Najim Rahim

Church offers no-interest loans to increase Black homeownership in Contra Costa County

Even though she was gainfully employed at a bio-pharma company, had built up some savings and made money on the side as a travel adviser, Astrid Heim had a hard time becoming a Bay Area homeowner. That changed in February, when she found out about interest-free loans through the Black Wealth Builders Fund. And now, at age 36, Heim owns a home in Concord. “This program took a lot of weight off my shoulders because, socially, buying in the Bay…

People of Richmond: What do you love about your city?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: What do you like most about living in Richmond? “I love being right on the water, I love that wherever I go I’m close to the water. I do the Bay Trail a lot, I live on the Bay Trail. I love watching the wildlife change through the seasons and I love…

In ‘Use it or lose it!’ ride, cyclists show support for ‘underused’ bike lane on bridge.

More than 100 cyclists pedaled across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge on Sunday to celebrate the third anniversary of the structure’s dedicated bike lane. But their  joy was mixed with concern, which the event’s slogan explained:  “Use it or lose it!” “This year, we’re fighting to keep the to keep this bike trail that we’ve advocated for,” said Najari Smith, founder and executive director of Rich City Rides, a Richmond nonprofit that promotes cycling. The Richmond-San Rafael bridge is 5.5 miles…

People of Richmond: What’s your biggest environmental concern?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: What is your greatest environmental concern in Richmond? “My greatest concern is Chevron and air pollution. The air is not good here and causes diseases, and Chevron is the greatest cause. They have to find a solution for that because our lives matter.” (Hector Maguna, mechanic) “The other day we had a game…

Through WCC Education Fund, Youth Code Now triples number of Black and Latino students learning STEM

School days were difficult for Susana Romero, who was 11 when her family left El Salvador and settled in Richmond. She had a hard time with math and her parents, who did not speak English or  finish school, couldn’t help her.  Things changed academically when Romero was introduced to computer science in high school. She pursued that interest after graduation earning a certificate in information technology support. Now she is an instructor with Youth Code Now in Richmond, teaching STEM…

About 100 players to compete at Richmond chess festival, as more kids take up game

On a Sunday afternoon in late September, TC Ball entered Richmond’s Multicultural Bookstore with a cart full of kings, queens, bishops, rooks, knights, and pawns and boards to start the first of several chess classes for children. “Cool people play chess,” said Ball, 69, founder and director of the West Coast Chess Alliance in Richmond, as he prepared to start the class.  He fell in love with chess about 40 years ago when he was at college, and then 13…

People of Richmond: Is it time to create a safe parking area for people who live in RVs?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: Should Richmond create an RV parking area for people who live in vehicles? And if so, where? “Absolutely, there should be designated areas for people that have no choice but to live in their vehicles due to housing crises and the unavailability of places for people to rent, and the high cost…

People of Richmond: How would you improve WCCUSD schools?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: If you were superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, what would your top priority be? “I would make sure that students have enough teachers. Right now, a lot of the classrooms are overfilled and the students don’t get adequate attention. It’s better to have more teachers or tutors in each…

People of Richmond: Should police be paid more?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: Should Richmond increase police pay to make it easier for the city to recruit officers? “Yes, but only if it goes to training. We shouldn’t be defunding the police. They should be given moretraining. You know, we can all use a little more training in our jobs. They should be trained in…