Richmond races down to wire

Who will win Richmond’s three council seats? I don’t really know, but a lot of people think it comes down to six people: Incumbents and Tom Butt, Nat Bates, along with RPA-backed Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois and Chevron-backed Gary Bell and Bea Roberson.
Who are the favorites within those six? Tough to say, although Butt and Bates have both been consistent re-election winners for a long time, so that may imply some edge.
Andres Soto, a longtime local leader and founding member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, posted this on Facebook today. As you can read below, he says that it’s really a battle between four at this point, Butt, Langlois, Bates and Martinez.
What do you think?
Dear Friends:

Regardless of the national election as they say, “All politics are local”. We need you now. This election in Richmond is being watched nationally because of Measure N and we have a chance to put a stake in the heart of Chevron and its efforts to dominate and corrupt the Richmond City Council.

This Saturday is the last day for door to door canvassing – great way to meet neighbors and feel the pulse of the election.

The recents hit pieces against Eduardo Martinez and on behalf of Gary Bell tells us Eduardo is battling Bell for the third slot and that Tom Butt and Marilyn Langlois are on top – Nat Bates is almost gone forever – but we must keep up the fight until 8:00 p.m. on election night. Then we party!!!!

We also need you to take next Tuesday off from work and join us all day as we persuade voters in Richmond to stand up to Chevron and to support our children’s health.


Richmond council hopefuls debate at Hotel Mac

nat bates, tom butt

Candidates square off at the Hotel Mac. (photo by Robert Rogers)

RICHMOND — Five candidates for City Council squared off in their upteenth debate Wednesday in an upstairs room of the historic Hotel Mac.

The lunch hour debate featured incumbents Nat Bates and Tom Butt, along with challengers Eduardo Martinez, Bea Roberson and Marilyn Langlois.
The debate was sponsored by the Council of Industries and drew about 20 local business leaders.
Economic development took center stage in all the candidates’ remarks.
Martinez, Langlois and Butt, backed by the progressive coalition that has lead Richmond in recent years, touted the city’s successes and said Richmond was on the right track.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” Martinez said, joining his allies in praising the city’s General Plan, which stresses pedestrian friendly streets, green development and open space preservation.
Langlois said passing Measure N, a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, was part of Richmond’s progress as a leader in healthy development.
  1. Read an online debate on Measure N here
Bates and Roberson said they were the “business friendly” candidates and vowed to open the city up to more development.
“We have enough parks in this city,” Bates said. “We need more economic development.”
Bates, 81, and Butt, 68, sparred with their usual volleys of barbed banter.
Bates said Butt and his Richmond Progressive Alliance allies were to the Council of Industries what Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is to the NAACP.
Butt said Bates “probably just forgot” that Butt has been a leader on economic development issues for years.
Other candidates for city council, including Gary Bell, Eleanor Thompson and Jael Myrick participated in another debate at the Hotel Mac on Oct. 17.
Three slots are up for grabs this year. Butt and Bates are longtime incumbents seeking re-election, while Councilman Jeff Ritterman has opted not to seek a second term.
In recent years, Richmond has enjoyed a sharp drop in crime, improving employment and new development starts, most notably the announcement earlier this year that the city would be the site of a massive new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, slated to open in 2016 or 2017.