California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to attend a Tuesday night ceremony in Richmond to swear in Mayor-elect Tom Butt and Councilmember Jael Myrick.
However, the lieutenant governor will not swear in the other three Richmond councilmembers who won elections in November, as they reportedly rejected the offer.
RPA members Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez declined an invitation by Butt to be sworn-in by Newsom due to the progressive group’s political differences with the lieutenant governor, said Terrance Cheung, Butt’s chief of staff.
Newsom and Butt are moderate progressives unlike the far-left RPA. McLaughlin, Beckles and Martinez will instead be sworn-in by Richmond City Clerk Diane Holmes. In a Facebook post, Beckles said she’s a fan of Newsom’s but decided to go the customary route, according to the Contra Costa Times.
In a statement Monday, Butt said he was honored that Newsom, formerly San Francisco’s mayor who remains a rising star in the Democratic Party, opted to attend his swearing in. The ceremony is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Richmond City Council Chamber, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
“I believe the plans and priorities I have for the city over the next few years are similar to those of Lt. Governor Newsom, and I look forward to strengthening our ties with Sacramento,” said Butt, a first-time mayor who has been on Richmond City Council since 1995.
Newsom’s relationship with Richmond’s leaders could be key for the proposed UC Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay, a massive research facility that would reportedly bring in more than 800 jobs along with millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city. Newsom serves as Ex Officio Regent for the University of California.
“I’ve always been encouraged by the positive direction that the City of Richmond is taking,” Lt. Gov. Newsom said in the statement. “I have no doubt that, under his leadership, Mayor-elect Tom Butt will do even greater things for the City.”
Immediately following the swearing-in, a community reception will be held at the nearby Richmond Civic Center Auditorium.