With Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Style Weekly names its 29th Richmonder of the Year. It's fitting to note that the first was L. Douglas Wilder, in 1985, a man poised to become lieutenant governor and Virginia's first elected black governor.
Twenty years later, in 2005, Wilder became Richmond's first popularly elected mayor under the city's restructured form of government. Before Wilder's election, mayors had been selected by City Council members from among their ranks.
The city's charter change created tests of patience, political readjustments and boundary-pushing, nerve-touching leadership. Eight years later, the experiment continues. Jones remains in relatively new territory, marked much differently.
In selecting the Richmonder of the Year, Style's editorial team considered the whole of 2013 — the big discussions, turning points and shifting tides that the community faced — and who was at the heart of those changes. We're at a crossroads with many significant issues, as Jones is at a crossroads of where he'll take Richmond.
Does his selection imply some kind of political endorsement? No. Policy agreements? Not necessarily. But this year, he was the person to watch. News Editor Tina Griego writes more about the decision here, what led us to it and how Jones is stepping out.
We'd also like to hear what you think about Mayor Jones and his selection as Style's 2013 Richmonder of the Year. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.