Bay Citizen

Richmond teachers struggle to afford housing on “poverty level” salaries

Diane Maddox sold gold jewelry as a side hustle, just to get by during her 33 years of teaching in Richmond. The single mother raised her two daughters in an apartment above a garage. It took the 56-year-old Maddox more than two decades until she could finally afford to purchase a home. She currently teaches transitional kindergarten for English learners at Downer Elementary School. “I’m a single parent in the Bay Area, so then trying to make it on one…

Report shows half of Richmond’s charter schools have substandard financial accountability and lack parent engagement

Seven charter schools in Richmond were among 43 charter schools in the state found to have faulty records for funds generated by high needs students, says a report by nonprofit law firm Public Advocates. The report published this year by the advocacy organization known for working with low income communities to bring strategic policy reform found that the charter schools were not abiding by state guidelines. The Local Control Accountability Plan and Local Control Funding Formula are state guidelines adopted…

Richmond’s former prisoners get out the vote

This year, California had the largest number of people registered to vote in the state’s history, with nearly 20 million ready to hit today’s polls. Formerly incarcerated people in Richmond, some of whom are voting for the first time, helped the state reach that record. In the lead up to the election, organizations across the city worked to educate formerly incarcerated people and their families about their right to vote. Laws vary across the country on voting rights for those…

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

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, a former Obama staffer, touts her connections to high-level politicians like Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris and her multi-decade organizing experience. Jovanka Beckles, a Richmond…

Richmond’s homeless community hangs on as Prop 2 promises limited new funding

At the corner of 22nd Street and Carlson Boulevard in Richmond sits a homeless encampment where the unofficial mayor, Oretha “Porkchop” Stevens, is calming down her next-door neighbor Tone. His phone is missing and Porkchop works to reassure him.  “You’re not crazy, you know where you put your stuff! Don’t play with your own mind,” she says with authority, perched on the bed inside her tent from where she presides all day over her dozen neighbors’ lives. She and her…

Richmond small business owner kickstarts neighborhood party to boost childhood literacy

Reading is a struggle for many of Richmond’s youth. Almost half of students in West Contra Costa County Unified School District are unable to read at grade level.   To boost reading in Richmond, the owners of R&R Coffee hosted a party on Monday for local families at the Bridge Storage and Artspace, where food and books were given away. It was “like an adventure” for her children, said Richmond mom Sherab Osugi. She said the party made her children,…