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Jovanka Beckles
What I Stand For
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Contact Information


510-620-6568 Office
510-620-6824 Fax

I ­­share the sense of urgency experienced by families of homicide and violent crime victims, kids with asthma, and depressed parents of depressed teenagers. These difficult problems cannot be solved by individuals alone. We have to act collectively to make our city better, healthier, and more just. We must honor our differences of age, race, sexual orientation, class, religious or spiritual beliefs, and stand together as one to work for the common good. One Richmond!

Our problems in Richmond are part of a worldwide problem. We suffer here from the growing disparity in wealth and power in this country. What has allowed the 1% to greatly increase its share has meant joblessness, poverty, a failing education system, decaying infrastructure, and communities pitted against each other for public services.

We must support the movements and unions which are fighting for greater economic and social power for the 99%.

At the same time, we cannot wait for these broad solutions. We have to re-define the city where we live to do what we can to deal with these problems now. Practicing forward thinking, we have put Richmond on the map as a city willing to make a way for a green economy that supports rather than harms the environment. In the coming years we can build a city-home with enough new jobs for all, by promoting the green jobs sector, encouraging co-operative enterprises, and providing the kind of infrastructure, environment, and trained work force that attracts people and businesses. We must create community where violence and crime is up-rooted, through a committed and unified effort by community members to get involved. We must honor our diversity and use it to dramatically and positively improve the quality of life for Richmond residents.

In all of this, the priority must be our kids. We have to focus our resources on education for our youth, building a healthy lifestyle –fewer sugar drinks and more recreation and healthy food—improved education, and creating opportunities for full lives.  ­ ­ ­ ­

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, one of the nation’s top HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) on a full basketball scholarship. I graduated cum laude in 1988 with a BA degree in Psychology. I earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2006.

I moved to the Bay Area in 1989 and have worked as a counselor, youth educator, client advocate, crime prevention specialist, housing case manager for the homeless, and mental health specialist for 20 years. I currently work as a Mental Health Specialist for Contra Costa County-Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. In this position I lead teams of professionals who provide the support necessary to improve the quality of life of children and their families. I create strong collaborative working relationships with all those who are critical to the well being of the clients—the families, schools, Social Services, local homeless shelters and advocates and juvenile probation. My goal is to keep young people educated, alive and free from a life of incarceration and substance abuse through violence prevention and reduction, self-esteem building, and academic improvement.

Positions Held, Affiliations and Awards
  • ­Finance Committee Chair (2011-present)
  • Human Rights Human Relations Liaison (2011-present)
  • North Richmond Mitigation Funds Committee Member (2011-present)
  • RecycleMore Board Alternate (2011-present)
  • Planning Commissioner, City of Richmond (2009-2010)
  • Economic Development Commissioner, City of Richmond (2007-2009)
  • General Plan Development Advisor, City of Richmond (2007-2008)
  • 2nd Vice-President of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) (2009)
  • President of the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council (2009)
  • Vice-President of the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council (2008)
  • Member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Member, NAACP
  • Member, LULAC
  • Member, BWOPA
  • Outstanding Civic Organizer-2009
  • BWOPA-PAC Ella Hill Hutch Award-2010
 



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