We are very close to the election, and many people have already cast their ballots. Many more will do so as early in-person voting and they have until Saturday at 5 p.m. to do so. In our part of Virginia, the main item on the ballot this year are elections of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In October, the Chambers of Commerce in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Danville areas invited the two people seeking election to the Fifth District Congressional to have a virtual conversation. Republican Bob Good and Democrat Josh Throneburg sat down in two separate chats, but this newsletter and podcast puts them together.
The Charlottesville Community Engagement newsletter and podcast got its start in the early days of the pandemic when I launched the Charlottesville Quarantine Report. I was not working as a journalist but when faced with a crisis that had been brewing all winter, I began devoting my time to getting out information.
In the early days of this program, almost every episode had some information about the pandemic in some way. It has now been more than two and a half years since the state of emergency was declared, and it’s much more rare for me to get to a story.
At the September 21 meeting of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, Chair Donna Price announced that she finally got a positive test.
“I joined 95,566,521 Americans with COVID last week,” Price said. “We’ve had over a million and fifty thousand deaths. There are 30 million Americans who have experienced long COVID.”
This is a rough transcript for this program, and as such is not formatted like a news story. Yet I know that many prefer to read these, so I took the time to write it all out. But now I need to move on tomorrow’s episode of the Charlottesville Community Engagement newsletter.
The national election has brought the potential for a national strategy to fight COVID-19 with the announcement by President-elect Joe Biden.
“This group will advise on detailed plans, build on a bedrock of science, and will keep compassion, empathy and care for every American.”
This fourth episode mostly takes a look solely at Albemarle County, and how officials there are working in real time to find their way in a shifting normal.
“We are living through a very difficult time and we have never experienced this before and there are a number of sacrifices that people can take, and they must take them now.”
“We have policies that have this in mind. You have to be thoughtful that things can change. We’re in something we’ve never been in before but we know as people who work in budgeting that things don’t always turn out as you plan.”
This is the third in a series of podcasts I am producing to help document this fluid situation as we begin to realize the totality of what shutting down restaurants and other businesses means for the economy of a place like Charlottesville. I personally am staying at home to help prevent spreading a virus that may or may not be on me already. As I record this, the script is already out of date, so this one is shorter. This audio is from March 17, 2020 and I didn’t get to get everything I wanted. More on that later.
On March 16, 2020, the Charlottesville City Council held a historic meeting at which most of the public participants were at home, isolating themselves from others as part of our community’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Four out of the five Councilors were present in City Council chambers, as were most of the senior staff. At a time when officials are pleading with people to stay home, Council moved forward with business – though none it was as usual.