In 2015, her name suddenly appeared in news articles about the nomination of a new candidate for the Richmond City Council. In the media, Claudia Jimenez, 37, remained undefined, only noted for her organizing work with Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizations (CCISCO). At minimum, Jimenez, who at the time was not affiliated with the Richmond Progressive Alliance, was described as a “smokescreen” candidate.
Our next election is less than seven months away. But memories of the last city election—one of Richmond’s most expensive—remain fresh in the minds of many voters. For residents of this refinery town whose recollections are fading, we now have a fascinating 90-minute video history of that campaign. Entitled “Nat Bates for Mayor,” it provides a timely reminder of the stakes involved in a local battle against big money in politics that got national attention.
2016 marks Eduardo Martinez’s first year as a Richmond City Councilmember. The retired educator and community activist was elected in 2015 in a historic election in which the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) defeated a $3 million dollar Chevron-backed campaign for opposition candidates, and in the process, claimed three of the seven seats on the council.