We received the following from District 3 school board representative Carol A.O. Wolf regarding her support of Robert Grey in the mayoral election. The “Robert Grey for Mayor” signs in my yard have prompted friends and neighbors who support Mayoral candidates Dwight Jones or Bill Pantele to ask why I am supporting Grey and not […]
We received the following from District 3 school board representative Carol A.O. Wolf regarding her support of Robert Grey in the mayoral election.
The “Robert Grey for Mayor” signs in my yard have prompted friends and neighbors who support Mayoral candidates Dwight Jones or Bill Pantele to ask why I am supporting Grey and not their particular candidate. Since I value their opinions and support, I would like to let everyone know my reasons.
Just as Colin Powell noted in his recent endorsement of Barack Obama for President, the time has come for a new generation of leadership for the nation, that time has come for the City of Richmond as well. I believe Robert Grey is the one man who has the necessary skills and knowledge to help our city move from the “Politics of Meanness” into the “Politics of Meaning.” His leadership style is one of collaboration — not confrontation.
I am sure you are aware, Mayor Wilder and I have had some major disagreements during the past four years. Given that history, I am perhaps the least likely person to support a candidate allegedly anointed by Mr. Wilder or one suspected of being beholden to the movers and shakers in our business community, much less a member of the “Gang of 26” who wanted to abolish elected School Boards in favor of appointed boards. (http://www.styleweekly.com/article.asp?idarticle=18035)
Grey is no more anointed by Wilder than I am. I have known Grey for the past 23 years and during that time, I have seen ample evidence that he is his own man, unbought and unbossed. Any allegiance some may perceive he has with Mayor Wilder stems from the fact that Grey was raised right — to be polite, to respect his elders and to give back to the community. Even so, Grey is not blind to the foibles and failures of the Wilder Administration. (http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/search.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-10-18-0109.html)
Grey is not a man given to public displays of self-importance or bully-pulpit pronouncements, nor is he a career politician possessed of a rock-star persona. Honestly, I think we’ve all had more than enough of that already. We need someone who is not only smart, but who has a steady hand and a professional demeanor to guide the city through the next four years.
Two of my dear friends, the late Oliver W. Hill, Sr. and the late U.S. District Court Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr., each expressed to me their hope that Grey would someday choose to enter politics. Both saw Grey as someone who had the personality, awareness and connections to unite the black and white communities in our city.
For far too long, our city’s slow stroll into the future has been made all the more difficult by the constant turf wars between Wilder supporters and Henry Marsh supporters. Jones’ candidacy is evidence that these wars continue. For the last four years, I have watched Wilder and Pantele go at it in City Hall. I am both disappointed, and incredulous, that Wilder and Pantele are still at odds over whose budget should control what happens with our tax dollars.
I was also disappointed that Jones did not speak out on the Chesterfield ballot problem in February, especially since he represents Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond in the General Assembly. And, do not get me started on Jones and Pantele’s involvement with the Industrial Development Authority. There are far too many unanswered questions that linger. Click here: Style Weekly : Richmond’s alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion.
I believe Grey when he says that “Dwight Jones and Bill Pantele have been part of the problem in Richmond, and to make Richmond move forward, we need real change in leadership – not just people who want to talk about it around election time. We can’t keep doing the same thing, with the same people, and expect different results. We need change at city hall and we need it now – not when Pantele and Jones feel like getting around to it.”
And, the last thing this town needs is a run-off election that pits a black man against a white man. Robert Grey is a man who can represent us all and lead our city (at last!) into the future.
As a lawyer, and the first African-American president of the American Bar Association, Grey knows there is a legal and moral imperative to make our schools comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He wants to create a comprehensive Career and Technology High School so more of our children can get the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st-Century. And, he has promised to work with the Performing Arts Center to explore ways to create more opportunities for our children with artistic talent. Click here: Style Weekly : Richmond’s alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion.
His commitment to public education is real. His mother, Barbara Grey, is the hard-working and visionary principal who brought to life Richmond’s first model public schools. Her excellence and high expectations as an educator helped establish Fox, Mary Munford and John B. Cary Elementary as schools of choice for parents and children in Richmond. Robert attended A.V. Norrell and Baker Elementary Schools, Chandler Middle School and was graduated from John Marshall.
As to concerns about Grey’s ties to the business community, I see those as an asset. As I continue to worry about what effect the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and the $3 billion Virginia shortfall will have on the next City of Richmond budget, I think Richmond needs to nurture every possible friend we can have that will help stabilize not only Richmond’s — but the region’s economy as well.
One of the big hopes many people had when Wilder came into office was that he could help foster and nurture greater regional cooperation. I see Grey’s ties to the business community as critical to helping that happen. He is the consummate professional and we need his leadership in City Hall.
If any other locally elected reps. want to weigh in on this or let us know who they’ll be voting for on November 4, drop us a line.