Meeting Notes, Jan 25, 2024

Watch meeting here

Meeting Notes: Jan 25th, 7-8pm


  • Jim Hanson
  • Heather Bristow
  • Sally Tobin
  • Michele Rappaport
  • Dan Gosney
  • Susan Wehrle
  • Nick Despota
  • Laurie Van Gelder
  • Diane Adams
  • Dansel
  • Lavern Lazzereschi
  • Rita Barouch


Elections took place and the results were as follows:

Jim Hanson – President
Shelley Trask – VP
Rock Brown- Treasurer
Nick Despota – Communications
Heather Bristow – Secretary

Updates of Interest

City Council

  • Air Quality Plan was presented, and the council adopted the plan. The goal is a 30-50% reduction of emissions within the next 10 years, especially to disproportionately affected populations. Poor air quality is associated with asthma and other health issues, particularly around the refinery. Watch the Jan 16th Council video here.
  • Councilmember Jimenez asked for an extension for public comment. Please do comment, via email
  • New business and community openings coming: Farmers’ Market, Public Bank of the East bay, Tiny Youth Village Farm and Garden (across from Grip)
  • New Emergency Services Director for the City
  • Three new police hires – all three are Richmond residents!
  • New Crime Prevention Assistant
  • In 2023, Richmond had its lowest homicide count in the recorded history of police statistics since 1971!
  • Military Policing Equipment Meeting, February 5th (meeting registration and more information here). This meeting is required by the state. From the City’s website: “Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill (AB) 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval of the applicable governing body (City Council), by adoption of a military equipment use policy prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment, as defined.”
  • Michelle Milam from the police department is reporting an increase in smash and grabs at atms (unknown locations). She recommends going inside banks to use atms when possible.

East Richmond Neighborhood Council: 

  • Sat 8/10 dumpster day. 4-5 people will be needed to help direct traffic. More planning to come as we get closer to the date.
  • Following the Council’s discussion of a proposed Catahoula expansion, Jim handed out flyers to surrounding neighbors to let them know about the project and who to contact if they had any comments.
  • Quick Update from Don Gosney on closed schools in Richmond, particularly Adam’s Middle School as this is in the East Richmond area. He has been attending meetings about what to do with this property, and whether the school board should declare Adam’s as a surplus property. The State’s goal is to trade it with developers to help earn some money back on the current deficit. This property sits right on the Hayward fault line, which complicates the situation further. The committee had to appoint three new people to the committee because committee members weren’t showing up, and a 7-11 committee is needed (7 people min, 11 people max). Don will come back for a more detailed presentation at the February 29 meeting.

Keynote Speaker

Sally Tobin on the ecological, cultural, and economic history (and future) of Point Molate

Point Molate is one of the last undeveloped headlands on the bay. It is home to a delicate balance of native plants and animals, or as Sally quoted, “the old-growth at our feet”. It is said that 90% of coastal prairie is already gone, making Point Molate even more significant to preserve and protect today.

Native Americans lived on Point Molate for thousands of years before being wiped out by disease, relocation, and genocide. Shellmounds still exist on this land. It then became a Chinese shrimp camp, where shrimp were boiled in huge cauldrons and shipped to San Francisco. After the 1906 earthquake destroyed the wine businesses of San Francisco, land was purchased at Pt. Molate and Winehaven was built to form the largest winery on the west coast. The Prohibition of the 1920’s put put an end to wine production. In WWII, Navy acquired the land to build a depot to fuel the Pacific fleet. Under the base decommission act during the Clinton presidency, 300 upland acres of Pt. Molate were sold to the City of Richmond for $1 and City undertook a “base closure plan.”

In 2010, a developer and Ukiah Indian tribe proposed a Las-Vegas scale gambling casino but Richmond voters overwhelmingly turned it down. A lawsuit ensued and in April, 2018, in a split vote, the Richmond City Council approved a settlement agreement with the developer and tribe. Among other things, the agreement allowed the developer and tribe to purchase the shoreline properties at Pt. Molate for $400 if another development plan wasn’t approved and signed off within five years. During that period, a development proposal that would place over 1,000 condos along the shoreline with the city handling several hundred million dollars in infrastructure bonds was unsuccessful.

It turns out that years ago the East Bay Regional Park District had also identified Point Molate as a location for a new regional park and voters subsequently passed a bond measure that included funds for this use. Helped by a $36M legislative appropriation spearheaded by State Senator Nancy Skinner, the park district recently undertook negotiation discussion with the developer and tribe. Those negotiations continue today.

Tobin shared a YouTube channel with videos she and others have assembled on the shoreline eel grass beds, butterflies, and other natural life of Pt. Molate: :