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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Local

City of RichmondCandidate for City Council

Photo of Vinay Pimple

Vinay Pimple

Attorney/Appointed Incumbent
6,074 votes (8.08%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Good City finances is not optional. Proper funding is required for improved services. Prudent personnel management and attracting business and development will bring in much needed revenue.
  • EDUCATION: I will work to increase parental involvement, and therefore, student success, and to complement the Richmond Promise college scholarships program with building trades programs to serve students for whom college may not be the best option.
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: I plan to identify and recruit industry sectors that are most suitable for our City to create more jobs for our citizens.

Experience

Experience

Profession:City Council Member. Attorney. Former software engineer.
Member, Richmond City Council — Appointed position (2015–current)

Education

University of Bombay Master of Arts, English Literature (current)
Rutgers University B.S., Computer Science (current)
University of California at Berkeley Juris Doctorate, Law (2014)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • East Bay Times

Organizations (2)

  • California Democratic Party
  • Contra Costa Democratic Party

Elected Officials (1)

  • Council member Nat Bates

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

When I joined the City Council last year, working for better education and jobs was closest to my heart. A former English teacher, I volunteer with the Writer Coach Connection where we coach individual students on their writing assignments. I volunteered as a mentor with RPAL, knowing that age 12-17 is a critical period for our high-risk children. I volunteered as a Math tutor with the city's Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) so that those who had slipped through the cracks could get a second chance at jobs and careers.

What greeted me within three months was Moodys downgrade of our bond rating. My head told me that good finances weren't optional: I couldn't keep my promises of improved services without proper funding. Fortunately, my knowledge as an attorney (I have a law degree from U.C. Berkeley), and my skill with numbers (I worked as a Software Engineer) helped me quickly grasp the causes and scale of our problems. The $9+M deficit in the 13-14 budget, the borrowing of $9+M to fill a hole in the 14-15 budget, and the suppression of the grim five year financial forecast in 2014, had led Moodys to downgrade us. Despite my strong objections that the 2015 budget used $3.4M of borrowed money and didn't present a financial forecast, Council passed the budget. Predictably, Moodys gave us a further downgrade to junk bond status, which cost us $10+M. This was in addition to the $16M we had to pay for the $9M we had borrowed the previous year.

 This jolt, combined with sustained pressure from me, our citizens, and the media, finally resulted in the 2016 budget being our first structurally balanced budget in many years. And even though we still don't pay our Annual Required Contribution for retiree health care, we are on a much better financial path. This is why the East Bay Times gave me a glowing endorsement, and why Council Member Nat Bates endorsed me.

My happiest vote was to establish the Richmond Promise, which gives a $1500 per year scholarship to our children who attend college. I made sure that all children were included; other Council Members wanted to restrict the scholarship to students attending certain types of schools. I am hopeful that creating a college going culture and helping students with the application process will create college students from children who thought college wasn't meant for them.

I fostered collaboration between LEAP and the Building Trades so that LEAP students can have good careers in the Building Trades. I approved the construction of 450 units of affordable housing, and hundreds more units of market rate housing to ease the housing crisis. I championed the successful San Leandro Rent Review model to give relief to our renters from high rents. 

If elected, I will work with the WCCUSD to improve education by increasing parental engagement. I will continue to create better jobs for our residents by attracting more businesses and improving job training programs.

 Above all, I will always be available to listen to your concerns. I will thoroughly study every proposal to prevent laws with unintended consequences. And I will continue to be a calm, thoughtful, and independent voice on the council.

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