Catherine Montalbo ~ Qualified to Serve?

At last Tuesday's Richmond City Council meeting one of the consent calendar items was the Council approval of the Mayor's appointment of three applicants to the Community Police Review Commission.  Led by the Richmond Progressive Alliance--which voted to oppose the appointment of Catherine Montalbo, petitions were circulated, more than a dozen speakers spoke under Public Forum advocating that because her beliefs did not mesh with theirs, she was unqualified to serve. Mayor Butt chose to pull the item from consideration so he could give the matter further consideration. Using his popular eforum, Mayor Butt posted the following as a response to Tuesday night's response to his appointment. Continue reading

Should Catherine Montalbo be Appointed to Serve on the Richmond Community Police Review Commission

Appointments made to the Richmond Community Police Review Commission have become highly politicized. Some members of the community—with major support from the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) and their members serving on the City Council—have their own ideas about what qualifies an applicant to serve their community on this commission. A couple of years back former Councilmember Vinay Pimplé was nominated but the RPA backed members of the Council refused to allow the appointment to be ratified.  These RPA Councilmembers took exception to previous actions made by Pimplé when he served on the Council. On Tuesday, March 19th the Council will take action to either accept or reject the nomination of Catherine Montalbo.  Petitions, Facebook comments and the RPA Newsletter all advocate against her serving on this commission with many of the comments claiming that she’ a racist. One claimed that she wasn't Latina enough to serve. Radio Free Richmond has offered Ms. Montalbo an opportunity to address these charges against her.  The following is a letter sent by Ms. Montalbo to the Mayor and the Council. Continue reading

Richmond's Alysa Liu ~ National Figure Skating Champion

Richmond has been home to a number of professional athletes over the years playing football, baseball, golf and a sundry of other sports. And recently, Richmond’s own Alysa Liu became the national figure skating champion. Continue reading

Between Two Teachers ~ #1

INTRODUCING BETWEEN TWO TEACHERS In September 2018 – during the local school board election - we started a YouTube channel and named it “BETWEEN TWO TEACHERS.”  “We” are Consuelo Lara – a veteran teacher with 16 years experience in West Contra Costa schools and Madeline Kronenberg – a veteran teacher who taught for 30 years at Hayward Adult School and has been an active parent leader in West Contra Costa since the mid 1980s.  Today, Consuelo is on the board and Madeline is a former board member. Continue reading

WCCUSD Call for a Moratorium on Charter School Expansion

Consuelo Lara is a member of the West Contra Costa Unified School District's Board of Education. Radio Free Richmond offers an opportunity for concerned citizens to voice their opinions on issues of significance to the community. At the Board meeting on Wednesday February 6th, the Board will discuss a proposed moratorium on the expansion of charter schools in the WCCUSD. The proposed resolution is Item E.2 in the agenda packet.  The Board meeting is scheduled to commence at 6:30 PM at DeJean Middle School at 3400 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond.   Continue reading


A day in the life of a new school board member: Institutionalized Racism Rears Its Ugly Head at The WCCUSD School Board Retreat. Institutionalized Racism is the process of purposely discriminating against certain groups of people through the use of biased laws or practices. Often, institutionalized racism is subtle and manifests itself in seemingly innocuous ways, but its effects are anything but subtle. CONSUELO LARA IS A NEWLY ELECTED MEMBER OF THE WEST CONTRA COSTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT'S BOARD OF EDUCATION. Continue reading

Out With the Old and In With the New

There’s a certain order to things when new councilmembers are sworn in.  It’s a process that has largely been unchanged since people started electing their neighbors to represent them. Continue reading


At 4:26 PM on Wednesday November 28th, Contra Costa County posted their long-awaited update to the November 6thelection. Continue reading

Anthony Caro ~ Concession

As part of the coverage of the local races running up to the General Election of November 6, Radio Free Richmond offered candidates an opportunity to post op-ed stories on the issues.  Although unusual, we are also affording candidates an opportunity to post their thoughts on the election. Continue reading

2018 Elections ~ All Over But the Shouting

It’s all over but the shouting—and the gloating, finger pointing and commiserating. Continue reading
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