Phil Wilayto 
Member since Jan 23, 2014

Recent Comments

Re: “Restaurant Opens in Gilpin Court

Inner City Blues Takeout - 12 E. Charity St., RVA

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 07/09/2014 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Behind the Walls

With all the sociologists, anthropologists, urban studies and social service "experts" walking around with letters after their names, not to mention certain "journalists" who regularly condemn young Black men for ever having been born, it's Lillie Estes who cuts to the heart of the matter of the "concentration of poverty" issue: Poor people, no longer needed in a post-manufacturing economy, were concentrated into pockets of the city where they were supposed to be out of sight and out of mind. Ms. Estes is a constant reminder that, out of sight and mind, public housing residents have created real communities. Now if only the larger society would free up some of the opportunities. One place to start would be regular bus service from RRHA housing to the new jobs opening up in the counties. If GRTC won't do it, then how about a city-funded bus service instead of a Shockoe stadium? Or do we only want our tax dollars going to rich, white, crooked developers?

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 07/01/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Mayor Says His Stadium Proposal Is 'Not Dead'

Mayor Jones will only formally reintroduce his proposal to City Council if he is sure he has the majority of votes. At that point, it will be a done deal. Opponents need to rally now around the alternative proposal that calls for development of the Boulevard and Shockoe Bottom, but with a memorial park in the Bottom instead of a stadium. If Richmonders want baseball bad enough, then sacrifice some of the land on the Boulevard. If not, then just let it go. But let's not be known as the generation that for all time disrespected the hundreds of African-descended people who were sold out of Richmond like so many bales of cotton. Let's properly memorialize this site in a way that will inspire today's youth and generations to come. To see the alternative plan, visit:…

36 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 06/18/2014 at 11:06 PM

Re: “Modern Day Horror

Leave it to Mark Humbug to find the real culprit in the city's shocking poverty rate and endemic street violence: not the banks that redlined the Black community in the 50s, not the counties that refuse to extend bus service from the inner city to jobs in the suburbs, not the supermarket chains responsible for the East End being a food desert, not the shuttering of Richmond factories, the biased drug laws, a criminal justice system that plea-bargains the majority of low-income defendants into the City Jail - no, the real fault lies with the volunteer activists trying to stop the mayor from plopping a baseball stadium on a historic section of downtown Richmond. As a member of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, which along with many others plays a strong role in that struggle, I really find this view offensive, and one more reason why Humbug is the only reporter the Defenders refuse to talk to. Our newspaper, The Virginia Defender, consistently supports efforts to address poverty and violence in the city. We spotlight grassroots community groups like All As One, Urban Awareness, RIHD and Renew Richmond. We're the only media outlet consistently exposing the horrible conditions in the Richmond City Jail. And, unlike Humbug, we oppose the mayor's plans to tear down the only housing that many poor Richmonders can afford and replace it with "mixed-income" projects that will mean more homelessness and more forced migration from the city. Senseless street violence is the result of poverty, despair, misplaced anger and self-hatred. The answer is jobs, mentoring and community self-defense. But it's so much easier to put the blame on young Black men and anti-racist activists, two of Humbug's favorite targets. - Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender

48 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 06/10/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “City Shifts Ballpark Development to Avoid Historic Review

The mayor is in bed with some of the sleaziest developers in town. His insensitivity to slavery-related sites has been noted worldwide. Backroom deals fill the whole process with a growing stench. Jones went from general bonds to EDA bonds to avoid the possibility of a referendum. Now he's moved the ballpark to avoid a Section 106 review. And somehow we're supposed to believe that once he gets his stadium plan approved by council that he''ll continue to push for the proper memorialization of historic sites. The only thing that exceeds his contempt for history and the democratic process is the insanity of the stadium backers who can't comprehend the tremendous potential for tax revenue and expansion of the local hospitality and restaurant industries if this area were truly developed to its full historic potential. Two years ago almost no one was talking about the history We've changed that forever. Go ahead and build your stadium. We'll make sure it's the most controversial ballpark in the country, starting with a national protest on opening day. It will be the stadium that racism built. Bring it on.

14 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 05/16/2014 at 9:55 PM

Re: “Getting Wilder

Wilder's one contribution was to agree that memorialization of Richmond's history should not be tied to a stadium in Shockoe Bottom. But he has disqualified himself from this process, not only because his sorry record in Fredericksburg, but because of the arrogant, mean, viciously anti-poor record he amassed as the dictator-mayor of Richmond. Go back to Charles City, Mr. Wilder. We can't afford any more of your contributions.

14 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 05/13/2014 at 5:41 PM

Re: “Blocking the Plate

Again, the alternative plan has been posted for months at It has been reported on in Style and other media.

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Phil Wilayto on 04/03/2014 at 4:38 PM

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    Opinion: In the face of public/private development, "Richmond’s neighborhoods owe each other respect that the city now seldom administers."
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