Richmond City Council ~ Soheila Bana in Her Own Words

Don Gosney
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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.


SOHEILA BANA

Blogfoto-Soheila.jpgI am a proud mother of two, engineer by profession (PhD from UC Berkeley), and independent scholar and human rights defender by passion. I am a volunteer at different levels, from tutoring school children to serving Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG), the Bay Area section, with thousands of members as the President-Elect, and from representing Richmond at the Contra Costa Vector and Mosquito Control District to Co-President of a local NGO called STAR for Breast Cancer. I love the beautiful landscape of Richmond and believe it is among the most beautiful on Earth. Together, we will make it among the best in other aspects, too.

Richmond does have many problems, but at the same time it has many resources and potentials. Richmond is culturally progressive. People of Richmond are committed to improving their communities. The landscape and views are amazing. With good plans and hard work together we can make Richmond a true City of Pride and Purpose.

My plan is to focus on schools and increase retention and college admission rate by establishing mentoring/tutoring programs with UC Berkeley. Richmond is neighbor to one of the best academic centers in the world and deserves more academic success. I have been a student at UC Berkeley for over ten years both as an undergraduate and a graduate student. I am familiar with their different programs and know how to encourage the engineering department to cooperate. Moreover, I have volunteered at schools for many years and know the importance and effect of mentoring/tutoring on students. My husband has been a teacher at Richmond High School. We know that many students in Richmond do not have a family role model who has attended college. It is important to give them a goal, and an ambition. We can easily take advantage of the proximity to one of the best colleges in the nation and invite them to participate in programs that pairs high school students with college students and helps the tutoring/mentorship to enhance academic achievement for higher education for Richmond children.

Improving parks and biking trails is good for our health, real estate, and business, too, as it draws bikers and visitors. We need to have coordinated plans with the County and neighboring cities to take the most from this beautiful landscape. I will push for the San Pablo Creek bike/walk trail plan to connect Orinda to the Bay Trail through El Sobrante and Richmond.

I may be a dreamer, but I am also an engineer. I know what is involved in design, planning, providing specifications, budgeting, obtaining approvals, and resource allocations, and then the process of building and construction and dealing with different contractors and supervision, and, finally, verification. 

I am not naïve and have the wisdom and experience of knowing what it takes to get things done. However, I also strongly believe that there are great projects that are the necessity of time and it is upon us to recognize them and help them flourish through advocacy, volunteerism, and leadership.

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