By Brendan King, News 6 Richmond

bout 1,500 people are expected to fill St. Paul’s Baptist Church North on Creighton Road for the RISC Nehemiah Action Assembly on Tuesday from 6:30 pm through 8:30 pm.

RISC, which stands for Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities, is a justice ministry organization founded in 2002.

The group uses their power to hold public officials accountable and urge them to solve critical community problems, according to their website.

“When one among us is suffering, all of us are suffering in some way,” said RISC Co-President Rev. Amy Starr Redwine.

Rev. Redwine and her co-president, Rev. Marvin Gilliam, have pinpointed several ways that some Richmonders are suffering and how city leaders can help them.

“There are members of the RISC community that have been living in mobile homes that are in just appalling conditions,” Rev. Redwine stated.

This year, RISC will ask Richmond City Council to add $2 million to the 2025 budget for repairing and replacing dilapidated mobile homes.

“We want money for affordable housing to go into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, whether it’s bonds, or money in the budget, or money from the dedicated stream. That’s related to an ordinance a law on the books that hasn’t been followed,” Redwine said.

“Richmond, like other cities across the country is experiencing a housing crunch,” Mayor Levar Stoney’s spokesperson said in a statement. “That is why Mayor Stoney, along with City Council, led the effort to formally declare a housing crisis in March 2023, which signaled to the entire Richmond community the need to come together to address this growing problem.”

The spokesperson wrote that this year’s budget includes the largest investment in affordable housing in Richmond’s history at $50 million over five years.

“Additionally, Mayor Stoney and his administration worked to bring LISC [Local Initiatives Support Corporation] to the table, who committed to match Richmond’s $50 million over five years. That’s $100 million going towards addressing the affordable housing crisis in Richmond over the next five years. We are addressing the affordable housing crisis head-on and with expert partners at the table,” the mayor’s office statement continued.

RISC members will detail a gun violence campaign to all six declared mayoral candidates, according to a press release.

“It got really personal for me, December 2021, when I lost my cousin to gun violence on Southside Richmond,” Rev. Gilliam recalled. “No matter what side of town you live on, when you send your kids to the playground, you shouldn’t have that like nagging thought of are they going to make it back home.”

Several council members and all six declared mayoral candidates have committed to attend the assembly.

The group will ask for the candidates’ commitments to attend a GVI Roundtable on May 20th and the Mayoral Candidates Forum on August 29th.

View the original story here.