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Leaders intervene to save North Richmond senior center

N E W S  RELEASE from office of John Gioia:

Contra Costa County
JOHN GIOIA (joy-a)
District One
Board of Supervisors

For more information contact:
Luz Gomez – Deputy Chief of Staff
Office 510-231-8689
Cell 925-785-2439

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2013

North Richmond Senior Center Saved from Closure

North Richmond, Calif.,
North Richmond seniors can now breathe a sigh of relief.  For months, residents in this tight-knit community feared that a pending foreclosure would shut-down their beloved senior center. Now, thanks to efforts by Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and key community leaders, the North Richmond Multicultural and Family Center (aka the Senior Center) will remain open after a last-minute short-sale averted foreclosure.

The transaction, which closed on October 15, ensures the continuation of services and transfers ownership of the building to the non-profit Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC). Earlier this month, Supervisor Gioia obtained approval by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to use $156,830 in Park Dedication funds to enable CHDC to purchase the building and save the senior center.  Lloyd Madden, Neighborhood House President and CEO, negotiated the short sale price on behalf of their new Board of Directors.

Neighborhood House of North Richmond (“Neighborhood House”) has operated the senior center for nearly 30 years providing residents a safe place to gather for social, recreational, family, and civic events. The center is the hub and heart of the community.

In recent years, Neighborhood House experienced a severe financial crisis leading the building’s mortgage holder to begin foreclosure proceedings due to missed payments. “We came together and brought resources to the table to keep this important community center open” Supervisor Gioia said.

The Park Dedication funds can be used to meet local park and recreation needs, including senior and community centers. According to the County Assessor’s records, the current assessed value of the property is in excess of $325,000.

Through the efforts of Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Congressman George Miller’s Office, Community Housing Development Corporation, and Neighborhood House of North Richmond, the current mortgage holder agreed to the short sale enabling the transaction. A plan is in place for continued services to seniors and other residents of North Richmond.

“Losing the senior center would have been like losing a beloved family member,” said Corrine Sain, the Center’s Director for the past 29 years. “The entire community depends on us to be here to serve them. I thank Supervisor Gioia, the County, and everyone who helped us to stay open.”

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BAPAC, others call on Richmond council to appoint Kathleen Sullivan

Press release:

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Thursday, January 10, 2013

RICHMOND RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY LEADER KATHLEEN SULLIVAN ENDORSED BY THE CITY’S BLACK LEADERSHIP COALITION TO REPLACE COUNCILMEMBER-ELECT GARY BELL

Coalition Spokesperson: Lloyd G. Madden
Contact: 510-691-8057

RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA
—The Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition, a group of Richmond’s most powerful African American organizations, met on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, to endorse a community leader to be appointed to replace Gary Bell, Richmond City Councilmember-elect, who, unfortunately, will not be able to take his City Council seat because of a medical condition.

The group’s endorsement went to Kathleen Sullivan, 57, an African American and longtime resident ofRichmondwho has served this community in a range of capacities for about fifteen years. Her Pastor, Wynford Williams of Richmond’s All Nations Church, speaks proudly of Ms. Sullivan’s commitment to the city and its residents: “She’s faithful to the ministry and very dedicated to helping families, children and adults in need here. She is a real asset toRichmond.

The Coalition made the choice to endorse Ms. Sullivan to serve in Gary Bell’s place because she met its criteria of being closely aligned with Mr. Bell’s fundamental philosophy, “That of unselfish leadership,” explained Lloyd G. Madden, President of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) ofContraCostaCounty. “Ms. Sullivan also has an exceptional history of community involvement, knowledge of the issues facingRichmond, and great compassion, sensitivity and fairness,” he added.

“I’m proud to have been endorsed by the Black leaders ofRichmondto undertake the challenges that Gary Bell would have conquered,” Ms. Sullivan stated. “Among other things, I hope to have the opportunity to support new businesses coming intoRichmond, including companies that bring green jobs, uniteRichmondacross ethnic lines, and work hard to mediate the misunderstandings that have caused much division in the Richmond City Council,” Ms. Sullivan said. “I commit to the residents ofRichmond, if given the chance to serve, I will do my best to honor Gary Bell and all of the residents of this community.”

About Kathleen Sullivan
Ms. Sullivan worked for the Neighborhood House of North Richmond for eight years providing Senior Case Management services to the most at-risk Black families and mothers with young children inRichmond. She has served as Chair of the City ofRichmond Human Relations and Human Rights Commission until she termed out last year. In addition, Ms. Sullivan was a member of the Board of theBrooksideCommunity Center for the last eight years until it successfully merged with Lifelong Corporation in 2012.

Ms. Sullivan has been a successful consultant to the foster care system inContraCostaCountyand has fostered more than 42 children in her ownRichmondhome as well as provided leadership inWestCountyin the redesign of its foster care system.

Currently, Ms. Sullivan is the President of the Richmond/Contra Costa Chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), which has supported local elected officials and initiatives, as well as launched “Building Bridges Between the Black and Brown Community”—an effort to unite the residents ofRichmond.

She also recently cofounded the ByExampleNation Project, a group of mostly Richmond women formed to support its members in learning how to make healthy choices about eating, drinking and exercising.

Ms. Sullivan obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New College San Francisco in Human Relations and was a Master’s candidate in Community Economic Development at the National Economic Development andLawCenter.

Ms. Sullivan has adopted two girls while raising two sons with her husband of 13 years, who himself was born and raised inRichmondand comes from one of the African American pioneer families of this community.

About the Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition
This coalition includes, but is not limited to, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) of Contra Costa County, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-Richmond Branch, 1 Richmond, Men and Women of Purpose, One Accord Project, Men and Women of Valor, Guardians of Justice, National Brotherhood Alliance NBA) and Black Men and Women (BMW).