City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City Council: Oppose building a baseball stadium development in Shockoe Bottom
  • Petitioning Jonathan Balilies
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

1st District, Richmond City Council
Jonathan Balilies
2nd District Representative and President, Richmond City Council
Charles Samuels
3rd District, Richmond City Council
Chris Hilbert
4th District, Richmond City Council
Kathy Graziano
5th District, Richmond City Council
Parker Agelasto
6th District, Richmond City Council
Ellen Robertson
7th District, Richmond City Council
Cynthia Newbille
8th District, Richmond City Council
Reva Trammell
9th District, Richmond City Council
Michelle Mosby
City of Richmond, Virginia
Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
Staff
See response

City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City Council: Oppose building a baseball stadium development in Shockoe Bottom

    1. Petition by

      Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

In the three decades before the U.S. Civil War, between 300,000 and 350,000 human beings were sold from Virginia to plantations throughout the South, making possible the enormous profits realized from producing three-quarters of the world's cotton, the raw material for the critical textile industry.

The majority of these enslaved peoples passed through the jails, auction houses and transportation centers of Richmond's Shockoe Bottom, making it, after New Orleans, the second-largest U.S. market for the sale of enslaved Africans.

The Shockoe Bottom area contains the reclaimed African Burial Ground, which until May 2011 was used by a state university for a parking lot. The Bottom includes the site and original stone foundation of Lumpkin's Jail, the most notorious of the area's several jails for holding men, women and children before they were auctioned off to lives of misery. It includes a section of the Trail of Enslaved Africans, along which thousands of people were forced to walk to the ships that would carry them to the plantations of the Deep South. And it contains the sites of the many auction houses, slave trader offices, dry goods stores and other businesses that serviced this inhuman trade in human beings.

This is not a local issue. By the start of the Civil War, there were just 4 million Black people in the country. This means that, today, the majority of African-descended people in North America – the United States, Mexico and Canada – could likely trace some ancestry to Shockoe Bottom. Truly, this is Sacred Ground.

For these reasons, we strongly oppose the proposal from the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the like-minded Venture Richmond, which represent the city's business and corporate elite, to turn Shockoe Bottom into an entertainment, commercial and residential area.

Instead, we urge Richmond's and Virginia's governmental leaders to recognize the irreplaceable treasure they have in Shockoe Bottom and instead develop it as a protected historical district that can be used to educate people of all racial backgrounds about the actual origins of this country. Surely, such an internationally significant historic district would draw far more people to Richmond than a minor-league ballpark.

Richmond and the state of Virginia are at a crossroads. As we approach the national commemoration of the end of the Civil War,they will again be front and center on the public stage. When the morning of April 3, 2015, arrives – the 150th anniversary of the liberation of Richmond and the end of its more than 200 years of slavery – will this city and state be known for their enlightened preservation of their sacred sites, or for continuing the cultural desecration of a people's history?

To:
Jonathan Balilies, 1st District, Richmond City Council
Charles Samuels, 2nd District Representative and President, Richmond City Council
Chris Hilbert, 3rd District, Richmond City Council
Kathy Graziano, 4th District, Richmond City Council
Parker Agelasto, 5th District, Richmond City Council
Ellen Robertson, 6th District, Richmond City Council
Cynthia Newbille, 7th District, Richmond City Council
Reva Trammell, 8th District, Richmond City Council
Michelle Mosby, 9th District, Richmond City Council
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City of Richmond, Virginia
Staff, Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
To Mayor Jones and Members of the Richmond City Council,

I oppose building a baseball stadium in the Shockoe Bottom district of Richmond, Virginia, a place of great historical importance to people of African descent.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      Dear friends,

      Here's a link to the special, 4-page, full-color, no ads issue of The Virginia Defender:

      www.DefendersFJE.blogspot.com

      The struggle over building a baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom has entered a new stage...


    2. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      To All Opponents of a Baseball Stadium in Historic Shockoe Bottom:

      In late May Richmond, Va., Mayor Dwight Jones temporarily withdrew his proposal to build a baseball stadium in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom district, once the hub of the U...


    3. Reached 2,000 signatures
    4. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      "TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE" DESCENDANT LINDSEY WILLIAMS TO APRIL 3 SPEAK AT ANTI-STADIUM EVENT IN RICHMOND -- Five months after Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones unveiled his proposal to build a minor-league baseball stadium in the heart of what onc...


    5. Reached 1,500 signatures
    6. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      To all the good folks who have signed the online petition against putting a commercial baseball stadium in Richmond's historic Shockoe Bottom: This struggle against a small group of rich, greedy developers and a misguided mayor is getting...


    7. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      The number of online signatures have gone up steadily since Mayor Jones made his formal proposal Nov. 11. In addition to these 819 names, there are more than 1,000 on the hard copy version. PLEASE SHARE THIS PETITION to keep the momentum ...


    8. Reached 750 signatures
    9. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      Tell the Mayor & City Council:
      'NO to a Shockoe Stadium, YES to a Historic District!'

      10 AM MONDAY, NOV. 11 - Gather at 17th & East Grace streets in Shockoe Bottom. Bring signs and we'll have some for you.

      6 PM - RICHMOND CITY COUN...


    10. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      Media Release

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
      Oct. 10, 2013

      Stadium opponents to respond to developers' proposal for Shockoe Bottom

      Individuals and representatives of organizations opposed to building a baseball stadium in historic Sh...


    11. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      PLEASE SHARE THIS SITE: http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-richmond-mayor-dwight-c-jones-and-city-council-oppose-building-a-baseball-stadium-development-in-shockoe-bottom

      We now have a total of 1352 signatures on the petition oppo...


    12. Reached 500 signatures
    13. Decision-maker Staff responds:

      Staff

      UPDATE ON THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP A BASEBALL STADIUM FROM BEING BUILT IN RICHMOND'S HISTORIC SHOCKOE BOTTOM: We are hearing from several reliable sources that Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones plans to announce his stadium proposal sometime in Sep...


    14. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • christine mcghee TOLEDO, OH
      • 7 days ago

      It's the right thing to do.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carolyn Fearing ARLINGTON, VA
      • 8 days ago

      We visit Richmond a lot and would love to see more of the history in Shockoe Bottom.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Beka Shakur TOLEDO, OH
      • 8 days ago

      That's the way the cracker crumbles

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kevin Lewis LUMBERTON, NJ
      • 9 days ago

      It is important to honor the memory ouf our ancestors, similar to other people who honor their ancestors...it is our obligation as an African people worldwide

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sir James Brimage PALM DESERT, CA
      • 10 days ago

      It's a historical land mark

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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