The courtroom was chilly as participants in the afternoon hearing on a recent Thursday trickled in. Some were alone, others entered with partners and family members. But this wasn’t like many other court proceedings, marked by tension and conflict.
“Good job, ladies! Good job,” said Mayor Deanna Reed, before a standing ovation from about 80 people at the city council meeting on Tuesday evening. The applause celebrated the council’s support for Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. Small girls with their mothers and men sporting ERA buttons were among those clapping alongside eight women who had worked on the issue since Congress first passed the amendment in 1972.
Creating a community justice planner position — a major priority for activists, including the groups Valley Justice Coalition and Faith in Action — won’t happen until July 2019 at the earliest, if it happens at all.
Members of the Community Criminal Justice Board said during Monday’s meeting that they mostly agree with the goals of data analysis but still have to figure out if it warrants adding a new government-funded job.