Government

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…

Dialysis companies spend millions to defeat Prop 8, which seeks to limit dialysis center profits

Billion-dollar dialysis companies and a labor union are spending tens of millions of dollars to sway Proposition 8 votes their way on Election Day. Health experts say the proposition, which seeks to limit dialysis center profits, is unlikely to improve care for dialysis patients and may put care out of reach for patients in low-income areas, including parts of Oakland and Richmond.

Dissension grows among RPA supporters over councilwoman’s ‘egregious violation’ on Point Molate vote

The Richmond City Council vote to move forward with plans to develop a pristine piece of the city’s shoreline has sown some dissension in the ranks of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, potentially weakening the political organization that has transformed city politics over the past decade. Some think the divisions within the alliance could affect the outcome of the November election. Two alliance members are running for re-election to the council and another, Vice Mayor Melvin Willis, is trying to oust…

The breakdown: three local ballot measures explained

Two city-level measures on the ballot in Richmond propose to raise taxes for programs to support kids, the homeless and affordable housing. A third measure would tax marijuana cultivators to raise money for the county’s general use. Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. To help you make an informed decision at the voting booth, we’re explaining the three ballot measures in this story. (Click here to check if you’re registered to vote.) Below is an overview of Measure H,…

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…

Calling it a ‘sick pig,’ residents urge reopening of Point Molate settlement

Audible gasps spread through the Richmond City Council meeting on Tuesday when it was announced that nearly 50 people had signed up to speak during the public comment period, most about the city’s most valuable piece of shoreline that is once again the subject of tense debate. The gasps foreshadowed some colorful comments from the residents who blasted city officials about how they approved a settlement agreement for the prized shoreline, known as Point Molate. Richmond resident Juan Reardon denounced…

Mayor promises long-term homeless plan, but surprise evictions of Richmond’s homeless continue

As city workers continue to uproot the homeless from encampments around Richmond, at times without any warning or help, Mayor Tom Butt is pushing to raise $1.5 million from local companies to pay for a managed homeless encampment. He has asked several local companies, including Chevron Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Apron, Costco Wholesale and Sims Metal Management to donate $154,000 each—to build and run a camp serving 100 people for a year. As a group of homeless people were being…

Proposed housing developments promise to transform downtown Richmond

A series of recently proposed housing developments along Macdonald Avenue in downtown Richmond could spur a business renaissance in the struggling district if city and local business leaders’ predictions ring true. In a city desperate for affordable housing, the developments reserve only about one quarter of the total number of units for residents making below the median income. The rest of the apartments would be rented at market rates. Still, Richmond leaders are supporting the proposals on land that has…