Monument Ave. turns up in Obama ad

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-19 07:26:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Richmond's historic avenue is known for many things, and now it's shown up in a recent campaign ad from President Obama.

The ad shows only three seconds of footage of a handful of homes in the 3000 block of Monument Avenue.

The ad promotes Obama's jobs plan, which would be paid for by asking the nation's wealthiest to pay a little more in taxes.

Despite the quick glimpse, many locals and several people who live there said it caught their eye to see Monument Avenue in a presidential campaign advertisement.

"Let's ask folks like me in the top two percent who can afford it to do a little bit more,” the president has said.  When President Obama spoke to Richmonders last Saturday, he discussed his plan for wealthy Americans to pay more in taxes.

"Monument Avenue is certainly one of the more expensive areas of Richmond,” said Dan Corcoran, who lives on the block. He said he believes the ad is accurate, and that he believes the Obama campaign was trying to speak to Virginia voters by showing them something local.

“If they had just taken an anonymous scene somewhere, you wouldn't know if it were Richmond or anywhere else,” said Corcoran.

Other neighbors on the block say the ad's portrayal of Monument Avenue is only partially correct.

"I think Monument Avenue has a lot of wealthy people living on the street but this particular block I would say no,” Laura McNeil, who resides on the avenue.  

We checked the city's real estate appraisal records, and the cluster of homes shown in the Obama ad range from $400,000-$600,000 in value.

"One block away there's monstrous houses,” said McNeil.  

There are more expensive ones, that range from $1.5 million two million dollars.

But, as Corcoran noted, there's bound to be a range of incomes on any street, even the historic Monument Avenue. "Anyone who can afford to live here probably is not on food stamps,” he said.

CBS 6 reached out to the Obama campaign to ask how they decided to choose Monument Avenue for their ad, but they never returned our calls or emails today.