Newsletter — July 2021

Happy Saturday, folks!

I was on the phone with someone this week who ruefully said “how the h*ll is next week August?” I couldn’t have agreed more. It has been an exciting month for the City and that always seems to make time fly. Below are a few of this month’s highlights.

  • Community Appreciation Day — In light of so much turmoil this past year, the City wanted to take the opportunity to thank our broader community for its resilience. For months, the world-class team at Identity Production Studios worked with the City and our partners at W&M and CW to come up with a video that sums up our year, thanks local heroes, and ends on a positive note. The full video is 10:16 minutes long and recorded HERE. It is astounding (pictured above).
  • Public Art Council — In February, you may remember Council approving a Public Art Council to consider and encourage greater use of artwork in some of our core areas. Having finished the recruitment process, I’m happy to say the PAC officially met this past month. You can find their agenda linked above. They will meet on the last Monday of each month at 3pm.
  • Refuse Container Policy, tabled — One of the recommendations of our Neighborhood Balance Committee was to explore policy encouraging a timely removal of trash cans from the street after the garbage truck has come by. Having lived for years off-campus as a student, I know how easy it is to simply leave your cart on the road for next week’s pickup. Council ultimately decided to table a system of increasing fines, originally proposed, as I and others thought debt would quickly accrue unfairly (especially going $25, $50, $100, $200). At this time, staff is exploring other alternatives and will return to Council in a few months with an updated recommendation.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Committee — Each member of the City Council signed and approved the creation of a “Truth and Reconciliation Committee” in Williamsburg. I can’t explain this better than the agenda summary (also linked above), which says “the Williamsburg City Council desires to understand the impact of racism and racial injustice both historically and presently on residents of the City including the continued impacts of systemic racism, economic and educational disparities, and racial disparities in the criminal justice system on City residents.” At the completion of its work, the Committee will provide recommendations for ways Williamsburg can be equally accommodating to all who live here.
  • Cycle the Commonwealth — Finally and personally, I’m doing a thing! For the week of September 13th, I will bike from Bristol to Williamsburg in support of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. This project comes from my work with the Global Youth Climate Network, where 2021 Climate Ambassadors are challenged to take on environmental projects in our home countries. Having lived at both ends of the state, with the CBF benefitting countless local industries, and wanting some adventure, I couldn’t be more excited to begin. If you would like to support or ever join for a ride, please feel free to respond to me or visit the link above!

That is all from me! I hope you will have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

With gratitude,

Caleb

**this Newsletter is mine alone and does not represent the input of the entire City Council

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Caleb T. Rogers

Caleb T. Rogers

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