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Richmond (/ˈrɪtʃmənd/ RICH-mənd) is a

city in western Contra Costa County,
California, United States. The city was
incorporated on August 7, 1905.[14]
Located in the East Bay region of the San
Francisco Bay Area, Richmond borders the
cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and
Pinole in addition to the unincorporated
communities of North Richmond, Hasford
Heights, Kensington, El Sobrante, Bayview-
Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, and East
Richmond Heights, and for a short
distance San Francisco on Red Rock
Island in the San Francisco Bay. Richmond
is one of two cities, the other being San
Rafael, California, that sits on the shores
of San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay

Point Richmond seen from nearby Nicholl Knob


Motto(s): The City of Pride and Purpose

Location in Contra Costa County


Location in the United States

Coordinates: 37°56′09″N 122°20′52″W

Country  United States

State  California

County Contra Costa

Incorporated August 7, 1905[1]


 • Type Council-Manager[2]

 • Body City council:[3]

Tom Butt (D) (mayor),
Jovanka Beckles, Nathaniel
Eduardo Martinez,
Gayle McLaughlin, and
Jael Myrick

 • Supervisor District 1:
John Gioia

 • State senator Nancy Skinner (D)[4]

 • Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D)[5]

 • U. S. rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D)[6]


 • City 52.51 sq mi (136.01 km2)

 • Land 30.05 sq mi (77.83 km2)

 • Water 22.46 sq mi (58.17 km2)


Elevation[8] 46 ft (14 m)

Population (2010)[9]

 • City 103,701
 • Estimate (2016)[10] 109,813

 • Rank 2nd in Contra Costa County

61st in California

 • Density 3,654.10/sq mi

 • Urban 28,038

 • Metro[11] 4,335,391

Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)

 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)

ZIP codes 94801, 94802, 94804,

94805, 94807, 94808,

Area code 510

GNIS IDs[8][12][13] 1659507 , 2410939

FIPS code[8][13] 06-60620

Under the McLaughlin Administration,
Richmond was the largest city in the
United States served by a Green Party
mayor.[15] As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the
city's population is at 103,710, making it
the second largest city in the United States
named Richmond. The largest, Richmond,
Virginia, is the namesake of the California

Southern Richmond in 1930, at the time the town of

Stege, California

An E&SR streetcar in the Macdonald Avenue subway in

downtown Richmond, 1906.

A 4,000 unit housing project was completed in

Richmond during 1943.
The Ohlone were the first inhabitants of
the Richmond area, settling an estimated
5,000 years ago.[16] They spoke the
Chochenyo language,[17] and subsisted as
hunter-gatherers and harvesters.[18]

The name "Richmond" appears to predate

actual incorporation by more than fifty
years. Edmund Randolph, originally from
Richmond, Virginia, represented the city of
San Francisco when California's first
legislature met in San Jose in December
1849, and he became state assemblyman
from San Francisco. His loyalty to the town
of his birth caused him to persuade a
federal surveying party mapping the San
Francisco Bay to place the names "Point
Richmond" and "Richmond" on an 1854
geodetic coast map, which was the
geodetic map at the terminal selected by
the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley
Railroad; and by 1899 maps made by the
railroad carried the name "Point Richmond
Avenue", designating a county road that
later became Barrett Avenue, a central
street in Richmond.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe

Railroad had its terminus at Richmond.[19]
The first post office opened in 1900.[19]
Richmond was founded and incorporated
in 1905, carved out of Rancho San Pablo,
from which the nearby town of San Pablo
inherited its name. Until the enactment of
prohibition in 1919, the city had the largest
winery in the world;[20] the small
abandoned village of Winehaven remains
fenced off along Western Drive in the Point
Molate Area. Starting in 1917, and
continuing through the 1920s, the Ku Klux
Klan was active in the city.[21] In 1930 the
Ford Motor Company opened an assembly
plant called Richmond Assembly Plant
which moved to Milpitas in the 1960s. The
old Ford plant has been a National Historic
Place since 1988, and in 2004 was
purchased by developer Eddie Orton[22]
and has been converted into an events
center (Ford Point Building – The
Craneway).[23] The city was a small town
at that time, until the onset of World War II
which brought on a rush of migrants and a
boom in the industrial sector. Standard Oil
set up operations here in 1901, including a
what is now the Chevron Richmond
Refinery and tank farm, which are still
operated by Chevron. There is a pier into
San Francisco Bay south of Point Molate
for oil tankers. The western terminus of
the Santa Fe Railroad was established in
Richmond with ferry connections at Ferry
Point in the Brickyard Cove area of Point
Richmond to San Francisco.

USS General A. W. Greely built in Richmond

At the outset of World War II, the four

Richmond Shipyards were built along the
Richmond waterfront, employing
thousands of workers, many recruited
from all over the United States, including
many African-Americans and women
entering the workforce for the first time.
Many of these workers lived in specially
constructed houses scattered throughout
the San Francisco Bay Area, including
Richmond, Berkeley and Albany. A
specially built rail line, the Shipyard
Railway, transported workers to the
shipyards. Kaiser's Richmond shipyards
built 747 Victory and Liberty ships for the
war effort, more than any other site in the
U.S.[24] The city broke many records and
even built one Liberty ship in a record five
days. On average the yards could build a
ship in thirty days. The medical system
established for the shipyard workers at the
Richmond Field Hospital eventually
became today's Kaiser Permanente
HMO.[25] It remained in operation until
1993 when it was replaced by the modern
Richmond Medical Center hospital, that
has subsequently expanded to a large
multiple building campus.

Point Richmond was originally the

commercial hub of the city, but a new
downtown arose in the center of the city. It
was populated by many department stores
such as Kress, J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy's,
and Woolworth's. During the war the
population increased dramatically and
peaked at around 120,000 by the end of
the war. Once the war ended the shipyard
workers were no longer needed, beginning
a decades-long population decline. The
Census listed 99,545 residents in 1950. By
1960 much of the temporary housing built
for the shipyard workers was torn down,
and the population dropped to about
71,000. Many of the people who moved to
Richmond were black and came from the
Midwest and South. Most of the white
men were overseas at war, and this
opened up new opportunities for ethnic
minorities and women. This era also
brought with it the innovation of daycare
for children, as a few women could care
for several dozen women's children, while
most of the mothers went off to work in
the factories and shipyards.
A "Wendy the Welder" at the Kaiser Richmond
Shipyards contributing to the war effort.

In the 1970s the Hilltop area including a

large shopping mall was developed in the
northern suburbs of the city; this further
depressed the downtown area as it drew
away retail clients and tenants. In the late
1990s and early 2000s the Richmond
Parkway was built along the western
industrial and northwestern parkland of
the city connecting Interstates 80 and 580.
In the early 1900s, the Santa Fe railroad
established a major rail yard adjacent to
Point Richmond. The railroad constructed
a tunnel through the Potrero San Pablo
ridge to run a track from their yard to a
ferry landing from which freight cars could
be transshipped to San Francisco. Where
this track crosses the main street in Point
Richmond, there remain two of the last
operational wigwag grade crossing signals
in the United States, and the only surviving
examples of the "upside-down" type. The
wigwag is an antiquated type of railroad
crossing signal which was phased out in
the 1970s and 80s across the country.
There was controversy in 2005 when the
State Transportation Authority ordered the
BNSF railroad company to upgrade the
railroad crossing signals. A compromise
was achieved that included installing new
modern crossing gates, red lights and
bells while not removing, but simply
shutting off the historic ones and
preserving their functionality for special

The Pullman Company also established a

major facility in Richmond in the early 20th
century.[27] The facility connected with
both the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific
and serviced their passenger coach
equipment. The Pullman Company was a
large employer of African American men,
who worked mainly as porters on the
Pullman cars.[28][29] Many of them settled
in the East Bay, from Richmond to
Oakland, prior to World War II.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had planned to visit

Richmond just prior to his

In 2006 the city celebrated its centennial.

This coincided with the repaving and
streetscaping project of Macdonald
Avenue. The city's old rundown
commercial district along Macdonald has
been designated the city's "Main Street
District" by the state of California. This has
led to funding of improvements in the form
of state grants.[31]


Red Rock Island

Richmond is located at 37°56′09″N

According to the United States Census
Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.5
square miles (136 km2), of which 30.1
square miles (78 km2) is land and 22.4
square miles (58 km2) (42.71%) is water.
The city sits on 32 miles (51 km) of
waterfront, more than any other city in the
Bay Area.[32] The city borders San
Francisco Bay to the southwest and San
Pablo Bay to the northwest, and includes
Brooks Island and the Brother Islands
entirely, and half of Red Rock Island.

There are several cities and

unincorporated communities surrounding
or bordering Richmond. To the south is the
city of Albany which is in Alameda County
and the city of El Cerrito. The
unincorporated communities of East
Richmond Heights, Rollingwood, Hasford
Heights, and El Sobrante lie to the east.
North Richmond to the west and San
Pablo to the east are almost entirely
surrounded by Richmond's city limits. To
the north, Richmond borders the city of
Pinole and the unincorporated areas of
Bayview, Montalvin Manor, Hilltop Green,
Tara Hills. Richmond borders Alameda,
San Francisco, and Marin counties in the
Bay and Red Rock Island.
The city is within the 94801, 94803, 94804,
94805, and 94806 ZIP Codes.[33]

Aerial view in 2015


Richmond, like much of the coastal East

Bay, enjoys a very mild Mediterranean
climate year round. The climate is slightly
warmer than the coastal areas of San
Francisco, the Peninsula, and Marin
County; it is however more temperate than
areas further inland. The average highs
range from 57 to 73 °F (14 to 23 °C) and
the lows between 43 to 56 °F (6 to 13 °C)
year round.[34] Richmond usually enjoys an
"Indian summer", and September is, on
average, the warmest month. January is
on average the coldest month.

The highest recorded temperature in

Richmond was 107 °F (42 °C) in
September 1971 while the coldest was
24 °F (−4 °C) in January 1990.[34]

The rainy season begins in late October

and ends in April with some showers in
May. Most of the rain occurs during
stronger storms which occur between
November and March and drop 3.3–4.91
inches (84–125 mm) of rain per month.
January and February are the rainiest

Like most of the Bay Area, Richmond is

made up of several microclimates.
Southern parts of the city and the ridges
receive more fog than northern areas.
Summer temperatures are higher in inland
areas, where the moderating influence of
San Francisco Bay is lessened. The
average wind speed is 6–9 miles per hour
(10–14 km/h) with stronger winds from
March through August; the strongest
winds are in June.[32] The city also enjoys
more than 80% sunshine seven months
out of the year and 10 with 60% or more.
December and January are the darkest
months with about 45% average
brightness.[32] The city experiences
virtually no snowfall, and brief hail
annually. The city is very humid in the
morning with the lowest humidity being in
the high 70% range. This may be due to
San Francisco Bay's notorious fog and
also the fact that a majority of Richmond
lies on a flat coastal plain predominantly
consisting of reclaimed tidal marshes,
inter-tidal flats, and seep.[35] Morning
humidity is 75% to 92% year round;
afternoon humidity is more variable. This
percentage is in the high 20s to mid 30s
(%) May through October (the summer
months) and climbs or descends through
40% to 70% during the winter.[32]
Climate data for Richmo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr Ma
Average 57.6 61.1 64.2 66.8 69
high °F (°C) (14.2) (16.2) (17.9) (19.3) (20
Average low 43.5 45.9 47.5 49.4 52
°F (°C) (6.4) (7.7) (8.6) (9.7) (11
4.79 4.64 3.45 1.60 0.7
(121.7) (117.9) (87.6) (40.6) (19
inches (mm)
10.5 10.0 9.3 5.3 3.
(≥ 0.01 in)

Richmond is home to many species of
animals. Canada geese visit the city on
their annual migrations. Harbor seals live
in the Castro Rocks, and pigeons and gulls
populate the sidewalks and parking lots.
Tadpoles and frogs can be found in the
local creeks and vernal pools. Field mice
and lizards are also found. Herons and
egrets nest in protected areas on Brooks
Island. Deer, falcons, raccoons, ducks,
foxes, owls, and mountain lions live in
Wildcat Canyon and Point Pinole Regional

A license is needed for fishing on the

waterfront or city waters but not on the
piers, where in addition to crabs, sturgeon
are plentiful and manta rays may also be
found. Striped bass, bat rays, leopard
sharks, surf perch, jacksmelt, sturgeon,
white croaker, and flounders are also
found.[37] Richmond is one of the few
places where you can find the rare Olympia
oyster on the west coast, in the polluted
waters along the refinery's shoreline.
Rainbow trout have recently returned to
San Pablo and Wildcat creeks.[38]

Red-tailed hawks patrol the skies.

Monarch butterflies migrate through the
city on their journey between Mexico and
Canada. Wildcat Marsh has two ponds
where Canada geese often rest, and is
also the home of the endangered salt
marsh harvest mouse and California
clapper rail. Another endangered species
in the city is the Santa Cruz tarweed which
survives alongside Interstate 80. Wildcat
Canyon also hosts falcons and vultures.
Threatened black rails also live in the city's

Otters at the Richmond Marina.

After a baby grey whale was beached on

the Point Richmond shore in May 2007, its
rotting corpse became bothersome to
neighbors. It took a while to remove it
since various agencies argued over which
would have to pay for it.[40][41][42][43]

Richmond is also home to one of the last

pristine moist grassland habitats in the
entire Bay Area at the former Campus Bay
UC Berkeley Field Station near Meeker
Slough.[44] Richmond residents, however,
have limited access to other
environmental benefits. Because of the
refineries located in Richmond, air quality
is particularly low, and residents are
especially at risk of air-pollution-related
health issues.[45]
In 2006 the city was sued by an
environmental group for dumping raw
sewage into the Bay. Councilmember Tom
Butt was very vocal on the subject
accusing the city council of turning a blind
eye to the problem.[46]

Mayor McLaughlin has set a goal of

installing five megawatts of solar
photovoltaic generation in Richmond.[47]

The city has in the past suffered from a
high crime rate; at one point, the city
council requested a declaration of a state
of emergency and asked for the
intervention of the Contra Costa County
Sheriff and the California Highway
Patrol.[48] Murder, vehicle theft, and larceny
rates remain high, although they tend to be
concentrated in the Iron Triangle and
adjacent unincorporated North Richmond,
which is outside the jurisdiction of the
Richmond Police Department.

The city received widespread attention in

2009 when a girl was gang raped at a
homecoming dance at Richmond High

In 2007, Richmond opened a program to

prevent gun violence, the Office of
Neighborhood Safety.[49] The program
collects information and analyzes public
records to determine "the 50 people in
Richmond most likely to shoot someone
and to be shot themselves." It then offers
selected individuals "a spot in a program
that includes a stipend to turn their lives
around".[50] "Over an 18-month period, if
the men demonstrate better behavior, ONS
offers them up to $1,000 a month in cash,
plus opportunities to travel beyond

In 2004, Richmond was ranked the 12th

most dangerous city in America.[52] Those
rankings have changed, and Richmond is
no longer ranked as a "most dangerous"
city, in either California or the United
States. This is in large part due to the
efforts of Police Chief Chris Magnus, who
established "community policing", which
involves police officers engaging with
affected high crime communities.[53]


Map showing the Hayward fault running through the

eastern Richmond hills and the hilltop area through to
San Pablo Bay

Richmond lies in the volatile California

region that has a potential for devastating
earthquakes. Many buildings were
damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta
earthquake. The city has also had at least
one minor tornado. The Chevron
Richmond Refinery often releases gases
and had many highly noted chemical leaks
in the 1990s. The company has been fined
thousands, sometimes hundreds of
thousands of dollars. The chemicals most
often released are chlorine and sulfur
trioxide.[54] In a July 26, 1993, industrial
accident, a General Chemical company rail
tanker car containing oleum overheated
and exploded in the General Chemical
railyard. This resulted in a 17-mile (27 km)
area contaminated with the poisonous
gas, and led to 25,000 people landing in
the hospital. The incident led to lawsuits,
and has been referred to as a mini-

A beach closed due to oil contamination along the

shoreline at Marina Bay.

The city's shoreline and wildlife were

seriously affected by the 2007 San
Francisco Bay oil spill. Beaches and
shoreline were closed, but later
reopened.[56] Keller Beach was closed to
public access for swimmers.

On April 15, 2010, a sinkhole (roughly 30

feet (9.1 m) deep) appeared at the
intersection of El Portal Drive and Via
Verdi. Although no one was hurt, a car fell
into the sinkhole.[57]
On August 6, 2012, a fire erupted in the
Chevron refinery, resulting in 15,000
residents in the surrounding area seeking
medical treatment.[58]

There are 17 emergency warning sirens in

the city, they are tested every Wednesday
and are usually used to warn of toxic
chemical releases from the Chevron
Richmond Refinery.[59]

Census Pop. %±
1910 6,802 —
1920 16,843 147.6%
1930 20,093 19.3%
1940 23,642 17.7%
1950 99,545 321.1%
1960 71,854 −27.8%
1970 79,043 10.0%
1980 74,676 −5.5%
1990 87,425 17.1%
2000 99,216 13.5%
2010 103,701 4.5%
Est. 2016 109,813 [10] 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[60]

The 2010 United States census[61]
reported that Richmond had a population
of 103,701. The population density was
1,976.0 inhabitants per square mile
(762.9/km2). The racial makeup of
Richmond was 32,590 (31.4%) White,
27,542 (26.6%) African American, 662
(0.6%) Native American, 13,984 (13.5%)
Asian (4.0% Chinese, 3.5% Filipino, 1.6%
Laotian, 1.2% Indian, 0.7% Vietnamese,
0.6% Japanese, 0.4% Korean, 0.2%
Pakistani, 0.1% Thai), 537 (0.5%) Pacific
Islander, 22,573 (21.8%) from other races,
and 5,813 (5.6%) from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40,921
persons (39.5%). Among the Hispanic
population, 27.3% were of Mexican origin,
4.7% Salvadoran, 1.7% Guatemalan, and
1.2% Nicaraguan heritage.

The census reported that 102,118 people

(98.5% of the population) lived in
households, 670 (0.6%) lived in non-
institutionalized group quarters, and 913
(0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 36,093 households, out of

which 13,487 (37.4%) had children under
the age of 18 living in them, 14,502
(40.2%) were opposite-sex married
couples living together, 6,931 (19.2%) had
a female householder with no husband
present, 2,585 (7.2%) had a male
householder with no wife present. There
were 2,538 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex
partnerships, and 427 (1.2%) same-sex
married couples or partnerships. 9,546
households (26.4%) were made up of
individuals and 2,707 (7.5%) had someone
living alone who was 65 years of age or
older. The average household size was
2.83. There were 24,018 families (66.5% of
all households); the average family size
was 3.43.
The age distribution of the population
shows 25,800 people (24.9%) under the
age of 18, 10,364 people (10.0%) aged 18
to 24, 30,846 people (29.7%) aged 25 to
44, 26,109 people (25.2%) aged 45 to 64,
and 10,582 people (10.2%) who were 65
years of age or older. The median age was
34.8 years. For every 100 females there
were 94.8 males. For every 100 females
age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

There were 39,328 housing units at an

average density of 749.4 per square mile
(289.3/km2), of which 18,659 (51.7%) were
owner-occupied, and 17,434 (48.3%) were
occupied by renters. The homeowner
vacancy rate was 2.5%; the rental vacancy
rate was 8.1%. 52,683 people (50.8% of the
population) lived in owner-occupied
housing units and 49,435 people (47.7%)
lived in rented housing.

The African-American population in

Richmond was 22% African-American as
of 2015, while it was 44% African-
American in 1990.[62]
Demographic profile[63] 2010

103,701 –
Total Population

97,888 –
One Race

62,780 –
Not Hispanic or Latino

17,769 –
White alone

26,872 –
Black or African American alone

American Indian and Alaska

250 – 0.2%
Native alone

13,783 –
Asian alone
Native Hawaiian and Other 462 – 0.4%
Pacific Islander alone

Some other race alone 585 – 0.6%

3,059 –
Two or more races alone

40,921 –
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)


As of the census[64] of 2000, there were

99,216 people, 34,625 households, and
23,025 families in the city. The population
density was 3,309.5 inhabitants per square
mile (1,277.8/km2). There were 36,044
housing units at an average density of
1,202.3 per square mile (464.2/km2). The
racial makeup of the city was 36.06%
black or African American, 21.36% white,
0.64% Native American, 12.29% Asian,
0.50% Pacific Islander, 13.86% from other
races, and 5.27% from two or more races.
26.53% of the population were Hispanic or
Latino, of any race.

Of the 34,625 households, 33.7% had

children under the age of 18 living with
them, 40.5% were married couples living
together, 20.1% had a female householder
with no husband present, and 33.5% were
non-families. 26.2% of all households were
made up of individuals and 7.4% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of
age or older. The average household size
was 2.82 and the average family size was

In the city, the age distribution of the

population shows 27.7% under the age of
18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to
44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who
were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 33 years. For every 100 females
there were 94.6 males. For every 100
females age 18 and over, there were 91.2
The median income for a household in the
city was $44,210, and the median income
for a family was $46,659. Males had a
median income of $37,389 versus $34,204
for females. The per capita income for the
city was $19,788. About 13.4% of families
and 16.2% of the population were below
the poverty line, including 23.1% of those
under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or

75.4% of inhabitants over the age of 25

were high school graduates, while 22.4%
had bachelor's degrees, and 8.3% had a
graduate or professional degree. 7.7% of
the population was unemployed and those
who were employed took, on average, 34.3
minutes to commute to their place of

33.2% of the population aged 15 and over

has never married, while 46.3% is currently
wed. 11.1% have already divorced, 3.1% is
currently separated, and 6.4% has been

20.6% of the population was born outside

the U.S., of which 15.4% were born in Latin
America and 8.7% in Asia.[32]

During the day the population shrinks by

6.2% due to commuting while 23.3% of the
population works within the city limits.
20.5% of the jobs in the city are in the
educational, health, and social service
fields, while 10.9% are professional,
scientific, management, administrative,
and waste disposal, and 10.4% are in

7.0% of Richmonders are veterans of the

U.S. Armed Forces compared with 10.9%
nationally. 33.2% are foreign born while
12.4% are nationwide. 48.1% of men and
43.2% of women are married conversely
55.9 and 51% of Americans are
respectively. Nearly half (46.7%) speak a
language other than the English language
at home. 65.3% are employed even with
the national average. The average
household income is US$52,794; $6,552
higher than the national average. The
average family makes 57,931 dollars while
the average American household makes
55,832 dollars. The per capita income is
22,326 compared with 25,035 federally.[65]

Among Richmond residents, 64.56%

residents speak English, 23.13% speak
Spanish, 2.11% speak Tagalog, 1.75%
speak Chinese, 1.20% speak Miao–Mien,
1.12% speak Laotian, 0.72% speak Punjabi,
0.54% speak Cantonese, 0.51% speak
French, 0.5% speak Vietnamese, 3.49%
speak other languages none of which
represents more than half of one percent
of the population.[66]

Largest employers in Richmond

Rank Name Industry

1. Chevron Petrochemical

2. West Contra Costa Unified School District Education

3. Social Security Administration Government

4. United States Postal Service Government

5. Contra Costa County, California Government

6. City of Richmond Government

7. Kaiser Permanente Healthcare

8. Bio-Rad Laboratories Medical Equipment

9. Michael Stead Group Retail

10. Walmart Retail

10. Dicon Fiberoptics Industrial

Many industries have been and are still

sited in Richmond. It had a dynamite and
gunpowder works (the Giant Powder
Company, closed in 1960, now the site of
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline), the last
active whaling station in the country at
Point Molate (closed in 1971), and one of
the world's largest wineries (Winehaven),
closed by Prohibition in 1919.

During World War II, Richmond developed

rapidly as a heavy industrial town, chiefly
devoted to shipbuilding. Its major activity
now is as a seaport, with 26 million tons of
goods shipped through Port Richmond in
1993, mostly oil and petroleum products.
Chevron USA has a major oil refinery in the
city, with a storage capacity of 15 million
barrels (2,400 m3). The Social Security
Administration employs over 1,000 at its
regional office and program service center
in Downtown Richmond. Kaiser
Permanente's Richmond Medical Center
hospital in the Downtown Richmond is one
of the largest employers in the city. Galaxy
Desserts is run and operated in the city.
Vetrazzo, an award-winning green
business that manufactures Recycled
Glass Countertops out of waste glass
such as beer bottles and old traffic lights,
is located in the refurbished Ford
Assembly Plant.[68] Treeskunk Productions
a video game animation studio is based in
the town. Bay View recording studios are
located in the city, and have worked with
artists such as Smash Mouth. Photon
Films, LLC, a video production and editing
studio, is located in Harborfront area along
the southeast shoreline.


Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center in

downtown Richmond.

The Hilltop District includes Hilltop Mall

that features Sears, Macy's, and Wal-Mart
department stores as anchors.
Furthermore, the area is home to Hilltop
Auto Mall, a 16-screen Century Theaters
alongside, Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center.

The 23rd Street business district has

evolved into a predominantly Latino
neighborhood over the last twenty years
as have the storefronts.[69]

In the Downtown Richmond District the

Richmond Shopping Center was built as
part of the city's "main street" revitalization
efforts. It is anchored by a Foods Co.
supermarket and a Walgreens pharmacy.
The Macdonald 80 Shopping Center is a
commercial plot along the trunk route of
Macdonald Avenue which has been
designated the city's main street under the
aforementioned program. It was once
anchored by the now-defunct Montgomery
Wards and a Toys"R"Us. Demolition of the
former buildings and construction of a
new shopping mall were completed in
2006 and the center is now anchored by a
Target store.[70]

Richmond Annex and South

West Annex
"Big-box" stores already in the city include
Costco in the Point Isabel area and a
Home Depot which is partially in
Richmond. A controversial Kohl's
department store has been proposed for
Point Isabel. (See Point Isabel)[71]


The former Richmond Shipyards were

transformed starting in the late 1980s into
a multiunit residential area, Marina Bay.
Starting in the early 2000s, the city began
an aggressive redevelopment effort
spurring exurban tract housing,
condominiums, townhomes, a transit
village, and terraced hillside subdivisions.
The city also created a redevelopment
agency that refurbished Macdonald
Avenue, funded the Metro Walk transit
village, resurrected the Macdonald 80
Shopping Center, and created the
Richmond Greenway rails-to-trails trail and
urban farming project. Since 1996, new
homes have increased in price by 32%,[32]
and there has been a 65.6% increase in the
total amount of new dwellings built

Country Club Vista is a development

surrounding the Richmond Country Club to
the south and north. It includes suburban
style tract houses with cul-de-sac courts
and small yards. Seacliff, at Point
Richmond, is a development of luxury
waterfront homes built on a terraced
hillside. San Marcos is a series of about
ten condominium multistory buildings
between Hilltop Mall and Country Club
Vista. Richmond Transit Village has been
constructed in the former west parking lot
and an adjacent empty lot of the combined
Richmond BART and Amtrak station. The
development is part of the city's downtown
revitalization efforts.

Richmond CARES
On September 11, 2013, the seven-
member Richmond City Council, in a four-
to-three vote, decided to pursue a scheme
for using eminent domain to buy out
mortgages.[72] The vote was on "[setting]
up a Joint Powers Authority to bring more
cities into the plan". However, at least five
votes would be needed before any
mortgage could actually be bought out.
North Las Vegas, Nevada[73] and California
governments including El Monte[74]
Fontana, the city of Ontario and San
Bernardino County had considered such
plans but decided not to pursue them.[75]
The vote made Richmond the first to
accept the idea.[74] The plan had been
opposed by the vice-mayor and some
members of the city council, who said it
would "compromise" the city's finances.

Critics of the plan noted that the company

Mortgage Resolution Partners stood to
potentially profit: it would receive $4500
from the new lenders for each refinanced
mortgage for arranging the financing to
purchase the original loans and for
handling all legal, administrative, and
refinancing operations (an amount
matching what lenders are compensated
for under the Federal HARP loan
modification program). Critics also
questioned the inclusion of wealthy
neighborhoods such as "the area near the
Richmond Country Club".[76] The Western
Contra Costa Association of Realtors hired
a public relations agency and sent mass
mailings[73] warning against the scheme;
its advertising was "funded, in part, by
more than $70,000 from the California
Association of Realtors and the National
Associations of Realtors."[77]

Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo had sued,

claiming the program was
unconstitutional.[78] "[T]he National
Housing Law Project, Housing and
Economic Rights Advocates, Bay Area
Legal Aid, the Law Foundation of Silicon
Valley, and the California Reinvestment
Coalition" opposed the suit, calling the
banks' request for an injunction against
the city "discrimination in violation of the
Fair Housing Act".[79]

Supporters of the plan include the Alliance

of Californians for Community
Empowerment and Robert Hockett, a
professor of law at Cornell University.[80]

Many casinos have been proposed for the
West Contra Costa area. Point Molate
would have a casino, resort, and a luxury
shopping mall. Sugar Bowl Casino
proposes a casino, a steakhouse, and a
buffet promoted by the Pomo Tribe's
Scotts Valley Band near the border
between North Richmond and the city of
Richmond's Parchester Village, whose
residents have lauded it as a boon to
fighting crime by adding more of a police
presence and creating jobs for shiftless
youth, but residents from neighboring
newly developed sub-divisions along the
Richmond Country Club were fervently
opposed based on potential losses to
property values.[81] Casino San Pablo has
already been built in neighboring San
Pablo, with 2,500 slots. The projects have
been the subject of much civic debate;
supporters contend that the often cash-
strapped government would get a major
new source of revenue, while opponents
air their concerns over the ramifications,
including an increase in already high crime
rates, lowered property values, and
worsening neighborhood quality of life.

Point Molate is currently slated to either

become a housing and conference center,
a casino resort shopping area, or even a
large regional park.[82]

In 2010 the city approved the

environmental review of the plan in which
the tribe agreed to contain development of
the casino to the footprint of the buildings
on the former naval depot site.[83] The
lobbying and reports required by
Richmond have cost the tribe
$15,000,000.[83] This approval won over
the region's strict environmentalists and
many council members.[83] Later that year
residents were given the opportunity to
weigh in on the issue and voted on the
non-binding measure U to determine their
approval of the project.[83] 58% of voters
opposed the 1 billion-dollar project.[83]
Citing the people's opposition and the
inability to negotiate several key points
with the developer, the city council voted
down the project in 2011.[83] Councilman
Nat Bates remained a proponent of the
plan with its projected 17,000 jobs, while
the remainder of the council was
chagrined at the fact that there was no
guarantee that the jobs would go to
Richmonders.[83] The city of San Pablo,
whose lifeline is their card club, Casino
San Pablo, was elated. The Guideville Band
of Pomo Indians was given the opportunity
of 150 days to create a non-casino plan for
the site such as alternatives in the
environmental report for a convention
center, conference center, hotel, spa, and

Richmond city government operates under
a council-manager system with seven
members (including mayor and vice
mayor) elected to alternating four-year
terms.[84] Politically, the city is a
Democratic stronghold. By the early 1990s,
not a single Republican remained on the
council. The city council has four African
Americans, four whites and two Latinos.

The position of Mayor rotated between

members of the Richmond City Council
until 1981, when the office became an
elected position.[85] George D. Carroll, who
was voted by the City Council to become
Mayor on July 6, 1964, was described at
the time as "the first Negro mayor in
California and first in America with the
exception of small, scattered all-Negro
communities in the Deep South,".[86]
George Livingston Sr. was the first elected
African American mayor. He served from
1985 to 1993. Rosemary Corbin served as
the mayor from 1993 to 2001.

Years of political domination by the local

firefighters union subsided after a FBI
corruption investigation.[87] In the early
2000s Gayle McLaughlin was the first
Green elected to the council, with the
support of the Richmond Progressive
Alliance (RPA), a coalition of liberal
Democrats, progressive independents, and
Greens. In November 2006, McLaughlin
was elected mayor, defeating incumbent
first-term Mayor Irma Anderson.

In 2006 the city implemented a computer

program that it had ordered from a
German firm that provides the city with
statistical interactive maps. These maps
cover such areas as signage locations,
streets, crime hot-spots, and zoning
information.[88] In 2007 the city won a
contest in which its previously
substandard website was upgraded and
improved to make it more modern and
functional. The prize includes two years of
free webmastering.[89]

There has recently been controversy

regarding appointments of councilpersons
Sandhu and Thurmond who were not
elected at-large or were appointed to the
ballot on a Yes/No basis.[90]

Recently Mayor McGlaughlin and

Councilperson Butt have opposed
Chevron's Renewal Project that would
replace their 1950's era Hydrogen
Manufacturing plant with a newer more
efficient plant would increase pollution by
using dirtier, thicker, but cheaper crude

The city of Richmond has eight community

centers which are located within city
parks.[33] Many of the city's community
centers were closed in the early 2000s
following budget miscalculations and
financial difficulties. In the 2006 city
elections many candidates ran on
platforms promising to reopen these
community centers, most of which had
been closed due to budget cuts. That
election also featured a city sales tax
increase, Measure Q, which failed.
There are 53 voting precincts in Richmond.
During the regular election on November 7,
2006 21,575 of 37,605 (57.37%) registered
voters cast their ballots.[92]

Richmond has formerly been home to

black culture and activist movements,
most notably the Black Panther Party.

Cannabis dispensaries

The city has eight cannabis dispensaries,

and although the city has passed
legislation approving them and has
legalized their presence, city management
does not accept their legality. In fact, the
city had sued to close them. It is trying to
enforce an injunction that would suspend
their operating licenses.[93] Although the
city council has passed an ordinance
permitting the dispensaries, city
management refuses to cooperate with
the spirit of the law because it has yet to
take effect.[93] The question remains
whether the clubs will be closed before the
law allowing them to open takes effect.[93]

Richmond is governed by the Richmond
City Council.
Richmond is served by the Richmond
Police Department and Richmond Fire
Department. Dozens of parks are run by
the Richmond Parks & Recreation
Department. The Richmond Civic Center is
currently undergoing a seismic upgrade
and renovations program. Some buildings
are being refurbished while other buildings
will be replaced.[94]

Current mayor Thomas K. Butt was elected

Mayor of Richmond in 2015 with more
than 50 percent of the vote. Prior to
winning the mayoral election, he served on
the Richmond City Council for 20 years
(from 1995 to 2015) and served as the
city's vice-mayor in 2002 and 2012.

Richmond is also home to the West

County Detention Center in the Point
Pinole area. It is a male and female county

RichmondWorks and Richmond Summer

YouthWorks are city programs that aim to
decrease unemployment and crime and
have led to hundreds receiving
employment at area retail businesses.[95]

Fires, medical emergencies and other

disasters are handled by the Richmond
Fire Department which has seven fire
stations in the city. Medical and trauma
patients are transported by American
Medical Response Paramedics and

Sewage is largely handed by the Richmond

Sewage Treatment Plant in Point


De Anza High School, located in Richmond's Eastern

Valley area, also serves the nearby unincorporated

The public schools in Richmond are

administered by the West Contra Costa
Unified School District, formerly the
Richmond Unified School District. There
are also many private schools, mostly
Catholic schools under the authority of the
Diocese of Oakland.

The city has four high schools: De Anza

High School, Salesian High School,
Richmond High School, and Kennedy High
School. In addition, there are three charter
high schools, Making Waves Academy,
Leadership Public Schools: Richmond and
West County Community High School,
although West County Community High
School was shut down in 2012. In 2012,
Richmond Charter Academy, part of the
Amethod Public Schools system, opened a
charter middle school. There are also three
middle schools, 16 elementary schools,
and seven elementary-middle schools.
Richmond also hosts three adult education

The Contra Costa Community College

District serves all of Contra Costa County,
and Richmonders who decide to attend a
community college typically go to Contra
Costa College, located in the neighboring
city of San Pablo.

79.8% of Richmonders have a high school

diploma or equivalent, compared with
84.2% nationally. But 27.1% have a
bachelor's degree compared with a
statistically similar 27.2% nationally.[65]

Since an exit exam requirement was

implemented for California high schools,
the CAHSEE, some Richmond high school
students have been protesting against it.
Some students sued the district in an
attempt to eliminate the requirement. In
July 2007, a compromise was reached in
which the district would provide two
additional years of educational assistance
for the purposes of passing the exam.
That year, only 28% of Richmond High
School students had passed the CAHSEE,
a prerequisite for graduating.[97]


All Richmond schools have banned junk

food, such as candy, soda, Twinkies, pizza,
and other similar items in attempt to curb
childhood obesity and change children's
eating habits. It has been speculated that
this was done preemptively, because some
believe the state will soon mandate such
restrictions.[98] Despite these efforts, soda
consumption in Richmond schools has not
diminished.[99] Furthermore, the current
32% of Richmond children who are obese
will increase the current 24% adult obesity
rate to 42% according to the Contra Costa
County Health Services.[99] This led the
city council to approve a referendum on a
1 cent per ounce tax on beverages with a
high sugar content for the 2012 elections,
a first in the nation.[99] The measure was
opposed by councilmembers Corky Boozé
and Nat Bates, who stated that he knew
"many obese people that are perfectly
healthy" and that it was "elitist" and
"targeted black" people respectively.[99]
Members Jovanka Beckles and Jeff
Ritterman – the latter a cardiologist –
expressed horror at the obesity rate.
Beckles chastized the other black
members (Bates and Boozé) for not
supporting the measure, as she found that
the epidemic most affected people of
color like themselves.[99] The revenues
would have been used to counter obesity
through health and fitness campaigns and
expenditures.[99] The referendum was
defeated by voters in the November 2012

Attractions and landmarks

The city of Richmond has dozens of parks,
national historic parks, and 10 sites listed
under the National Register of Historic

Point Richmond, which is in effect a village

within Richmond, is known for its small-
town charm and its quaint shops. The
Point, as it is known by locals, offers
owner-operated stores, coffee shops, and
historic benches and streetlights. The
Masquers Playhouse is a performing arts
center that offers shows and productions
year round. Hotel Mac is one of the oldest
buildings in the area and has classic early
20th century architecture, like many other
buildings in the area. There is also The
Plunge, a natatorium which had been
closed due to seismic safety issues but
was re-opened in August 2010 after the
retrofitting was completed. The city
expressed a desire to demolish the
building at one point, but this was halted
by the actions of a neighborhood
preservation campaign which continues its
mission to "Save the Plunge!".

The Red Oak Victory at Ferry Point in Brickyard Cove,


The Ferry Point Tunnel is one of the oldest

tunnels in California. Built in 1899, this
structure still gives access to many
attractions and neighborhoods in
Brickyard Cove. The tunnel goes to the
Golden State Railroad Museum, the USS
Red Oak Victory, and many beaches and
parks, and to Ferry Point where an
abandoned ferry-rail pier still stands with a
historic ferry slip still standing, though
somewhat damaged by fire. It can be
viewed from an adjacent fishing pier.
The USS Red Oak Victory is a restored
World War II Victory ship, the 558th ship
made in Richmond. Liberty and Victory
ships transported troops and supplies
during World War II.

During World War II the city sprawled and

its population increased dramatically. This
led city leaders to construct the Richmond
Civic Center in 1957. This center houses
the city hall, a small convention center,
library, hall of justice, police headquarters,
and arts center.

The Richmond Public Library, the only

public library independent of the Contra
Costa County Public Libraries system, lies
in the heart of the civic center. It houses
over 204,686 books, 4,014 audio materials,
5,277 video materials, and 491 serial

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge extends

5.5 miles (8.9 km) across San Pablo Bay.
The bridge is the origin of the term
rollercoaster span, due to its curves,
bumps, and appearance which have also
earned the bridge the nickname of The
Rollercoaster Bridge. It was built in 1957,
and connects Contra Costa County with
Marin County. Automobiles are charged a
$5 toll in the westbound (towards Marin)
direction only.

The Golden State Railroad Museum is a

complex series of model railroad layouts
in a museum in the Brickyard Cove area of
Point Richmond. A visitor can operate
trains of various eras, and there are
miniature freight and passenger terminals,
trestles, tunnels, and meticulously detailed
town and city scenes, many of which are
copied from real life scenes of the 1950s.

The Santa Fe Railroad Terminal operated

as the western terminus for the railroad
from the late 19th century to the late 20th
century. It has now been transformed into
a museum to exemplify the feel of the
terminal in that era.

Point Richmond is one of the city's widely known and

expensive neighborhoods; Richmond Chevron Refinery
and the marshlands in the background.

"We Can Do It!" image used in a marker designating

the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front
National Historical Park

The Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home

Front National Historical Park is in
Richmond, and commemorates women's
shipbuilding and support for the war effort
in the 1940s.

Keller Beach is one of the city's beaches,

located at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline,
a park in Brickyard Cove. It offers
picnicking, sunbathing, wading, and
swimming. The beach is overlooked by
vehicles exiting the Brickyard Cove drive,
Ferry Point tunnel and houses on the steep
cliffs above. The beach, as with most of
the cove, offers spectacular panoramic
bay views of the Oakland hills, bridges, the
San Francisco skyline and the Golden

Point Molate Beach Park is a park on the

western coast of Richmond along Western
Drive. It was originally a Chinese shrimp
camp in the 1870s.

Point San Pablo yacht harbor

accommodates hundreds of private boats.

East Brother Light Station on East Brother

Island (one of the Brother Islands) is host
to an exclusive bed and breakfast. It is
only accessible by private boat. Visitors
come and stay for the day and picnic for
free or they may pay for a room.

The city is also home to a radio controlled

model airplane airport, Breuner Airfield
that is located in Breuner Marsh a
contested piece of land and near Point
Pinole Regional Park in the Parchester
Village neighborhood.

The city's cemeteries include Rolling Hills

Memorial Park and St. Joseph Cemetery.

Leisure and culture

Several regional parks administered by the
East Bay Regional Park District lie within
the city, including the Miller/Knox Regional
Shoreline and the Point Pinole Regional
Shoreline. They are linked by the San
Francisco Bay Trail. Part of the former
shipyard is now a marina.

The Richmond Art Center, founded by

Hazel Salmi in 1936, is one of the oldest
continually operating non-profit art centers
on the entire West Coast of the United
States. Its programming includes
exhibitions, adult and youth education, and
community initiatives. The Center currently
(as of 2005) provides some of the only
arts education programming in the
Richmond City School District, relying
primarily on public donations and private
grants as its means of support.

There is also the East Bay Center for the

Performing Arts, Hilltop Multiplex, or
Masquers Theaters in Point Richmond.

The Richmond Progressive Alliance and

California Green Party are active political
parties in Richmond. The House Rabbit
Society has its national headquarters in

Richmond is home to the National Institute
of Art and Disabilities Art Center, also
known locally as the NIAD Art Center.
NIAD is a non-profit organization hosting
over sixty client artists weekly. NIAD's
client artist's work can be seen at NIAD's
on-site gallery, the Florence Ludins-Katz
Gallery. NIAD has a gift shop.

The Richmond Art Center is a

contemporary visual arts center, with a
gallery and art classes in the heart of
Richmond. A showcase for emerging and
established artists, the Richmond Art
Center hosts the annual "The Art of Living
Black", art show which is a showcase of
the artwork of Bay Area Black Artists.
"Featuring over 50 local artists, the works
include fine arts and crafts, paintings,
sculpture, photography, prints, masks,
stained glass, quilts, textile art, ceramics,
jewelry and dolls." [101] The beauty, the pain,
the power and the eye of these black
artists touch the soul deeply. Founded in
1936 by local artist Hazel Salmi, the
Richmond Art Center is a Bay Area cultural

In addition, East Bay Center for the

Performing Arts has maintained its roots
in the Richmond community since 1968.
The Center engages youth and young
adults in imagining and creating new
worlds for themselves and new visions for
their communities through the inspiration
and discipline of rigorous training in world
performance traditions.

The Hyphy subculture and subgenre of rap

music originated in Richmond and
surrounding cities.[102]

From 1996 to 2002 a "geekfest" was held

on the beach in Point Molate every few
weeks or monthly by S.P.A.M. Records.
The festival was a community service for

There are dozens of gathering places for
various religions in the city, and some
which are not represented in the city can
be found nearby. Christian denominational
churches include the Kingdom Hall of
Jehovah's Witnesses; Word of Faith
church; St. Peters C.M.E.; Kingdom Land
Baptist Church; Grace Baptist Church;
Grace Lutheran Church; Temple Baptist
Church; Unity Church of Richmond; Holy
Trinity Episcopal Church; First Mexican
Baptist Church; Holy Mission Christian
Center; St. David Catholic Church, Greater
New Bethel Apostolic Ministries, formerly
New Bethel Church of God in Christ,
founded by Bishop A.D. Bradley in 1945;
Faith Temple C.O.G.I.C., and Faith
Tabernacle A.O.H. Church Of God; and the
Largest Church in Richmond, Hilltop
Community Church which is Assemblies of
God. There is also a large Laotian Buddhist
temple that serves as a community center
for the Lao community of the East Bay.
There is a synagogue in the Hilltop Green

Parks and recreation

Beach goers wading at Keller Beach in Miller/Knox
Regional Shoreline in southern Richmond between
Point Richmond and Brickyard Cove.

The city has 292.6 acres (1.2 km2) of

parkland, that is 1.5% of the city's land
territory. A new national park, Rosie the
Riveter World War II Home Front National
Historical Park is now under construction
in the former Kaiser shipyards and other
wartime industrial sites in Richmond. The
park is a memorial to the six million
women who labored on the home front,
symbolized by the mythical figure "Rosie
the Riveter". Richmond was selected for
the park because it has many intact
buildings that were constructed for 56
wartime industries. Its four shipyards
produced an amazing 747 large ships and
set production records. The home front
changed Richmond from a predominantly
rural community of 23,600 residents to a
diverse population of over 100,000 people
within a year. Industries operated around
the clock and public housing, schools, day
care centers, health care and merchants
mobilized to support the new workforce
that arrived on the city's doorstep.
Fortunately, Richmond's turbulent and
productive home front years were well
chronicled and photographed. The
National Park Service provides interpretive
services and operates a Visitor Center in
the craneway of the Ford Assembly

Richmond also has number of local parks

and two large regional parks are under the
authority of the East Bay Regional Parks
District, a consortium of most of the Parks
and Recreation lands and facilities of
Alameda and Contra Costa County.

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is the city's

largest park at 2,428 acres (10 km2). The
park once housed a dance hall and roller
rink and has distinctive stonework
throughout, which was the rationale for its
placement on the National Register of
Historic Places.[104] It features San Pablo
Creek, trails, forests, horseback riding,
picnic areas, and a play structure for
children, as well as horses for rent and
mountain biking trails. High school
students practice cross-country in the
park. It is situated in the eastern Richmond
hills and stretches into Berkeley's Tilden
Regional Park in Alameda County. The
park has diverse animal and plant life
including great horned owls, opossums,
king snakes, rubber boas, turkey vultures
and many others.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline is the

largest off-leash dog park in the United

The Richmond Greenway is a project

costing millions of dollars to transform an
old rail line into a walking, jogging, and
biking trail. It will span east to west from
the end of the Ohlone Trail that follows the
BART line from El Cerrito to Berkeley. It will
also follow the BART line to Richmond
station and continue to Point Richmond.
Pedestrian bridges will be used to cross
major avenues such as San Pablo Avenue
and 23rd Street. An additional side project
will add a bike lane/bike trail between the
Richmond Greenway and the Ohlone trail
at Potrero Avenue via 23rd Street, Carlson
Boulevard, Cutting Boulevard, and Potrero.
It is currently under construction.

Richmond is home to four marinas: the

Brickyard Cove Yacht Club, Point San
Pablo Yacht Club, Marina Bay Marina, and
Channel Marina in the Santa Fe channel. In
addition, Richmond has the "Richmond
Plunge", a municipal natatorium dating
back to 1926 and which reopened August
14, 2010. The pool is located in the Point
Richmond neighborhood.

Fix Our Ferals a spay neuter clinic is

located here.

Celebrations and conferences

The city has annual Juneteenth and Cinco
de Mayo celebrations.[106] The Cinco de
Mayo celebrations sponsored by the 23rd
Street Merchant's Association attracts
thousands and closes the entire length of
the roadway.[106] The Richmond Police
Department, Fire Brigade, United States
Marine Corps and other organizations
participate in the parade.[106] This is in
addition to a fireworks show at Marina Bay
celebrating the 4 July and a Silly Parade,
an event where people march down the
street and generally act "weird" and
silly.[107] The city also participates in
various Earth Day activities.[108] The city
hosts an annual and a physical activity and
nutrition forum to discuss health in the
community, it has been running since
2006.[109] In 2010 the city began
celebrating the Richmond Native American
Pow-Wow in Nicholl Park, in 2012 this
included area politicians and members of
over 50 tribes from throughout the

There are two African American weekly

newspapers, one general interest online
publication, and one multimedia news
project that cover Richmond exclusively.
The Richmond Post and Richmond Globe
publish print and online editions., which is run by
the UC Berkeley Graduate School of
Journalism, is a general interest online-
only news publication serving the city of
Richmond. Richmond Pulse is a youth-led
print and online publication which focuses
on community health. The West County
Times, run by Media News Group, covers
greater Contra Costa County.


A local cable TV station, KCRT-TV, mainly

plays historical archives but also airs
Government-access television (GATV) City
Council Meetings and music videos.


KKSF (AM) transmits from towers at Point

Port of Richmond

The Port of Richmond, located in along the

city's southern coast beside the Richmond
Inner Harbor, handles the third-largest
shipping tonnage in California annually,[112]
a total of 19 million short tons. It ranks
number one for ports of the San Francisco
Bay for vehicles and liquid bulk.[112] In
addition to these commodities, the port
can also handle dry-bulk, break-bulk, and
containers. Seven of the terminals are city-
owned, in addition to five dry docks, while
there are 11 privately owned terminals.
The port is served by a rail network
operated by four major rail companies.[16]


Highways and expressways

I-580's Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

Interstate 80 cuts through the eastern

and northeastern portions of the city,
through a mostly residential area,
connecting to Pinole, Hercules and then
on to Vallejo via the Carquinez Bridge in
the eastbound direction, and through,
Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and
eventually terminating in San Francisco
via the Bay Bridge in the westbound
direction. The weekday westbound
morning commute on I-80 through
Richmond lies within the most
congested stretch of freeway in the Bay
Area, according to Caltrans, and has
been ranked as such since 2001.[113]
Interstate 580 curves along the southern
waterside of Richmond and merges into
I-80 in Albany in the southern
Oakland/San Francisco direction while
slicing through mixed medium and
heavy industries and homes through
Point Richmond and onto the Richmond-
San Rafael Bridge over the San Pablo
Bay segment of the San Francisco Bay
into San Rafael and Marin County.
The Richmond Parkway, built in the
between the early 1990s and early
2000s connects I-580 in the Point
Richmond area in the southwest to the
Hilltop Area and I-80, it runs along the
city's heavily industrial western side and
through unincorporated area of North
Richmond. It has been proposed that it
be upgraded to a state highway and be
redesignated: State Route 93 and
transferred to the authority of Caltrans.
San Pablo Avenue (State Route 123)
runs through Richmond and San Pablo
to Pinole, Hercules and to its terminus in
Crockett and south through El Cerrito,
Albany, Emeryville, and Berkeley, until it
runs into Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.

Major trunk streets

Macdonald Avenue is the "mainstreet" of

Richmond, running east-west from
Atchison Village through downtown to
San Pablo Avenue in the North & East
neighborhood. In 2010 it was repaved
and refitted with new lampposts, street
furniture, business façades, landscaping
and trees.
Cutting Boulevard parallels Macdonald
Avenue to the south, traveling from Point
Richmond to Arlington Ave. near the top
of the hills. It is a busy commercial and
commute route. In 1990, a major
improvement program was designed by
the city also involving Knox Freeway. It is
named after the founder of the Port of
Richmond, Henry Cutting.
23rd Street runs through the heart of the
city north-south from where it turns to
Marina Bay Parkway at I-580 through
this heavily Latino business district and
neighborhood to San Pablo Avenue in
the city of San Pablo.
Barrett Avenue parallels Macdonald Ave
two blocks north; it is slightly less
traveled and has less activity than
Marina Bay Parkway serves as a link
between I-580 and the Marina Bay
neighborhood, it turns into 23rd street
after crossing 580.
Marina Way and Harbour Way/Harbour
Way South (formerly 14th Street and
10th Street respectively) run north-
Giant Highway, named for the former
Giant Powder Company, runs in the
northern part of town between San
Pablo Avenue and the Leroy Heights
Hilltop Drive is a trunk street which runs
from Richmond Parkway, crosses San
Pablo Avenue, passes Hilltop Mall and
continues over Interstate 80 into the
neighboring city of El Sobrante.
Carlson Boulevard (formerly Pullman
Avenue) is the primary access from
Downtown Richmond to the Richmond
Annex neighborhood, starting from 23rd
Street and terminating at San Pablo
Avenue just north of the Alameda-
Contra Costa county boundary, feeding
into the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center.
Public transportation


Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail

service from Richmond Station, an
intermodal connection shared with the
BART system. The station is located
downtown and has a transit center with
connections to AC Transit and Golden
Gate Transit buses as well as taxis.

There are two Amtrak lines serving this

station. The regional San Joaquin Route
runs from nearby Oakland to the south
through Richmond and Martinez to the
Central Valley through Stockton and
Fresno, terminating in Bakersfield.
Passengers continuing on to Los Angeles
or other points in Southern California may
transfer at Bakersfield for connecting
Amtrak Thruway bus services.

The second Amtrak line, the Capitol

Corridor runs from San José to the state
capitol, Sacramento, through Richmond,
Fairfield, and Davis; some trains continue
to the northern Sacramento suburb of
Auburn. This route is the third most heavily
used Amtrak line in the United States.[114]
BART has one station in the city of
Richmond, mentioned above, which serves
as the northern terminus of the Richmond-
Millbrae and Richmond-Fremont lines. Two
other stations are located near Richmond,
El Cerrito del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza,
both in El Cerrito. The Richmond BART
station had over 1.7 million passengers in
1998 while the Amtrak station carried
238,893 in 2006.

Before AC Transit and BART the Key

System provided a network of several rail
lines on the East Shore and Suburban

AC Transit provides 14 bus lines in the city

including local service throughout the city
including BRT line 72R along San Pablo
Avenue, "Transbay" commuter service
across the Bay Bridge to the San Francisco
Transbay Terminal and also owl "All-
Nighter" service along the BART line. The
lines are: 7, 29, 70, 71, 72, 72M, 72R, 74,
76, 376, 800, H, L, LC, LA. There is also
local service provided by the Richmond
Circular Shuttle in addition to the Point
Pinole Shuttle and Kaiser Shuttle.
In June 2007, after engaging with the
community for feedback with public
hearings, AC Transit implemented the
West Contra Costa County Service Plan
which realigned existing service finds to
reroute portions of certain lines, eliminate
service to areas with low ridership, and
replace service in some areas with service
from a different route providing direct
service to areas previously requiring
tedious transfers. Furthermore, a great
effort was made to provide a better
transfer at Richmond Station as well as
the Richmond Parkway Transit Center. The
changes are covered by Phase I and use
no new monies which would be required to
completely implement the plan: Phase II.
Phase II will use Regional Measure J funds
to expands service providing lines along
corridors which are undeserved or not
served, and increasing hours and
decreasing headways. Two of the greatest
changes will be extending BRT service to
Richmond Parkway Transit Center and
providing service along the Ohio Avenue
corridor. These changes have effected the
northern neighborhoods of the city and the
adjacent communities of El Sobrante and
San Pablo the most. Phase I was originally
supposed to be implemented in late 2006,
but the implementation has been delayed
until June 2007. Phase II has a target date
of mid-2008.[116][117][118][119]

Golden Gate Transit provides a service

from San Rafael in Marin County across
the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to
Richmond and El Cerrito del Norte BART
stations with routes 40 and 42.

Vallejo Transit (line 80) and

Fairfield/Suisun Transit (line 85) and Napa
VINE (line 29) provide feeder services from
the North Bay counties of Solano & Napa,
primarily Vallejo but also Fairfield,
Vacaville, and Napa and other cities to El
Cerrito del Norte BART, these busses pass
through Richmond.

WestCat provides similar feeder service

from other West County cities like Pinole
and Hercules. In addition to service in
northern Richmond's Hilltop neighborhood.
Lines running through Richmond are: 16,
17, 18, 19, 30Z, C³, J, JX, JPX[120] Carlson
Boulevard is the primary access from
Downtown Richmond to the Richmond
Annex neighborhood, starting from 23rd
street and terminating at San Pablo
Avenue just north of the Alameda-Contra
Costa county boundary, feeding into the El
Cerrito Plaza shopping center.
Bear Transit provides commuter and
student service from El Cerrito BART and
UC Berkeley to the UC Field Station in
Campus Bay on route RFS.[121]

Napa VINE offers commuter service from

Napa County.

Commercial and cargo rail

The Union Pacific Railroad (UP) has a

mainline passing through Richmond. This
line was formerly operated by the Southern
Pacific Railroad (SP).

The BNSF Railway (BNSF) has a yard and

that serves as the Northern California
terminus of their line that goes to their
main classification yard at Barstow,
California via the San Joaquin Valley. The
track was formerly operated by the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
(ATSF). Many years ago, the ATSF offered
rail car ferry service from Point Richmond
to San Francisco. The partially burnt
remnants of the ferry pier can still be seen
at Point Richmond.

The Richmond Pacific Railroad (RPRC) is a

class III shortline railroad operating on 2.5
miles (4.0 km) of track, providing
switching services at Richmond's wharves.
The RPRC is owned by the Levin-Richmond
Terminal Corporation and was formerly
known as the Parr Terminal Railroad


Richmond had commuter ferry service

from the Richmond Ferry Terminal to the
San Francisco Ferry Building on weekdays
and Fisherman's Wharf on weekends in
addition to special Giants Ballpark service
during the baseball season. The voyage
took approximately 45 minutes one-way.
The service began in 1999, but was
discontinued in the late 2000s in the
economic downturn following the dot-com
bust. Ferry ridership plummeted and the
service became economically
unsustainable, which led Red and White
Fleet to discontinue the service. The
Richmond ferry terminal is at Ford Point
located adjacent to the historic Ford Plant
in Marina Bay which is now open as an
industrial park and under renovation. The
terminal had its own dedicated AC Transit
feeder service from Point Richmond and
downtown Richmond with route 374 also
now discontinued.[122][123][124] A new ferry
service from Richmond is planned for
2018 by the San Francisco Bay Area Water
Transit Authority. The new ferry will take
only half an hour to San Francisco and will
use the existing terminal and parking
facilities at Ford Point in Marina Bay.[125]
Recently most of the city council except
Tom Butt and Mayor McLaughlin have lost
interest in the project instead supporting
using the site for expanded Toyota vehicle
importation parking which that company
has expressed an interest in.[126]

Pedestrian and bike lanes

The city has aggressively developed its

portions of the San Francisco Bay Trail and
has more than any other city at present.
The total is 17 miles (27 km)[127] and more
is to be built. The city is also currently
developing the Richmond Greenway a rails
to trails project running parallel to
Macdonald Avenue which will feed into the
Ohlone Trail which serves as feeder
service for the El Cerrito del Norte BART
station. There is also the Hercules Bikeway
connecting the Ohlone Trail with Hercules,
which runs along the neighborhoods of
East Richmond and El Sobrante. There is a
trail under construction along Wildcat
Creek to connect the Bay Trail and Wildcat
Marsh with Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.
The city also has many miles of trails in
that park in addition to Miller/Knox, Point
Isabel, and Point Pinole parks, among
The Richmond–San Rafael Bridge
(Interstate 580) alongside Red Rock Island
and barges crossing San Pablo Bay.

Tree-lined San Pablo Avenue at Macdonald

Avenue with an AC Transit BRT stop and
businesses in eastern Richmond.
A freight train of the Richmond Short

Richmond BART Station within the

intermodal Richmond Station which
carries 1.9 million passengers annually.
Municipal services
The Richmond Fire Department is the fire
and rescue service for Richmond, and by
contract with Contra Costa County it also
serves East Richmond Heights, and North
Richmond.[128] The Richmond Police
Department is headquartered at the
Richmond Civic Center; the headquarters
building was recently renovated and is
LEED certified.[129] Richmond's waste
disposal and recycling is handled by the
Richmond Sanitary Service. Water is
provided by the East Bay Municipal Utility
District (EBMUD), while sewers are
operated by the city government. The city's
electricity and gas is provided by the
Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E).

Notable people

Brian Abshire, Olympic track and field

athlete, 1988 Summer Olympics in 3000
meter steeplechase[130]
C. J. Anderson, running back for NFL's
Denver Broncos
Courtney Anderson, Oakland Raiders
football player[131][132]
Benny Barnes, Stanford and NFL player,
11 years as cornerback for Dallas
Cowboys, starter for Super Bowl XII
champions; also known for a
questionable pass interference in Super
Bowl XIII on Pittsburgh wide receiver
Lynn Swann
Mark Daniels, Jr., professional bass
angler (2013), The Bass Federation
(TBF) national champion (2011), fifth
place in FLW Everstart Bass Fishing
Circuit (2011), sixth in Forrest L. Wood
National Guard Circuit (California Delta)
(2010), Angler of the Year;
Ken Carter, Richmond High School
basketball coach, inspiration for 2005
film Coach Carter[136]
Loyd Christopher, MLB player and scout
Russ Christopher, MLB pitcher for 1948
World Series champion Cleveland
Darrell Johnson, MLB player, backup
catcher for New York Yankees behind
Yogi Berra; also played with St. Louis
Cardinals; manager for Boston Red Sox,
Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers
Ricky Jordan, MLB player for
Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle
Willie McGee, MLB player, outfielder for
1982 World Series champion St. Louis
Cardinals, two-time National League
batting champion, 1985 MVP[138]
Takkarist McKinley, NFL player for
Atlanta Falcons
Percy Miller aka Master P, had a
contract with NBA teams twice, with
Charlotte Hornets during 1998–99
season and Toronto Raptors in 1999
pre-season; played in Continental
Basketball Association for Fort Wayne
Fury and for ABA's Las Vegas Rattlers; in
2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity
Game scored 17 points, hit two free
throws to win the game[139]
Dave Smith, MLB pitcher for Houston
Astros, Chicago Cubs, and San Diego
Dale Sveum, MLB player and former
manager of Chicago Cubs
Lamont Thompson, NFL football
defensive back for Tennessee Titans
and Cincinnati Bengals[141]
Joseph Tijero, MLB player for Seattle
Ricardo Valenzuela, soccer referee[142]


Jason Becker, musician[143]

Stephen Bradley, musician, producer,
and touring member of band No Doubt
Peter Buck, guitarist for rock band
Norton Buffalo, twice Grammy-
nominated singer/songwriter, country
and blues harmonica man, toured 32
years with Steve Miller and others
Canary Lee Burton, composer and
classical music DJ
Les Claypool, bassist, songwriter and
vocalist of Primus
Gary Holt, guitarist and founding
member of Exodus ; also a member of
Slayer since 2011
Iamsu!, rapper and fellow organizer of
The HBK Gang
Larry LaLonde, guitarist in Primus
Laroo T.H.H., rapper and singer signed
to E-40's label Heavy on the Grind
Locksmith, rapper
Master P, rapper, former NBA basketball
player, founder/owner of P. Miller
clothing, former local businessman[144]
Also connected to Master P: Silkk
Tha Shocker, Lil Romeo, both
relatives/associates of Master P,
and Big Ed (formerly under Master
P's No Limit Records) were
residents of Richmond
Dorothy Morrison, lead singer for Edwin
Hawkins Singers on their hit "Oh Happy


Peter S. Beagle, writer, author of the

fantasy novel The Last Unicorn
Jean Brooks, film actress, died in
Lucretia Edwards, preservation activist
and environmentalist[145][146]
Carl Franklin, director of films such as
Devil in a Blue Dress and One True Thing
William Haynes, comedian and co-host
of the YouTube channel SourceFed
Fred Davis Jackson, civil rights activist,
artist, playwright, champion of schools
and peace activist for whom street "Fred
Jackson Way" was dedicated in
George Johnson, supercentenarian and
World War I veteran[148]
Glenn Plummer, actor, known for films
such as South Central, Showgirls and
Menace II Society
Ronnie Schell, actor and comedian
Andres Soto, community environmental
and civil rights activist[149]
Pete Suratos (Griffin), television reporter
(Fox News Channel, ABC 15 in Phoenix,


Richmond Heights as seen from North & East at the

dawn of the 20th century.

Richmond has many distinct

neighborhoods. The city can roughly be
divided into the northern Hilltop/El
Sobrante, eastern Central/East Richmond,
downtown/Iron Triangle and Southern
Point Richmond/Marina Bay areas.

In literature, film, and music


Richmond – Windows to the Past, an oral

history based photographic history by
Susan Alcorn (1980).
In Contempt (Mass Market Paperback)
by Christopher A. Darden, Jess Walter,
ReganBooks; Reprint edition (February
1997) (Christopher Darden, one of the
prosecutors in the criminal case against
O.J. Simpson, grew up in Richmond.)
Photographing the 2nd Gold Rush:
Dorothea Lange and the East Bay at War
1941–1945 (Paperback) by Dorothea
Lange, Charles Wollenberg, Heyday
Books (August 1995).
Richmond (Images of America)
(Paperback) by Donald Bastin, Arcadia
Publishing (SC) (November 2003).
Tales from the Iron Triangle: Boyhood
Days in the Bay Area of the 1920s
(Hardcover), by James Polese, Ocean
Tree Books; 1st ed. edition (September
To Place Our Deeds: The African
American Community in Richmond,
California, 1910–1963 (Paperback) by
Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, University of
California Press; 1 edition (February 5,
Gypsies: The Hidden Americans
(Paperback) by Anne Sutherland, 1975;
Re-issued 1986 by Waveland Press, Inc.
This book is an anthropological study of
a group of American Rom (Gypsies)
living in Richmond (Barvale), California.
It is based on fieldwork done during
1968–70. In this book, Richmond was
given the pseudonym of "Barvale" in
order to protect the anonymity of the
"If My Eyes Could Rewind THE REAL
RICHMOND,CA STORY (Paperback) by
Rodney "Alamo" Brown SEP Publishing
(November 2013)

Film and television

The film documentary "Enough is

Enough: Live From Tent City in
Richmond, CA," details a grassroots
movement of Richmond city residents to
fight violence on their streets.[1]
Much of the movie Tucker: The Man and
His Dream was filmed at the National
Preservation Award-winning Ford
Assembly Building, now commonly
referred to as Ford Point.[151]
Many scenes from the Robin Williams
film, Patch Adams were filmed during a
week in Point Richmond.[152]
The basketball movie, Coach Carter
although filmed across the bay in San
Francisco was based on the story of the
Richmond High School Basketball team
being benched for poor grades despite
an undefeated season.
In the T.V. Show The Game, character
Latasha "Tasha" Mack grew up in
Many parts of the Mel Gibson movie
Forever Young were filmed in Point
DeVry College has made a commercial
showing businesses along San Pablo
Avenue in Richmond.
Kaiser Permanente made a commercial
showing a man riding a bicycle in Point

Sister cities
Richmond, California has three sister
cities, as designated by Sister Cities

Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan

Regla, Cuba
Zhoushan, Zhejiang, People's Republic
of China
See also
East Richmond Heights
El Sobrante
Harry Ells High School
North Richmond
Point Richmond
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home
Front National Historical Park
USS Tacoma

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