With signatures approved, Kids First Initiative gets closer to the 2018 ballot

On Tuesday, City Council verified the signatures for putting the Richmond Kids First Initiative on the 2018 ballot. The embattled initiative, which supporters had worked to put on the 2016 ballot, would allocate up to 3 percent of the city’s general fund over the next 10 years for a special fund for children’s and youth services.

City forced to increase debt, rethink its finances

Last week, Richmond’s City Council faced a painful choice between paying a $30 million bond termination fee or taking on an extra $10 million in debt over the life of the bond. Neither of these options help the city handle its deficit, but council members opted for continuing payment through the life of the bond.

West Contra Costa school board meets for a six-hour, packed discussion on charter schools

On Wednesday night, West Contra Costa Unified School District’s (WCCUSD) first board of education meeting of the year was packed with chatty bouncy children, a sea of blue shirt-wearing Caliber Beta Academy teachers, and people holding orange public comment sheets. Newly-elected school board president Todd Groves began the meeting promptly at 6:30 pm as eager parents and teachers waited to discuss pressing topics on the agenda, such as the charter petition renewal of Richmond College Preparatory Schools (RCPS), and the…

Contra Costa County offers loan forgiveness to Doctors Medical Center

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors agreed to forgive about $9 million in repayment debt from struggling Doctors Medical Center (DMC) over the next three to five years. Supervisors John Gioia and Federal D. Glover proposed the two resolutions on Dec. 2, one providing immediate financial relief and the other a long-term stabilization strategy. DMC has been steeped in financial turmoil since it was rescued from bankruptcy in 2008, and  faced possible closure since the beginning of summer. Now,…

Berkeley passes first in the nation soda tax

Berkeley has become the first city in the country to pass a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in an effort to combat childhood obesity and diabetes, according to Josh Daniels, co-chair of the Yes on D campaign. As the polls closed Tuesday night, an energetic crowd, many of whom wore black t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Berkeley vs. Big Soda,” clapped and cheered within the Yes on D campaign headquarters on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.

Will Chevron’s $3 Million Bid for Richmond Succeed?

As voters head to the polls, the nation’s eyes will be on Richmond as the city decides the future of its leadership. Not only are Richmonders electing a new mayor and new city council members, but they’re also passing judgement on the effects of unlimited political spending.