Where I Stand
As a Richmond native, I have seen what large corporations have done to our city. During my youth, I saw around me communities with limited resources in education, housing, and healthcare. That experience has driven my work for the past decade, as a community organizer and as a city councilmember. It will continue to fuel my drive for policies to benefit Richmond’s hard-working families and youth.
I am proud that through my years of organizing and running successful grassroots campaigns, I have never accepted contributions from corporations, developers, or lobbyists. That means I don’t answer to any corporate interests or influences; my full commitment is to the people of Richmond. My objective in office is to take political and economic power away from corporations and place it instead in the hands of the people. I am proud that a broad coalition of environmental, labor, and community groups has endorsed my campaign for City Council District 1.
I believe basic needs like housing and food should be regarded as rights for all, not determined by profitability for a few.
I look at every policy and decision before City Council through the lens of racial and economic justice. Our whole government should do that: Richmond city council should resolve that racial and economic equity be a component of every city policy and program. In case it’s not clear which policies have racial impact, we only need to ask the people who are impacted!
So far in the city council I have voted to:
- Increase Richmond’s minimum wage to $15
- Fully enforce the rent control protections passed by voters
- Stop sharing information about immigrants with ICE
- “Ban the Box” on job applications so the formerly incarcerated can rejoin the community
- Preserve the Pt. Molate shoreline so it can be enjoyed by all.
As councilmember for District 1, my top priority will be to build coalitions and increase community participation in all aspects of government. I believe Richmond can be a place where we all rise together.
Minimize the damage from COVID-19
People of color suffer more and worse infections, while at the same time we are less able to stay home from work to protect our families and ourselves. Many of the policies I back, such as providing affordable housing and transportation, will help relieve the economic effects of the pandemic. In addition, Richmond needs to:
- Have healthcare available here: we need a hospital in our city of 110,000!
- Make sure our small, Richmond-based businesses get all the state and federal support possible to weather this storm.
- Make sure Richmond residents have full access to federal and state benefits. No one should suffer more because of the digital gap.
- Support Contra Costa educators to keep the schools safe during the pandemic and beyond. A publicly accountable school system, free from charters, makes this more possible.
Build and maintain safe affordable housing
- Maintain and enforce Richmond’s forward-looking rent control law. Renters who loose income during the pandemic should not be put on the street.
- Help small landlords gain financial support as they struggle with costs during the pandemic.
- Look for innovative policies to expand housing; don’t wait for market forces. For instance, Richmond has space for infill housing that will do far more for working-class communities than building high-end homes on the bay front.
- Bring action for affordable housing to county and state levels. For instance, Richmond’s rent control policies are limited by the state Costa-Hawkins Act. Let’s join coalitions to change that.
- Ensure all affordable housing projects are safe to live in: No housing on toxic soil!
Improve wages and skills
- Institute local-hire policies to expand job opportunities
- Develop re-entry programs to help people who have been incarcerated rejoin the community
- Support efforts to make transportation—to and from work, healthcare, or recreation—a right for all: Keep rates low or free, pay transit workers fair wages, keep riders and workers safe at all times.
Protect the environment
- Preserve Pt. Molate as a public resource that all Richmond residents can enjoy. Decisions about the future of Pt. Molate need to be made in the daylight, with full public involvement at every step.
- Hold Chevron and all polluters accountable for damage to air quality and bay ecosystems.
Re-Imagine public safety
- Spend our city funds wisely. Richmond spends about 40% of our budget on policing. Are we getting our money’s worth? Other, lower cost programs can bring solutions for mental-health emergencies, for example, and other situations where a cop with a gun is not the best response.
- Support local policies that create more transparency and accountability for police and fire fighters.
- Keep youth out of the criminal justice system to the greatest extent possible. In particular, the money spent on the County Juvenile Hall could be better used for programs that build skills and opportunities.
Secure a local hospital
Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmond residents suffered a lack of access to healthcare. Many of us must find a way to Oakland or Martinez for the care we need. That’s way too far, in Bay Area traffic, in an emergency. Richmond needs a Level 1 hospital— yesterday.
Develop more opportunities for youth:
- Keep Richmond Public Libraries strong and accessible. Our public libraries are a huge resource for immigrants and working families trying to build a better life for their kids. The moderate resources spent on libraries will pay off big dividends in more stable communities and incomes in the future.
Make the wealthiest corporations pay
- Huge multinationals have been sliding by for years without paying their share of property taxes. The fair taxation in Proposition 15, the Schools and Communities First proposition, will provide much-needed resources to invest in the future of our youth.
Fully enforce city codes to keep communities safe—especially the park spaces and recreation centers where our children play.