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This City Council is Moving Forward Together!

CM Robinson and Staff

Jun 6, 2023

Richmond City Council has embarked on a process to establish collective goals and priorities to guide their actions in the upcoming budget year. 


Three three separate special council meetings facilitated by Henry Gardener, Councilmembers 1) shared their goals and objectives, 2) worked with city staff to understand which goals were already in process in order to better organize the collective list of goals and objectives, and finally, 3) they voted on the consolidated list of goals and objectives emerging from the process with this list of goals and objectives. 


City Council Goals (Selected by Majority Vote)


Goal #1: Improve Quantity and Quality of Housing, Especially Low-Income Housing and Reduce Homelessness

  1. Increase housing access – especially infill development (avoid the shoreline)

  2. Prevent housing instability

  3. Reduce homelessness


Goal #2: Improve Revenue and Improve Economic Development

  1. Create new opportunities for workforce development in Richmond

  2. Reenvision Richmond Port as an ecologically responsible revenue generator

  3. Revitalize existing and small businesses

  4. Create and or re-envision infrastructure to attract new businesses and retail and manufacturing infill developments and new customers for existing Richmond businesses

  5. Research new progressive taxes

  6. Strengthen grant infrastructure (grants department) – build capacity to apply for and administer grants

  7. Advance the East Bay Public Bank


Goal #3: Improve the Quality of Life and Community Health/Improve Social Determinants of Health

  1. Improve maintenance of the built environment, parks, and new recreation infrastructure

  2. Create new infrastructure

  3. Increase transportation for underserved communities (including bike and pedestrian route trails)

  4. Create a plan for waste water treatment and sewer infrastructure improvement

  5. Revisit CyberTran project (will provide jobs)

  6. Improve recreation services by increasing access and improving communications and outreach

  7. Address mental health in a holistic approach (provide more services that are culturally competent)


Goal #4: Improve Public Safety

  1. Improve road, traffic, bike, and pedestrian safety

  2. Continue to support alternatives to police (i.e., ONS) and collaborate with CCC regarding alternative methods

  3. Reduce illegal dumping

  4. Improve emergency response and preparation

  5. Establish more public shelters (unhoused, post-emergency, domestic violence survivors, etc.)

  6. Reduce pollution and flaring from Chevron

  7. Strategic parking and transportation plan that aligns with planned development


Goal #5: Strengthen the City’s Internal Infrastructure and Processes

  1. Insure that there is the right staffing level and experience to meet service goals of each City department

  2. Improve fiscal responsibility

  3. Improve and modernize City IT


Goal #6: Address Shoreline Issues and Ecological Sustainability

  1. Moving Point Molate forward with Park District

  2. Consider shoreline resiliency inventory plan (which includes preparation for sea level rise)

  3. Examine the impact of distribution centers on public health and then use information to adjust zoning protect sensitive receptors (seniors, children, hospitals, clinics, etc.) from increased exposure by using Green zones or other tools to create a reduced point sources pollution area around sensitive sites


The above 30 goals and objectives are large categories that willhouse specific strategies. For instance, under Goal #1, Objective 1: “Increase housing access – especially infill development (avoid the shoreline)” we will be pushing through long stalled new housing development projects such as Nystrom Village, Mira Flores (where possible), Metro Village and the 12th and MacDonald project to name just a few. By focusing our efforts on this objective we will also be fulfilling our State Housing Element obligations, and of course, creating much needed housing - low income, affordable and market rate - that will increase housing access and security for so many Richmond residents.


Holding these meetings was an important and positive step for this council. The law allows no more than three council members to convene at a time. This understandable safeguard in governance also unfortunately makes it difficult to do collaborative strategic planning, leaving council members unaware of each other's projects, goals, and communications with staff. This goal-setting process has provided valuable opportunities for the council to share their perspectives and understand the city's most pressing issues.


Surprisingly, the council has discovered significant crossover among their goals. It became evident that most goals were shared among the most if not all members, with minimal disagreement on what the council should prioritize. Furthermore, the council learned that city staff were already working on many of their articulated goals and projects to some extent. 


To achieve greater clarity and alignment, the council recognizes the need to define clear, measurable outcomes within specific timeframes to hold the council and city staff accountable.

By establishing measurable, time-bound goals that all members agree on, the council can focus its efforts and achieve impactful results.


Council Member Robinson expressed optimism that if this process can adhere to and work towards SMART GOALS as a unified body, council members and city staff, Richmond will be in excellent shape over the next term, with a concerted team effort to achieve their shared goals.


Council Member Robinson believes in the power of strategic planning to bring about positive change. Based on her extensive experience, she emphasizes that long-term impact requires a plan with buy-in from all stakeholders involved. The success of Richmond, according to Robinson, relies on having a strong, clear, measurable strategic plan and ensuring its effective execution. 


By focusing City resources and efforts on prioritized goals with measurable outcomes, the council aims to move Richmond towards its full potential, ensuring a prosperous future for its residents.

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