Screenshot from city council meeting

Back From Medical Leave, Claudia Jimenez is New Vice Mayor of Richmond

Screenshot from city council meeting

Richmond City Council on Tuesday elected a new vice mayor and passed resolutions recognizing homicide reduction, Martin Luther King Jr., and Holocaust remembrance.  (Screenshot captured by Samantha Kennedy / The CC Pulse)

By Samantha Kennedy

The Richmond City Council looks a little different after its first meeting of the year.

The council voted Tuesday to elect member Claudia Jimenez as vice mayor for 2024. Only council member Soheila Bana, who abstained, did not vote in favor of the election.

Jimenez’s promotion comes after missing several meetings at the end of last year to focus on her health. She announced in October that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Her return to the council was at the Dec. 19 meeting.

Ahead of her return to the council, Jimenez wrote in her newsletter that she wanted to “keep the progress going in 2024.” She noted accomplishments the council achieved in 2023, such as investing in soccer fields, expanding library hours and addressing mental health in the community.

Jimenez was elected to her current term on the council in 2020 and began serving in 2021. Her District 6 seat will go up for election in November.

Q&A: Claudia Jimenez Wants to Give Residents ‘More Power’

Recognition of reduction of homicides

The council recognized the lowest number of homicides in the city since 1971 by honoring the efforts of city and community partners that made the reduction possible. Council member Gayle McLaughlin, alongside co-sponsors Mayor Eduardo Martinez and Jimenez, brought the proclamation forward.

In 2023, Richmond recorded eight homicides. This reduction, according to the proclamation, is a 64% decrease in three years.

>>>Read: Richmond Homicide Numbers Continue to Trend Downward

The proclamation recognizes several partners in what has been a “multifaceted approach” to address crime. The Office of Neighborhood Safety, the Citizens Police Review Commission, Richmond Police Department, and community organizations like RYSE, SOS Richmond and Richmond Steelers were honored in the proclamation for helping reduce and prevent violence.

Jimenez and Martinez also acknowledged the efforts made by youth in the community toward violence prevention.

Recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The council recognized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a proclamation days after Richmond celebrated his legacy.

The proclamation declares Jan. 15 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and highlights his contributions to the civil rights movement. Council member Cesar Zepeda sponsored the proclamation, and Martinez co-sponsored it.

“The civil rights movement has given so many Americans freedom that they wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for Martin Luther King, and the many other civil rights activists during this time,” the proclamation reads.

Council member Doria Robinson said the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration hosted by Urban Tilth and other partners this year was likely the largest turnout the event has had before, saying more than 800 participated. Part of that event’s message, she said, was that there is still progress to be made in the civil rights movement.

“We have many many challenges facing us,” she said. “We have challenges in Richmond; things are not perfect.”

In partnership with the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, Robinson announced that she will be working on a “report on the state of Black Richmond” that will include focusing on disparities in the Black community.

“We need to understand better how to really be there for our Black residents,” Robinson said.

Residents interested in joining a steering committee for that report can contact Robinson.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day recognition

The council presented a proclamation declaring Jan. 27 as Holocaust Remembrance Day to Ellen Brotksy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

The proclamation acknowledges the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, asks residents to fight antisemitism and to examine the “moral responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments to prevent genocide and condemn it vociferously when it occurs.”

Brotsky, who serves as the president of the Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area, thanked the council for being the first Bay Area city to call for a ceasefire and “taking a stand against collective punishment and ethnic cleansing being carried out by the Israeli government in Gaza.”

>>>Read: City Council Resolution Alienates Some Jewish Richmonders

The council previously passed a resolution in October in support of the Palestinian people of Gaza that accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and called for a ceasefire.

“We are Jews who chose to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day by calling upon the U.S. government to support an immediate ceasefire and to stop providing the weapons and military aid which enables this genocide,” Grotsky said. “Never again means never again for anyone, including Palestinians.”

The next Richmond City Council meeting is Jan. 23.

1 Comment
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 02:19h, 11 February

    So incredibly happy to have Claudia back with us in Richmond <3

Post A Comment

Enjoy our content?