Hats off to Richmond.com for its comprehensive overview of Richmond’s 3rd District — looking at both the boundaries and key landmarks of the Northside district, as well as a solid snapshot of the candidates and issues behind the upcoming School Board and City Council elections. What makes up Northside’s 3rd District? District 3/Northside encompasses the northern most […]
Hats off to Richmond.com for its comprehensive overview of Richmond’s 3rd District — looking at both the boundaries and key landmarks of the Northside district, as well as a solid snapshot of the candidates and issues behind the upcoming School Board and City Council elections.
What makes up Northside’s 3rd District?
District 3/Northside encompasses the northern most part of the city touching Henrico County. It includes the communities of Lakeside, Ginter Park, Bellevue, Azalea, Barton Heights, Rosedale and Battery Park, the latter of which still suffers from the effects of massive flooding from Hurricane Ernesto in 2006.
The Northside is also home to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens as well as the new Lakeside Farmer’s Market.
There are six schools in the district plus two educational centers: Ginter Park, Holton and Stuart elementary; Chandler and Henderson middle; and Marshall High School as well as Richmond Technical Center and Richmond Career Education Center.
There are a handful of civic associations in the Northside, including the Battery Park Civic Association, the Lakeside Civic Association and the Ginter Park Residents’ Association among others.
When looking at Richmond’s growing community blog scene (LINK), the Northside seems to be limited in coverage to North Richmond News.
And on the political front, the online news site provided some new perspectives on the candidates:
On the City Council side, four-year incumbent Chris Hilbert faces a challenge from Jonathan Davis, a 48-year-old teacher at J.T. Mastin High School Annex in the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.
Hilbert, 47, is a senior community housing officer with the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
Both men spoke of the importance of improving education and further reducing crime both in the Northside and the city as a whole.
“Open air drug markets and prostitution continue to be a problem in parts of the district,” Davis said. “Churches, businesses, organizations and city government can work together to create outreach and re-entry programs that assist incarcerate youth, adults and prostitutes transitioning back into society.
“Too often these persons re-enter the community without the tools in place to help them succeed; therefore, they enter the life of crime or convenience that is familiar to them.”
Hilbert said that’s why council has funded 100 new police officers since he’s come on board as well as why he’s sponsored anti-prostitution legislation and targeted enforcement zones banning those individuals with prior convictions.
Stationing a police precinct on Chamberlayne Avenue was also a positive change to curb crime, Hilbert said.
“Having a precinct there in the center … as well has having one on Chamberlayne will make an appreciable difference and be a visible reminder that police are out there watching and patrolling,” he said…
…In addition to crime reduction, Davis cites a need for youth and senior services as well as community revitalization as his top priorities for the Northside.
“I have long believed that Barton Heights needs a community center. An opportunity exists to develop the Norrell Elementary School building into a center that meets the needs of our youth, families and seniors,” Davis said. “The Norrell School … is the ideal location for a community center.
Davis said the Providence Park Boys and Girls Club also needs to be expanded to provides services for youth and seniors, and that corporate partnerships could help fund an expansion of these facilities.
Where Davis saw the need to improve blighted properties in the district, Hilbert mentioned that issue as one of his citywide priorities.
“Owners of blighted properties must be held accountable,” Davis said. “Better lighting throughout district is imperative. We must also complete the revitalization of our business corridors with a plan agreeable to all business owners and residents.
“Streetscaping along our main streets and business corridors will greatly enhance our entire district.”
Davis said he’s also like to explore the possibilities of economic empowerment zones.