By BAPAC Staff
Jael Myrick knows a difficult job lies ahead.
But if the recently appointed city councilman ever had a doubt about the size of his community support, Thursday night’s welcome reception at Salute e Vita Ristorante likely erased it.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Myrick told a packed reception room. “We do need to make improvements, and we need to make sure that those improvements actually benefit folks living in the community.”
“We have a good habit of passing rumors in this city. But this is not a rumor, it’s a reality,” Vice-Mayor Corky Booze said. “This man is the most welcome person to the Richmond City Council. He owes nobody anything, he has proven that, and I am honored as vice-mayor to sit next to him.”
Myrick was one of a trio of new African-American leaders feted by Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition, a collaboration of several community groups. Other honorees were Contra
Costa Superior Court Judge Judy Johnson and Dr. Denise Noldon, president of Contra Costa College.
“Dr. Noldon brings a passion for learning to Contra Costa College and, really, to this community,” said Dr. McKinley Williams, immediate past president of the college. “I truly believe she is the best person for this college at this particular time.”
The community coalition includes Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), the Black American Political Action Committee, NAACP-Richmond Branch, Men and Women of Purpose, Men and Women of Valor, 1 Richmond, One Accord Project, BMW, National Brotherhood Alliance, and the Guardians of Justice.
Speakers at the event touched on many of the same themes that For Richmond Coalition supports: growing the local economy, improving schools and public safety.
“To begin with, let’s figure out how to bring the call center to Richmond,” said Myrick,, referring to a proposed Health Benefit Exchange Call Center, part of a state-run health insurance
program that could bring more than 200 new jobs to Richmond.
The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors votes next week to decide where to locate it.
“This coalition is showing us, for the first time, that by coming
together as African-American groups in the community, there’s nothing we can’t do,” said Kathleen Sullivan, president of the Richmond chapter of BWOPA.