Dogwood Daily: Income inequality rises in Virginia
By Davis Burroughs
October 4, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But first…

Fall weather finally comes to the Commonwealth this weekend…or at least it won’t be 90+ degrees. Be prepared for apple and pumpkin-picking pictures to fill your insta feed.

Five things you need to know today

  1. Data show poverty and income trends in Virginia: There’s a lot to like about Virginia’s economy, according to a voluminous set of data released by the Census Bureau. Virginia ranks 11th in median household income and has the 12th lowest poverty rate in the country. Loudoun County is the richest county in the country, according to the data, and Richmond’s poverty rate declined dramatically from 24.4% in 2018 to 21.9% last year. But the devil is in the details. While Virginia remains rich compared to other states, the gap between rich and poor widened. In 2017, 23 states had a greater income inequality gap than Virginia. Last year, only 19 states did. And while Richmond’s poverty rate drop was among the biggest of about 800 counties surveyed, its current level of 21.9% means Richmond is still one of the poorest regions in the country. -NBC1

  2. Virginia Republicans target freshman Democrats in November elections: After Democrats made sweeping gains in 2017, Republicans this year are hanging on to their majorities by a thread and have more seats to defend than their opponents. One way they could maintain control of the General Assembly would be to win back seats they narrowly lost in the last election. And that’s their plan: State GOP leaders are working to defeat four Northern Virginia delegates: Wendy Gooditis (Clarke), Hala Ayala (Prince William), Lee J. Carter (Manassas) and Elizabeth R. Guzman (Prince William). Most candidates are focusing their campaigns on bread-and-butter GOP issues, like opposing gun safety regulations and restricting reproductive health care, and core local issues like transportation and economic development. -Washington Post

  3. Watch: Rep. Luria talks impeachment at Virginia town hall: Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-Va.) held a town hall meeting in Virginia Beach last night. Topics of discussion included public safety, healthcare, and the most popular one — impeachment. Attendees shared mixed, often passionately-delivered, opinions on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. “It is very clearly an impeachable offense to me that the president enlisted the help of a foreign leader conduct an investigation to his political opponent and to alter the outcome of our next election,” Luria said. -CBS3

  4. Something in the Water music festival pays dividends to Virginia Beach hotels: Pharrell’s Something in the Water music festival in April pumped a lot of money into the region, even with the first-day rain out. For Hampton Roads hotels, occupancy rates soared, and because out-of-towners were willing to pay higher prices per night, so did revenues. The Virginian-Pilot

  5. As RPS rezoning costs soar, officials weigh costs and benefits: The Richmond School Board is weighing three rezoning proposals, two of which would merge some schools to boost diversity and academic performance. But the cost to combine schools would be between $617,500 and $842,500, an estimate that vastly exceeds earlier projections. The costs would cover new buses, bathrooms, and educational support staff, among other improvements. Critics of the plan, however, say costs are spiraling out of control. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

A chart before you go…

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