Mayor delivers State of the City address

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Mayor Dwight Jones laid out a laundry list of accomplishments during his State of the City address Tuesday night in Richmond, Virginia.

Jones is in the final year of his four year term.

The Mayor says his administration is getting things done and putting Richmond first.

Jones said he will focus this year not on the next project, but on the next generation.

“We have got to begin thinking differently,” he said.

Jones said the city has to start working closely with its regional partners to grow the economy and bring more jobs to the area.

He said he envisioned a world class industrial park right off I-95.

“We should be the most competitive game in town, paving the way for manufacturing to come back to the city as we capitalize on the developing trend of manufacturing returning to the United States,” he said.

The mayor admitted the city faced a huge challenge when it comes to reducing the poverty rate.

To help fight the problem, the mayor said he wanted to replace public housing with more mixed-income neighborhood that provide more options for the people who live there.

“Like retail and shopping that satisfies our basic needs for goods and services as well as employment opportunities and high performing schools that can also serve as youth and family-centric community centers,” he said.

The mayor added he would like to restructure Richmond’s public education system to allow more students to succeed.

“We know that the young people we touch today are those persons who are not only going to be our future leaders, but they are going to take care of us as well,” said Dr. Yvonne Brandon, Richmond Public schools Superintendent.

But others have reservations over the mayor’s wish list.

“We don’t have money in the budget and I don’t know anything in place right now of significance to reduce poverty. We got to get past the talk and right now, I ain’t trying to feel that,” said Marty Jewell, 5th District City Councilman.

Mayor Jones said his administration is developing a plan to boost the riverfront bringing jobs and people to downtown Richmond. He said he would share his vision in the coming weeks.

The mayor did not indicate whether he planned to seek a second term.

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