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City leaders and residents reflect on one year anniversary of 'Partnership for Petersburg'

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Posted at 10:18 PM, Sep 27, 2023

PETERSBURG, Va. -- It has been just over one year since Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin created what he called a historic partnership with the city of Petersburg to help fix problems that were holding the city back.

On Tuesday, Governor Youngkin and Petersburg leaders celebrated the work done so far with the “Partnership for Petersburg.” They also stated how they would like to see new goals set and the pace picked up.

The program was created to reduce crime, improve education, upgrade public health, and more by engaging dozens of community partners. Youngkin applauded the togetherness of the journey of progress made so far.

“Energy, a resurgence of spirits and dedication of transforming the future and we hear and see it all over,” Youngkin said.

Organizers had different community partners share how they are impacting the people of Petersburg.

One person shared how Parks and Recreation now utilizes the Department of Corrections for work, while another explained how they make sure kids have glasses to be able to read and succeed in school.

The governor then touched on how the program helped bring additional resources to increase access to affordable child care. He also said the efforts have led to the police department being nearly fully staffed and the city seeing less violent crime.

The funding for these initiatives is not coming from the government but rather through private sector partners.

Officials say the program now has over 50 initiatives and 90 partners.

However, Petersburg community members have mixed reactions to "Partnership for Petersburg."

Some residents expressed gratitude for people trying and acknowledged they have to start somewhere.

Others remain skeptical and say they are waiting until they actually see major changes to their city. “I don’t think it’s done nothing. I haven’t seen them doing anything,” resident Pricen Jones said.

The governor said he hopes to expand this model to other parts of the Commonwealth.

Organizers say the partnership will create a mobile grocery store to help with food insecurity.

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