I hope this email finds you and your family well.
July was full with many City Council and community meetings. Using video allows our work to continue smoothly and enables us to have great connectivity with our Norfolk residents! I enjoy seeing civic league presidents, business owners, and residents AND they enjoy seeing Grady crash the meetings as he hops on my lap.
Good news for businesses in Norfolk. On July 14, Norfolk City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the Norfolk Economic Development Authority to create the Coronavirus Relief Grant Fund with $2M. This money comes from the federal CARES Act funding of which Norfolk received a total of $21M. These grant funds are available for small for-profit businesses and nonprofits located in Norfolk who have been impacted by COVID-19. Please direct any businesses you know who could benefit from this support to the www.norfolkdevelopment.com. Applications will go live on Wednesday, August 5.
As you recall from my previous email, I advocate for comprehensive police reform and I do not support defunding the police. And, on July 14, Norfolk City Council continued our police reform journey by passing an ordinance related to evaluating policing practices. There are four elements to the ordinance:
- Conduct an evaluation of the last 5 years of policing and crime data with a third-party entity and publish on the City’s open data portal
- Develop a police data dissemination program/data dashboard for public consumption
- Ask the City Manager to present a concept and cost estimate for the creation of a public safety oversight and review panel at the September 22, 2020 City Council meeting
- Spend $860,000 for the creation of a full-time Crisis Response Team within the existing Crisis Intervention Team
I appreciate the thoughtful and measured approach we are taking on police reform. Please know that our Norfolk Police Chief, Larry Boone, supports these measures. I want to commend the Norfolk Police Dept. for their very good work during the pandemic and social unrest in Norfolk. They have partnered with protestors enabling peaceful protests and Chief Boone has even marched with protestors.
I encourage all in Hampton Roads to really focus on doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. The testing results demonstrate a positivity rate of 11.9% in Norfolk, which is just too high.
This week Governor Northam put restrictions on our region taking effect July 31 including:
- Reducing gatherings to 50 people from 250;
- Restaurants/bars will stop serving alcohol at 10:00pm and close at midnight;
- Indoor restaurant seating capacity goes to 50% from 75%.
I have been biking and running during this time to stay in shape physically and mentally. Last Sunday I probably saw over 60 bikers during my ride. I love seeing everyone out and about despite the heat.
Stay well. Stay positive. Stay cool.
Greater Park Place Task Force
City Council Meeting
Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Meeting