for Voters and the Richmond Folk Festival program committee, as well as a former board member of the Richmond Economic Development Authority.

 

Jim Ukrop Bio

 

Jim Ukrop is a respected entrepreneur, business leader and valued civic and cultural advisor. He is a visionary who inspires and mentors young professionals, seasoned business executives as well as those in elected positions in local and regional governments. Over the years, he has spearheaded and championed vibrant business, arts and public school initiatives, including advocating for affordable housing through Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Better Housing Coalition, and for Richmond students through Richmond Public Schools and Communities in Schools. As a co-founder of New Richmond Ventures, he shares his creative energy with Richmond’s entrepreneurial, up and coming leaders. Jim’s career included serving as CEO and Chairman of Ukrop’s Supermarkets and Chairman of First Market Bank. He is a role model for inspired community service leading by example with his extensive, dedicated board and volunteer activities throughout the region.

VIDEO:  “I’m with Jack Berry”

Today my campaign put out a web video about why I’m running for mayor of Richmond. The video outlines my experience and also highlights what my priorities will be as mayor.

  
Please share this video and help us get out the message.
The video features supporters from around the city who are “with Jack.” Are you “all in”?
DONATE NOW to show your support!

Viola Baskerville Endorses Jack Berry for Mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2016

Contact: [email protected]
Phone: 804-382-8371

RICHMOND – Viola Baskerville, a long-time leader and Richmond native who served as Secretary of Administration under then-Governor Tim Kaine and is a former member of the Richmond City Council and the Virginia House of Delegates, today announced her endorsement of Jack Berry for mayor.

“Jack is a trusted, respected, and accomplished leader who has worked for over 35 years to better the lives of every Richmond citizen,” said Baskerville. “He has the experience, passion and vision to unite our community and get things done. He is a true public servant.”

“I could not be more honored to receive such an esteemed endorsement as one from Viola,” said Berry. “A trailblazer, Viola has been a civil rights and social justice leader in Richmond her entire life.”

Viola Osborne Baskerville was educated in the segregated Richmond public school system until the eighth grade and graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1973 — where she was one of six African Americans in her class — won a Fulbright scholarship, and earned a law degree from the University of Iowa’s College of Law in 1979. She is married to her life partner, Dr. Archer Baskerville, and is the mother of two grown sons.

Baskerville, a Virginia native who traces her maternal family’s roots in the state to 1790, began her public career in 1994 when she was elected to the Richmond City Council. Prior to that, she had worked for many years as a civic volunteer while raising her children. In 1997, she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where she served four terms before resigning in 2005 to run for lieutenant governor in the Democratic Party primary. In 2005, Baskerville was appointed to run the transition team of the newly elected governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, and went on to serve as Kaine’s Secretary of Administration. Baskerville later served as CEO of the  Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, from which she retired in 2015.

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RTD EDITORIAL BOARD INTERVIEW

The Times-Dispatch editorial board interviews Richmond mayoral candidate Jack Berry.

“What if we didn’t have another politician in City Hall, just a guy who knows how to run a city that works for everyone?”
This interview shows why everyone in RVA is saying “I’m all in for Jack”

  

RECAP VIDEO: OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN OFFICE OPENING

This recap video is from our official office opening on Friday, July 1st. We had a great, fired up crowd of supporters who filled the office with energy!

As Jack said at the office opening, “We need a mayor that’s going to unify the community, we need a mayor that has some experience, and we want to be a magnet of opportunity for young people, families, and we want to be a more hopeful place for folks who have been left behind.”

  

THIRD DISTRICT TOWN HALL THIS TUESDAY

The Jack Berry for Mayor campaign will hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 5 at:

First United Presbyterian Church
3401 North Ave, Richmond, VA 23222
from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

This event will be an opportunity to ask questions and get to know Jack Berry!