From the archives: 2001 profile of Rev. Andre Shumake

Jan. 14, 2001:

Author: Shawn Masten 
RICHMOND From a windowless office at the North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Andre Shumake speaks rousingly about the role the church can play in healing the plague of violence ravaging Richmond‘s families and streets.
He clasps his hands together prayer-like, his black eyes beam and sometimes well with tears, as he talks about how the churches can help mend broken hearts and troubled minds by taking a leap of faith together.
There is such a state of hopelessness among some of the young men and women of this city,” Shumake said. “The church can restore hope. That’s our role. That’s what we’re supposed to do. But it takes collaboration. When you bring all the entities together, things will change.”


To that end, Shumake has called an eclectic group of nearly 100 religious, business and community leaders to a gathering in the city’s Iron Triangle neighborhood Thursday to begin setting an agenda for the churches of Richmond that focuses on solving the economic woes of its residents. 

The meeting comes with the city set to embark on hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of development, a rebirth that promises to bring thousands of new jobs and residents to Richmond

It also comes with residents still grieving over the recent shooting deaths of three teen-agers in south Richmond and one near Richmond High School just across the city line in San Pablo. 

Shumake does not want the churches to just preach peace from the pulpit but also to throw their doors open wide in a collaborative effort to improve the community’s spiritual and economic vitality. 

“We are in the midst of a spiritual explosion in the city of Richmond and across the country,” Shumake said. “You hear people crying out, What can I do?’ and it’s an awesome thing to witness. You have so many people saying the same thing. Now they are coming together. Now is the time. What you are going to see is the church in action.” 

Ministers from at least 20 churches of various denominations have been invited to Thursday’s meeting. 

It will start with a moment of silence for the slain youths. 

“The pastors of this city have a vision,” said Shumake. “We’re trying to bring that vision together and do the work that we’ve been called to do.” 

Speakers will include Richmond Police Chief Joseph Samuels, Ruby Hamilton of the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, Landon Williams of the San Francisco Foundation’s FAITHS Initiative and Debra Carter-Kelly of Pacific Bell. 

The keynote speaker will be Aubry Stone of the California Black Chambers of Commerce. City Manager Isiah Turner will be the master of ceremonies. 

Participants will learn how churches can form nonprofit corporations to help develop affordable housing and launch commercial endeavors like grocery stores, banks and pharmacies to bring services and jobs to inner-city neighborhoods. 

Shumake also envisions developing faith-based mentoring programs for youths and adults, with churches throughout the city helping to provide job training and classes on parenting, budgeting, literacy and African-American history. 

“If we want to curb the violence we have to provide some economic incentives,” Shumake said. “For those young men and women on the streets, it’s about economics. They’re making money out there. If we can treat them with dignity and respect, if we can provide them with positive alternatives, I believe the community will rise to the occasion.” 

Shumake believes that even if just a few of the city’s 112 churches get involved, they can make a difference. 

Fellow Richmond ministers agreed. 

“The churches are the ones who have the most pull on the community,” said Bishop Marion Pride, a resident of the Iron Triangle and former president of the neighborhood council. “The pastors have more outreach to them than anyone else in the community.” 

“The churches, the ministers are interested in the whole man,” said the Rev. Joseph Harold, pastor of the Parchester First Baptist Church. “Not just his salvation, but his living condition and everything else.” 

The approach reflects a growing movement of churches joining with government officials and social service organizations to help address society’s ills with means that go beyond prayer. 

Churches in Los Angeles have teamed up with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to take over abandoned and blighted properties for the creation of apartments and housing for AIDS sufferers and low-income families. 

Church leaders in New York’s Harlem have banded together to raise awareness and federal funding in the fight against the AIDS epidemic in the black community. 

In Nashville, Tenn., church leaders have come up with a plan to create a center where immigrants and their children can learn English or computer skills or be tutored. 

Contra Costa is no exception. The county spent about $300,000 last year on collaborative social service projects with churches and religious organizations. 

The spirit of cooperation also is behind the work of the Greater Richmond Interfaith Project, or GRIP. Formed in 1966 in response to growing racial unrest and other social issues, the group of 27 East Bay congregations now provides social services, including a winter shelter program. 

Even President-elect Bush has recognized the importance of the churches as a provider of social services, proposing to add an Office of Faith-Based Programs to work with churches and charities that aid the needy. 

California’s 1998 welfare-to-work legislation has spurred the trend by explicitly stating that counties should seek to work with religious organizations in developing job training, child care and other programs to aid the transition. 

Nonprofit groups are also working more with church groups. 

The San Francisco Foundation has been providing grant money and technical assistance to faith-based organizations for seven years, said Williams, director of the foundations’ FAITHS Initiative, which includes about 350 congregations in five Bay Area counties. 

The initiative recently helped the Easter Hill Methodist Church buy an ailing commercial property on Cutting Boulevard and open a thrift store that not only supports the church financially but also has helped revitalize the area. 

Shumake knows firsthand the secular success a church can have working with government and social service organizations. 

For two years, Shumake’s church has helped Contra Costa County and Neighborhood House of North Richmond wean residents off welfare. 

More than 600 residents have landed full-time jobs by way of the North Richmond Community Career and Resource Center at his church, Shumake said. 

Shumake also has been an outspoken advocate of change as president of the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, a residents’ group that oversees one of the city’s most troubled and crime-plagued neighborhoods. 

“I see firsthand the problems of homelessness, teen pregnancy and gentrification,” Shumake said. “If we want to solve those problems, we have to get the churches to open their doors for after-school tutoring programs and child care, parenting classes and financial tutoring.” 

Proselytizing is forbidden at the career center, Shumake added. “We can’t inquire what one’s faith is. But we can show love through our actions. That’s the church in action.” 

City Manager Turner said the churches could be integral to his mission of making Richmond more vital and prosperous. 

“There’s been money set aside for faith-based organizations to prepare people for work and create economic development opportunities in the community that center on transitioning people from a lower economic rung to a higher economic rung.” 

Councilman Gary Bell said he can see the advantages of a loose-knit partnership between the city and its churches, as long as city funding doesn’t go to them directly. 

“I would not envision the city actually being involved with them as a funder or with setting an agenda,” Bell said. “But I would see them communicating with the city and saying, Here’s what we are willing to do. What is the city willing to do to assist to us reach our goals?'” 

Shumake acknowledged that city government alone can’t improve what ails Richmond neighborhoods: 

“Historically the African-American church has been at the forefront of every movement. It’s time now for the church to be out in front of the changes that are taking place and need to take place in Richmond.” 

Such collaborations can occur without violating the separation of church and state, said county Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond

“There are ways that it can be done without funding going directly to the church but that support the work that needs to be done,” Gioia said. “If a youth group in church wants to help teach art at an elementary school after school, that’s not about religion. That’s about utilizing the resources of a church to provide a service.” 


Photo. The Rev. Andre Shumake believes churches working together can help end violence in Richmond. (Herman Bustamante Jr./Times). Breakout. Meeting information. Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave., Richmond.


From the archives: North Richmond’s unrealized future

West County Times (Richmond, CA)

May 20, 2001

Edition: Final
Section: West County
Page: a27
Editor note: This article, from May 2001, draws a harsh spotlight on just how short we have come toward achieving the expectations so many had for North Richmond.  

Index Terms:
Community, Neighborhood, Meeting, Address



NORTH RICHMOND A nice-sized grocery store in a central location. Multilingual information about the links between asthma and air pollution. Old-style policing where officers walk the streets, pausing to chat with neighbors over a cup of coffee. 

These are some of the top goals set by of a group of residents and community activists involved in a county-sponsored effort to improve their neighborhood. 

About 25 people involved in the Healthy Neighborhoods Project met Saturday at the Multicultural Senior Center to discuss North Richmond‘s good points and trouble spots and develop an improvement priority list. 

This is the second year the project, run by the Contra Costa County Health Department, has worked to turn dreams into tangible changes in this unincorporated community near the Richmond Parkway. The project also has programs in Richmond‘s Iron Triangle neighborhood, San Pablo and Pittsburg. 

Last year the North Richmond efforts resulted in a new mailbox in a central location, a stop sign at a dangerous intersection and a bus shelter. 

But that was just a start, and much more needs to be done, said organizers Saturday. 

“There’s a lot of things going on in our community that need taking care of,” said Rose Sidney, a retired probation officer who was raised in North Richmond

A few weeks before Saturday’s meeting, the group walked the neighborhood “mapping” community assets and weaknesses. 

Strengths included cultural diversity, new family and senior housing facilities, the county-run Center For Health, churches, child care facilities, and neighborhood cleanups. 

Weaknesses included crime, loitering in front of liquor stores, clutter in some yards, pollution from nearby industries and the lack of services, including a grocery store, restaurant and bank. 

Saturday’s discussion narrowed down the map, prioritizing what issues the group should tackle first. 

Health, crime and services topped the list. 

Solutions suggested included having more clear and concise health education information in a variety of languages available; having more police on the streets and improving relations between officers and residents; and establishing a community-run grocery store. 

“If we can get violence wiped out, that will take care of a multitude of things; if we get some services to come in, that will take care of a multitude of things,” said Willie Mae Johnson, a mental health specialist at La Cheim School and a longtime resident. 

Next, the group will present its list to local political and government leaders, asking for support and assistance in turning at least some ideas into realities. A tentative meeting is planned for June 30. 

Healthy Neighborhoods, launched about five years ago, is designed to help residents get involved in making improvements where they live, said Roxanne Carrillo, project manager. The county acts as facilitator, but the action is done by locals, she said. “Residents set the agenda.” 

Many at Saturday’s meeting said it was a good start. 

“Even though this is a small group, this is a group that’s concerned,” said Michael Moore, pastor of the End Times Harvest Ministries. “We’re taxpayers; we want the community needs to be addressed.” 

For more information on the Healthy Neighborhoods Project, call the county’s Community Wellness and Prevention Program at 925-313-6810.


Tax credit seminar by Richmond econ. dev. commission June 12


Tax Credit






Hosted by the City of Richmond Economic Development Commission



Wednesday, June 12th, 2013


12:00 – 1:30 PM


City of Richmond Multipurpose Room (Basement)

440 Civic Center Plaza @ 27

th Street

Richmond, CA 94804


Have you:


Paid any federal or state income tax?

Devoted time and resources to product development or process improvements?

Hired employees or anticipate hiring?

Located in a California Enterprise Zone?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, plan to attend this tax credit seminar luncheon.

Fox Consulting Group will help you take advantage of federal and state tax incentive programs

to offset your current year tax liability

and reclaim taxes previously paid. In addition, the City

of Richmond will be discussing available services to manage a successful business including

financing, employee training, and more. Please call or email us today to register for this free

event. If you are unable to attend, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

John Langreck, CPA Janet Johnson

916.996.1428 510.307.8140

john.langreck@foxconsultinggroupllc.com janet_johnson@ci.richmond.ca.us


Whole Foods Market® Richmond Distribution Center Bread Breaking Friday, May 17



Whole Foods Market® Richmond Distribution Center Bread Breaking Friday, May 17

Whole Foods Market Leadership, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and City Manager Bill Lindsay Will Officially Open Center at 11 a.m.



Whole Foods Market – Richmond Distribution Center



Whole Foods Market traditional bread breaking for its new distribution center located in Richmond. Whole Foods Market leadership, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and City Manager Bill

Lindsay will speak and then officially break bread to celebrate the opening of the center.

Whole Foods Market is transferring its Northern California Regional distribution center from San Francisco to Richmond to be more centrally located to its 38 stores. The center will be fully operational by month’s end.



Rob Twyman, President, Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno Region:

“Whole Foods Market is thrilled to be opening this distribution center in Richmond.” “We are very thankful for the City of Richmond’s support on this project and look forward to fully incorporating ourselves into the local community.”

Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond Mayor

“We are thrilled that Whole Foods Market is opening their new distribution center in Richmond.” “We are thankful to Whole Foods Market for their investment in our business community and for providing new jobs for our residents.” 



Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m.



Whole Foods Market Distribution Center

Pinole Point Business Park

6035 Giant Road, Richmond, CA 94806


Directions: Note, if you GPS the address it will take you to Giant Highway not Road. If you use GPS, enter the UPS office address (1601 Atlas Road, Richmond) and then follow Atlas Road until you get to Giant Road – then take a right. http://goo.gl/maps/fcYPF  Call Jennifer Marples on cell for assistance, if needed.



Jennifer Marples, jennifer@koacommunications.com

Cell: 415.596.0463



Photography is available upon request.

Lunch will be provided for city officials and the media.




Albany: Early scenes from the Occupy the Farm action Saturday

Occupy the Farm activists assemble outside Albany City Hall.

Other activists were setting up closer to the site where UC and Albany are planning a development.

Across Buchanan Street was a counter-demonstration by Albany residents supporting the development project

Pro- and anti-occupy folks had some energetic exchanges of opinion.

Around 2 p.m. Occupy the Farm posted this message on its Twitter feed:

Occupy the Farm ‏@occupyfarm On the farm! Lunch at 3, dinner and GA at 7! Farming all day! Bring work gloves and friends and join us at the #gilltract

Occupy the Farm posted its thoughts on today’s action on its website.


Illegal parking in Richmond: Move your boat or it will be towed


There’s illegal dumping and then there’s illegal dumping.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for people to dispose of large unwanted items in isolated areas such as business or industrial parks, and not just in Richmond or other jurisdictions that have areas out of watching eyes after hours. Usually its beatup couches, recliners or mattresses.
This week in Richmond there was a stripped-out fiberglass boat, once somebody’s pleasure craft, that had been taking up two parking spaces on South 19th Street near Meeker Avenue for several days.
On Tuesday two members of the city’s parking enforcement crew came to ponder the situation. By Wednesday, the boat was gone and its former owner is still a mystery. And it didn’t sit for 72 hours with an orange sticker on the windshield.
Hint to the Richmond Police Department: There’s a 1970s VW that’s been parked in the Rosie the Riveter Memorial lot for more than a year.


Caltrans announces reduced speed limit at area of I-580 project in Richmond

Caltrans issued the following announcement today:
Interstate 580 Scofield Avenue and Western Drive
Bridge Decks Replacement Project
Maximum Speed Limit Reduced to 45 MPH

Lane Closures Continue

Contra Costa County – Construction continues for the Interstate 580 Scofield Avenue and Western Drive Bridge Decks Replacement Project. Lane closures are scheduled for westbound and eastbound Interstate 580, in the vicinity of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Toll Plaza. At least one lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Drivers should expect delays and allow extra time in their daily commute.

· The speed limit was reduced to 45 MPH. The speed limit will be enforced by the California Highway Patrol.

· In general, at night, due to construction activities, lanes will be reduced to one lane. If you are travelling on eastbound I-580, week night closures begin at 7 p.m. If you are travelling westbound, week night closures begin at 9 p.m.

· In early May there will be structural work as well as roadway excavation as Caltrans begins to build the crossover in the median.

· The long term, 90-day closure of the eastbound Western Drive on-ramp is expected to begin in June 2013. There will be brief closures prior to that date when the contractor is working in the area. However, when possible a flagger will allow vehicles through the work area.


Caltrans announces ramp closures on Interstate 80

Caltrans issued the following announcement about upcoming work on Interstate 80

Alameda and Contra Costa Counties –Caltrans has scheduled ramp closures on eastbound and westbound Interstate 80 for construction activities for the Interstate 80 Integrated Corridor Mobility Project.

· The eastbound I-80 Central Avenue on-ramp will be closed Monday night, May 13, and Tuesday night, May 14, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

· The eastbound I-80 Powell Street on-ramp will be closed Monday night, May 20, and Tuesday night, May 21, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

· The westbound I-80 Carlson On-ramp will be closed Monday night, May 20, and Tuesday night, May 21, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

· The eastbound I-80 Ashby Avenue on-ramp will be closed Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This work is weather dependent, and if delayed due to weather conditions will be rescheduled. Please drive cautiously through the construction zone and leave a safe traveling distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Please remember to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

The I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility project will provide safety improvements for the traveling public; mobility and efficiency during commute hours; automated, integrated technology to manage traffic efficiently; real-time traffic information for travelers; with tax dollars funding SMART solutions.

Follow us on Twitter @CaltransD4. Follow the project at #80ICM. For more information, please visit the webpage at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/projects/80icm/


Pinole: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day back in the day at PVHS

Contra Costa Times columnist and pop culture observer Tony Hicks wrote today about Billie Joe Armstrong, East Bay resident and leader of the band Green Day, and his outspoken remarks about South Korean pop star Psy.
Click the link above and you’ll also see a selection of photos over the years of Armstrong on stage, but we want to go back a bit more. Like Pinole Valley High School in 1989, when Billie Armstrong was in the PVHS yearbook.

And a yearbook shot of Armstrong flanked by Mike Pritchard and Sean Hughes “looking cool as always.”


Governor’s Office of Economic Development to Address Richmond Chamber of Commerce

Press Release:  


For Immediate Release

May 8, 2013

Contact: Judith Morgan

                                                                                    Richmond Chamber of Commerce





Governor’s Office of Economic Development to Address Richmond Chamber of Commerce Annual Richmond Economic Summit May 9


Kish Rajan from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Keynote Speaker at 4th Annual Chamber Event



WHAT:           The keynote address at the 4th annual Richmond Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit will feature Kish Rajan, Director of GO-Biz, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.


The event will conclude with a Business Expo/Job Fair designed to connect employers, job-training programs, and job seekers featuring more than 50 companies and local workforce training and development organizations including the City of Richmond, Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Contra Costa College, RichmondBUILD, apprenticeship program representatives from the Laborers, Carpenters, Operating Engineers and several other local building trades unions, and Rubicon Programs.


WHEN:           May 9, 2013


Mobile workshop                                                         9am – 11:30am           

Keynote Address                                                        11:45am – 1:30pm

Breakout Sessions with Industry Leaders                     1:45pm – 4:30pm 

Business Expo/Job Fair                                                            4:30pm – 7pm


WHERE:        Richmond Memorial Convention Center

                        403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, Calif.


WHY:             Jobs are the most important part of Richmond’s future. With upcoming construction projects such as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the goal of the Richmond Chamber Economic Summit is to create and sustain jobs in the City of Richmond by demonstrating to regional employers the value of establishing businesses in Richmond as well as connect current businesses with potential employees.


CONTACT:    Judith Morgan                        

For more information, please visit: http://attendes2013-eorg.eventbrite.com


About the Richmond Chamber of Commerce:


Since 1924, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce has represented the dynamic range of Richmond’s business community, from sole proprietors to major corporations. Approximately 70 percent of its members are considered small businesses, with less than 10 employees, 26 percent of their members have between 10-100 employees, and only 4 percent of their members are considered large businesses, having over 100+ employees.


The organization is a voice for each of its members and encourages participation by all. The Chamber is an excellent resource for anyone wanting information about Richmond and its business opportunities, policies and trends.