Richmond City Council ~ Maija Barretto in Her Own Words


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On Tuesday September 12th the Richmond City Council will host a meeting where the 13 applicants for the vacated Council seat (created when Councilmember McLaughlin resigned to seek the Lt. Governor's seat).  Each applicant will be allowed 8 minutes to address the Council and the public to explain why they would be the best choice to fill the vacancy.

Radio Free Richmond has invited each of the applicants to pen about 500 words and provide a headshot photo.

MAIJA BARRETTO

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Richmond has come a long way since the 1970s. I would know. For 40 years, my family has called Richmond home, and I have been a resident of Richmond, on and off, for my entire life. My heart is here, my family is here, my mission is here.

I grew up in an Air Force family, moving around the U.S. and other counties as a child. To show my gratitude for our country, I served in the US Army for three years on active duty and seven more as a reservist. I believe that country and community go hand in hand, and I believe in giving back to both.

For the past 20 years, I have served as the backbone for numerous CEOs, which has honed and refined my ability to diplomatically enact change in an efficient and organized manner.

Recently, my passions have allowed me to embark on a second career as a health coach and personal trainer.

Just like our bodies are made well by the food we consume; our communities are made well by the very people who live within our city limits.

I’ve seen a lot of change in Richmond in the past 40 years. However, I think we can do better.

If we truly want to thrive as a community, we must take a holistic approach towards communal health and well-being. That approach takes hard work and dedication, but I believe that – together – we can get there.

By designing an overarching plan for a healthy Richmond, we can lay the groundwork for future generations.

Healthy Youth:

  • Through education and opportunity, we can give our children hope
  • Through exercise, yoga, and meditation, we can lower stress levels 
  • Through nutritional programs, we can reduce obesity 

Healthy Environment:

  • Through proper communication, we can proactively work with companies to ensure clean air practices

Healthy Workforce:

  • Through scholarships, education, and training, we can equip our residents to build our local economy
  • Through mentorship programs, we can drive economically sound career paths
  • Through local relationship management and training, we can encourage local organizations to hire Richmond residents

Healthy Streets:

  • Through enforcement of Penal Code 186.22 (A and B), we can enhance sentences for gang-related crimes and enforce the law to discourage gang activity and reduce violence
  • Through gun buy-back programs, we can get illegal weapons off of our streets
  • Through community building and relationship management, we can improve interactions with our police force
  • Through adequate protection and without fear of deportation, we can encourage witnesses to report crimes to create a safe community

Healthy Minds:

  • Through additional grants for our youth, we can alleviate the burden of education and student loans
  • Through proactive measures, we can ensure Richmond gets its share of new funding for addiction and behavioral health to help our residents recover

I believe I have the tools and experience to bring these programs to live. I am committed to creating a healthy Richmond – are you?

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