Making the Most of the ARP in Richmond To Build Community Wealth & Equity. Virtual Town Hall, July 28, 7 p.m.

Community Town Hall! Wednesday July 28, 7 p.m.

A key focal point of our work this year has been to urge city leaders to take a strategic approach to the use of forthcoming American Rescue Plan Act funds to support transformational change here in Richmond, both through expanding existing efforts and launching new ideas. Richmond is poised to receive nearly $155 million in federal aid which can be used to ramp up investments in affordable housing, community wealth building, early childhood education and more over the next four years.

Earlier this month, we released a detailed proposal for how Richmond might strategically spend these funds, and we’ve also written about these ideas in a recent Style Weekly piece.

This week we are having our first-ever Community Town Hall, “Making the Most of the ARP in Richmond to Build Community Wealth & Equity,” Wednesday July 28 at 7 pm, virtually via Zoom.

Panelists will include Laura Goren of The Commonwealth Institute, who will provide an overview of ARPA as a whole as well as its provisions for aid to states and localities; Thad Williamson of Richmond Together who will provide an overview of RT’s proposed investment plan; and Kelly Harris-Braxton of Virginia First Cities, who will discuss how localities across Virginia are approaching the use of these funds. The panel will be followed by audience questions and discussion, moderated by Bryce Robertson of Richmond Together.

Please join us for this important discussion. To RSVP and get the Zoom link, use this form.

 RVA Recovery Equity and Wealth Building Investment Agenda--July 2021 Update

The City of Richmond is slated to receive nearly $155 million in funds from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan.  This is a critical opportunity to make strategic investments in fighting poverty and promoting equity and community wealth building.

To that end, Richmond Together presents its updated RVA Recovery Equity and Wealth Building Investment Agenda, which maps out a plan for $116 million in investments in equity priorities over the next four years using ARP funds. To read, click here. 

RVA Recovery Budget Investment Proposal

Richmond Together believes that “politics as usual” will not be enough to cope with the crisis our City is facing. As concerned citizens, we are advocating for a bold, coherent, and actionable strategy that will allow us to tackle the challenges we face. We are pleased to present this comprehensive investment proposal, designed to address many of the most severe consequences of the current crises and to also lay the groundwork for progress that helps Richmond begin to address long-standing racial and economic disparities.

Please CLICK HERE to access Richmond Together’s “RVA Recovery Budget Proposal.”

Richmond is a city at a crossroads. In recent years Richmond has grown in population, risen to the top of various quality-of-life lists, and become a city on the rise. In recent months, the city has also taken important steps to finally remove the painful, racist symbols of the Confederacy.

We welcome this progress, but this should only be the beginning. Richmond needs to take much bolder steps needed to tackle deep-seated legacies of structural racism exemplified in our housing, our public schools, our high poverty rate. The fact remains that nearly 40% of our children live in poverty, that our school district needs serious improvement, and that Richmond is one of the most difficult places to grow up poor in the United States. Moreover, our City has been battered economically by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is danger of losing a generation of children harmed by school closures, mass unemployment, and household economic instability.

Richmond Together is a group of concerned citizens deeply committed to supporting bold policy change over the next decade, within a racial equity and community wealth building framework.

Politics as usual will not be enough to cope with the crisis our City and its people are facing. We need a bold, coherent, actionable strategy to move from baby steps to big leaps in tackling poverty, educational inequality, housing disparities, and racism over the next decade. 

Richmond Together believes it’s time for bold action to 

• Fight poverty and build wealth through expanded employment and ownership opportunities for residents excluded from economic prosperity
• Meet our profound housing needs 
• Support expanded public transportation 
• Fully fund our schools’ needs 
• Provide and expand quality public services in areas ranging from public works to recreation, including improving the quality and effectiveness of city government itself

Richmond Together is a civic education organization. We do not endorse candidates. Rather, our aim is to improve the level of civic discourse in Richmond and encourage urgent attention to the need for a massive community-wide effort to tackle our community’s most fundamental problems.

To that end, in advance of the 2020 municipal elections we are circulating a questionnaire to all candidates for Mayor, City Council and School Board and will be posting candidates’ complete answers on a publicly available website, as a resource to the public. The responses from mayoral candidates will be posted on October 1; we will begin posting responses from Council and School Board candidates on October 5.

We may choose to hold additional public discussions concerning the policy issues covered in the questionnaires. Equally important, we will continue to track progress on these priorities after the elections to help hold our elected officials accountable for action and inaction on these crucial matters.

Richmond Together Founding Membership

Teresa Caviness

Taikein Cooper

Addie Johnson

Clarence McGill

Rev. Robin Mines

Ben Ragsdale

Bryce Robertson

Garrett Sawyer

Dr. Thad Williamson

To join our mailing list, email us at