Citizens in a representative form of government elect each member of the City Council to provide leadership and direction toward enhancing a quality of life for all citizens. As members of the City Council struggle to acquire and allocate scarce resources, it becomes essential that each citizen feels connected to plans and programs across town, downtown, within neighborhoods and businesses alike.
It is essential therefore, that members of City Council periodically revisit and renew their ethical compass to be absolutely certain each statement, and every planned action or activity, can be traced with absolute certainty to building positive relationships among and between citizens.
At a recent City Council meeting, remarks were made that were not consistent with our views on race relations and do not reflect the thoughts of our body. Further, while we encourage the ownership and management of business operations by members of all races or classes of people, we do not subscribe to any notion that business within the city limits shall be specified or classified as black or white. The Renaissance Hotel caters to all citizens and is an asset to the city of Portsmouth and Hampton Roads.
As community leaders, we are truly proud of the distance Portsmouth has come in bringing unity, dignity and equality to our citizens. Sadly, these recent events serve to remind us of the work that remains before us. We recommit our efforts to move our community forward consistent with our vision. The vision set forth by the Portsmouth City Council has no place for racial divisiveness. Our vision embraces the dignity and equality of each citizen of Portsmouth and the unity of our diverse community.
As members of Portsmouth City Council, we reaffirm our commitment to this vision.
Mayor James W. Holley III
Vice Mayor William E. Moody Jr.
Councilwoman Marlene W. Randall
Councilman Stephen E. Heretick
Councilwoman Elizabeth M. Psimas
Councilman Douglas L. Smith
Councilman Charles B. Whitehurst Sr.
Photo with this post is a file photo from the Virginian Pilot and is not used with permission.