Levar M. Stoney is the 80th and youngest mayor ever elected to serve the City of Richmond. Mayor Stoney was raised in Virginia by his grandmother and father, a custodian. A graduate of James Madison University, he was also the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He served previously as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia and was the first African American Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor McAuliffe.
How does Richmond's creative scene contribute to the overall community?
Overwhelmingly. Richmond is a city of festivals, theater, dance, murals, music, arts, and culture. It’s who we are, quite literally.
What are some recent art initiatives in Richmond that you are particularly proud of?
More than you have room to print! Just this year, we unveiled the Maggie L. Walker monument by Toby Mendez; we initiated a new infusion of local art in City Hall; we held our second annual Storm Drain Art Project; and had more than 200,000 people attend this year’s Richmond Folk Festival.
What are some important issues facing Virginia in this election?
Public education and access to quality, affordable health care are, by far, two of the most important issues here in Virginia. But participation is particularly important now as well, nationwide, due to the fact so many citizens have been off-put by the current politics of division in Washington, DC.
Where can our readers learn more about their local elections and find their polling place?
Your local newspapers and other news sources are covering local and state issues and candidates. Your local voter registrar can be found on your city or county government website. Anyone who visits the Virginia Department of Elections online can type in their address and get their polling information. And remember, it’s your duty to vote. Make your voice heard. Get out and vote!
To make sure folks remember to vote on November 7, Mayor Stoney graciously posed for our first ever Whurk Pullout Poster. Our in-house illustrator, Paul Hostetler, created an homage to the classic WWII recruiting poster using Stoney’s likeness in place of Uncle Sam. If you’d like to help spread the word, hang it up in a place where people will see it!
Photography by Aaron Spicer
Illustration by Paul Hostetler
Special thanks to Deputy Press Secretary Tom Byrnes