Tom Butt

Tom Butt, Mayoral Candidate

on January 31, 2018

Tom Butt, the current mayor of Richmond who’s running for a second shot at the position, is clearly proud of his first term. When asked what he could have done better during his time as mayor, he had a simple answer: “Nothing,” he said.

Butt, 74, grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He graduated from UCLA in 1973 with an architecture degree and moved to Richmond with his wife, who was starting a master’s degree at UC Berkeley. The couple was enticed by “the intriguing neighborhood of Point Richmond” and relatively low house prices. He joined four others in creating a local design firm, Interactive Resources.

Butt had been on Richmond’s city council for nearly 20 years when he decided to run for mayor in 2014. “I was content to stay,” he says, “but I just couldn’t see Nat Bates as the next mayor, so I filed at the last minute.”

Butt says his proudest moment as mayor was the creation of the Richmond Promise, which gives up to $1,500 per year to two- and four-year college students from Richmond. Eligible students can also pursue a Career Technical Education Certificate. The program is run by the city with oversight from a nonprofit, which received $35 million in funding from Chevron’s Environmental and Community Investment Agreement with the city.

If he’s elected again, he said he’ll focus on “making Richmond fiscally sustainable so we can address crime, housing, infrastructure, homelessness, cleanliness and health.” Butt said he doesn’t have a “main issue,” and plans to focus on everything from climate change to transportation to “other quality of life issues.”

Butt is married with two grown children, who both live in Richmond. He has five grandchildren.

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