SHAWN DUNNING: Collaborating for Richmond's Future


What People Are Saying

“I’m excited to endorse Shawn Dunning for City Council. His passion for our community, proven leadership, and commitment to positive change make him the ideal choice. Let’s empower our city with fresh perspectives and dedicated service.”
Miriam Wong, Community Leader

“As a third generation Richmond resident and new parent I am grateful for Shawn’s leadership and excited for him to represent our district on the City Council!”
Alex Knox, Former Chief of Staff for Mayor Tom Butt

“Shawn’s commitment to our neighborhood and Richmond is the reason I want him to represent me on the city council. It’s time to have someone who can make a difference by approaching problems with an open mind to new solutions.”
Leonard Gilbert

“Shawn is a man of his word. He is honest, forthright and committed to improving Richmond for all of us. His leadership and integrity is what Richmond needs.”
Susan Duckstein, LCSW

“Shawn Dunning is hard working, a patient listener, a professional consensus builder, and a great communicator. He’ll truly represent his constituents by making himself available to hear our concerns, whether or not he’s in complete agreement. He’ll bring our concerns and issues to the City Council as well as keeping us up to date on issues in other neighborhoods. I can’t think of a better, more qualified candidate than Shawn. Please join me in voting for Shawn this fall.”
Laurel Eber

“Shawn’s background working in conflict resolution and his willingness to listen to all opinions is exactly what we need in Richmond.”
Scott Harris, Vice President, Point Richmond Business Association

“All of West County needs solid, stable, local leadership in Richmond. Shawn is it!”
Jim Cowen, Insurance Broker

Find your district! Richmond voters elect City Councilmembers by district. If you’re not sure which district of Richmond you live in, read the FAQ and use the online mapping tool to find your district.

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Welcome, and thank you for visiting my campaign website. Please contact me if you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, or if you have any questions about my vision for Richmond. Also, please consider making a campaign contribution today. Thank you for helping ensure a collaborative future for Richmond.

















2024 Election

Vote for Dunning for Richmond City Council, District 6


Dear Richmond,

Thank you to all who supported my 2022 Richmond mayoral campaign. I’m extraordinarily proud of what we accomplished in moving the needle of local politics closer to collaboration, inclusiveness, and common sense.

Though I came in second in 2022, those of you who know me know I don’t give up. I’m committed to helping Richmond achieve its potential, and I’m always looking ahead to next steps. I am excited to announce that I’m running for Richmond City Council, District 6, in November 2024.

I look forward to working with you toward a future that ensures everyone’s voice in Richmond is heard. As always, please reach out and contact me with any questions, concerns, or feedback.

Shawn Dunning

Shawn Dunning's Promise, Vision, and Priorities for Richmond




  • I will always listen to all sides.
  • I will always work toward win-win solutions.
  • My decisions will represent the people of Richmond.

SAFE for All

  • A place where everyone is welcome
  • Essential human needs are met, including basic housing
  • Everyone can rely on help, from mental health support to police protection
  • Calm traffic and enforcement of basic laws
  • Justice for all
  • Vibrant social life and neighborhood gatherings inclusive of diverse communities

CLEAN for All

  • An environment that welcomes residents and visitors
  • Clean air and clean water
  • Well-kept parks and open spaces
  • Well-maintained streets and sidewalks
  • Roads and sidewalks without garbage and litter

FAIR for All

  • City leaders listen, respond to, and represent the people
  • Policymaking is guided by transparency, accountability, and equity
  • Residents see results for the taxes they pay
  • Renters and “mom & pop” housing providers are afforded reasonable protection
  • Businesses are welcomed and supported with incentives and fair tax policy
  • Those who work in Richmond can afford to live in Richmond
  • Richmond government operates with integrity at all times

How do we achieve this vision?
Through collaborative leadership that engages and represents Richmond’s diverse perspectives and interests.

As a Councilmember, I will invite everyone to the table at every opportunity to work toward solutions for everyone on the major issues.  I will then offer up win-win proposals for the rest of the Council to consider. When a City Council vote is taken, I will confidently represent the interests of my constituents.


Economic Vitality – Housing – Public Safety

My platform represents what I believe will best serve the people of Richmond.

The solutions to Richmond’s most challenging problems are yet to come. No leader, regardless of experience or expertise, creates the best solutions without help. I’ll use the convening power of my City Council role to bring all stakeholders and experts to the table, where we will all work together on Richmond’s most important issues.

Learn more! Click on the links below to read about specific planks in Shawn Dunning’s platform (in alphabetical order).

Not sure which district of Richmond you live in? Read the FAQ and use the online mapping tool to find your district.


When it comes to its appearance, Richmond fails to live up to its motto, “City of Pride and Purpose.” Concerns about dilapidated buildings, garbage, illegal dumping, litter, overgrown weeds, and poorly maintained streets are among the top complaints of all Richmonders.

What can we do to improve this situation?

Solutions to Richmond blight must include a comprehensive strategy of allocating more resourcesboth workers and fundsas well as addressing the root causes of the epidemic of illegal dumping and littering.

Specific solutions could include (1) Landfill vouchers for residents in lieu of bulk pick-ups; (2) More trash cans, especially near bus stops and schools; and (3) Youth-based community education and service programs addressing litter prevention and pickup.

When it comes to infrastructure and private buildings, grants and community-service programs could be used to provide facelifts where needed most. Attracting investors is also intimately tied to issues with Business Taxes and other Economic Vitality solutions as well.

Business Taxes (Measure U, 2020)

We must do more to attract and support healthy business growth in Richmond.

Rather than raising business taxes, we must increase the number of Richmond businesses of all sizesespecially those that bring customers to Richmond, meaning grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment ventures.

The rate structure under the new business license tax (Measure U) is astronomically high on some of the businesses that already channel millions of sales tax dollars into city coffers.

Businesses should pay their fair share, but fair rates should be on par with surrounding communities.

Otherwise, even if our existing businesses don’t leave (as many have), new businesses will consider Richmond a last resortor not at all.

We have the space and the geographical location to host far more businesses of all sizes than we currently do, but we must overhaul our business tax policies.

Crime & Public Safety

Crime, especially property crime, is out of control in Richmond. Our streets are not as safe as they should be.

Police are not the only answer, but RPD is understaffed and overworked as a result of the City Council’s 2021 decision to reduce the police budget by $3,000,000.

Theft, reckless driving, speeding, and other lawless and dangerous activities go unchecked, even as the people of Richmond demand more police support.

In order to recruit more police officers, we must commit to a sufficient level of staffing and restore confidence in our once nationally recognized police department.

In addition to restoring and improving our progressive community-involved policing model, we must also ensure that non-law-enforcement related services are readily available to the people of Richmond.

For example, we should partner with Contra Costa County’s 211 system rather than use our precious resources trying to create our own, and we should continue to invest in crime-prevention programs for Richmond youth.

Economic Vitality

Despite pockets of poverty in many areas of Richmond, it’s possible to restore economic vitality if we think big and plan ahead.

Working toward a future where everyone’s needs are met means using much needed resources to support crime reduction, business growthwith the job creation that followsand better partnerships between private and public sectors.

Ultimately we must significantly increase city revenue. And the best source for new revenue is new business, which we will begin to see as soon as we adjust business taxes to fair and reasonable levels.


West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), not the City Council, controls our public schools.

Nevertheless, because “it takes a village,” everyone in Richmond can contribute to the vitality of our children’s education by partnering with WCCUSD for community service initiatives, public safety, transportation to after-school activities, and volunteer recruitment.

For example, our schools desperately need more volunteers in the classrooms to provide tutoring support and other ways of assisting our under-resourced teachers.  A reliable cadre of community volunteers (retired folks, available parents, etc.) could go a long way in providing such support.  With better partnerships between local government (e.g., Richmond Community Services Department) and WCCUSD, we could offer that support.

Given WCCUSD’s reliance on property tax revenue, economic development for Richmond also supports Richmond schools.


Everyone deserves clean air and clean water, so we must properly monitor potential polluters and hold them accountable to local, state, and federal guidelines.

Furthermore, we must invest more money and time in our existing parks and open spaces to ensure they provide a healthy and inviting atmosphere where residents can safely and comfortably enjoy the outdoors within our city.

Sports and recreation also require safe outdoor spaces. In addition to partnering with our local schools for use of their facilities, we should identify and develop new sports fields for youth recreation, including soccer and football.

Fiscal Responsibility

Here are the fiscal facts. Richmond (1) Can’t spend money it doesn’t have; and (2) Must raise more money.

Make no mistake, right now the city has several overwhelming financial obligations.

For example, Richmond must fund the existing city employee pension obligation (hundreds of millions of dollars), one that continues to grow, or the city will go bankrupt.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a renter, or a small businessperson, that’s a scary thought. But it’s one we must deal with.

We must prioritize the Richmond city budget around vital city services. Only after those are paid can we consider other discretionary expenditures.

To achieve smarter budgets, we must take politics out of the budgeting process, use municipal financial experts, include all stakeholders, and work toward collaborative consensus on all financial decisions in Richmond.


Regardless of their prior circumstances, no one should be living on the streetsin the open, under tents, or in cars and RVs.

Research now shows that the overwhelming majority of the 600+ people living on the streets of this city are from Richmond.

This is our community, and we need to work more effectively with county, state, and federal agencies to ensure that basic human needs are available to all.

To improve the human needs equation, however, we must think much bigger than we have thus far.

We must go beyond the basic humanitarian crisis activities of providing food and shelter so that we can plan ahead to address the complex root causes of homelessness: Poverty, interpersonal conflict, job insecurity, and mental health disorders.

We don’t have time and resources to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we must lobby the county, the state, and potential business collaborators to aim big and help Richmond create ways to provide comprehensive wrap-around services ranging from drug counseling and mental health support to job training and job placement.


With more jobs than beds in the Bay Area, the price of all housing will continue to rise beyond the level of affordability for many people.

For some people, this means they won’t move to Richmond.

For those people who already here, including lifelong residents, we must do everything possible to keep the people of Richmond in Richmond.

Affordable housing in this city starts by attracting developers to Richmond who will build new homes at all levels that renters and owners can afford.

New construction must include high-density housing near existing transportation, so people will have options that don’t include driving everywhere.

We must explore all options, including those dealing with city-owned property.

Neighborhood Engagement

Democracy works best when all perspectives are included in the policymaking processand it starts at the neighborhood level.

Richmond has long had a unique system of Neighborhood Councils, originally envisioned to serve as an extension of our City Council.

Unfortunately, only about a dozen of Richmond’s 30+ Neighborhood Councils are active.

It’s time to revitalize our Neighborhood Councils so that important issues are put to the people in the neighborhoods, where they can discuss these issues, then take them to the City Council.

When people discover that their voices actually matter, more of them will become involved. Then, we’ll be able to work together to build a better and brighter future that truly represents everyone in Richmond.

Point Molate

Although the U.S. Navy transferred this coastal land to the city over two decades ago, Richmond still has not transformed Point Molate into the “economic engine” that was promised under the transfer agreement.

Instead, the story of modern Point Molate is an indictment of everything that’s wrong with politics in Richmond.

Point Molate represents endless years of political ping-pong between special interests that pushed plans through only to be contradicted by new special interests intent on something else.

At no point in the previous 25 years has any leader or body of leaders been able to achieve a sufficient level of consensus necessary to follow through on a real plan for Point Molate.

Now that the Guidiville Rancheria tribe has control of the land for the next few years, Richmond has a new opportunity to engage in a transparent and collaborative process among multiple stakeholders.

With collaboration among all interested parties, Richmond can once and for all develop and follow through on a plan for Point Molate.

Isn’t that what everyone wants?

Youth Activities

If you are a Richmond parent, do you know what these organizations have in common?

Bay Area Girls Club, Richmond Little League, RPAL, Richmond SOL, Richmond United, YouthBUILD, YouthWORKS, YES Nature to Neighborhoods.

All these are among a number of fantastic youth programs in Richmond, organizations that build life skills, create community, instill job skills, and provide recreational and social activities throughout the city.

However, these programs and others like them don’t reach all Richmond youth.

We must do more to ensure all families and all our youth are aware of these programs and know how to access them. This process starts with more effective partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

Campaign Donations

Please make a contribution to startup costs and the campaign work ahead. You can donate online using the secure and convenient Stripe platform.

You may also mail a check to
Shawn Dunning for City Council 2024
PO Box 5025
Richmond, CA 94805

Any amount is appreciated. Thank you for contributing toward a collaborative future for Richmond.