FOUR YEARS AGO, Richmonders stood up against corporate special interests to show our city can’t be bought, and we won.
During our Mayor Tom Butt’s first term, we’ve made real progress together.
A Better Richmond Economy
Since 2015, we cut unemployment to 3.1% — the lowest on record. Tom launched our Business Roundtable to create jobs and expand opportunity. His Main Street Initiative is revitalizing Downtown. And we’re raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. We’re building more housing — including affordable housing — than we have in a decade. Home values are up, foreclosures are down, and rent is stable. And our strong fiscal outlook earned Richmond awards from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.
A Safer Richmond
We have the second lowest homicide rate on record. Even one homicide is too many of course, and Tom is committed to making our city even safer and strengthening trust between our community and law enforcement. And we’re making progress. Under Tom’s leadership, Richmond was recognized by Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch for progressive, effective community policing. Tom also stood up for Section 8 recipients and worked to revitalize Richmond neighborhoods.
A Better Future for Richmond Kids
As part of Richmond’s settlement with Chevron for the refinery fire, Tom helped negotiate $90 million in community benefits, $35 million of which is going to the Richmond Promise, which provides a scholarship for every graduating Richmond high school senior, and is the largest scholarship program of its kind in California. Tom also regularly invites students into the Mayor’s office to discuss civics, careers, and Richmond’s future.
Strengthening Richmond’s Environmental Leadership
During Tom’s term, Obama’s E.P.A. recognized Richmond for leading the way on the environment. Tom has carefully overseen our Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He helped ban pesticides in City operations and limit wasteful plastic straws. He’s raised funds for tree planting and negotiated $2 million for urban forestry. And Tom represented us at the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris, the largest meeting of cites focused on combatting global warming.
Improving Transportation, Infrastructure, and Quality of Life
From refurbishing Hilltop Mall, to improving transportation, to preserving historical structures, we’re making Richmond more livable. This fall, we’re launching ferry service to San Francisco, a project Tom’s led for over two decades. Ferry service will reduce I-80 traffic, improve commutes, cut emissions, and attract visitors. We’re also upgrading the Richmond BART and Amtrak stations, and constructing bike and pedestrian paths so people can safely cross I-580 and better access Point Molate.
Standing Up for Our Progressive Values
Tom has been honored to defend Richmond’s progressive values throughout the state, country, and world. Early in his term, Richmond joined an amicus brief in support of Obama’s action to protect undocumented parents with American-born children. When Trump withdrew from the Paris Accords, Tom joined 400 other U.S. mayors to reaffirm our commitment to fighting climate change. And when Trump targeted innocent people who have lived their entire lives here, Tom defended our fellow Richmonders living in immigrant communities, joining over 100 mayors in calling for comprehensive immigration reform.
Richmond depends on regional partnerships for many key infrastructure projects. To ensure Richmond gets its fair share, Tom represents us on many regional, state, and national boards, including:
- Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Chair
- 2017 West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, Association of Bay Area Governments
- West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee
- Association of Bay Area Governments
- MCE Clean Energy, Vice-Chair
- Bay Conservation and Development Commission
- League of California Cities
- U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Local Government Commission, past Chair
- Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission