The grand opening of the campaign headquarters for the West Contra Costa County Democrats attracted hundreds of Richmond residents on Saturday morning. Fresh fruit and breakfast burritos were served as people walked into the back parking lot of the office building in order to do tour the new headquarters, and meet with contenders for the November election. The day’s events consisted of introducing candidates to the voters, promoting healthcare reform and showing party unity as they prepare for November.
Booths were set up for new voter registration and committee members passed out informational packets on President Barack Obama’s policies. Those in attendance included Congressman George Miller, Congressman Mike Thompson and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner. Richmond city council members Antonio Medrano and Corky Booze also made an appearance at the event.
“We’re here today to get as many people to register to vote as we can,” said Vernon Whitmore, publisher of the Richmond Globe. “Volunteer training starts July 14th, and from there we’re going to hit the streets going door to door to make sure voters are coming out.”
Congressmen Miller and Thompson received a spirited round of applause from the audience as they stepped up to the podium to speak about the impact of voting for local government officials as well as the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the majority of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.
“This kickoff reflects the diversity of the Richmond community and our ability to come together and make changes in our community,” said Miller. “People need to understand that it’s important to vote for Democrats in all branches of government, not just for the presidential election.”
The office will be used by volunteers working for the Democratic party as a space for holding meetings, making campaign phone calls, and getting people to sign up to campaign. Located between 39th street and Macdonald Avenue, the small building has three rooms painted in patriotic red and blue colors set up with desks, flat screen televisions and a conference room located in the back.
“This event was planned for awhile by the WCCD campaign committee,” said Chuck Carpenter, the Democratic party’s county chair. “Today is also a celebration of the healthcare bill President Obama has worked hard to put in place. We’re really excited about this seeing all these residents come out to support us. Richmond has more registered Democrats than any other city in Contra Costa County.”
Thompson says some of the larger issues affecting Richmond is how to pair skill training and a diversity of jobs in the city. “It’s important for people to understand that having a wide range of jobs available to residents instead of in one field will do much more to stimulate the economy,” said Thompson. “Richmond has the power to control its own destiny.”