The RTD endorsement of Jack Berry reminded me of Joe Morrissey

Two tales of two-city rhetoric.

Today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board endorsed Candidate Jack Berry for mayor. Here’s the language they used to describe the state of the city:

We don’t want to sound too bleak. The city has made much progress in recent years, with a growing population, a reviving downtown, pockets of educational success, a long decline in crime rates, and significant improvements in race relations — especially when compared with the first two centuries of our history.

And yet.

There is a palpable sense of two cities here: One bustles with young professionals, trendy restaurants and breweries, a city of hope and progress. Sometimes only a few blocks away, public housing, unemployment, disappointing schools, business deserts and dangerous streets are the rule. There are no easy or obvious solutions.

It reminded me a lot of Candidate Joe Morrissey’s closing statements at the RTD mayoral debate a while back. Here’s Morrissey with those same remarks to Style Weekly when asked why he wants to be mayor:

Two distinctly different Richmonds live side-by-side:

  • One is public and visible, the other is private and hidden;
  • One is largely white, the other is predominantly black;
  • One is successful, thriving and hopeful while the other is characterized by poverty, despair and hopelessness;
  • One is safe at night while the other suffers from gunfire and violence;
  • One sends its children to dynamic, secure private schools, while parents from the housing projects send their children to crumbling, unaccredited, 50-year-old schools.


Unintentional or wonderfully ironic?

Author: Ross Catrow

Advocate & organizer for RVA Rapid Transit and the Metro Richmond Clergy Committee for Rapid Transit. Loud clapper.

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