Apr 22, 2015
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by Mayor Tom Butt (originally posted in the mayor’s e-forum),

The media and others are asking what we have accomplished in the first 100 days. The tradition of reviewing the first 100 days of an elected officeholder began when the term was coined in a July 24, 1933, radio address by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, although he was referring to the 100 day session of the 73rd United States Congress between March 9 and June 17, rather than the first 100 days of his administration.

The first hundred days has come to represent a sample of the first 100 days of a first term presidency of a president of the United States, used to measure the successes and accomplishments of a president during the time that their power and influence is at its greatest.

The first 100 days has also come to be used to evaluate the accomplishments of other officeholders all the way down to – yes, even mayors. So on April 23, 2015, at the end of the first 100 days of my term as mayor, I can provide the following list of accomplishments of the Mayor’s Office of the City of Richmond:

First, however, I want to thank and recognize my hardworking staff who hit the ground running and have not let up. Terrance Cheung, David Gray and Alex Knox have responded to hundreds of constituent phone calls, sponsored and attended numerous community events, and worked with residents, city staff, and local, regional and national leaders to push policies and create programs that improve the quality of life and well-being for all Richmond residents.

My ability to move forward on many of the items below was also enhanced by my participation as a board or committee member on regional boards and commissions, such as the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC), Contra Costa Conference of Mayors,  Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO), Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), East Bay Regional Park Liaison Committee, League of California Cities and the Local Government Commission.

Mayor’s Office Accomplishments

Business, Jobs and Economic Development

  • Initiated the Business Roundtable to better understand and provide policy direction for improving Richmond’s business climate, which is essential to increase jobs, increase municipal revenue, and increase economic diversity and opportunity.
  • Secured final agreements and funding to initiate ferry service between Richmond and San Francisco (scheduled to begin in late 2017).
  • Commenced a strategy to ensure a productive future for Hilltop Mall and the Hilltop Area businesses.
  • Raised funds from the business community to launch the Richmond Branding and Marketing Study to improve the image of the city and market the City as a place to live, work and play.
  • Provided support to Richmond Main Street Initiative to promote economic development revitalization efforts.
  • Maintained active participation in the Berkeley Global Campus Working Group meetings and fostered personal relationships with the University staff and Chancellor Dirks.
  • Initiated a study of utility infrastructure at Point Molate by PG&E, EBMUD and Veolia.
  • Moved forward with funding and selection of consultants for completion of the Climate Action Plan and Zoning Ordinance consistency with the General Plan.
  • With the support of the City Council, successfully appointed my replacement, Vinay Pimple, to the City Council.

Environment and Sustainability

  • Sponsored an adopted City resolution that banned the use of pesticides in municipal operations for 12 months as a pilot program.
  • Provided leadership in the successful effort to plan and fund a bike and pedestrian path to safely cross I-580, access Point Molate and the San Pablo Peninsula and the upper level of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
  • Held regular meetings with community members to draft an urban agriculture ordinance.
  • Attended and provided updates at every Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council meeting.
  • Re-started the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee to bolster funding and volunteer efforts for tree planting in the city.
  • Helped facilitate conclusion of challenges to the Chevron Modernization project, resulting in millions of dollars scheduled to be released to the City in June for community benefits.
  • Met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis for a tour of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical park.

Equity and Quality of Life

  • Secured Section 8 vouchers for the relocation of Hacienda residents, allowing the tenants to find new housing and prepare the public housing complex to move forward with planned transfer and rehabilitation.
  • Changed the demeanor of City Council meetings and implemented changes including elimination of standing committees and the 5-minute rule to streamline and reduce the length of meetings. Not a single meeting has extended past 1:30 PM, and most have ended substantially earlier.
  • Created a new three-member City Council WCCUSD/City Coordination Ad Hoc Committee, including collaboration with the City’s Bond Oversight Committee representative to strengthen academic outcomes and improve facilities for Richmond youth.
  • Began planning, along with Vice-mayor Myrick and City staff, for implementation of the Richmond Promise Program.
  • Started the process of considering annexation of North Richmond, beginning with a supporting resolution by the North Richmond MAC and a feasibility study by the City of Richmond.
  • Joined with twenty-eight mayors to sign on to and file an amicus brief in support of Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration, which are currently the target of a lawsuit from 25 states, led by Texas.
  • Threw out the first pitch for the Richmond Little League baseball season.

In addition to these specific accomplishments, I have fully appointed all authorized members  to five City Boards and Commissions and partially filled numerous vacancies on others; my office has participated in planning meetings for the City’s My Brother’s Keeper Summit, and hosted an art instillation at the mayor’s Office in partnership with NIAD.  Moreover, Richmond was selected as one of seven cities nationwide to win a $30,000 Cities of Service Grant as part of the Love Your Block Program.

I have made numerous presentations to business organizations, neighborhood councils and the Contra Costa Grand Jury, attended conferences including the Local Government Commission Ahwahnee Conference in Yosemite and New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Baltimore, traveled to Washington DC to meet with HUD officials along with Congressman DeSaulnier, attended the ABAG State of the Region Symposium, participated in two League of California Cities Environmental Quality Policy Committee meetings and attended dozens of regional organization meetings, including MCE, CCTA, WCCTAC, BCDC and Contra Costa Mayors Conference.