September 30, 2018
Two underlying dynamics are at work in the East Bay race to represent Assembly District 15 in Sacramento. One is a contest between a traditional big-money campaign and an insurgent, volunteer-driven, grassroots campaign. The other is a subterranean racial dynamic. The campaign between out Black lesbian, eight-year Richmond City Council member Jovanka Beckles, 55, and campaign professional Buffy Wicks, 41, is increasingly testy. The Assembly seat was previously occupied by Tony Thurmond. If Beckles is not elected, the East Bay African American community will have no representative in Sacramento.
February 17, 2017
It has been another victory for rent control, just cause eviction protections, and the voters and renters of Richmond. The California Apartment Association retaliated with a lawsuit against the City of Richmond after the voters and renters approved Measure L last November in a landslide victory. In a ruling filed on Feb. 14, Judge Judith S. Craddick of Contra Costa County wrote, “The California Apartment Association’s motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.”
January 8, 2017
In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections passed by the voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan 6.
October 29, 2016
An African proverb says: “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.” In this very critical election year, we must unify to defeat the forces that conspire against us. It is for that reason that I invite you to join me this November in healing Richmond by supporting Melvin Willis and Ben Choi for the Richmond City Council. The 2016 election is right around the corner. Some may say there’s not much that they can do to create the change we need locally, let alone nationally. I beg to differ.
May 12, 2016
I have been consistent in my advocacy for improving the lives of Richmond residents, especially the disenfranchised. Bernie Sanders’ growing popularity shows us that the people want candidates with integrity. When Sen. Sanders visited Richmond, he did so because he knew that Team Richmond – Gayle McLaughlin, Eduardo Martinez and Jovanka Beckles – were candidates who were and will continue to be of the people, for the people and by the people.
February 28, 2016
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, a group uniting renters, homeowners, organizations, local elected officials, local community activists and labor, filed a proposed ballot measure to protect Richmond’s tenants against unjust evictions and unfair rent increases. The Richmond City Clerk has 15 days to write a title and summary for the initiative. The coalition will have until June to gather 4,198 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.
October 9, 2015
According to Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, on Oct. 5, Contra Costa County began counting signatures from the petition that blocked renter protections in Richmond from taking effect on Sept. 4, 2015. When the petition was turned in Sept. 3, the California Apartment Association (CAA) announced that they were behind it. Now people in Richmond are anxiously waiting to find out if enough valid signatures were turned in.
June 30, 2015
On Tuesday, June 23, the Richmond City Council vote was 4 to 2. The vote in support of just cause eviction protections and rent control was the culmination of a yearlong effort to fight back against gentrification, greedy landlords and real estate profiteers targeting renters with huge rent increases and 30-day no cause evictions. Just cause eviction protections and rent control already exist in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities in California.
April 5, 2015
A quarter of a million people in Richmond and West Contra Costa County, a majority people of color community, will be without a community hospital as a result of the decision made last Thursday to phase down and finally close the doors of Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo by April 21, 2015. To not provide a full service hospital in West Contra Costa County is an example of environmental and institutional racism.
October 28, 2014
As Chevron Corp. tries to kill the world, one tiny corner of the world is fighting back. Running for seats on the 2014-2015 Richmond City Council, Team Richmond, comprised of Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez, continue to rise to the occasion. Nov. 4 is days away. For the Bay View’s election recommendations, see Bay View Voters Guide: It’s time to claim our political and economic power http://sfbayview.com/2014/10/bay-view-voters-guide-its-time-to-claim-our-political-and-economic-power/
October 23, 2014
Chevron has openly bought out pretty much all the billboards in Richmond and surrounding cities. They’ve bought TV ads, radio ads, tons of expensive, glossy mailers that state false, misleading information against me, Gayle McLaughlin and Eduardo Martinez. They are printing the same lies over and over again hoping that the more often you see them, the more likely you are to believe them.
September 3, 2014
I have recently been the target of attacks from the Chevron-run Richmond Standard and BAPAC, a conservative Black organization that historically sides with corporate and developer interests over the best interests of the people. As an elected official who accepts no corporate contributions, I serve and am beholden only to the people of Richmond.
August 18, 2014
Civil rights attorney Pamela Y. Price announced today that her firm has been retained by the DMC Closure Aversion Committee (DCAC) to take legal action to stop the closure of DMC, Doctor’s Medical Center. Price filed a lawsuit in federal court on Aug. 12, the day hospital and county officials had previously announced that they would cap the hospital beds at 50, divert ambulance traffic and close DMC’s stroke and heart attack unit.
August 11, 2014
Mike Parker has withdrawn from the Richmond mayor’s race so as to avoid splitting the progressive vote between himself and City Councilor Tom Butt, resulting in a victory for City Councilor Nat Bates, the candidate backed by Chevron, the corporation that for so many years claimed Richmond as a classic company town. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
August 5, 2014
It’s common for all the members of a city council to vote unanimously to move forward with good will, no matter how long they have wrangled to reach a compromise that has majority support. That did not happen at the Richmond City Council this week, when the council approved Chevron’s complex oil refinery expansion permit. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles abstained on the final midnight vote.
July 21, 2014
After the Richmond City Council meeting of July 1, I experienced one of the most intense and hostile encounters I have had to endure as a public official and in my entire life for that matter. Since then, there has been at least one news report and a series of deliberate misrepresentations of what took place that night. It is not my intention to respond to false accusations raised or dignify the insults with a response.
June 10, 2014
As gentrification increases in the Bay Area, low- and moderate-income renters are finding it increasingly difficult to find housing at affordable rents. Renters, including young professionals who can no longer afford to live in San Francisco, are steadily moving to the East Bay. The inevitable result is, of course, increased demand for rental units and increased rents to renters.
April 28, 2014
On April 19, a Youth Summit organized by the mayor brought young people together to talk about forming a “Youth Council” to advise the City Council. Richmond native Asani Shakur is well aware of the need young people have for guidance, education, compassion and mentoring. He seems to understand that everyone in the community, including policy makers, is responsible for creating a healthy, supportive environment that’s conducive to their healthy development.
March 27, 2014
Last week, the Richmond City Council voted in favor of a city ordinance that will increase the local minimum wage from $8 to $12.30 an hour by 2017. The increase will be phased in over three years and positions Richmond to have the highest minimum wage of any city in California. “I wish it could be more, but it showcases that Richmond has the political will to move forward,” said Mayor McLaughlin.
March 25, 2014
Welcome to my first newsletter! There are so many good things happening in Richmond, and although we have our share of challenges, I’d like to focus here on some of the many things we have to be excited about. For example, when we work together, we have made significant positive changes. I am absolutely confident that we can build on and continue to make wonderful changes to our city.