WHEREAS, in 2019, the Richmond First Club celebrates 100 years of informing the public and political leaders about civic issues, policies, and solutions, which is an important shared responsibility of current and future generations of Virginians; and
WHEREAS, the Richmond First Club set a national standard for excellence in citizen advocacy for improving the government of the City of Richmond with its 1934 comprehensive study of the City’s operations; and
WHEREAS, those services were repeated through the years more than 100 times on issues, sometimes at the City’s request, as the club’s study groups recommended changes in the City’s operations; and
WHEREAS, the Richmond First Club evolved from its focus on the City of Richmond to advocate for regional governmental cooperation as its suburbs developed their own professional staffs; and
WHEREAS, in recent decades the club expanded its focus on good government to advocate at the state level for two critical principles of democracy, fair election districts and transparency in government; and
WHEREAS, the Richmond First Club contributions play an essential role in conducting research into major issues and policies; provide a public forum for discussion; raise public awareness; and advocate specific solutions, which has benefited all the citizens in the Richmond metropolitan area;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2, 2019, as the 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RICHMOND FIRST CLUB in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.