Candidate Profiles

Former Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is campaigning for the City Council's District 5 seat.

Former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin plans to continue Richmond’s progressive transformation

By Mathew Miranda | October 27, 2020

Former two-time Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is back in the City Council race and she’s ready to start working for the community.

Y’Anad Burrell poses for her husband, Michael Ogbodo, who is a freelance photographer.

Running to ensure equitable access to education

By Isabella Bloom | October 2, 2020

Y’Anad Burrell has a mission: Improve education and opportunities for people of color in Richmond. That’s why she is hoping to serve as an area four board member for the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD). “All I’ve been hearing over 10, 15 years is that the West Contra Costa Unified School District continues to…

Ahmad Anderson, a city council candidate for Richmond district 5.

Richmond’s native son strives to continue legacy

By Ande Richards | September 30, 2020

“To run is courageous,” Anderson said. “So you have to get right with yourself, there is no second place there is no third place – the winner wins. The process of running allows you to give a voice for the people.”

Gonzalez-Hoy is running for West Contra Costa Unified School District board trustee for area four

Bilingual teacher running for school board wants to improve English language classes

By Isabella Bloom | September 24, 2020

Gonzalez-Hoy is running for West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) board trustee for area four.

Watch our Coffee With A Candidate video profiles: Wicks and Beckles fight for Assembly District 15

By Mara Kardas-Nelson | November 1, 2018

Democrats Buffy Wicks and Jovanka Beckles are running a tight race to represent California’s Assembly District 15, which includes Richmond, Berkeley and North Oakland. While Wicks won the majority of votes in the June primary, and Beckles barely squeaked by, the two are now neck and neck a week ahead of election day. Buffy Wicks,…

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, School Board Candidate

By Edward Booth | October 31, 2018

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, is running for the school board on a platform of improving teacher retention, the school climate and student academic and learning outcomes. Hernández-Jarvis, 27, once an undocumented immigrant, also considers herself a strong advocate for immigrant rights. “It’s not about security for me;…

Valerie Cuevas, School Board Candidate

By Edward Booth | October 31, 2018

Valerie Cuevas comes from humble beginnings. As a child of a working-class family, beset by problems that put her at risk of academic failure, Cuevas attached to her family’s belief in the transformative power of education. “My family believed in the innate ability and potential of all the kids to succeed, and to succeed at…

Elizabeth Block, School Board Candidate

By Edward Booth | October 31, 2018

Elizabeth Block has served as public education principal, school psychologist and special education administrator over the course of a 35-year career. She’s currently an incumbent member of the West Contra Costa Unified School Board, running for a second term. “I consider myself to be the candidate with experience that matters because I’ve had experience at…

Consuelo Lara, School Board Candidate

By Edward Booth | October 31, 2018

Consuelo Lara found structure and safety in attending school as a child. Then she became a teacher and taught for 38 years, much of the time in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She is now running for a seat on the school board. Lara, of San Pablo, seeks to encourage dual language literacy,…

Madeline Kronenberg, School Board Candidate

By Edward Booth | October 31, 2018

Madeline Kronenberg has gathered a wealth of experience while serving three terms on the West Contra Costa Unified School Board. A former teacher, she is currently running for a fourth term. Kronenberg, 71, a resident of El Cerrito, wants voters to return her to the board to work toward eliminating the achievement gap—the difference in…

Virginia Ramirez, City Council Candidate

By Betty Marquez Rosales | January 31, 2018

A newcomer to city government, Virginia “Vicky” Ramirez has a lot to prove. Born and raised in Salinas, Ramirez, 28, grew up with parents who worked in agriculture; her father picked celery and her mother picked mustard seed. She was raised in a predominantly Mexican community and sees her fluency in Spanish as a special…

Ada Recinos, City Council Candidate

By Betty Marquez Rosales | January 31, 2018

A proud salvadoreña and first generation college student, Ada Recinos isn’t afraid to confront issues head-first. The youngest person ever appointed to Richmond’s city council, Recinos, 27, beat out 12 others seeking appointment to the council last November. In the year since, she has learned valuable political lessons. “[It’s] important to have a lot of…

Nat Bates, City Council

By Betty Marquez Rosales | January 31, 2018

After serving several terms on city council, Nathaniel Bates, 87, thinks he knows Richmond best. Bates, a 77-year resident of Richmond, remembers taking the Santa Fe train from Texas to Richmond in 1942 after his mother moved to work at the Kaiser shipyards. “Richmond is the only home I’ve ever known,” he said. After a…

Demnlus Johnson III, City Council Candidate

By Betty Marquez Rosales | January 31, 2018

Demnlus Johnson III waves and smiles to young kids and their parents as he asks a Nevin Community Center employee if they’ll be hosting a Halloween party this year. He’s at the community center — which sits across the street from his great grandparents’ home — speaking at a candidates’ forum about his plans for…

Cesar Zepeda, City Council Candidate

By Wesaam Al-Badry | January 31, 2018

A health and benefits broker by trade, Cesar Zepeda is passionate about helping his community. Zepeda, 37, ran unsuccessfully for the Richmond City Council in 2016 and is trying again this year. After immigrating from Mexico when he was 8 years old, Zepeda grew up in Richmond and San Pablo, attending Helms Elementary School, Richmond…

Eduardo Martinez, City Council Candidate

By Wesaam Al-Badry | January 31, 2018

Eduardo Martinez surprised everyone by winning a seat on Richmond’s City Council in 2014.   His successful campaign was fueled by small donations and grassroots door knocking. It was his third time running for the Richmond City Council after having lost in 2010 and 2012.  This year, Martinez hopes to repeat his victory as he…

Michael Gonzales, School Board Candidate

By Aiden Strawhun | January 31, 2018

Michael Gonzales was born in San Francisco but has been a Richmond resident for the past 20 years. He’s a man of many hats: a father of four and grandfather of one, a teacher, a pastor, a counselor and a consultant. After being recruited to run for school board three years ago by local teachers…

Carlos Taboada, School Board Candidate

By Aiden Strawhun | January 31, 2018

Carlos Taboada is not a new face in West Contra Costa school board races. A teacher in the district for 21 years, Taboada first ran three years ago and is very vocal about his views as a critical eye of charter schools in the area. “I think we are in a very crucial moment in…

Vanessa Calloway, School Board Candidate

By Boikanyo Tefu | January 31, 2018

Vanessa Calloway wants the state of California to change its laws and give power to school boards to decide if their districts need charter schools. There are currently 14 charter schools in the West Contra Costa County Unified School District, 11 of which are in Richmond. The decision to allow the charter schools to open…

Anthony Caro, School Board Candidate

By Boikanyo Tefu | January 31, 2018

Community organizer Anthony Caro wants the district to adopt a tough new requirement for students to graduate high school. They must have a letter of acceptance from a college or trade school, or have a job lined up. Otherwise, they must join the military. The West Contra Costa County Unified School District needs to model…