My name is Eduardo Martinez, and I am running for Mayor of Richmond.
My motto in this campaign is “You know where I stand.” That’s because I have years of experience, a clear vision of what Richmond needs, and a record of voting for what I think is right. I am always open to new information and perspectives, but looking back at my 20+ years in Richmond gives you a good understanding of the values I consistently hold.
As a two-term member of the Richmond City Council and current Vice Mayor, I have always considered it my duty to serve and represent the entire city, not just the powerful and well-connected. Before I joined our city government, I was a WCCUSD public school teacher for twenty years. I may have taught you, or your children, at Downer or Sheldon Elementary schools.
When I retired from teaching, I was looking for a way to make more of a difference in the lives of local youth. So I ran for Richmond City Council. I was elected for the first time in 2014, defeating a slate of candidates backed by $3 million dollars of campaign support from Chevron. That experience strengthened my commitment to being an independent candidate. To this day I accept no contributions from Chevron, the Chamber of Commerce, or any other business interests.
Living in Richmond with my wife and son has also given me a strong desire to clean up our environment.
So much depends on our having clean air, land and water – everything from our personal health to our city’s economic potential. That’s why I made the motion to phase out the handling of coal in Richmond – which also means no more trains spreading coal dust through our neighborhoods. Though I was outvoted, I have stuck to my position that AstraZeneca should pay for a full clean up of the land it polluted along our shoreline. I was proud to be the first recipient of the 2021 Sierra Club Community Defender Award, which “recognizes outstanding work in the area of environmental justice, for his defense of Richmond communities and the environment from corporate polluters including the coal and oil industries.”
I know that I am tough on Chevron, AstraZeneca and other corporate polluters, but under my mayorship, we won’t just be fighting against things. We’ll also be fighting for our vision of Richmond.
Let’s develop our city without displacing our longtime residents; I believe protecting rent control and just-cause eviction laws are an important part of that. The lack of affordable housing is more than a local problem, so we need to look past city borders to solve it. So let’s gather up the local, state, and national resources we need to get our unhoused neighbors properly sheltered. Let’s build Richmond’s reputation as a cultural center and a home base for new, clean industries. Let’s create jobs that raise the quality of life for our residents and our workers. What I want to show is that progressive ideals are compatible with economic growth in Richmond.
Speaking of jobs, many of the problems we see everyday – such as dumping, potholes, and weeds – exist because over one hundred city jobs are funded but sit unfilled. This is not acceptable. As mayor I will continue to support the unions that work to recruit and retain city staff. And I will work with the City Manager to get positions filled. I have a sense of optimism about the future of Richmond that I hope will draw other enthusiastic people to work with us.
Lastly, I want to share my vision for public safety. Crime is falling in Richmond, both property crime and violent crime. But I know not everyone feels safer than they did years ago. Police are one part of public safety. Road safety measures, wildfire preparedness, youth employment, and mental health support for our residents: these are other important programs that we must continue to develop in Richmond if we are all going to be truly safe. I am committed to investing your tax dollars in ways that show measurable improvements in public safety, and not asking police officers to try to play every role.
I look forward to discussing many of these ideas with you between now and November. By this time next year, with your help and support, I hope to be working for you in Richmond City Hall.
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