Richmond councilmembers to be sworn in tonight

Richmond councilmembers to be sworn in tonight
The Richmond City Council in 2019. From top left to top right: Nat Bates, Eduardo Martinez, Mayor Tom Butt, Demnlus Johnson III. From bottom left to bottom right: Ben Choi, Melvin Willis and Jael Myrick.

Tonight, Richmond will swear-in re-elected Mayor Tom Butt along with three city councilmembers.

The ceremony is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza. The community is welcome to attend the free event.

The councilmembers being sworn in are Demnlus Johnson III, a Richmond native and community advocate who is new to council and received the most votes in the November election, along with incumbent Eduardo Martinez, a retired WCCUSD school teacher and Nat Bates, a city council veteran and former mayor.

With the changes on council, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) no longer holds a supermajority. Before the November election, five RPA members held seats on the seven-member council. After the votes were counted, the RPA’s representation on council was reduced to three members: Martinez, Melvin Willis and Ben Choi.

Tonight’s ceremony is set to include an invocation by Pastor Mark Sharpe of Southside Church of Christ, 1501 Florida Ave. Mayor Butt and Councilmembers Willis, Choi, Martinez and Jael Myrick will deliver best wishes to departing councilmembers.

The mayor is also scheduled to deliver a Presentation of Service Awards to Jovanka Beckles, the RPA member who departed her council seat in a failed bid at the state Assembly, and Ada Recinos, who failed to garner enough votes to retain her council seat.

After scheduled comments by Beckles and Recinos, the swearing-in ceremony will begin with help from City Clerk Pamela Christian.

The recently elected officials are also expected to give remarks, along with City Manager Carlos Martinez.

For the full schedule, click here.

The city’s invitation to tonight’s ceremony features an interesting bit of history: