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Richmond, VA
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Richmond City Council Citizen's Guide. A guide to understanding Richmond City Council Meetings, Procedures and Protocol

The City Council is the City of Richmond's local legislative body and is composed of one Council representative elected from each of nine districts. Council members are elected to serve a four year term of office. The Council elects one of its own to serve as the president and presiding officer for a two year term.

Citizens that wish to speak during Citizen Comment Period must first call the Office of the City Clerk at (804)646-7955 or email at CityClerksOffice@richmondgov.com to schedule their virtual appearance no later than *12:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting at which they wish to speak.

*Time has changed to 10:00 a.m. on the meeting date due to the new virtual meeting process

Councilors
Photo of Council Member Addison

Andreas D. Addison

1st Voter District

Photo of Member Kim Gray

Kimberly B. Gray

2nd Voter District

Vice President Chris Hilbert

Chris A. Hilbert

Vice President

3rd Voter District

Photo of Member Kristen Larson

Kristen Nye Larson

4th Voter District

Photo of Member Stephanie Lynch

Stephanie A. Lynch

5th Voter District

Photo of Member Ellen Robertson

Ellen F. Robertson

6th Voter District

Photo of President Cynthia Newbille

Cynthia I. Newbille

President

7th Voter District

Photo of Member Reva Trammell

Reva M. Trammell

8th Voter District

Photo of Member Michael Jones

Michael J. Jones

9th Voter District

 

*Due to the new virtual meeting process, most Richmond City Council meetings are being held virtually via Microsoft Teams and meetings are livestreamed online via Legistar*

Informal and Formal Council Meetings are held at 4:00pm and 6:00pm on the second and fourth Mondays during the months of: January, February, March, April, May, June, September and October. Informal and Formal meetings are held at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the second Monday during the months of November and December. Informal and Formal meetings are held at 4:00pm and 6:00 pm on the fourth Monday during the month of July. Informal and Formal work sessions are not held during the month of August.

 

Items listed on the Consent Agenda are considered routine and non-controversial. The consent agenda provides a method for the expeditious handling of items that do not require discussion and will be approved unanimously by a single roll-call vote of Council. The public may speak to any item on the Consent Agenda when the public comment period is announced by the president. Any person speaking to one or more items on the Consent Agenda will be allotted a total of three minutes.

The regular agenda consists of those items on the agenda that the council will hold a public hearing on and then discuss, consider and vote on individually.  Citizens may sign up to participate in the public hearing for particular legislation by contacting the Office of the City Clerk.

*Due to the new virtual meeting process, most Richmond City Council meetings are being held virtually via Microsoft Teams and meetings are livestreamed online via Legistar*


The Citizen Comment Period is an opportunity for citizens to address Council concerning the services, policies, and affairs of the city and to discuss issues not on the agenda for the business meeting. However, you must schedule your appearance with the Office of the City Clerk no later than *12:00 p.m. on the date of the meeting. Each speaker is generally allotted three minutes to make their comments.

*Deadline has changed to 10:00 a.m. due to the new virtual meeting process

An individual may appear before Council during the Citizen Comment Period no more than four times per year and no more than once within a three-month period. 

 

 

 

 

*Due to the new virtual meeting process, most Richmond City Council meetings are being held virtually via Microsoft Teams and meetings are livestreamed online via Legistar*


A public hearing is the general public's opportunity to comment in favor of or against or even to voice questions concerning an item on the agenda. Any person may speak on an ordinance or resolution within the time constraints imposed by the Council's Rules of Procedure which may be found below. Public hearings are required for ordinances and resolutions. The public hearing for an ordinance must be held at least seven days after the ordinance's introduction.

 

Due to the concerns regarding COVID-19 and the new virtual meeting process most Richmond City Council meetings will be held through electronic communication means pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 2020-093, adopted April 9, 2020, as amended by Ordinance No. 2020-183, adopted August 20, 2020.  Meetings will be open to participation through electronic communication means by the public and closed to in-person participation by the public. Less than a quorum of Richmond City Council will assemble for this meeting in the Council Chamber on the 2nd floor of City Hall at 900 East Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia 23219, and most Council members and other staff will participate by teleconference/videoconference via Microsoft Teams.


Sign up to participate in virtual Richmond City Council meetings with the Office of the City Clerk by either:

  1. Calling the City Clerk’s office at 646-7955 and selecting option 3. If staff is not available to take your call, please leave a voicemail with your request to speak, your name, and your contact number, and the City Clerk’s staff will call you to sign you up; or
  2.  Sending an email to CityClerksOffice@richmondgov.com with your request to speak along with your name.

Public speakers must make contact with the City Clerk’s office no later than 10:00 a.m. on the date of the meeting. Participation guidelines and instructions will be provided to individuals before the meeting.


Council Virtual Participation

 

 

TermDefinition
AdoptCouncil's acceptance of or agreement to a proposed ordinance, resolution, amendment or motion.
AgendaEither a list of ordinances, resolutions or similar items that the Council will consider in a meeting or more generally to the order of business at a meeting.
Amendment A change to the language of an ordinance or resolution that has been introduced but not acted on by the Council. An amendment to an ordinance or resolution that either has been introduced but not acted on is made by a member through a "motion to amend." An ordinance, if so amended, must be continued to a future Council meeting. A resolution, if so amended, may be acted upon in the same meeting in which it is amended.
Consent AgendaA method for the expeditious handling of several items at one time that do not require in-depth discussion by the Council. Items on the consent agenda are generally routine and non-controversial and are normally adopted as a group by a single unanimous roll call vote of the Council. Any member may cause an item to be removed from the consent agenda to the regular agenda for more individualized consideration. The public may address any item on the consent agenda during the single public hearing held on the consent agenda.
ContinueBy a motion adopted by a majority of the members, the Council may "continue," or postpone, any ordinance or resolution on the agenda to a future meeting.
DocketThe docket is that part of the agenda comprised of the list of ordinances, resolutions or similar items that the Council will consider in a meeting.
Expedited ConsiderationThe introduction and action on a resolution during the same meeting. Normally, resolutions are introduced at one meeting and acted on at the next meeting. In order for a resolution introduced at a meeting to be acted on at that same meeting under expedited consideration, the Council must adopt a motion to expedite the resolution by no less than six votes. Expedited consideration applies only to resolutions; ordinances may not be acted on in the same meeting at which they are introduced.
MotionA formal proposal by a member, in a meeting, that the Council take certain action.
OrdinanceAn ordinance has the effect of local law in the city of Richmond. The Charter of the city of Richmond requires that certain actions be only by ordinance. Ordinances of general and permanent application are codified in the Code of the city of Richmond.
PaperThe word "paper" is a generic term used to refer to both ordinances and resolutions.
Public Hearing The general public's opportunity to comment in favor of or against or even to voice questions concerning an item on the agenda. Any person may speak on an ordinance or resolution within the time constraints imposed by the Council's Rules of Procedure. Public hearings are required for ordinances and resolutions. The public hearing for an ordinance must be held at least seven days after the ordinance's introduction.
Regular AgendaItems on the agenda that the Council will hold a public hearing on and then discuss, consider and vote on individually.
Reject The words "reject" or "rejection" indicate the Council's disapproval of an ordinance, resolution, amendment or motion after its public hearing and consideration by the council. A proposed ordinance is rejected if there are not five votes in favor of its adoption.
Resolution  A resolution is an action by the Council that generally does not have the effect of law. A resolution generally expresses the Council's will, intent or policy on a particular matter.
StrikeThe words "strike" or "stricken" refer to the Council's action on an ordinance or resolution that removes that ordinance or resolution from the meeting's agenda and from further consideration by the Council at that meeting. However, an ordinance or resolution that is stricken may be reintroduced and considered by the Council at a future meeting.
Awards and Presentations PeriodThe Awards and Presentation Period usually immediately precedes the Citizen Comment Period during the public recognition portion of a regular Council meeting. The Council's Rules of Procedure limit the total time allotted for the presentation of awards, proclamations and other recognitions to fifteen minutes. Only council members and members of the city administration may present awards, proclamations and other recognitions during this period. Applause is only permitted during this portion of the Council meeting.
Citizen Comment PeriodThe Citizen Comment Period is usually the last part of the public recognition portion of a regular Council meeting. It serves as a forum for citizens to address the Council on any topic that is not on the council's agenda for that meeting. The Council's Rules of Procedure limit the total length of the Citizen Comment Period to 30 minutes and the amount of time that each speaker may speak to a maximum of three minutes.

 

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