The RVA Dirt Journey

by Jessee Perry

Time Flies

Most days, it is hard for me to believe we started RVA Dirt just one year ago. I often reflect with Melissa and Francesca on how much has happened and how unbelievable it all is. Since we started in late August 2016, we have sent over 14,900 tweets and  accumulated over 1,130 followers. That averages to 43 tweets and 3 followers per day. No idea how we don't have carpal tunnel at this point. When we started this thing called RVA Dirt, it was because we saw a need for better access to local government. At the time, we were in the midst of a chaotic election season with 8 mayoral candidates, 28 city council candidates, and 20 school board candidates. There were forums almost every day; however, the same people came out time and time again to hear candidates speak. We realized that for people to make an informed decision come Election Day, they needed to hear the candidates but it was all such a bore and people didn't have time to get to the events. So we started live tweeting with plenty of opinions, snark, and GIFs.

During the 2016 Election cycle, we live tweeted 15 #RVAMAyor Forums, 5 #RVACouncil and #RPSBoard forums, and 1 Congressional Forum. In addition, over the past year, we have live tweeted 18 #RVACouncil Meetings, 6 #RPSBoard Meetings, 3 Education Compact Meetings, and recorded 14 Quick & Dirty Council Round Ups on WRIR's Open Source RVA. Beyond municipal government meetings, we have also live tweeted 2 Morrissey press conferences, 4 episodes of Healing RVA's History on public access, the RVA Peace Festival, a GRTC protest, and more. In December 2016, we hosted a panel discussion called RVA Together that featured Jon Baliles, Thad Williamson, Lorraine Wright, Sean Smith, and Jeff Bourne. I have written blog posts about Jack Berry and Redskins Training Camp, the boondoggle of Sixth Street Marketplace,and analyzed various school board documents. 

It is amazing to think about how much has happened in our city over the past year and how much we have had the pleasure of participating in. If nothing else, I want people to know that you CAN make a difference in this world, no matter how small. In my mind, when I think about what RVA Dirt is... it is just a few friends hanging out on twitter who happen to have a website. We love to talk to people about Richmond so we do that... all... the.... time. 

With this one year anniversary coming up, we would love for you to celebrate with us. On August 18th we are the featured guests at Coalition Comedy's Richmond Famous show which will be followed by Richmond Resists: a Variety Show. If you can't make it to the shows, consider buying a RVA Dirt t-shirt with proceeds benefiting Building a Betting RPS

RVA Dirt Ancient History: a Timeline of Highlights

Originally I just wanted to know how many forums we live tweeted... but it quickly became just as easy to document the past year of some of the highlight news stories and what we have been up to. This mostly serves as a time capsule for the #RVADirt crew... but if others are interested, links are included. 

#RVAMayor, #RVACouncil, and #RPSBoard Elections

New Year, New Officials