This week, 11/21

As the current City Council’s term winds down, it’s clear that some things will be left for a new council to wrestle with, while other long-standing issues have, perhaps surprisingly, been resolved.

Implementing a new kind of zoning south of downtown, a project especially championed by Councilor Kathy Galvin, will have to wait until next year. But an ordinance and bylaws establishing a permanent Police Civilian Review Board was passed earlier this month, and despite some lingering frustrations with the proposal, new members are set to be selected in December.

Last week, council settled another long-simmering source of contention: the fate of West Main’s statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea. A work session with Native American consultants to discuss the issue resulted in a resolution for the statue’s removal being written and passed in that same meeting . It took five hours of debate, or, if you’re counting from local artist Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell’s 2007 protest, at least 12 years.

I’m writing this at 10:25pm, just as many of the subjects of this week’s feature are starting their workdays. Charlottesville isn’t generally an up-all-night kind of place, but there are still plenty of people who keep things moving when the rest of us are asleep (or wishing we were). When photographer Eze Amos teamed up with our arts writer Erin O’Hare to take a closer look at the night shift, they found a mix of camaraderie and loneliness, satisfaction and boredom.

Mostly they found a lot of hard work, from a refugee who juggles two full-time jobs to a high school student who heads to class after a 4am shift at the airport. As one overnight street sweeper told us, “Everything in life requires a job to be done.” The work goes on. —Laura Longhine

Posted In:     Opinion,The Editor's Desk

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