Charles Samuels tours the Broad St. corridor. Photo courtesy of Samuels.
“It’s about us and what we can do together,” he said.
“I’ve owed James Parrish (Equality Virginia Executive Director) a beer for a while,” he jokes. ”I support the Richmond Triangle Players and the work they’ve been doing. Apart from obvious LGBT issues, we all face the same things.”
“[City council] made it clear, we were going to have a non-discrimination policy in the city despite what the state was doing.”
Samuels got started with community service during his days at Collegiate, volunteering in church, and continued that volunteering into college. In Richmond City Council, he gets to take that service on a wider scale.
“You don’t need a Republican or a Democrat to fix a pot hole, it’s about trying to make the city better regardless of your political persuasion,” he says.
And coming up in this year’s election, he does have some competition from another Charlie – developer Charlie Diradour also running for the 2nd District spot.
“It’s always good to have competition – it makes you focus on what you honestly believe in and what you do,” I’ve been fortunate to have spent some time everyday since 2003 doing something in our community whether that’s as president for our neighborhood association or in city council. I’ve worked hard because I believe it’s what the community deserves.”
When he stepped into the role of city councilman he spent time talking to people in Nashville to help build Richmond into a place for more arts and music. ”My goal was to be the hip young guy with sideburns and cool glasses,” he jokes.
“We ran into a lot of deadlock with certain people in the administration. I realized I couldn’t ignore everything else while I was in the office.”
“You have to put that aside your own wishes and what you want to see in the community. It’s about what’s going to make everyone’s lives better in the city.”
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at email@example.com.
From national protests to grassroots activism, EV’s Day of Action connects local LGBTQ advocates and citizens with legislators on 2/7
“We have reached the point of changing hearts and minds.”February 2, 2017
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