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Working Toward a More Compassionate Richmond

Richmond Magazine
June 2, 2020

Last month, Mayor Levar Stoney declared Richmond to be a “City Of Compassion.” In doing so, he made the city part of a growing, worldwide movement to treat all people with respect and dignity, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic status. But the declaration, which caught many around the city by surprise, was actually years in the making, and involved some key behind-the-scenes players in local civic activity.

In 2017, Mollie Reinhart was a familiar name at the Office of Community Wealth in Richmond. With her youngest off to college, Reinhart was looking for ways to get more involved in the city. She met Reggie Gordon, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Richmond, through volunteer work.

“We had some conversations about once a month, and [were] really just sharing ideas,” Reinhart said.

In 2017, the Mayor’s office received a letter from Ciji, a Richmond mother who narrowly missed the deadline for the city’s Christmas gift exchange program. Reinhart, by then a familiar name at the Office of Community Wealth building, agreed to help.

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