Richmond’s Next Mayor? Get To Know Dr. Danny Avula

Here’s my conversation with Dr. Danny Avula, candidate for Mayor of Richmond VA. This completes the set of all my conversations with Richmond’s prospective Mayors for November 2024. One of these people is going to be leading the city next year. Who it’s going to be is ultimately up to us. I encourage you to compare and contrast them, but here’s a quick takeaway.


I was impressed with his magnanimity. He, no lie, actually edified my outlook on a few key issues intrinsic to being a journalist, and moreso, just an empathetic person – which I strive to be. Without further intro, meet the would-be physician for the city’s ills:

Christian Detres: We’re sitting here at Get Tight Lounge and we want to get to the bottom of who Dr. Danny Avula is. What do you want? Why are you taking this race on? What’s up?

DA: Well, who is Danny Avula? Hmmm, I am a husband and a dad. I’m a longtime resident of this city, I’ve been here for 20+ years. I have absolutely fallen in love with Richmond. I moved here back in 2000 to go to medical school at MCV. I was born in India. I grew up in California and then ended up in the DC area late in elementary school.

After graduating high school at 16, I went to UVA for undergrad and taught high school for a year after college – before medical school. I got a taste of Charlottesville, which is so different from the suburban lack of culture, lack of connectivity and experience of growing up in NOVA. When I came to Richmond for medical school. It was a bigger town than Charlottesville, which had its challenges and benefits. It was easy to find pathways to connect with people and to connect with communities. As a medical student, I was leading a bunch of health fairs and working with organizations on public housing. We were mobilizing med students to try to connect with the Richmond community. Towards the end of that time in my life, I just said, “You know what? I love the city. I’d love to be a part of where it’s going.” So we made the decision to stay.

CD: I would ask you what you did with your spare time if I didn’t understand that to be a joke for a med student. There is no spare time. What parts of Richmond’s culture or community felt like home?

DA: My first apartment was in the Fan. It was on the corner of Monument and Meadow. It was a very cool apartment. Living in the midst of the weight of the ‘history’ there while also spending all my time downtown at MCV serving a predominantly lower income African American community was just, jarring. All of this was happening in the same city. So much of my motivation in getting into medicine was wanting to serve communities, and wanting to connect with the patient population. We were leading a lot of health fairs in Chimborazo Park, in Creighton Court. I was living on both ends of the divide in the city. Ultimately, when we decided to stay for my residency, we ended up moving into North Church Hill and have been there since 2004.

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