Candidate Profiles

Madeline Kronenberg, School Board Candidate

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 academic scores among subgroups of students. She also said she would improve teacher retention and collaboration. She says she learned the value of collaboration from…

Virginia Ramirez, City Council Candidate

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 skill that can help her connect with more people in Richmond. After moving to Richmond with her family in 1997, she went on to graduate…

Ada Recinos, City Council Candidate

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 buy-in from other council members,” she said. After advocating for affordable housing without displacement, translation services and greater opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs, Recinos has received…

Nat Bates, City Council

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 career in the Alameda County criminal justice system as a group counselor and then a probation officer, Bates was first elected to Richmond City Council…

Demnlus Johnson III, City Council Candidate

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 the city. Wearing a sharp, gray suit and delivering each answer with seemingly endless energy, Johnson, 25, has big plans for the city. He says…

Cesar Zepeda, City Council Candidate

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 High School and Contra Costa College. Over the past few years, Zepeda has helped start several local organizations and initiatives. Zepeda co-founded Richmond’s first LGBTQ…

Eduardo Martinez, City Council Candidate

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 runs for re-election. Martinez, 69, is originally from Dumas, Texas and moved to the Bay Area in the 1970s. He was an elementary school teacher…

Michael Gonzales, School Board Candidate

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 frustrated by the  West Contra Costa School District, Gonzales was recruited again to run in this year’s school board elections. Gonzales, 63, has one goal:…

Carlos Taboada, School Board Candidate

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 our district,” he said. His motivation to run lies primarily in recentering the focus on public schools.He has a young grandson who will soon enter…