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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Ohlone Community College DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Area 1

Photo of Richard Watters

Richard Watters

Trustee, Ohlone Community College District
8,916 votes (34.07%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Preserve the assets and financial well-being of the District
  • Advance educational opportunities and encourage higher education to all our students
  • Support student achievement and academic excellence



Profession:College Administrator
Executive Director, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Cal State East Bay (2014–current)
Trustee, Ohlone Community College District — Elected position (2006–current)
Director, Student Life and Leadership, Notre Dame de Namur University (1998–2014)
Programs Manager, Associated Students, Inc. (1996–1998)
Graphics Specialist, Cal State Hayward (1995–1997)


Cal State East Bay Ed.D., Educational Leadership for Social Justice (current)
University of Mississippi Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration (2015)
Cal State East Bay Bachelor of Science, Hospitality and Tourism (2013)

Community Activities

Member, Bunker School and Birch Grove School PTA (2014–current)
President, Newark Educational Foundation (2008–2009)
President, Treasurer, board member, Stage 1 Community Theatre (1997–2008)
Parade Chair, Newark Days Celebration, Inc. (2007–2007)
President, Stage 1 Community Theatre (2003–2005)


Richard Watters is a Bay Area native, born and raised in unincorporated San Leandro. Richard was raised by his mother, Patricia, a dental assistant, who instilled very early in his life the value of education and a college degree.

After graduating from San Lorenzo High School, he attended Cal State Hayward and studied English. He returned to Cal State East Bay almont 20 years later and graduated with a degree is Hospitality and Tourism; and received his master's degree in higher education administration in 2015.

Richard has worked for the past 25 years in higher education. Currently he is the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at Cal State East Bay. Prior to returning to the East Bay, he was the Director of Student Life and Leadership at Notre Dame de Namur University where he worked directly with students, their families, faculty, and staff to assist students in achieving academic success. While at Notre Dame, Richard served as Staff Assembly president, representing staff on the Board of Trustees and the University's Planning and Budgeting Committee which oversaw the University's $23 million budget.

Richard has been involved in the community in many capacities, including serving on the board for Stage 1 Community Theatre, Newark Educational Foundation, Newark Days Celebration, and a member of the Newark Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of the Library.

Richard is very passionate about higher education and believes that the community needs to embrace the educational institutions within their area. If re-elected, Richard will continue to be a champion for Ohlone College and make sure that residents and students within the Tri-Cities know what opportunities Ohlone has to offer.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (14)

  • Congressman Ro Khanna
  • State Senator Robert Wiecowski
  • Mayor Al Nagy
  • MIke Bucci, Newark City Councilmember
  • Vivien Larsen, Trustee, Ohlone Community College
  • Jan Giovanni-Hill, Trustee, Ohlone Community College
  • Bernard Stewart, Director, Washington Township Healthcare District
  • Pat Kite, Director, Union Sanitary District
  • Nancy Thomas, Trustee, Newark Unified School District
  • Frankie Preciado, Trustee, Newark Unified School District
  • Eileen McDonald, Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education
  • Greg Bonaccorsi, Trustee, Ohlone Community College
  • Louis Freitas, Newark City Council member
  • Teresa Cox, Trustee, Ohlone Community College

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I have been a long-time Democrat and support the Democratic Party's platform.

Position Papers

Preserve the assets and financial well-being of the District


If re-elected, I promist to provide fiscal oversight of the voter-approved Measure G bond projects to ensure they are completed on time and within budget. I will continue to montor Measure A and Measure G bonds to refinance when possible to save tax payers millions of dollars to reduce tax payer burden. I will fight for resources from the legislature to ensure that Ohlone is receiving its fair share of funding from the State.


Advance educational opportunities and encourage higher education


If re-elected, I will continue to ensure Ohlone's partnerships are equitable at all Tri-City high schools. I will continue to promote the College's vocational adn transfer programs. I will continue to advance the concurrent enrollment programs and enhancement courses to high schools students. And, I will continue to advocate for equity and access for historically underserved students.


Support student achievement and academic excellence


If re-elected, I will continue to focus on increasing the number of students who transfer to a 4-year institution and increasing the percentage of degree and certificate-seeking students. I will continue to focus on increasing our persistence and completion rates of our historically underserved students. I will also continue to support competitive wages to recruit and retain faculty and staff.


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