The Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition, a group of Richmond’s African American organizations, met on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to endorse a community leader to be appointed to replace Gary Bell, Richmond City Councilmember-elect, who unfortunately will not be able to take his City Council seat because of a medical condition.
The group’s endorsement went to Kathleen Sullivan, 57, an African American and longtime resident of Richmond who has served the community in a range of capacities for about 15 years.
Her Pastor, Wynford Williams of Richmond’s All Nations Church, attests to Sullivan’s commitment to the city and its residents:
“She’s faithful to the ministry and very dedicated to helping families, children and adults in need here. She is a real asset to Richmond,” said Pastor Williams.
The coalition made the choice to endorse Sullivan to serve in Bell’s place because she met its criteria of being closely aligned with Bell’s fundamental philosophy, “That of unselfish leadership,” said Lloyd G. Madden, President of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) of Contra Costa County.
“Ms. Sullivan also has an exceptional history of community involvement, knowledge of the issues facing Richmond, and great compassion, sensitivity and fairness,” he added.
“I’m proud to have been endorsed by the Black leaders of Richmond to undertake the challenges that Gary Bell would have conquered,” Sullivan said.
“Among other things, I hope to have the opportunity to support new businesses coming into Richmond, including companies that bring green jobs, unite Richmond across ethnic lines, and work hard to mediate the misunderstandings that have caused much division in the Richmond City Council.” Sullivan said.
“I commit to the residents of Richmond, if given the chance to serve; I will do my best to honor Gary Bell and all of the residents of this community.”
Sullivan worked for the Neighborhood House of North Richmond for eight years providing Senior Case Management services to the most at-risk Black families and mothers with young children in Richmond.
She served as chair of the City of Richmond Human Relations and Human Rights Commission until she termed out last year. In addition, she was a member of the Board of Brookside Community Center for the last eight years until it successfully merged with Lifelong Corporation in 2012.
Sullivan has been a successful consultant to the foster care system in Contra Costa County and has fostered more than 42 children in her own Richmond home as well as provided leadership in West County in the redesign of its foster care system.
Currently, she is President of the Richmond/Contra Costa Chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), which has supported local elected officials and initiatives, as well as launched “Building Bridges between the Black and Brown Community”—an effort to unite the residents of Richmond.