“I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and continue to see the deterioration of Gilpin Court,” she said, speaking of the public housing community that was cleaved from the rest of the neighborhood when Interstate 95 was built in the 1950s. “I’m the home girl, but also I’m the home girl with the most experience. And I couldn’t do my dad an injustice. … I had to put my name in the hat.”
Years before she moved to California, Lambert was already building government experience, first as a legislative liaison to then-Councilwoman Delores McQuinn, who now represents Richmond in the Virginia House of Delegates. She then went to for Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-3rd, in Congress for several years.
“She was basically birthed into this role,” McQuinn said. “When she was working for me, she understood the importance of engaging the community and listening. I wish I could take some credit for influencing her in a positive way, but I think her family … did that.”
Lambert has at times been a polarizing figure during her first year on the City Council, assuming leadership over one of the city’s most gentrified communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past decade, the white population in the Brookland Park, North Barton Heights and Ginter Park Terrace neighborhoods tripled to 1,700 people, 2020 U.S. census data shows. In the same period, the Black population decreased about 40% to 2,700 people, as the overall population declined by about 150 people.
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