the Issues

Advocacy

QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES

Quality of life deals with the well-being of individuals in a community. Churches; Parks; art galleries, aquatic centers, hospitals; roads; clean air; crime rate; economic development; voter turnout; and the responsiveness of local officials. The New Chesapeake men for Progress is committed to advocating for an improved quality of life by advocating for measures that directly affects citizen’s day-to-day quality of life. Currently, the New Chesapeake Men for Progress, Inc. is advocating for the following facilities which are incorporated in its 2021 Legislative Agenda.

Multipurpose Performing Art Center, Sports Complex, and Convocation Center

  1. Build a Multipurpose performance Arts Center. Chesapeake is the second largest city in Virginia with a population over 241.000 people, a highly rated school system, median income over $70,000, and occupy over 253.00 square miles. The City’s cultural and artistic endeavors are coordinated under the Fine Arts Commission which is charged with ensuring that the arts are accessible to citizens and are reflective of the City’s ethnically and socially diverse constituencies. The Forward Chesapeake 2026 Comprehensive Plan recommended in 2002 the City:
    • Foster the development of a performing arts school
    • Foster the development of an independent cultural arts center that is accessible by highway and transit
    • Foster the development of satellite cultural art centers
    • Foster international cultural exchanges

    Tangible and Intangible Benefits derived from a Performing Arts Building:
    1. Engagement in community arts activities is said to contribute to personal and social development, help people to feel better and healthier and build new skills and knowledge.
    2. Personal benefits include improved communication, planning and organizing skills, increased capacities to collect, organize and a11alyze information and increased problem solving: all these produce an enhanced sense of personal efficacy and agency.
    3. Social benefits include enhanced co11nections and networks, improved local image, stronger sense of place, identity and heritage.
    4. Economic benefits includes saving the money paid to the Ted Constance Center to graduate seniors from high school, increase in sale taxes derived from art and cultural events.
    This objective, as stated in the Forward Chesapeake 2026 Comprehensive Plan will “lead to improved overall quality of life and to the perceived attractiveness of the City as a place to live, work, and play.” As Chesapeake grows, it should not view itself as just a bedroom city, but a city replete with cultural and artistic diversity. The ability to interact on a human scale is important to the social fabric oftl1e City.
  2. Build a Comprehensive Sports Complex/Public Swimming Pool. The sports complex should include a minimum of a track-and-field stadium; baseball and football field; swimming pool; gymnasium and fitness center. The Chesapeake Forward 2026 Strategic Plan indicated that City developers should provide a variety of recreational amenities to address the needs of a diverse population. The Plan recommended “The City consider including municipal swimming pools, teen centers, and equestrians facilities as alternatives forms of recreational amenities.” The proposed swimming pool should have the following minimum specifications:
    • Length: 50m
    • Width: 25m
    • Depth: 2.0m (6ft. 7in.) minimum, 3.0m (9ft. 1…)
    • Number of Lanes: 10

    Tangible and Intangible Benefits:
    1. Brings a lot of value to a city besides encouraging an active lifestyle, and can generate revenue through sports tourism. Economic boosts, both direct and indirect, are chief among these advantages. Direct spending by sports tourists at host facilities, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues stimulate the local economy. Also, jobs are created and tax revenue is earned by the city.
    2. Sports Tot1rism functions as a public relations tool for the city. If sports tourist enjoyed their time in the city, they may speak highly of it to their friends and family. Overall, this boost the reputation of our city in the public eye. When you improve the community reputation, you increase your chances of people and businesses moving to Chesapeake.
    3. A comprehensive sports complex will provide a place for our community athletes to train, practice, and compete in a first class facility which will help them to become better athletes.
    4. The intangible benefits such as reduction in health risks and stress; reduction in drowning; and an overall reduction in health problems due to a lack of physical activity.
  3. Build a Convocation Center. Chesapeake should build at least a 4,500 seat convocation center to be used for graduating high school seniors, basketball and volley ball competitions, concerts, trade shows, and other large events. The lack of an appropriate large-scale indoor location for high school commencements activities has resulted in the school board implementing alternative strategies. That strategy consist of renting the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Since 2009 to 2020, Chesapeake Public Schools paid $510,600 to rent the Ted Constant Convocation Center to graduate senior classes, and is scheduled to pay another $150,150 through 2023. This cost does not include other costs related to graduating senior classes.

    Breakdown of Rental cost per year:

    Rental = $39,550 (fixed for 2009 to 2013)
    Rental = $46,550 (fixed for 2014 to 2018)
    Rental = $50,050 (fixed for 2019 to 2023)
    Grand Total $660,750.00

    The Chesapeake Convocation Center at minimum should include: locker rooms, theater-style film room, team lounge, training rooms, staff offices, rental meeting spaces. Additional amenities to include are center hung LED Video Board, a ribbon video board, chair back seats, and concession stands. The economic impact is not how much money is spent, but how much money brought in from the outside.

    Implementation Strategies:
    1. Obtain Approval from the Board of Directors and members.
    2. Distribute the Legislative Agenda to City Council and School Board members.
    3. Create press releases for publishing with local media outlets.
    4. Speak on a schedule basis to civic league and church to obtain their support of the Agenda.
    5. Recruit candidates who will support this agenda to run for school board and city council positions.
    ENDORSED BY: Chesapeake Leads (Coalition o_f Black Civic leagues); Chesapeake Democratic Committee; Pughsville Civic league; Fairfield/Parkview Civic League; and Unit 7049 NAACP Chesapeake

    Legislative Steering Committee
    George F. Reed, Ph.D., chairman
    Clifton Randolph
    Rashad Pearson
    Les Smith
    Herman L. Ward
    Don J. Carey, III, Ex-Officio

    Flood Prevention and Control (Comes up when you click on the “Quality of Life Issues.”)
    Every year the population in Chesapeake continues to grow, and urbanization increases pressure on the water system. If not managed carefully, this build-up of pressure can quickly lead to catastrophic flooding that has significant consequences for individual homes and businesses. It is important that local officials have a plan in place to mitigate and protect homeowners and businesses from floods. Flooding is one of the most expensive natural phenomena in the United States due to the overwhelming power destructiveness. In some cases, our local officials have not provided adequate infrastructures to protect homes and businesses in some communities when new development occurs. Currently, the community of Pughsville is a community experiencing flooding and has not gotten an adequate response from our local Officials.

    Pughsville Story:

    Pughsville is community of two localities: cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Pughsville is a Freed Community/African American community in Virginia. It is of utmost historic significance because the Community was founded by free slaves that owned the land. They worked the land and taught their children to work the land.

    Pughsville Civic league(Combined of both Chesapeake and Suffolk) have been going to both city councils requesting help with flooding caused by no drainage, gutters or sidewalks in Pughsville. Both cities are charging the residents stormwater fees when no stormwater control systems have been placed in Pughsville. The residents are paying for services that is not rendered.

    Pughsville waited as the cities took away their well water, septic tanks and utilities to provide services to their homes. The city of Suffolk refuse to allow Black property owners to build on their own properties on Paper Street. The city is violating its own ordinance, policies and regulations by allowing builders and developers from other cities in Virginia to build homes on Paper Street. A double standard the cities have developed since birth.


    The New Chesapeake men for Progress, Inc. stands with the Pughsville Civic League in their demand for services, and encourage other citizens to contact City Council to service for the Pughsville Community.

    Diversity and Inclusion


    We believe that Chesapeake’s government, political parties, and communities should strive to adopt their constituents’ voices and interests by incorporating representative policies in the City’s Charter to achieve better social, economic and political outcomes for all citizens. This concept of political diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

    It is important that the city council, school board, workforce, planning commission and other boards and commission reflect the diversity that is reflected in the City. Diversity is strongly related to cultural, economic and political growth because it incorporates a variety of experiences, ideas, and skills in its pursuit of a goal. This increase range of skills and ideas leads to better outcomes, and nurtures innovations resulting in a greater variety of goods and services for all citizens.

    Therefore, we implore our City Council to establish a framework that will allow selection of citizens to various council, board and commissions that reflect the diversity of the population within the City.

    Tangible and Intangible Benefits derived from greater Political Diversity
    1. Enhanced service to constituents. Politicians serve increasingly diverse communities with vastly different needs. Political diversity grants constituents access to civil servants who speak their same language, both literally and figuratively, which can lead to increased voter participation and satisfaction.
    2. Create a broader field of reference. A white male government, or any other single-sex, single race or single party government, is unable to work from any point of view other than that of a white male or single party. Other sexes, races and ethnicities bring to the table different ways of looking at an issue and can point out angles that had not been previously considered. Diversity in politics help ensure that no issue examined from only one comparatively narrow point of view. Additionally, it can “train” politicians to seek out different points of view on future issues.
    3. Better Politicians. The brightest and most effective politicians do not come from one particular group. Reaching out to minority communities and encouraging interested individual to participate in politics has potentially enormous benefits. For example, it draws on a larger pool of candidates, increasing the chances that the very best will take office. It also encourages political participation by traditionally marginalized groups, helping to bring their particular issues to the forefront. Diversifying candidates, in turn, diversifies policy.
    4. Varied Skills. Political diversity doesn’t have to be all about race or sex. Diverse backgrounds, skill and passion are also advantageous in politics, where different issues and constituencies often call for different measures of communication. We are a stronger city when everyone is included, and when our leadership reflects the experiences and backgrounds of the people.
    5. Our City Council, School Board, boards and commission membership should reflect the manifold people of the City without excluding any race, gender or class. Democracy demands a robust contest of ideas to strive, and diversity is the best way of protecting the democratic foundation of our city and country.

    Implementation Strategies:
    1. Obtain Approval from the Board of Directors and members.
    2. Distribute the Legislative Agenda to City Council and School Board members.
    3. Create press releases for publishing with local media outlets.
    4. Speak on a schedule basis to civic league and church to obtain their support of the Agenda.
    5. Recruit candidates who will support this agenda to run for school board and city council positions.

    ENDORSED BY: Chesapeake Leads (Coalition of Black Civic leagues); Chesapeake Democratic Committee; Pughsville Civic league; Fairfield/Parkview Civic League; and Unit 7049 NAACP Chesapeake.

    Legislative Steering Committee
    George F. Reed, Ph.D., chairman
    Clifton Randolph
    Rashad Pearson
    Les Smith
    Herman L. Ward
    Don J. Carey, III, Ex-Officio