Mayor Jones Announces New Office of Community Wealth Building - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Mayor Jones Announces New Office of Community Wealth Building

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - City of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced some major changes Tuesday: a brand new office in city government that will hopefully help people get out of poverty.

Thad Williamson, the man who will oversee the mayor's new Office of Community Wealth Building says the poverty rate in Richmond is 27 percent; that is 12 percent higher than the national rate and higher than the rate in Virginia, as well.

That's why Mayor Jones was visibly thrilled to announce the new plans to cut poverty in the city. Williamson, a University of Richmond professor who studied at Harvard, will lead this new team.

"Thad has done this work in a volunteer basis up until this point, but we believe that bringing him on full time is the best way to capitalize on the momentum of the initiative and get this effort off to a strong start," Jones says. "And so with that, we are happy to make this announcement and we are very happy to welcome Professor Williams to our team."

The mayor put $3.5 million in his budget for this new office to tackle issues like transportation in the city and to create more work opportunities for people. There's also a plan to improve conditions in the city's public housing neighborhoods.

"We can achieve the changes we need, while not leaving anyone worse off than they are now and making sure the people feel like they are involved in the process. This is going to be tobeneficiall," Williamson says.

A group of about 60 people from all walks of life were part of the process to decide which items need to be tackled first.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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