RICHMOND BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC.
Central Virginia’s LGBT-Friendly Chamber of Commerce
A 501(c)(6) Nonprofit Organization
January 11, 2014
RICHMOND BUSINESS ALLIANCE SUPPORTS THE REVITALIZE RVA PLAN
Who We Are
The Richmond Business Alliance (“RBA”) is central Virginia’s LGBT-friendly chamber of commerce for businesses, nonprofit organizations and working professionals of all ages in both the public and private sectors. The RBA’s mission is to effectively incorporate the commercial, economic and professional interests of the LGBT community with those of the greater Richmond business community at large. To this end, the RBA provides an outlet where individuals and organizations from across various sectors of the economy can come together to experience unique commercial, community, educational, networking and social programming opportunities. The RBA’s vision is to serve as an organization that cultivates professional relationships, enhances economic and educational opportunities and fosters a sense of community amongst working professionals throughout central Virginia, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Revitalize RVA Plan
The RBA supports the Revitalize RVA Plan because it is both good for business and good for Richmond. As our city continues to grow in terms of economic potential, population and diversity, the city itself must evolve and take its rightful place as a state capital with an eye towards the future. To do so requires robust economic development, lasting infrastructural improvements, meaningful incentives for businesses, improved quality of life and a strong sense of community.
Given Richmond’s unique place in American history, none of these things can be accomplished without understanding the difficult past that once defined our city. Moving beyond the challenges that plagued our region in a manner that is sensitive to history is a monumental task. The underlying question that we as a community must ask is this: In our continuing quest for recognition as a major economic, cultural and social hub for this region and, indeed, the nation, how do we as a city pay homage to our past without losing sight of our future? The simple truth is that there is no right answer to this conundrum.
The Revitalize RVA Plan, however, provides a path that addresses both the needs of our future while preserving the legacy of our past. While this plan is not a panacea, it is a much-needed step in the right direction. As with any plan, there are costs associated with this proposal. However, a simple cost-benefit analysis shows that the benefits of this plan significantly outweigh the costs. If this proposal is executed half as well as it was conceived, then we as a community will benefit for generations to come.
Our local officials have devised a comprehensive plan that will boost our economy, modernize our infrastructure, benefit our schools, provide a vibrant community space in the heart of downtown, enhance the quality of life throughout the entire region and instill a renewed sense of pride for our great city. If Richmond is to remain relevant in the modern era, we must come together as a community and take action to secure our future. The Revitalize RVA Plan is a detailed roadmap, which can ensure that Richmond does not digress into an anachronistic polity best described as a historical hiccup in the annals of American municipalities. It is time that we give our city officials a chance to do what we put them in office to do: govern.
The RBA encourages the public to conduct their own due diligence on the proposed plan before coming to any conclusions about it. As citizens of Richmond, it is our civic duty to become informed about policy proposals that have the potential to significantly impact our local economy and greater community. More information on the proposed plan can be found at www.lovingRVA.com. Once informed, the RBA encourages citizens to engage in thoughtful discourse, conduct intelligent debate and, above all, maintain civility.
At its heart, the Revitalize RVA Plan has the potential to convert local government into a sustainable enterprise and transform downtown Richmond into a thriving commercial, residential and cultural center. More so than any proposal to date, this plan can conceivably bring Richmond into the 21st century in a socially responsible manner. Significantly, this plan could do the unthinkable: transform the former capital of the Confederacy into a modern city embodying the notion that historical preservation and sustainable economic development are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Very truly yours,
Justin Ayars, JD
Richmond Business Alliance, Inc.
c/o Richmond Gay Community Foundation
1407 Sherwood Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23220