A New Generation
of Leadership –
BACKGROUND: I am an African American and Latina immigrant.
I was born in Panama City, Panama in 1963, where I grew-up
in a bilingual, multicultural family and country. My parents
moved to the U.S. in 1972 and I went through the challenging
process of immigration and cultural adjustment. At home,
my parents taught me the critical values of respect for self
and others, along with hard work and integrity. As a result
of my multicultural experience, I have learned to respect
and value differences and similarities. This allows me to
easily and comfortably bridge many barriers. I attended Florida
A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, on a full
basketball scholarship, and graduated cum laude in 1988 with
a BA degree in Psychology. I later earned a Master of Business
Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.
to the Bay Area in 1989 and have worked as a counselor, youth
educator, team builder and strategist, client advocate, crime
prevention specialist, housing case manager for the homeless
and mental health specialist for 18 years. For the last 13
years I have worked in Richmond. I spearheaded the ongoing
efforts to create a merchants’ association on San Pablo
Avenue. As a Richmond resident, I have been both the victim
of crime and an advocate of solutions that prevent it. I
support the Tent Cities Peace Movement and a variety of local
community responses such as Mothers against Senseless Killings
(MASK) and the Not Today Movement in opposing violence and
I applaud the City of Richmond and our citizens
for the blessed and incredible reduction in violent crime
we have achieved together. We can envision the sigh of relief
elimination of homicide and other crimes against people (rape,
domestic violence, armed robbery) could bring to Richmond.
As the President of the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council,
I promoted strengthening local livable and walk-able communities,
developing stronger connections and loyalties with businesses
in local corridors (like on San Pablo Ave) and surrounding
It is very important to me to keep the line
of communication open with my neighbors in order to do my
part to help build a wonderful, neighborly, informed community.
In this spirit, I worked closely with neighbors and the police
department to ensure that our neighborhood had a highly successful
national night out.
As a member of Concilio Latino and the
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), I collaborated
with West Contra Costa County School District members and
community health providers to share information on best practices
to meet the need of the Latino community members. I worked
with the Latina Center and others in organizing the Children’s
March against Violence. I oppose anti-immigrant raids, and
I support a comprehensive and just immigration reform with
path to legalization for all immigrants.
As A Rotarian, I
strongly believe in the organizational motto “service
above self.” I have always been deeply committed to
upholding high ethical standards in my professional life.
Rotarians ask ourselves four important questions:
1. Is it
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build
goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial
to all concerned?
I answer these four questions daily as
I move through the world. As I answer yes to each one of
these questions, I know that I operate with my integrity
intact. Integrity and service have been life-long values
of mine which why I was drawn to the Rotary Club of Richmond.
As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP), I strongly affirm and promote the historical contributions
of African Americans to Richmond and our nation ( Letter
from Don Campbell Superintendent, Harpers Ferry National
Historical Park ).
I have compiled in a booklet for distribution, The History of the Gary family of Richmond, who in 1952 fought
for civil rights and housing integration with the support
of progressives, unions, churches and Black organizations.
The Gary’s story was honored by Richmond Mayor Gayle
McLaughlin by issuing a proclamation in their honor during
Black History Month 2008. I advocate for further equity in
the distribution of resources and for an expanded African-American
community presence in our city.
As a member of the PEU-Local
#1, I believe in strong, independent, and pro-active unions
that assert and protect member rights and benefits. I was
selected by my colleagues to be the strike captain during
the last strike in which we workers fought management for
fair compensation. I worked hand-in-hand with the shop steward
organizing and coordinating labor dialogs with peers as well
as management. As a citizen of the United States, I see our
nation in a very deep moral and economic crisis. We need
to continue the process of rethinking and redefining ourselves
as a nation and our participation in the world.
As a Richmond
voter and a registered Democrat, I am proud increasing numbers
of the Richmond community identify the Richmond City Council
as approachable and open to democratic discourse.
for recognition of needs and solutions to problems centered
on the Richmond City Council attests not only to Richmond
standing up to exercise the responsibilities citizenship
entails but also to our shared love for the City of Richmond
and the belief that – by working together – we
do make a Better Richmond.
To remain independent and represent
voter interests fairly, I accept no corporate campaign contributions.
faces problems that run broad and deep, but the strength,
resourcefulness, and brilliance of the people of Richmond
are broader and deeper still. As a member of Richmond’s
City Council working together with you, we have successfully
championed so many issues that we truly can say with pride, “A
Better Richmond is Happening.” I want your support
in 2014 so we can build on our momentum and create the Better
Richmond that we know in our hearts we can.
We want the same
thing: a chance for everyone in Richmond to thrive. Through
my work with at-risk youth and as a crime reduction specialist,
I confront the unmet needs of Richmond's families and neighborhoods
every day. The undeserved struggles so many brave Richmond
residents face, along with opportunities to at least set
some priorities, motivate me to seek re-election to the Richmond
City Council. Let’s promote Community Health, Affordable
Housing, a Diversified Economy and More Jobs.
Here is a brief
run-down of what I have achieved so far:
efforts to raise the minimum wage, which will create more
jobs, stimulate the local economy, and enable working families
to live healthier, richer lives.
- Endorsed Just
Cause requirements that would further protect renters from
unfair evictions and supported Rent Stabilization to maintain
affordable rents as Richmond grows and prospers.
a program designed to stabilize neighborhoods, reduce blight,
and cut down on housing speculation by providing underwater
homeowners relief through principle reduction.
the “Ban the Box” ordinance that gives previously
incarcerated people a better opportunity to be hired for
city jobs and on contracts with Richmond, along with support
for re-entry services, training, and activities, all as constructive
alternatives to building more jails.
- Introduced and
fought successfully for adoption of the Richmond Municipal
Identification Program, which encourages police protection
of all residents against such abuses as non-payment of wages
and provides optional access to use of ATM machines and to
public services, such as libraries.
- Supported efforts
to cooperate with representatives of the Chevron oil refinery
to accomplish shared outcomes: reduced harmful emissions,
exceptional occupational safety standards, and fair share
of taxes in support of city services and education. I distrust
Chevron’s campaign to buy influence in Richmond.
the Richmond City Council Liaison to the Western Contra Costa
Unified School District (WCCUSD), I strive to strengthen
the important relationship between the City of Richmond and
the District in order to support programs that boost student
engagement, success, attendance, and graduation rates. I
am particularly interested in the integration of the community,
especially parents, into the educational process.
all of this work, I have not been --and will not be-- bought.
I have never taken campaign money from corporations, and
I never will. My passion is working within the community
to bring ideas through City Council that not only keep us
safe but help Richmond thrive. It will be volunteers and
grassroots contributions that get me re-elected. I do not
want Richmond to go back to being a Company Town run mainly
in support of corporate interests. Join with me to make a
Better Richmond for all of us, the people. Your vote will
make the difference. Richmond isn’t that big. Every
vote matters. Peace and Blessings, JOVANKA The best way to
stay up-to-date on my activities and the campaign is through
my on-line newsletter. If you want to receive it, sign up
here [email Jovanka link]. Click [volunteer link] if you
want to volunteer to help with my re-election and [donate
link] to make a donation.
- Richmond City Councilmember (2010-2014)
City Council Liaison to Western Contra Costa County School
District (2014 – present)
- Richmond City Council
Liaison to the City Human Relations Human Rights Commission
(2010 – present)
- Planning Commissioner, City
of Richmond (2009-2010)
- President of the Richmond
Heights Neighborhood Council (2009) 2nd Vice-President of
Black Women Organized for Political Action (2009)
Development Commissioner, City of Richmond (2007-2009)
of the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council (2008)
Plan Development Advisor, City of Richmond (2007-2008)
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- Board Member, Citizens
For East Shore Parks
- Educator, Counselor, Small Business
Owner, Environmentalist, Crime Reduction Specialist
Degree in Business Administration, Merchants Association
- African American and Latina
History Researcher • Rotarian
takes no corporate donations for her campaigns
Here are more
details about me and my positions: As an educator, counselor,
and crime reduction specialist in Richmond, I have guided
young people into transforming their lives in powerful and
meaningful ways that have benefited them and the community.
I have played an instrumental role in the lives of many Richmond
children and young adults who were inclined to continue the
cycle of violence in their families. I have provided critical
resources, guidance intervention and advocacy that has significantly
impacted the lives of these individuals, enabling them to
make better and healthier life choices. I have also taken
my role as an elder in the community seriously and have lead
by example. I like to roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side
with Richmond youth in clean-up and restoration projects
such as Wild Cat Creek in North Richmond on Earth Day and
Baxter Creek at Booker T. Anderson Park with the Watershed
As a Planning Commissioner, I listened carefully
to both sides of all issues brought before me to render decisions
that are in the best interest of our community. As a member
of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s Environmental
Health and Environmental Justice Task Force, I worked for
a healthier environment for all Richmond, with particular
attention to those neighborhoods suffering the brunt of industrial
and non-industrial pollution. In addition to advising Mayor
McLaughlin, the EHEJ task force constitutes a gathering place
of community based environmental thinkers and doers, to share
analyses and work together in raising environmental awareness
in Richmond. I am privileged to work with great advocates
from the Sierra Club, the North Richmond Open Space Shoreline
Alliance, Communities for Better Environment, West County
Toxics Coalition and others. As a member of the General Plan
Advisory Committee, I supported a progressive direction for
our City at the same time that I advocated for the interests
and aspirations of the African American community of Richmond
as well as those of all immigrants.
I believe that the environmentally
sensitive areas along our 32 miles of shoreline should be
designated as conservation areas. Open water, mudflats, marshlands,
tidelands, creek corridors, and surrounding lands that are
highly suitable for preservation/resource areas or parkland
use, must be protected and preserved to the maximum extent
feasible. These areas are important for maintaining wildlife,
including fish, shellfish, shorebirds, the waterfowl of the
Pacific Flyway, other upland species, as well as recreational
opportunities for our children and future generations. I
opposed building a casino in Point Molate and support development
there of world class recreational and other attractions to
sustain and employ especially Richmond youth. As a member
of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (www.richmondprogressivealliance.net),
I share with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, alliance founders and
members, the goals of restoring Democratic health, developing
economic health, regaining environmental health and safety,
opposing mega-developments on toxic brownfields like the
Zeneca site, supporting smart growth and in-fill housing
and neighborhood character preservation, and keeping both
the shorelines and the hills of Richmond open and public,
and strengthening social justice and transforming Richmond
to a place of joy and pride.
As the founding member of BMOER
(Black Mobilization Organization Education Richmond), I am
committed to improving the quality of life for African-Americans
in Richmond, particularly those affected by crime, violence
and poverty. We believe that by taking action, we can break
the cycle of violence and poverty that has plagued many areas
of the Black community in Richmond. Our aim is to instill
hope and pride in our people by reminding and educating as
many as possible of our great history and ancestry. As a
RSSA CAG (Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area Community Advisory
Group) member, I am committed to achieving a complete clean-up
of one of the most toxic sites in the City and in the State
of California, the Zeneca site. I am committed to making
sure that the health and interest of the Richmond residents
of the neighborhoods near the site (Richmond Annex, Southwest
Annex, Panhandle Annex, Crescent Park, Coronado, Santa Fe,
Pullman, and others) are protected with any plans for the