THE RACE HAS BEGUN


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On the 15th of this month the deadline came and went for applications to be submitted for the vacancy on the Richmond City Council.

On July 18th Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin submitted her resignation to free her up as she seeks to become the next Lieutenant Governor of California.

According to Tom Butt’s eforum, Richmond Municipal Code 2.16.090 outlines the procedure for filling vacancies on the City Council, and it states, “Every person who is interested in filling the vacancy shall be required to file a candidate’s statement as set forth in Section 2.16.080(a), but without payment of any fee.” The City Council must announce the vacancy, establish a deadline to file candidates’ statements in the City Clerk’s Office, and set a date for a public meeting for the City Council and the public to hear from the candidates who have submitted statements.

The Council has chosen Tuesday September 12th as the date for a public meeting to hear from the candidates.

There were 13 applications submitted.  Copies of their statements—as submitted by the candidates (typos included) can be seen below.

Radio Free Richmond has mailed invitations to each candidate to submit 500 words in support of their candidacy.  What they do with that invitation will be up to them.

Vacancies in office over the years have created quite a stir in Richmond.  Political alliances have been forged, a series of quid pro quo arrangements have been made, secret meetings in the homes of members of the Council prior to the selection meeting have been well publicized, and the typical disruption of the candidate presentations have been well documented (opponent supporters calling each other on their cell phones during the presentations so the phone ringing can be a disruption, opening candy wrappers to make disruptive noises, talking loudly behind the candidates, and even making comments from the audience—anything to throw the opposition of their feed).

Special interest groups would normally weigh in with Labor lobbying their supporters, business groups lobbying theirs, rent control advocates throwing their support one way or the other—the usual suspects.

This year’s vacancy has many people guessing about just how fair the process will be.  The all powerful Richmond Progressive Alliance has a near complete control over what the Council does.  Even after RPA front person McLaughlin resigned, RPA stalwarts Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, Melvin Willis and Ben Choi still sit on the Council.  Councilmember Jael Myricks is technically not a member of the RPA but has supported RPA causes frequently enough for people to question his independence.  Plus, when he ran for his seat on the Council, while technically not a part of Team Richmond, he ran with Team Richmond.

Will the RPA four + one go through the motions of an honest interview process or have they already put in the order for business cards and a name placard for their heir apparent?

On Saturday August 26th the RPA will hold an endorsement meeting where their members can discuss the recommendations from their Steering Committee. [Candidates Langlois and Recinos as well as Councilmembers Beckles, Choi and Willis are members of the Steering Committee.  Carole Johnson puts out in her candidate statement that she is an RPA member].

There’s no reason to believe that these thirteen candidates aren’t all fine people in their own rights.  What makes them qualified to serve on the Council will be the subject of many conversations in the next month.  The Richmond City Council is no different than many other elected bodies where come election (or appointment) time, numerous candidates pop up.  Some are well know while others are known mostly to their families and maybe a few coworkers.  An observation that is frequently made at these times about candidates/applicants for positions such as this is where have these people been?  They want to run the Council but they don’t want to attend the Council meetings to learn first hand about the issues being discussed and they can rarely be seen rising to the podium to let their neighbors know what they think about the issues.

Stay tuned in coming weeks for more.


 The PDF of the applications can be found at:

http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/3484/City-Council-Vacancy


C A N D I D A T E  S T A T E M E N T S

CANDIDATE: SOHEILA BANA

AGE: 55

OCCUPATION: ENGINEER, CIVIL SERVANT

NEIGHBORHOOD: EL SOBRANTE HILLS

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I am a proud mother of two, engineer, President-Elect of Professional Engineers of California Government, activist, writer, organizer and volunteer. I love this city and hope to work to improve the lives of its other citizens.

I will focus on:

I - Improving school retention .and college admission by initiating student mentoring programs with UC Berkeley. I was a student at UC Berkeley for over ten years both as an undergraduate and a graduate student and have the necessary connections and knowledge to start a mentoring program. Many students in Richmond do not have any relative or role model who has attended college. It is important to guide them. We can easily take advantage of the proximity to one of the best colleges in the nation.

II - I love hiking, biking and parks. Richmond has the most beautiful landscape but not all of it has been put to the best use. We can learn from other cities, including European cities, and make Richmond bike friendly, which is the trend of the future. I will do my best to look into all possible ways of making Richmond a bike friendly city. The bike lane on the Richmond Bridge is a great advantage. Having bikers pass through the city will help local businesses, too.

As an engineer, I know what is involved in design, planning, providing specifications, budgeting, obtaining permits, approvals, and resource allocations. I have the wisdom, experience, ambition and enthusiasm to work for the Richmond and get the projects done.


 CANDIDATE: MAIJA BARRETTO

AGE: 47

OCCUPATION: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO CEO/HEALTH COACH

NEIGHBORHOOD: CARRIAGE HILLS NORTH

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I am a third generation Californian and third generation Combat Veteran. I am proud of my service and would like to continue to serve my City.

My family has held residence in Richmond for more than 40 years. My Uncle was the Head Librarian at the Main Richmond Library and as I child I rode my bicycle there to visit him and borrow books.

As a US Army Special Agent, I provided valuable intelligence reports Jim Baker and Dan Quayle. I conducted investigations for General Schwarzkopf at CENTCOM and provided support to the US Embassy, Cairo. I held the highest level of security clearance at the age of 18.

After the Military I supported government contracts as a civilian, specifically serving the US Army, FTC, SSEC and NIH. I understand the the contract process from both the governments side, and the contractors side.

As an executive assistant, I am highly detailed oriented. I have worked not only with CEOs, but the entire Board of Directors. I understand business and how to get things done.

As a Health Coach, I would love to foster a healthier environment for our citizens, especially our children. Our community needs nutritional education. I will work with sponsors, such as Kaiser and Chevron to bring healthy initiatives to our community and schools.

I am committed to the endeavors to make our City and children safe. Our 911 system SHALL function and we will be safe at BART stations.

Thank you for your consideration.


 CANDIDATE: DIEGO GARCIA

AGE: 42

OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER/BUSINESS OWNER

NEIGHBORHOOD: NORTH & EAST

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I am a 39-year resident of Richmond and have been involved in various aspects of city as well as community organizations for over 20 years. I believe I am qualified to be part of the City Council because I have a proven track record of building the coalitions necessary to make concrete things happen based on a shared vision. I served for 9 years on the Parks and Recreation Commission and currently serving the CPRC. 1995-2006 I worked with WCCUSD as a Youth Counselor/Healthy Start Director. 2000-2004 I was hired by the RPD as the violence prevention specialist. 2002 I founded the Richmond SOL Soccer program that served over 300 families.

I'm a strong believer in making the personal change first in order to inspire and lead others. In my free time I facilitate free life skills and personal growth classes to improve the lives of others and to encourage them to make the positive change we want to see in our community.

I have also run a successful family-owned business for more than 12 years with my wife, 3 sons and daughter. My sons attend SF State, DVC and LHS.

I'm interested in our parks, health, nutrition, environment, schools, human rights, housing rights, and our financial stability. I am well invested in this community and work hard to serve them. Through my work I have earn many recognitions but most important the approval and respect of political leaders, faith groups, nonprofits and business owners.

Sincerely, Diego Garcia


 CANDIDATE: TIMOTHY GOLDEN

AGE: 32

OCCUPATION: NON-PROFIT LEADER

NEIGHBORHOOD: RICHMOND HEIGHTS

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I believe in the potential of this amazing city. With its rich heritage, steeped in diversity and the working class, Richmond is ripe for a bright future. To harvest this potential, we must come together to contribute, collaborate, and embrace the possibilities.

I am a connector and collaborator. I believe in the power of listening and communication - in all of my work, consensus is critical. As a councilmember, I aspire to work closely with the community to  understand the nuance of how a decision may affect our neighbors and with my colleagues to ensure healthy dialogue and that all perspectives are understood. With the core tenets of respect and responsibility - I believe we can strengthen our community, protect our environment, and inspire our unique local economy to achieve new heights.

As a non-profit leader, I know the importance of civic engagement, being responsible stewards of our land, and being a part of the solution. As a member of the blue-collar workforce, I understand the local economy and the need for families to be able to put food on the table. As a past member of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, I know the importance of balancing priorities and bringing parties together to make the best decision.

Imbued by the history of a strong and diverse working class, the ethos of our community is forged by hard work, innovation, and determination. With this foundation, Richmond is my city and I will serve it honorably and loyally.


 CANDIDATE: ALLEN DALE GREEN

AGE: 66.6

OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY OUTREACH

NEIGHBORHOOD: NORTH & EAST

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

My wife Yoli and I have lived in Richmond since 1984, while I've taught college courses in city planning, community development, citizen participation and earned 3 graduate degrees from Cal, SF State, and Cal Poly SLO. I've served as Director of an NGO involved in a national urban greening campaign and as Project Manager for regional parks in San Diego and Sonoma Counties, as well as an independent consultant getting grants for pioneering projects involving private, public and non-profit partners.

To serve this city, I joined the Main Street Board for seven years and aided planning of Rosie The Riveter National Park with Judy Hart, as well as Richmond's Greenway and the adjoining Ohlone Greenway. Recently, I've written 3 books relevant to Richmond's future: Folktopia; Future-Versity; and We Canomics - about people-powered prosperity for a sustainable, healthy economy. This month, I'll be giving a TEDT ALK televised for worldwide distribution on the gist of my books, with some of the hundred-plus methods I've designed and tested for involving folks from all walks oflife in building community vitality with civic involvement. It would be an honor to help creative people of all ages advance Richmond' s position in one of the world's richest regions.


 CANDIDATE: CAROLE JOHNSON

AGE: 47

OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY ADVOCATE

NEIGHBORHOOD: RICHMOND HEIGHTS

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I have been a Richmond resident since 1996 and I am happily married, with three daughters and a son. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, in 2008, and my Paralegal Certificate, in 2010, both from SF State University.

The tragic deaths of 2 of my cousins and a good friend from Contra Costa College, due to gun violence, unexpectedly, thrust me into community activism. But I developed a passion for my community and I will continue working, tirelessly, to increase the peace in Richmond and elsewhere.

In 2007, I volunteered with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and with the Healing Circles of Hope. I have also been actively involved with outreach in jails and prisons, as well as outreach to our homeless neighbors since 2009. I served, faithfully, on Richmond's Human Rights/Human Relations Commission from 2013-2015. I am currently working with Richmond Ceasefire, Contra Costa County Racial Justice Coalition, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and the Richmond Progressive Alliance. I will also be completing my Christian ministry education, in 2018, through the Allen Temple Baptist Church

I am grateful for the opportunity to possibly continue serving my community, as a potential member of the Richmond City Council. I hope to be appointed so I can expand my knowledge and experience into other areas of advocacy and politics. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


 CANDIDATE: DEMNLUS JOHNSON

AGE: NOT STATED

OCCUPATION: SCHOOL COMMUNITY WORKER

NEIGHBORHOOD: UNKNOWN

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

As a fourth generation Richmond citizen, this city has been my and my family's home since the boom days of the cannery and Savoy Club to the bust days of my birth at Brookside Hospital and early childhood in the Iron Triangle. Richmond has made great strides in recent years and is changing every day. If we are to truly succeed, we must tackle systemic issues in economic opportunity and community engagement.

As a Community Worker at Richmond High School, I partner with various community organizations to eliminate barriers in academic and social success for our youth. Through serving as Town Hall Moderator for Ceasefire, I better the relationship between Richmond police and civilians through working to build respect, trust, and understanding.

As both a member and the Interim Vice Chair of the Economic Development Commission, I work with the City Manager's Office to create community renewal without removal.

I believe that it is vital that we continue to make Richmond attractive for diverse small businesses and employers who will empower working families of all backgrounds to create our own economic stability, upward mobility, and sustainable community.

I believe sincere community engagement is essential if we're going to provide affordable housing, security, and access conducive to our citizens' success.

With this appointment I will continue to humbly serve the people of the city I love and support a brighter and more united future.

One Richmond, One Future!


 CANDIDATE: MARILYN LANGLOIS

AGE: 67

OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY ORGANIZER

NEIGHBORHOOD: NORTH & EAST

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

It would be an honor to serve the people of Richmond by filling the City Council seat vacated by former Councilmember and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

To this challenge I would bring my love for Richmond, my respect for its residents, and the knowledge and skills I have accumulated participating in Richmond's civic affairs for the past 15 years.

When Richmond's homicide rate peaked 10 years ago, I joined a wide range of community voices calling to create the successful street outreach program of the Office of Neighborhood Safety. When rising rents have threatened displacement of our residents, I have talked with renters, homeowners and landlords, and helped craft the rent control ordinance approved by voters in 2016, an ordinance that will be fair to everyone and beneficial to our community.

I served on the Human Relations and Human Rights Commission in 2007, and on the Planning Commission from 2012 to the present. From 2008-2012 I worked as a Community Advocate in former Mayor McLaughlin's office. I am a volunteer organizer and advocate with numerous organizations, including the Richmond Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Cooperation Richmond, and Richmond Progressive Alliance.

I envision a Richmond where everyone can live a healthy life; where we continue to address and correct injustices so all our residents can access good housing and living wages. I have experience listening to and working with diverse groups from every corner of our community to seek solutions to pressing problems. Together we can continue Richmond's progressive transformation.


 CANDIDATE: MICHAEL W MALIN

AGE: 48

OCCUPATION: BICYCLE MECHANIC/RICH CITY RIDES

NEIGHBORHOOD: RICHMORE VILLAGE

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I have always been a student of the human condition. I have a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with concentrations in English, Sociology and English. While I can say that I learned a great deal from Higher Education, I have striven to educate myself independently. I believe that learning is a lifelong process and insights can be garnered from a vast array of sources. Some of these are more obvious than others. In any case, I believe true growth comes about from going outside one's comfort zone.

Since Mayor Butt has made me homeless, I have decidedly been living outside my comfort zone. I have had to be extremely resourceful and vigilant. The community that has been torn apart 'In the Wake of the Ghost Ship' (link below) has rallied to our cause giving me encouragement in these dark times. Times where bad Governance seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

People are being forced from their homes. Gentrification is accelerating at a vicious pace. As a 19 year owner occupant of Richmond, I have provided housing for below market rates to my tenants. Now, due to the Mayor's actions, we have all been cast out, struggling to keep our heads above water. What can be done to encourage the creation of housing for working class people? I don't know but if we work together I believe we can find solutions.

https://thump.vice.com/en_ca/article/gypqzx/ghost-ship-burnt-ramen-documentary-watch-online


 CANDIDATE: ADA RECINOS

AGE: 25

OCCUPATION: ADVANCEMENT MANGER

NEIGHBORHOOD: NORTH & EAST

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

I am the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. I am bicultural and bilingual. I am 25 years old and I am proud to say that I have been an activist and advocate for immigrant and human rights for a decade. I am the first in my family to graduate from college. In the time I have lived in Richmond, I have managed to build bonds and mutual respect with many of my neighbors and friends through the RPA, HRHRC and by supporting small businesses and nonprofits.

I am the Vice Chair of the HRHRC, serving as interim Chair as our former Chair recently resigned. I have dedicated several hours a week to progressive and HRHRC causes, while working full-time. Many more residents know about the HRHRC because I have built meaningful relationships while doing outreach and door knocking. Everyone who knows me knows I show up because I care about this community. If appointed, the City Council would be my number one priority, as I will have time to fully dedicate to the work.

Richmond is my home now and I have a responsibility as a Latina to stand up and support the vision of our community. Fighting for a better and stronger Richmond is part of who I am, and I would like to put myself on this slate so that folks can have someone who looks like them, listens and amplifies their voices, to create a better Richmond for all.


 CANDIDATE: DAVID SCHOENTHAL

AGE: 49

OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY BUILDING ENTREPRENEUR

NEIGHBORHOOD: POINT RICHMOND

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

My family and I have lived in beautiful Richmond for 14 years. I hold an AA, BA and MA in Speech Communication. I became involved in community works in Richmond 8 years ago, helping with local events and fundraisers. Since then I have served as the President of the Point Richmond Business Association and President of the Washington Elementary Dad's Club. I have been the Chair of the Picnic in the Point Fundraiser raising over $80,000 for local nonprofits while having a lot of fun getting to know our neighbors and raising money for great causes like the Mindful Life Project, Washington Elementary PTA, Richmond Swims, PRAM and Let's Grow Richmond. Over the last year I have been the President of the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council. We have worked on key issues facing residents, land use to hosting a local clean-up day and celebration of the Plunge Garden and providing food for the Champion Kennedy High Football Team as well as donating money in memory of slain teenager Nico Martinez. I have also been serving as Board Member on the Richmond Chamber of Commerce in supporting small businesses and neighborhood transformation spurred by the opportunity for residents to have access to local jobs where they can live and work in the same city. To serve as part of the Richmond City Council is not in my eyes an opportunity to push an agenda but to be in service to the residents of Richmond, my family and world.


 CANDIDATE: PETER A THELIN

AGE: 61

OCCUPATION: OPTICIAN, LLNL, RETIRED

NEIGHBORHOOD: POINT RICHMOND

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Qualifications? Well, I'm a US citizen and member of the Richmond community.

I believe change starts, not in Washington, or even Sacramento, but at the community level. If one perceives inefficiency, apathy and injustice and have the time-when so many people do not-and opportunity to make a difference, then it is the least you can do to try.


 CANDIDATE: DAVID ALLEN TUCKER

AGE: 56

OCCUPATION: PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONSULTANT

NEIGHBORHOOD: NEAR GREENBRIAR

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

"Richmond, The City of Pride and Purpose" is more than a slogan. It captures the essence of Richmond's historic past, defines its present and previews its future.

My Richmond roots run deep: I attended S1. Cornelius Elementary School, graduated from Kennedy High, grow up in Easter Hill, Kennedy Manor and the Richmond Townhouses. Like many of you, I played sports at Nichol Park, Shields Reid and East Shore Park, hung out at the Richmond Library, Hilltop Mall, and sang in the Christmas Choir at S1. Marks Church and worked at the Richmond Plunge ... with Pride and Purpose.

My passion for civic engagement was shaped at tl1e foot of Richmond leaders like George Livingston, Booker T. and Irma Anderson, as well as Richmond political icons George Miller and John Knox.

I witnessed Richmond transform from a vibrant downtown, sports and entertainment destination, academic center of excellence, community filled with hope, promise and direction; to a city besieged by economic setbacks, crime, disparate educational opportunities, and deterioration of a quality job market - all while maintaining a sense of Pride and Purpose.

I seek appointment to the Richmond City Council as someone who understands Richmond's past, who will work with elected officials to address present-day social and educational inequities. Seek authentic, sustainable, economic and environmental solutions that stimulate a prosperous business climate, support safe and healthy communities; to turn obstacles and challenges into rebuilding opportunities for Richmond's future. Richmond's time is now ... with Pride and Purpose.

Showing 3 reactions

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  • commented 2017-08-20 14:10:29 -0700
    No worries Don. Thanks for the note. If you want to save on postage I can pick it up today or tomorrow. Otherwise I can wait until it arrives. Thank you!
  • commented 2017-08-20 14:03:32 -0700
    David—Ya gotta give things a chance to happen. This was posted last night and the invites were mailed today. On my side of town the USPS is shut down on Sundays maybe on Tuesday or so the invite should arrive. I don’t have email addresses for the candidates and was able to pull up home addresses for all but one. I’ll have to take the letter to the Clerk in the morning and ask her to address the envelope.
  • commented 2017-08-20 10:12:17 -0700
    Don, Thanks for posting this article. I am curious if you sent the invite to my home mailing address or email address as I never received an invite from Radio Free Richmond. Thank you for the opportunity. Sincerely, David Schoenthal
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