Newsletter — November 2021
What a month! To all those enjoying this last day of the holiday weekend, I hope you get in the last lovely bits of quality time with family and, ideally, leftovers. A very happy belated Thanksgiving to all.
November was a busy time for the City Council. Below, I have four items that made the month stand out as one of our best in the last year. Thank you, as always, for reading along!
- “Running with Scissors” — On the 19th, we had the opportunity to recognize six minority-owned businesses in the Greater Williamsburg area. Checkout the link for more information (and I promise we didn’t actually run with those three-foot scissors pictured above). The businesses recognized were: Life Beauty Supply (801 Merrimac Trail Suite G), Jazzercise Fitness Studio (455 Merrimac Trail), Nekeya’s Seafood (455 Merrimac Trail Suite E), Parties Galore Cakes and More (455 Merrimac Trail Suite C), Discover Teas (201 Penniman Road), Gholson & Associates (201 Penniman Road).
- Environmental Events — Also rounding out the month was a series of environmental events I put on at the Williamsburg Regional Library with my friend, local school teacher and former James City Council “Clean County Commissioner” Emma Zahren-Newman. Over three nights we discussed the goals of William & Mary’s Institute for Integrative Conservation (plus local efforts to mitigate climate change from the City of Williamsburg and James City County), how climate change impacts Hampton Roads (s/o Dr. Michael Allen of ODU!), and had a showing of David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet.
- WATA Electrification Study — This is an interesting look into how WATA plans to change in the years ahead, through the electrification of some buses and the increased frequency of routes. Council accepted this report during our Monday Work Session and will contribute officially before WATA’s next budgetary year.
- Affordable Housing Workgroup Report — If you’ve read a newsletter in the past 6+ months, you’ve probably noticed a section on housing affordability. This has been a recurring theme for me as I’ve been serving on our Affordable Housing Workgroup since February and eagerly anticipating the day we presented our final report. That day was November 8th. After many months of study around the methods of similar localities tackling affordable housing, plus discussion around which projects would/would not work in Williamsburg, I’m proud to share the AHW’s report with you today. The lack of affordable housing locally is an issue I was exposed to as an undergraduate and one I campaigned on addressing. I couldn’t be more thankful to the other members of our Workgroup for the time they put into our report. With this now in hand, our staff will adopt the Workgroup’s priorities to fit Williamsburg and provide recommendations to Council first thing in the new year.
Thank you for following along with updates from the month! As always, please feel free to get in touch with me with any question/concern/comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This newsletter is mine alone and does not represent the full input of Council