THE HIGH COST OF HOUSING THE HOMELESS

Almost every community has an unsheltered sector.  Communities want to help but no one has found the silver bullet that can solve the problem. Continue reading

CHAOS OR RESILIENCY

A GUEST EDITORIAL FROM RICHMOND COUNCILMEMBER GAYLE MACLAUGHLIN Richmond is an incredible place to live, work and/or play. We have a history of community strength, resiliency and determination. I call on all of us today to tap once more into that strength, resiliency and determination as we move forward with addressing our major challenges in this new troubled era we are living through - with a pandemic and a devastating economic downturn. We have always been able to build alliances and coalitions to bring community together and not leave out the most vulnerable. Today we must do this once again. Building an inclusive community is a long-term project and we have no time to waste! Continue reading

RICHMOND’S SAFE PARKING PROJECT ~ Part 2

THIS ARTICLE STARTED BEFORE THE RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL REVISITED THEIR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 2nd TO SELECT A SITE FOR THE SAFE PARK PROGRAM.  IT CONCLUDES, HOWEVER, WITH THE DECISION MADE AT THEIR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 23rd. Continue reading

PROJECT HOPE ~ COMMUNITY BUILDING COMMUNITY

The source of much of the information below has come from:    Kathleen Sullivan ~ GRIP Executive Director   Cesar Zepeda ~ President of Hilltop District Neighborhood Council and GRIP Director      Arto Rinteela ~ President of the Fairmede Hilltop Neighborhood Council     Continue reading

HILLTOP MALL ~ AND NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY

THIS IS A GUEST ARTICLE BY RICHMOND CITY COUNCILMEMBER NAT BATES Few people remember how the Hilltop Shopping Center was considered and eventually constructed in Richmond. For the record, it started with a proposal from a Southern California developer named Newman who proposed a shopping center in what was then the main business district in downtown Richmond.  Their plan called for developing from the northern side of 10th to 14th  Streets and from Macdonald Avenue to Nevin Avenue. Continue reading

RICHMOND’S SAFE PARKING PROJECT ~ Part 1

THIS IS A TWO PART STORY WITH PART TWO REPORTING ON THE COMMUNITY PUSHBACK FOR A PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A SAFE PARKING SITE AT THE OLD HILLTOP MALL Continue reading

THE FACE MASK THAT COULD END THE PANDEMIC

REPRINTED FROM CNN THE FACE MASK THAT COULD END THE PANDEMIC Keri Enriquez Sat January 23, 2021 CNN ~ Getting Americans masked up is a top priority for the Biden administration. Biden, who calls wearing masks “a patriotic act,” signed an executive order Wednesday -- his very first as President -- to ask Americans to wear masks of their choice for the first 100 days of the new administration. The executive order also requires mask use on all federal property, though in this case, not just any old mask will do.  Continue reading

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR ‘TIME’S PERSON OF THE YEAR?

"While most of the people who have been named Person of the Year have earned the title by achieving good things in the world, that’s not one of the criteria. In fact, both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin have “won” the title in the past (Stalin actually won it twice!), and, well, it wasn’t because they were particularly good guys. Continue reading

POINT MOLATE: SPRAWLDEF HANDED MAJOR DEFEAT

According to the SPRWALDEF website: “SPRAWLDEF is a non-profit corporation created to take on environmental issues that others cannot or would not pursue. It is primarily focused on legal action.” Continue reading

FROM WCCUSD SUPERINTENDENT MATT DUFFY

November 5, 2020 Dear WCCUSD Community, After a great deal of thoughtful consideration I have decided not to return to the West Contra Costa Unified School District next year as your Superintendent. It is with mixed emotions that I will allow my current contract to expire on June 30, 2021 and choose not to seek re-employment with the school district for the 2021-2022 school year. The Board of Education will also be undergoing a significant change as a result of the recent election. In December, four new members will be seated on the five-member governing board. The community has spoken and they want fresh leadership perspectives to guide the future of our schools. The current Board should defer to this new crop of leaders to give them the space and time to fully own the process of finding my replacement. Hiring a Superintendent is the primary responsibility of the new Trustees. They should feel comfortable with the search firm they retain and the recruiting process they will oversee. For my part, I am committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. I will still be your superintendent for eight months as we navigate through the lingering COVID pandemic and will serve until the end of the school year. Now in my 5th year as Superintendent, I am very proud of the work we have done together and the many things we have accomplished. I am especially proud of the work our team and community have done during the COVID pandemic to create a schedule that is fair and sustainable for our students. We have respected the needs of our families, employees and students to create a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment in very uncertain and difficult times. It has been an unbelievable blessing for me and my family to have shared in the story of the West Contra Costa Unified School District for these years. From science fairs to football games and graduations to community meetings, every day has brought me great honor and humility.  Families and staff have welcomed me, shared their stories, their passions, their questions and concerns. I have done everything in my power to act to make the district a better place. Our district is unique and complex, stretching itself to serve many different cities and communities. It has been an absolute joy to work to meet the needs of so many different people. New school board leadership will take their oaths of office in just a few weeks. They will now be working in a new structure representing single areas of the district, not just the whole district. I wish all the new members the best of luck in building a strong and united governance team to help move the district forward while supporting their individual areas of representation. Our budget is in good shape and our internal systems continue to strengthen. The positive initiatives we started will leave WCCUSD in a strong, sustainable position for the future. My work for the remainder of this year is to help the district transition back to physical school regardless of timeline. Getting back to school is critically important and we will get there. We will work to ensure that our students are getting what they need and we are hearing their voices through this difficult process. There is still great need around our district. We have many struggling learners as well as students and families who have been historically disenfranchised. We will need to stay dedicated to equity and racial justice in our system and in our community. I am ready to work with our new Board over the coming months to strengthen and evaluate our work in support of all students in our district. Depending on results of elections, ballot initiatives and state finances, our budget in the coming years may be under significant stress. We will have to work even harder to make sure we can support our learners most historically far from opportunity and achievement. With work still to do, I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish with your help during my time here.  Thank you to so many of you for insights and energies in bringing these initiatives and programs to life. While the district is on the move, there is much that remains to be done. With strong, collaborative leadership I am confident that West Contra Costa USD can continue on its journey to make our schools a place where everyone can thrive and succeed. Sincerely, Matthew Duffy Superintendent of Schools Continue reading
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