*Written at 4 AM after more than a few drinks.
I hear a lot of talk about downtown plans and awesome growth schemes for Richmond. I hear about new skyscrapers and new parking decks and new blah blah fucking blah. I hear it mostly from 3 or 4 blogs and a smattering of news-oriented sites....And...
For real Richmonders, the middle to lower class, the people unaffected by growth plans and money being pumped into worthless revitalization projects, it means nothing.
Coming from a solid middle class, second generation, Richmond person, heres what (some) of us feel:
There are bums sleeping under overpasses downtown (I see them frequently, including tonight) and there are multiple assaults and murders. I speak and drink with extremely underpaid cops. I drink and sleep with teachers who are way under the poverty line. They tell me about kids coming to school with black eyes, kids with weapons, sexual abuse, etc.
It seems to me and multiple other locals, that revitalizing downtown Richmond only matters to a handful of people. Mainly: Wealthy Richmonders who live downtown or near downtown. Bringing new business into Richmond doesn't pay the bills for A LOT of people. In fact, it doesn't pay the bills for anyone except the greedhead contractors, new businessman and politicians. I know that growth brings jobs to the area...I know this! But face it, it ain't bringin shit until new companies come and set up shop, which is not an immediate answer.
Fine, fine, fine. I guess you have to start somewhere. There are no immediate answers....I know. I also guess that pompous windbags don't do shit for immediate Richmond "growth". It's a good thing that people who need the most help probably don't have the internet. They don't have to read stupid shit about "revitalization" and "growth".
What really sucks is the fact that I can visibly see what's wrong, and I don't really know what I could ever do about it. I'm sure that no one really knows exactly what to do. The only people who can immediately respond are the people with the money.
Clearly the best solution is more parking. "I mean, fuck...I drive 6 miles from Short Pump everyday and I'll be damned if I have to park anywhere less than 100 yards from my building. Oh and can you throw a Caribou Coffee in the parking deck? I need 400 extra calories before breakfast....stat!"
( Poverty on the homefront (Richmond) is numero uno on my list of social problems... You don't agree? Do me a favor and don't let me know about it.)