Who knew that Delegate Delores McQuinn could move so fast?
At the latest meeting of the Slave Trail Commission, McQuinn (who chairs the commission) practically sprinted for the door moments before the public comment/question period.
I’d brought my video camera along to record audio, and when she started for the door, I pointed the camera in her general direction, but she was gone. She moved so quickly that even after pursuing her out the door, I only found her assistant standing in the parking lot on a cell phone, calling to tell her all the things she’d forgotten in her hurry to escape.
Reporters from several news organizations, including The Virginia Defender, Style Weekly and WRIR, had shown up to question the commission about why it has expressed no position on the proposed baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom.
It’s no secret that the mayor is about to officially announce his plan to build a stadium there. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has already reported that his ideological partner in the project, H. Louis Salomonsky, recently purchased the final piece of property necessary to complete the construction. We know these two have their minds made up.
Conspicuously silent on the matter has been the city’s taxpayer-funded Slave Trail Commission, which was created to “preserve the history of slavery in Richmond”. The silence has caused some to question how the commission could be indifferent to whether a massive, city-changing structure (and its accompanying structures) would be dropped into the most historic slave-related area in the city. Shockoe Bottom is not only the site of slave auctions, burial grounds and the slave trail itself, but an area that birthed an entire slave-trade-related economic infrastructure that was key to the development of Richmond as a city.
Style Weekly managed to get a quote from McQuinn later, but the resulting article is sure to put political pressure on the commission.
The Virginia Defender wrote a scathing piece about Salomonsky and the entire project.
By the end of the meeting McQuinn escaped from, the co-chair promised that we would be informed of whether the commission would have an official opinion on the ballpark at their next meeting, during the first week in October.