Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Coordinating After-School Programs, Homelessness Prevention, and Councilman Jewell Rails Against Corporate Richmond and Homeward

Mr. Hilbert (3rd District), the Chair of Richmond City Council's Health, Human Services, and Education Committee is out of town. At Monday's Council Meeting, it was reported he is in Colorado. In his place, Councilman Marty Jewell (5th District) chaired the meeting. Councilman and Committee member Doug Conner (9th District) was present. Councilman Bruce Tyler (Committee Alternate, 1st District) reported he would be absent. Council President Kathy Grazinano (4th District) arrived at 5:19, stayed for about half an hour and participated in the discussion on coordinating after school programs for Richmond youths.

No other members of the press were in attendance. I was the only speaker during the Citizen Comment Period. I commented I would appreciate if the meetings started no later than 5 minutes after the hour. Today's meeting began ten minutes late. The last Council meeting did not start until 6:15 PM. I also objected to the minutes, because they were vague; the minutes reported "Joyce Davis, Policy Analyst, provided information to the Committee." I offered an amendment to the minutes which the Committee did not adopt requesting the minutes reference Ms. Davis's report was on transfat and discussed possible legislative action that the Council could take regarding the use of transfat oils by local restaurants.

Two major discussions occurred during this 2 hour long meeting. The first was a discussion of the coordination of after school programs between area non-profits, Richmond Public Schools, and the Department of Parks and Recreation [begins at minute 4:15 / concludes by 46:06 minutes ]. Sandra "Sandy" Booth, Manager of Community Initiatives: Children, Youth, & Families with United Way, gave a slide presentation to the Committee and described the work that her group is doing to improve access, quality, coordination, and policies for after school programs utilizing national best practices and exploring training opportunities. Program partners include Altria (Philip Morris), Art 180 , Boys and Girls Clubs , Team Up Richmond, and Feed More.

The second major topic of discussion was Ordinance 2009-144. The paper seeks to take advantage of $2 million+ in Stimulus Funds to prevent homelessness and to fund a "Rapid Rehousing Program."

This discussion begins at minute 46:00 and continues for about an hour. More details soon.

Marty Jewell's tirade against Corporate Richmond and it's child, Homeward can be heard at 1 hour, 36 minutes

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