Chesapeake, VA Court Naming: Promises Made, Racism & Sexism Delivered-Demanding the Truth!

Chesapeake, VA Court Naming: Promises Made, Racism & Sexism Delivered-Demanding the Truth!

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Fran Olds started this petition to Mayor, City of Chesapeake VA Mayor Rick West and

In May 2019, a NOVEL IDEA was conceived to name the Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court after Judge Eileen Olds who was retiring after 24 years of service. Olds made history in 1995 as one of two first African American judges, and as the first Female judge in the First Judicial District of Virginia.  When she retired she became the longest serving Chesapeake Judge.  In planning, Mayor Rick West said he was excited to have it happen "on his watch". He assured Francine Olds, the judge's twin sister of his commitment. He then had her provide requested information to have a resolution drafted for action by the City Council to name the building.  Time passed, COVID-19 hit, and Francine then decided to follow up in April, 2021. She was told that the Mayor would contact her in Mid-April, 2021. He never did.

On May 6, 2021 Francine unwittingly and coincidentally learned that a naming ceremony was planned for a now deceased, white male judge, derailing the promise that had been made to name the building for Judge Olds. When asked how this fiasco occurred,  Mayor Rick West first stated that "he wasn't sure how that had happened", then he later said simply that he forgot (FORGOT? FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS?) , then he said “she did not meet the criteria”. What is clear is that somehow Judge Larry Willis drafted a letter to the Council in August, 2019, just 3 short months after the Olds proposal supposedly for the" same novel idea" of having a building named for the other judge instead.  We as concerned citizens are insulted that such an explanation has been put forth. We believe that in spite of Olds' extensive community service in her hometown, her mentorship, her overwhelming accomplishments, and her many firsts,  that the City leaders were not amenable to naming a City building after an African American Female. Although some are not shocked, given the City's racist history and poor race relations, we demand to know what happened. This travesty and injustice demands action.We want 1.the truth and 2.what Judge Eileen Olds deserves in HER HONOR.

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!