Posts Tagged ‘venture richmond’

Check out Mo’s essay on why to protest on Easter Sunday!

http://mokarnage.com/2014/04/20/sunday-sermon-the-appropriateness-of-an-easter-protest/

And some signs we are bringing –

easter1 easter2 easter3

VRandLM

VRandMPAC

For folks who are unclear about the connection between Venture Richmond and the Monroe Park Conservancy (previously MPAC) and their efforts to privatize Monroe Park. 9 out of 11 MPC members are either on Venture Richmond’s board or related to someone on the board or have a board member as their boss….

All 3 city reps on the Conservancy are from the Mayor’s administration and closely tied to him as well as under his thumb.

Fixed error or previous image to call the Monroe Park Gentrifying Committee by their current moniker, the Monroe Park Conservancy.

 

cartoon-animals-vulture

We’re not sure if it counts as a conspiracy if it is so blatant and public. But anyways, it is time for everyone in the Richmond area to take a closer look at Vulture (Venture) Richmond, who is involved, and what they are pushing in this city. We are posting the entire list of their Board of Directors, taken from their website, below. We are also teasing out some of the obvious connections between these people are various icky things happening in Richmond and conflicts of interest. But please take a look at the list and see if you can pull out some connections of your own. We would love to hear em.

Basically though, Venture Richmond is closely connected to local media, City council members, the privatization of Monroe park, the Revitalize RVA plan, and attempts to get their own Tax exemptions. All the struggles are connected, and Venture Richmond just highlights the intensity of intersectionality in Richmond right now.

John W. Bates III of McGuireWoods is on the Venture Richmond Board AND is on the Monroe Park Conservancy as one of the 4 citizen representatives. Not that citizens in Richmond had any say regarding the creation of the Monroe Park Conservancy, the renovation plans, the idea of considering privatizing Monroe Park, or how many and what type of citizen might represent citizens on the board.

From local politicians, we have Mayor Dwight Jones, City Councilman and Council President Charles Samuels, and City Councilwoman and Council Vice President Ellen Robertson. So not only is the Mayor involved in this massive conflict of interest, but so are 2 out of the 9 City Council Members. It would seem only fair that they would be not allowed to participate in any votes regarding projects Venture Richmond is working on.

From local media we have Thomas Silvestri, the President and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which seems like a potential conflict of interest in the news coverage of local issues by the paper. Sounds like the news coverage of Venture Richmond in the paper is about as fair and balanced as Fox news.

James E. Ukrop, the Principal, New Richmond Ventures, is on Venture Richmond’s board, and his relative is R. Scott Ukrop, who is also one of the 4 citizen members of the Monroe Park Conservancy.

If you have the time and inclination, check out the financials of Venture Richmond here: http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1256458/venture-richmond.aspx

From the Venture Richmond website:

Board of directors

Officers

Chairman and CEO

Jacqueline McClenney-Wallace*
President, McClenney Wallace, PC

Vice chairman and chairman of executive committee

Mary Doswell
Senior vice president, Alternative Energy Solutions, Dominion

President

Dwight C. Jones**
Mayor, City of Richmond

Immediate past chairman and CEO

Robert W. Woltz Jr.*

Secretary

Mark R. Merhige*
President, The Shockoe Company (more…)

Just made a new logo for Vulture Richmond. Hoping Jack Barry will kick down some of his huge salary to repay these graphic design efforts.

cartoon-animals-vulture

And here is the Looting RVA logo someone else made:

lootingrva

When we break, we rise!

Quail Bell publishes an article on the rising Resistance in Richmond!!

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So got word that some people are giving the Wingnut credit/blame for the awesome #dwightjonesissellingourcity wheatpasted posters that are going up around town. Even heard a suggestion that the Wingnut might be raided over this. A raid would be bad cause of our four loving puppies.

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Well sad to say we are NOT the awesome people responsible for these posters, and we don’t know who is.

We do think it is kinda weird that the city would be extra fussy  to remove those specific pieces of street art over all the rest that goes on in this city. And maybe we need to start speaking out against money being spent to take down these posters when Loving RVA ads get free pages in official parks publications etc.

We think the posters are awesome. We think we need more messages calling out the situation. And vandalism and civil disobedience are valid tactics in our tool kits. But please be careful who ever is doing this. It looks like the City wants to spend money to take em down and then catch someone to pin it on to charge them.

The resistance has no leaders and no hierarchies. As far as we know it could be 100 different people doing this. And we hope all 100 people get away with it and keep speaking truth to power through whatever means necessary.

We look forward to seeing the many creative ways the resistance moves forward to fight against a stadium in shockoe, privatization of monroe park, and tax breaks for Vulture Richmond. Everyone who came out yesterday showed exactly how much heart we have on our side.

Take care of yourself and take care of eachother so we can all continue in this struggle. And the next time we pack city council, lets organize snacks for everyone. Seriously.

Editors Note: This is an anonymous submission which was sent to one of the Wingnuts. The anonymous author sent it to several Council members and news outlets. We heard that at least one local magazine would not oublish for fear of financial retribition.

I apologize for the anonymity. Lots of pressure going around.  Sending this to all Council members. Thank you for your consideration.

Dear Honorable Members of Richmond City Council,

I am writing you this afternoon because we are at a major crossroads in the great city of Richmond. In the next couple of weeks you will be asked to vote on a variety of issues that will weigh very heavily on the future of this city and the people within it for many decades to come.  While there are a variety of different development projects including the Revitalize RVA proposal, the Brown’s Island Amphitheater plan, and the ongoing management of Monroe Park on the table for you to soon vote on, there is a much more serious civic situation that you have the heavy burden of addressing. The yay or nay ballot that each of you will cast in regards to Mayor Jones’s Shockoe stadium proposal will be a vote on much more than whether or not to build on a historic site in Shockoe Bottom: It has now become a yay or nay vote to validate a model of how business is to be conducted by both non-profit organizations and well-funded commercial enterprises in the City of Richmond.

Over the past 4 months since Mayor Jones’s initial announcement of the RevitalizeRVA plan, his conduct, as well as that of Venture Richmond and LovingRVA, have been questionable at best (and spinelessly manipulative at worst) to both the democratic process and the non-profit model that has been at the heart of much of RVA’s lifestyle and cultural expansion over the past 3-5 years. On the surface it may appear that there is a large amount of support in the form of  Facebook “likes” and signatures from both the commercial and non-profit sectors of the city for this plan, the reality is that many of RVA’s small businesses are being kept in a silent, financial stranglehold around raising any questions or concerns around the RevitalizeRVA plan. Because many of our city’s non-profit organizations receive funding from major corporations such as Capital One, Bon Secours, and Altria there has been a passive aggressive mandate issued that if you want to keep receiving funds for your organization that you most “go along” with the stadium plan or risk losing some level of funding for your organization. This has been echoed by a number of different employees across many sectors under the cover of anonymity for fear of fiscal retribution.

Many of these organizations know that building another recreational facility is not in the best interest of the city. Regardless of the mayor’s blind eye to the educational issues in RVA’s currently rock-bottom education system, most RVA taxpayers overwhelmingly agree that our schools and infrastructure across the entire city are the immediate priority, not recreational sports and an illogical design that puts a hotel (typically consider a place for rest and relaxation, no?) right next to 7,000 screaming fans and fireworks going off at 9:00 at night. It doesn’t take a civil engineer to understand the problems around that and the many other shoddy details around financial liability and infrastructure assessments for this project. But alas, nothing can be said by many local organizations about that for fear of losing much needed funding dollars and threats of being “white-listed” from certain opportunities regardless of if this deal is successfully railroaded through or not. That is a detrimental and n unfavorable situation for businesses, their employees, the city, our culture, and the democratic process as a whole.

So, this is where you, our elected city officials come into play. (more…)

Dear Opponents of the Shockoe stadium development,

Below is an email I sent this morning to the members of the City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee.  You will see at the end of the email that I am asking for those who agree with my position to send these members of Council an email with the subject line: The Timmons Analysis is a SHAM!  Email addresses are a part of the forwarded message.  I also ask that people show up at next Tuesday’s 3pm meeting.  Feel free to bring a sign that says The Timmons Analysis is a SHAM! and I will be making a lot of signs to hand out as well.  Please forward this email to anyone you know who opposes or has concerns about the Mayor’s plans in Shockoe.  Thank you.

Rick Tatnall

For the documents in question please check out the Replenish Richmond Website!

Dear Chairman Baliles and Members of the Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee,

I have been pressing City Council since November to recognize that the infrastructural foundation of the Mayor’s Shockoe stadium development plans, the Timmons Traffic and Parking Analysis, is so unscientific, flawed and incomplete that it cannot possibly be considered as valid.  The Timmons analysis is a sham, which Webster’s defines as “One who assumes a false character: IMPOSTER”.  The Timmons report pretends to be a scientific assessment when it has disregarded almost every significant and relevant traffic and parking consideration, including:
  * Timmons used 2008 numbers that do not consider the 1,135 apartments and condos that have come online in the past 3 years (more…)

Please come out to Richmond City Council on February 10th at 6pm at City Hall to speak out against giving Venture richmond a real estate tax exemption.

Venture Richmond is a massive “non profit” heavily involved in lobbying for gentrifying plans to benefit developers and the wealthy, without helping the people of Richmond.

They are currently involved in the Revitalize RVA which plans to waste almost 80 million tax oayer doklars on a baseball stadium and development which will benefit private developers and is not wanted by the people of Richmond.

The letter below by Charles Pool has an excellent break down of why Venture Richmond deserves no breaks from the tax payers of Richmond. They have more than enough money and too little regard for the citizens.

If you want to file a complaint against Venture Richmond with the IRS, please do. IRS form 13909 Tax Exempt Organization (referral) Complaint Form.

Dear Honorable Members of Richmond City Council,

The Richmond City Council will vote on February 10th on whether to give Venture Richmond a real estate tax exemption for its “Tredegar Green” property.   City Council should not approve this tax exemption for Venture Richmond for the following reasons:

1). The City Council has a moratorium on granting tax exemptions by designation.  Venture Richmond submitted this application in 2012, and Venture Richmond failed to meet the deadline of April 8, 2013 , as established by City Ordinance 2013-19, for introducing an ordinance exempting property from taxation by designation.

2). State code requires that City Council consider whether the non-profit applying for tax exemption engages in substantial lobbying for legislation.   According to Venture Richmond, it has spent the substantial sum of at least $32,000 lobbying for the Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium proposal.   The Mayor is President of Venture Richmond, and Venture Richmond has been engaged in substantial lobbying for the Mayor’s legislation.

3).  State code also requires that City Council consider whether the executive salary of the non-profit is reasonable when considering an organization’s application for  tax exemption.  Venture Richmond Director Jack Berry receives a salary of over $240,000 annually, according to IRS filings.   If Venture Richmond can afford to pay its Director over $240,000, it is unreasonable to believe that it cannot afford to pay $43,000 in city real estate tax.

4).  Richmond’s Tax Exemption by Designation Committee recommended AGAINST a real estate tax exemption for Venture Richmond, and the committee sessions generally focused on the amount of executive salaries, revenue sources and any duplication of city services being performed by each applicant. 

(more…)