Economy

How charter school, real estate and healthcare money helped Wicks outspend Beckles by 4 to 1

The race for California’s 15th Assembly district is one of the most expensive in the state. More than $3.75 million has been spent to support the candidacies of Buffy Wicks and Jovanka Beckles, with spending for Wicks exceeding Beckles by a margin of 4 to 1, a Richmond Confidential analysis of the latest campaign finance reports shows. The reports reveal that nearly 40 percent of Wicks’ support is coming from outside of California. Corporate executives and business interests are heavily…

Rodents, Roaches and Broken Elevators: Why it took nearly a decade for Richmond to fix public housing

By Betty Marquez Rosales and Ravleen Kaur The elevators inside a Richmond public housing building had been broken for about a week before city officials moved to have them fixed — an unusually rapid response for a building plagued by maintenance issues for years, where residents regularly endure long waits to have them repaired. This time, the fix was triggered not just by the usual residential complaints. This time, it took the outrage of residents who believe a death might…

UC strike organizer draws from immigration struggle in fight for campus workers

Maricruz Manzanarez grabbed tight to weeds and scrub brush growing out from the dirt ridge on one side of the tracks, bracing herself as the train approached, afraid. She worried that the train was going so fast it would suck her in as it went by. She felt its pull on her as it sped past. Caught between the railcars and the ridge, between Mexico and the United States, Manzanarez held on tight. Just a few years ago she had…

How Richmond rebuilds abandoned homes

The house on South 37th Street is the ninth one rebuilt under the housing renovation program that turns abandoned, uninhabitable homes into livable ones and sells them to local, lower to medium income, first-time homebuyers.

Small businesses along Albany’s commercial corridors struggling to find employees

Located at the intersection of Albany and Berkeley, the Tokyo Fish Market is never empty. Customers buying salmon, sushi or Japanese rice desserts fill the large room, and workers carrying, cutting, and wrapping fish abound. Or so it seems. The market needs more workers, said Li Nakamura, who has been running it since 1990. “Every business has a hard time right now finding workers,” he said. “We do not know why.” Up and down Albany’s commercial district of Solano and…

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…

New Tenant Ordinances To Help Low Income Residents

The Richmond City Council decided last Tuesday to start drafting two new ordinances to help low income tenants find housing in Richmond. The council was responding to a proposal put forward by Vice Mayor Melvin Willis and several groups. It will make it cheaper for tenants to apply for rental housing and also outlaw discrimination against residents using housing choice vouchers, also known as Section 8, named after section 8 of a decades old federal law that assists very low-income…