Diego Garcia, City Council Candidate
on January 31, 2018
Diego Garcia’s slicked back hair and tattoos help give away the fact that his background is different than a typical political candidate’s. The 40-year Richmond resident first joined a neighborhood gang when he was just 9 years old. At 17, he was shot and nearly died. Garcia explains that according to the statistics, he shouldn’t have survived long enough to be in the position he is today.
“A Latino who came from the streets and was a gang banger, shouldn’t live more than 24 years,” he said. “We should either be incarcerated or dead.”
Garcia has spent the last 23 years inspiring and mentoring at-risk youth. In 1995, he started a grassroots organization in Easter Hill called Telpochcalli (home of the youth), which provided violence prevention awareness and life skills training for young people. He then began receiving many requests to work with kids in local schools, and founded Richmond SOL, a youth soccer program that focuses on outreach and leadership.
Kara Delapaz, a Richmond resident who volunteers with Garcia said the candidate “spent his life committed to supporting the development of the youth.”
Garcia is the owner of “Leftside Printing”, which was just named business of the year at Richmond’s Crime Prevention Awards banquet, and continues to be a community activist and leader. He is currently on Richmond’s Citizens Police Review Commission, which investigates citizen complaints against officers, and helps develop programs to promote positive community relations with the Richmond Police Department.
Garcia said the main reason he’s running for city council is the push he’s received from the community. He said he has been approached many times over the past five years by people saying someone like him needs to represent them.
Garcia even declined an invitation from the Richmond Progressive Alliance to run on their ticket, saying he’s running as an independent because he wants to “represent everyone in Richmond.”
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.