Wingnut Statement On The Monroe Park Renovation Plan
The current renovation plans for Monroe Park are riddled with problems and are overall, entirely unacceptable.
Our demands regarding the park are as follows:
We oppose the renovation plans in their entirety, as they are racist, classist, and a thinly veiled attempt at privatizing and capitalizing on a public park.
- There needs to be an immediate cessation of all attempts from MPAC and the City of Richmond to criminalize the homeless.
- We demand the inclusion of homeless people in all decisions relating to homelessness, housing, free food programs, etc. We demand that the homeless be given roles with the power to make decisions about their own futures in whatever groups or organizations are making these decisions.
- We demand the cessation of the endless promotion of the Conrad Center as the solution to homelessness in Richmond. We demand the cessation of the attempts to centralize all programs that serve the homeless at the Conrad Center, which has aggressively pushed its agenda of misinformation for years now.
- We demand that there be NO paid park director, especially at the outrageous salary of 150,000 a year.
- We demand that there be NO off-site office for the park director. Paying 40,000 a year for an office for a person who’s position need not exist is a huge waste of resources.
- We demand that there be NO programs manager, especially at a salary of 55,000 a year.
- We demand that trees that are not dying NOT be cut down. Magnolias, hollies and other shade giving trees are important.
- The bathrooms need to be properly maintained, and available to the public year round. They need to be stocked and heated or cooled as seasonly appropriate. If the bathrooms are not available due to improvements to make them more accessible, more plentiful, or more useful, portapotties need to be placed in the park as a temporary solution.
- The Checker House building in the center of the park should be adapted to serve as a community kitchen. This kitchen would be available for any organization that wanted to cook and serve free food in the park. This would encourage community meals and make the preparation of those meals more inclusive and convenient.
- The current trashcans in the park are clearly TOO small to serve the many people who frequent the park. We demand larger trashcans as well as an on-site dumpster.
- We demand that 25-50% of the park remains open at all times during any renovations that do occur.
- There should be no rules or restrictions regarding the free distribution of food, beverages, clothes, or any other item in the park.
- We demand an immediate END to VCU’s involvement with decision making or managing of Monroe Park. We reject VCU’s agenda of gentrification and criminalization of the homeless.
- We demand that there be NO corporate sponsorship or control of the park. It is a people’s park not a place for companies to advertise and push their capitalist consumerist agenda.
- We demand that there be NO private security of the park. At any time now or in the future.