Professor Robert Smith: While Nation Swings Right, Richmond Swings Left

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
RICHMOND CONFIDENTIAL -- “The country went one way this time and Richmond went the other way,” said Robert Smith, a Richmond resident and Political Science professor at San Francisco State University. There are a handful of ways that municipalities can push back against a conservative federal government, said Smith. This includes passing resolutions condemning the administration’s actions, raising the minimum wage and enacting policies to battle climate change. For a long time, Richmond had been the exception to that rule, Smith said, with its history of industry and a government that was far more centrist than its Bay Area neighbors. But the city, with its new progressive majority on the City Council, now finds itself in a much different position. “Now, Richmond has put itself at the forefront of this ‘left coast politics,’” Smith said, using a term coined by his colleague, Richard DeLeon, that describes San Francisco and the Bay Area as “The Capital of Progressivism.”