Cesar: the Community Candidate
Cesar: the Community Candidate
Former President and Founder, Hilltop District Neighborhood Council
President and Founder, Hilltop District Homeowners & Stakeholders Association
Co-Founder, Richmond Rainbow Pride
Founder, Bring the Music Back
Co-Founder, Calle 23
Boardmember, Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP)
Boardmember, Contra Costa College Foundation
Founder, Food Emporium
Cesar believes it is important to give back to the community that shaped his outlook and opportunities. When Cesar was eight, his family immigrated from Guadalajara, Mexico to Richmond to provide opportunity to their family. Cesar grew up in Richmond and San Pablo, attending Helms Elementary School, Richmond High School and Contra Costa College. The opportunities afforded to Cesar and his family shaped his outlook and inspired his volunteerism and spirit to give-back.
Cesar is the founder and former president of the Hilltop District Neighborhood Council. He is also the president and founder of the Hilltop District Homeowners & Stakeholders Association. As president, Cesar demanded accountability from the City of Richmond. He jump-started completion of a park that was in the works for 16 years, successfully advocated for installation of light poles that were down for eight years, and new ADA accessible sidewalks. His vision spurred various projects around the neighborhood, including, planting fruit trees at the Lake Park for all to enjoy, wayfinding signs with lights, and continued advocacy towards walkable and ADA accessible streets.
Cesar co-founded Richmond’s first LGBTQI organization, Richmond Rainbow Pride. He also started Bring the Music Back, a campaign to raise funds to revive Richmond school music programs. He helped raised over $250,000 toward new instruments at Richmond High School and other Richmond schools. His community involvement is what helped the Richmond School Marching Band.
As an elected official, he currently serves as President of the West County Wastewater District, serving San Pablo, parts of Pinole and the northern areas of Richmond. His priority is to protect public health and the environment during collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater. Work is underway to replace 15,000 feet of sewers in to increase the safety and reliability of wastewater services. Our sewage facility will be one of the first all-green, carbon neutral, energy generating plants in California.
Communities thrive when neighbors help each other out. That’s why Cesar co-founded Calle 23, a group dedicated to enhancing, promote, and improve the neighborhood in and around one of Richmond’s busiest streets – 23rd Street.
Cesar founded The Food Emporium, a community event that incorporated food-trucks, music, and car show to help bring our communities together. The event was held at the lake at Hilltop and at East Brothers Brewery in Point Richmond.
Cesar works as a Health & Benefits consultant. This is what Cesar does for work. For a living - what he does that motivate and inspire him - is to give back and help others. That's why he was recognized in 2018 by Diablo Magazine's 40 under 40.
Although Cesar is running in District 2, however, he knows the importance of a citywide vision. That is why Cesar has helped and volunteered all over the City of Richmond, not just one particular community.
Cesar Stands For...
Richmond is one of the few cities along the East Bay that is not built out. We have an opportunity to build affordable workforce housing. And the ability to insist that developers work with local skilled trades who are paid prevailing wage to ensure the people building the housing can afford to live here, too.
Our ability to provide adequate public services is dependent on a sound and balanced budget. Having a transparent government and a balanced budget is the foundation on which Richmond and our residents will thrive. East Bay Times has endorsed me in previous years because of my knowledge in helping cities with their CalPERS liabilities.
Richmond residents need access to a hospital, especially an emergency room. I am already working with area hospitals and health care providers to advocate for the location of a hospital in Richmond. At the beginning of the pandemic, we did not have enough hospital beds; one hospital that serves all of West County is not enough! What will happen in case of a devastating earthquake?
Richmond police work collaboratively with our residents to address neighborhood issues and improve safety. I support Cease-Fire and other community-based efforts to reduce violence in our neighborhoods. However, we must do more to institute preventative measures to tackle crime long-term and ensure future reduction in violence. This includes enrichment and recreation programs for our youth.
I am the founder and former president of my local neighborhood council and know the challenges and opportunities our neighborhoods face when presenting our concerns to City Hall. I will bring this perspective and leadership with me to the city council and am committed to listening to and advocating for all of Richmond’s residents.
Richmond’s infrastructure is crumbling, from the Richmond Wastewater Plant to our sidewalks and roads, and lights. We need and deserve better! We have had many tax measures to help fix our infrastructure, let's put that money to work where it was promised!
I will advocate for local hire policies in economic development projects to bring better-paying jobs to Richmond residents. I support more collaboration with business and government to take advantage of Richmond’s location on the Bay and the potential to bring more international trade through the city and to our local businesses. I am committed to creating a marketing team within City Hall to promote Richmond as a great place to do business and streamline red-tape to help new businesses locate here and grow. I will search out opportunities to bring basic necessities like a grocery store, restaurants, and gas stations to every neighborhood in Richmond.
Ensuring every neighborhood has access to adequate parks and open space is a top priority. We can do more to create clean energy options for our residents and businesses, including installation of more charging stations for electric vehicles. I oppose rail transport of tar sand crude and coal through Richmond. Working, as part of my current elected office, on helping create a greener and better wastewater system for our community.
Connect with Cesar
Share with Cesar what is important to you.
What People are Saying
“Cesar Zepeda is a proven leader who brings everyone together in our diverse community to improve lives and revitalize neighborhoods. His deep passion for service and his outstanding leadership as a member of the City Council will be a great benefit to all of Richmond's residents."
- Congressman George Miller, Ret.
"Cesar Zepeda is a collaborator who knows how to bring diverse interests together to get things done. He is exactly the kind of leader Richmond needs --- smart, dedicated, and passionate. Please support Cesar Zepeda for Richmond City Council."
- CA State Controller Betty T. Yee
"Cesar has put Hilltop back on the map."
- Former Police Chief Magnus
"Cesar is a public servant in the truest sense of the word. He sees a need and pulls together resources and people needed to fix it."
- Former Richmond Councilmember, Jael Myrick
"Cesar's leadership and innovative ideas are exactly what's needed on the Richmond City Council."
- Contra Costa Community College, Trustee, John Marquez
Mindy Pines, Resident, City of Richmond
Kara Braxton, Resident, City of Richmond
Yolanda Aquino, President, Hilltop, Country Club Vista HOA
Gabriel Quinto, Mayor, City of El Cerrito
Rita Xavier, Mayor, City of San Pablo
Vincent Salimi, Mayor, City of Pinole
Jael Myrick, Former, Richmond City Council
Maria Miramontes, Former, Richmond City Council
Genoveva Calloway, Former Mayor, City of San Pablo
Consuelo Lara, Trustee, Contra Costa Board of Education
John Marquez, Trustee, Contra Costa Community College
Cheryl Sudduth, Vice President, West County Wastewater
David Alvarado, Director, West County Wastewater
Annie King-Meredith, Director, West County Wastewater
(Partial List. Titles for identification purposes only.)
In The News
A health and benefits broker by trade, Cesar Zepeda is passionate about helping his community...
His deep-rooted belief in communities thriving by helping one another led to his co-founding Calle 23, a group dedicated to enhancing, promoting and improving the neighborhood in and around one of Richmond’s busiest streets—23rd street.
...he plans to search for opportunities to bring basic necessities like grocery stores and a hospital to the City of Richmond.
Cesar Zepeda, 37, is the president of the Hilltop District Neighborhood Council and the Hilltop District Homeowners and Stakeholders Association. He’s a co-founder of Richmond Rainbow Pride, the city’s first known LGBT organization. He is making his second run for city council.
A Richmond alleyway that has been rehabilitated with ample help from local community members now has its own Little Free Library.
He’s a benefits broker by trade, but Cesar Zepeda’s true passion is helping his community. Over the past few years, the Richmond resident—and current city council candidate—has cofounded a local LGBTQ organization, a Latino political group, a neighborhood council, and a homeowners’ association, as well as initiated a successful campaign to bring music programs to underserved schools.
"I want to put an instrument into a kid's hand and not a gun," Zepeda said. "Once you pick up an instrument, it opens up a lot of opportunities."
Growing up in the Hilltop area of Richmond, Cesar Zepeda never knew why the empty lot at San Pablo Ave. and Richmond Parkway remained undeveloped more than 16 years after it was first proposed for a park. Sidewalks led to nowhere, and installed irrigation had nothing to bring water to.
Building Community in Richmond
Radio Free Richmond
How do you build and engage the community? That is the question many have asked. There are several ways to bring the community together; with the right vision, leadership, and commitment, the Hilltop District community has come back to life. As several people have said “Hilltop is back on the map.”
Richmond, the city where I grew up and have lived for most of my life, had its first Pride event this year: Pride in the Park. It was organized by the Richmond Rainbow Pride organization, an organization that I helped found.