Marilyn Langlois for Richmond City Council Marilyn Langlois for Richmond City Council
Marilyn Langlois for Richmond City Council 2012      PO Box 5323, Richmond, CA 94805      (510) 710-4493      marilyn4richmond@gmail.com     FPPC# 1347046
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About Marilyn Sobre Marilyn  
Born and raised in El Cerrito, I came to know Richmond of the 1950’s and early ‘60’s through childhood excursions to the Richmond library, the YMCA, the Plunge, the old Kaiser medical center on Cutting and Standard Oil’s Rod and Gun Club (my father was a research chemist at the Richmond refinery).   My earliest experience with grassroots politics was precinct walking for my father, who was elected to the El Cerrito City Council in the spring of 1964, when I was 14.  Ten years later, my mother became the first woman elected to the Lafayette City Council.  Both of my parents advocated for equitable development and smart growth principles long before these concepts became buzzwords in local politics throughout the region and beyond.

The issue of racial justice came into sharp focus for me in the fall of 1964, when I actively campaigned against the notorious Prop 14, a California initiative that would have allowed for racial discrimination in housing.  The local No on 14 campaign encompassed a broad coalition of civic, faith and labor groups in Richmond and throughout West Contra Costa County, who made a deep impression on my young mind with their commitment to asserting basic human rights and the common humanity that we share. To my shock and dismay, despite a strong and visible campaign against it, Prop 14 passed overwhelmingly at the polls, especially in low and middle income white neighborhoods. It was promptly struck down by the courts, but this experience revealed to me the prevalence of deep-seated racist attitudes even during the peak of the Civil Rights movement, and catalyzed my lifelong commitment to supporting efforts to eradicate lingering forms of racial injustice that persist to this day.

My formal education included graduation from El Cerrito High School, one year at a Swiss high school in Zurich as an exchange student, and graduation from Pomona College with a BA degree in German.  Informally, my education has continued throughout my life, as I seek out people, ideas and experiences that expand my awareness and understanding of the world we live in.

In order to support myself and my two daughters while they were growing up, I have held a wide range of jobs.  My work experience includes:

  lifeguard *  swimming instructor * letter carrier * counter service food worker * short order cook * switchboard operator * college dormitory resident assistant *  au pair (child care and house cleaning) * laborer for greenhouse roses * tea lady at HQ of large construction company * cashier in deli/restaurant * foreign language teacher, grades 5-12 * foreign language adult ed teacher * secretary in grad school for psychology * secretary at SF Opera and SF Opera Guild * bilingual secretary for container shipping firm * admin assistant at UC Berkeley School of Public Health * grad student services officer at UC Berkeley Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology * guardianship and community mediator * conflict resolution trainer * community advocate in Richmond’s Mayor’s office

My most recent job - until my retirement in April 2012 - as a Community Advocate on the staff of Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, gave me direct experience and knowledge to enable me to be an effective City Council member in Richmond.  I understand how the city operates and have good working relationships with numerous City staff and City Council members.   From the Mayor’s Office, I personally coordinated efforts to bring multiple stakeholders together to strengthen Richmond’s local hiring ordinance and to maximize protection of residents with Richmond’s updated wireless communications facilities ordinance.  I have stood at the forefront of efforts to start worker owned cooperatives in Richmond, in order to promote local economic development, job creation and workplace democracy.  Each year for the past five years I have coordinated Richmond’s annual event to celebrate International Women’s Day, co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office and over 30 local organizations.  I am in touch with countless volunteer leaders in our community, having assisted the Mayor in processing all applications to Richmond’s Boards and Commissions, and having served as the Mayor’s liaison to the Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council. 

Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff, I worked for several years as a community mediator and conflict resolution trainer, reinforcing my ability to work constructively with people who have differing perspectives and political persuasions, a skill I see as essential to the democratic process.

As past president of the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and former volunteer legislative analyst for the League of Women Voters of California, I acquired a strong foundation in citizen participation and community involvement in local government. 

While volunteering as a tax preparer and instructor with the Tax Aid program in Contra Costa County for eight years, I heard many stories of struggle and resilience from low income residents in Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg, who utilized this free tax service.

Soon after moving to Richmond ten years ago, I joined Richmond Vision, a coalition of faith, labor and community groups, and was an active member of the Just Cause Coalition promoting stable housing for renters.  In 2003 I helped co-found the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a grassroots political organization dedicated to empowering Richmond residents and reducing the excessive influence of large corporations in local politics, and currently serve on the RPA Steering Committee.  I became a founding member of March4Education, a group of teachers, students, parents and community members who organized a walk from Richmond to Sacramento in 2004 to advocate for more equitable funding for our schools.  In 2007 I sat on Richmond’s Human Rights and Human Relations Commission.  From 2006-2009 I was a participant and advisor to Richmond’s Tent City Peace Movement, which held multiple week-long vigils calling for an end to violence. 

The root causes of violence need to be addressed by reversing decades of racial and economic injustice in our community, our nation and the world. I have been a peace activist for years, advocating reduced spending on militarization, weapons and warfare, and putting money instead into jobs programs to build healthy communities and eliminate poverty. I was a war tax resister after the start of the Iraq War, re-directing my federal tax liability to educational and social services organizations.  

I have walked the neighborhoods of Richmond supporting the campaigns of Gayle McLaughlin (for City Council 2004 and Mayor 2006, 2010), Andres Soto, Jim Jenkins, Jovanka Beckles, Jeff Ritterman and Eduardo Martinez (for City Council between 2004 and 2010); supporting Measure T 2008 (citizens initiative to raise local tax on oil refining in Richmond), and opposing Measure U (2010 Richmond ballot measure asking Yes or No to a casino at Point Molate).  Between now and November, you’ll see me walking in Richmond’s neighborhoods again, asking for your votes.

 
Marilyn campaigning in 1964
Marilyn campaigning in 1964
 

Current affiliations: 

  • Richmond Progressive Alliance, founding member
  • Richmond Worker Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund (est. February 2012), founding member
  • Richmond Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, founding member
  • Richmond Native American Pow Wow, planning committee member
  • RichmondVision (faith-labor-community coalition), member and RPA representative
  • Chair, Urban Trails Richmond Exploratory Planning Committee, Native American Health Center
  • WCCUSD Linked Learning program, Core Steering Committee member
  • League of Women Voters of West  Contra Costa County, member
  • Mended Families, Inc. (Richmond and San Pablo), Board member
  • Exploratory effort for a Main Street initiative in North Richmond, Advisory Committee member
  • NAACP, Lifetime member
  • Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (project of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant),  Board member
  • Haiti Action Committee, member
  • Middle East Study Group of Contra Costa County, founding member
  • Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California, member
  • Transcend International network for peaceful conflict transformation, Board of Conveners member
 
Bike to Work Day 2011
Bike to Work Day 2010
 
Fred Jackson Harmony Garden
Dedication of Fred Jackson Harmony Garden in North Richmond, Earth Day 2012
 
Awards

2002 Peacemaker Award of Contra Costa County, Conflict Resolution Programs

1991 Distinguished Achievement    Award, Administrative and Professional Staff, University of California, Berkeley

 

 

Marilyn Langlois for Richmond City Council 2012     PO Box 5323, Richmond, CA 94805     (510) 710-4493      marilyn4richmond@gmail.com
 
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