|Campaign 2012 News Update
July 3, 2012
Just in the last few days, I have received endorsements from the following Richmond community leaders, each of whom happens to be president of their neighborhood council (These are individual endorsements, not neighborhood council endorsements. Neighborhood councils cannot endorse candidates)
Other significant endorsements include:
Donations are now being accepted and appreciated. A contribution form, which also includes volunteer commitments, can be downloaded at http://tombutt.com/contribute.htm. Attach a check to the form and mail it in. Please do what you can to help.
Two prospective candidates, Jael Myrick and Bea Roberson, made public announcements of their candidacy this past week:
I am excited to announce today, that earlier this week I filed papers to begin the process of running for the Richmond City Council. I've decided to run for several reasons.
First and most significantly is my growing concern, along with that of many Richmond residents, that our current political climate in Richmond is overly divisive and as a result destructive to the needs of our citizens.
Through my work as a Field Representative for Assemblymember Nancy Skinner I've dealt with enough cities to know that it doesn't have to be this way. Other city councils in our district may have similar philosophical divides, but value consensus building as a way to advance the public good. That simply is not a part of the culture of our council here in Richmond.
As someone who has a positive relationship with all seven of our current Councilmember’s and the experience and perspective to understand policy making and how to get things done, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to be the type of unifying leader that our city government is in need of right now.
Second, as a graduate of Kennedy High School, a product of this community and a father, I am very passionate about increasing opportunities and improving conditions for young people here in Richmond. We know that the lack of hope among many of our young people is directly connected with our public safety challenges and our unacceptably high homicide rate.
If elected to the Council I will lead new efforts to focus on and invest in our young people.
In addition to the issues above, I am eager to use my creativity and experience to take on all of our cities major challenges: creating jobs that put people back to work, easing tensions between law enforcement and our communities of color, and creating healthy food choices for neighborhoods here in Richmond that don’t have them.
I look forward to spending the next 4-5 months talking with you and other leaders and residents of this city about what we can do together to tackle these challenges. I genuinely believe that more than what divides us unites our community, and I hope we can change our politics to reflect that.
Please join me in this effort to unite Richmond, and make our political system one that works for the good of us all.
Many people ask me why I would want to serve on the Richmond City Council. My response is easy: I envision a better Richmond for each of us—a Richmond that will promote equal and fair treatment for ALL Richmond residents. Belonging to a special group should never entitle preferential treatment by our elected officials.
As a member of the Council you can count on me to promote outreach to ALL businesses—from the mom and pop bodega to the larger businesses that provide jobs and a tax base—to encourage them to locate to Richmond and for those that are already here, to ensure that our business practices are friendly enough to keep them in Richmond where they can employ Richmond residents.
Of course we have a moral obligation to respect the environment and we need to work closely with our manufacturers to ensure that they comply with all current clean air and water regulations.
However, there has to be a balance between the needs of the people, the need for jobs and the needs of our businesses so everyone’s needs can be met.
We need members of the Council who can work hand in hand with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to help them provide job opportunities and job training for Richmond residents so this major new employer can provide the needed assistance to this community.
With jobs come health benefits. With jobs our residents will have the money to purchase and grow healthy foods. And with jobs our Richmond residents will be able to provide their families with adequate housing.
Richmond needs jobs and when the jobs come to Richmond the other components will naturally fall into place. Quality of life issues in Richmond will continue to be a concern if we continue to approach them in a backwards fashion as we currently do.
The other issue I feel strongly about is the disrepair of our streets. We hear so often that we don’t have the funds to pay for repairing our streets. Even so, they can find enough money to hire high priced consultants and attorneys for just about every issue. Don’t we have qualified staff members that can advise our Council for a much lower cost to the taxpayer?
If our tax money is going to be spent by the Council, shouldn’t it be spent on issues of concern to EVERYONE in Richmond instead of select special interest groups?
When we hire consultants to do the work of our competent and qualified City staff, it’s an insult to their abilities and demonstrates a lack of confidence in our staff.
When some members push for the hiring of specific consultants and attorneys, it sometimes looks as if they were selected specifically to promote the positions of those members of the Council. This does not always work in the best interests of the City or Richmond residents.
With the support of the good people of Richmond I will strive to bring civility back to the Council. I will strive to restore a sense of dignity to our Council meetings. I will strive to end the embarrassing way that our Council meetings are conducted. Your elected leaders need to observe the decorum required of an elected body. Childish behavior should not be the code of conduct for our elected officials.
Please see invitation attached.