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.
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 have participated in successful community driven efforts to raise the minimum wage in Richmond.
I served on the Human Relations and Human Rights Commission in 2007, and on the Planning Commission from 2012 to the present, and was recently elected as Chair. 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.
Some of my priorities, if appointed include:
- Ensuring fair and thorough implementation of Richmond’s new rent control ordinance, by working with the Rent Board, city staff, community organizations and residents.
- Exploring all avenues for increasing the availability of affordable and inclusionary housing in Richmond by working with nonprofit developers and community housing advocates.
- Expand services for children and youth in conjunction with youth advocacy organizations and consideration of how adjustments to the City’s budget could be made in this direction.
- Working with Oakland and other cities interested in exploring the possibility of establishing a Public Bank, which could alleviate our budget constraints.
- Participating on the recently formed Homeless Taskforce to address the needs of extremely vulnerable residents in our city.
- Promote and participate in a public process to determine future land uses at Point Molate, which has the potential to greatly add to Richmond’s appeal for residents and visitors.
- Promote legislation that could incentivize and facilitate the establishment of worker-owned cooperatives in Richmond.
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.