Courtesy of the Richmond Standard
The Richmond family whose appearance on Family Feud went viral last year has continued to make people smile in 2016.
Through April 30, Kevin and Ryan Muccular, owners of That’s My Dog, are donating $1 from every hot dog sold from their gourmet cart in Hercules toward paying a local family’s rent or mortgage payment for a month.
All tips given to the cart will also go toward the effort. The Mucculars are currently seeking to identify local families to sponsor.
“The more money we raise, the more families we will help,” Kevin Muccular told the Richmond Standard this week..
Last week, That’s My Dog also handed out free meals to the homeless as part of the Mucculars’ ongoing pledge to operate a business that benefits the community.
“I am a product of Richmond, and I love my city and the people that live there,” he said. “The more I’m blessed the more I will bless them!”
The Mucculars are a well-known local family. While Ryan is a culinary arts and hospitality expert, Kevin works as a life coach for the city, mentoring at-risk youth. Kevin Muccular further cemented the family’s fame when he blurted out a shocking answer on Family Feud back in September.
After host Steve Harvey asked, “What’s the last thing you stuck your finger in,” Kevin looked over at Ryan and unexpectedly said, “My wife, Steve.”
Harvey called the answer his favorite of all time, and clips of that segment garnered millions of views.
Now, Kevin Muccular wants to keep any and all good feelings thriving by helping people in his community. So he asks customers to stop by That’s My Dog’s cart at 1625 Sycamore Ave. in Hercules, near the Home Depot, in order to participate in their latest charity effort.
For those who can’t make it to the hot dog cart in Hercules but would like to donate toward the effort of paying a struggling family’s housing costs for a month, click here and go to the DONATE NOW tab on the bottom-right of the page.
“One-hundred percent of all funds given are going” toward the effort, Kevin Muccular said.
Military Service Runs in the Family of Woman Heading California’s Advocate for Black Veterans
Carole Stanford is a veteran as is her father and many other relatives. Even though she “grew up Navy” she and her relatives, like many Black veterans, were unaware of benefits they were entitled to receive after leaving the military.
National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) is filling that void.
Stanford was born in a Navy hospital as were her seven siblings. Their father served 30 years in the Navy.
A Vallejo High School graduate and mother to three adult children — 32, 28, and 25 – Stanford currently lives in San Jose. She has worked in the medical profession for 30 years, and is employed full-time. That experience helps her understand the system and the psychology of services for veterans.
Stanford joined the Navy after attending college and just six months after her first child was born.
Pre-military her career choice was to be a psychologist, but mainly she wanted her son to be proud of her.
There is lots of military in her background. In addition to her father, two of her brothers joined the Navy, all six of her uncles and one of her aunts served in all branches of the military.
At one point her father and three of his brothers served in Vietnam at the same time. Generations ago, a family member was drafted by the Union to fight in the Civil War, and one of her three sons has enlisted in the Navy.
It took her father 10 years to receive the benefits he was due from the Navy. This is all too common for veterans of color. They aren’t denied benefits, they simply are not given.
Stanford describes her father as a hero, her mother as a warrior. She considers herself a combination of her parents and has taken up the mantle of ensuring that Black veterans receive their benefits.
She says: “I do not want that to happen to any other veteran. I am committed to serving those who have served us. A veteran’s group that is underserved is women, particularly Black women. As a female veteran I am very aware how little information is given to us. This is the way we are represented in every aspect of society. Just as women are often overlooked in the civilian workforce, the same happens in the Military. I am a person who believes that change can only happen when people make it happen. I have done it for years and I will continue to do so.”
Stanford is indeed a changemaker.
During the pandemic, she was appointed California State Commander, NABVETS, INC.
NABVETS was established in 1969 and the tag line is “creating positive lifestyles for veterans, their families and the community.”
The mission of NABVETS is “ . . . to honor the bravery and the strength of the people who were ready to save the mother land.”
NABVETS’ vision is “ . . . [to] ensure that these veterans receive the respect they deserve from the society and lead a peaceful life.”
The philosophy: “ . . . to make sure that the community understands the value of working and helping these veterans gain peace.”
In addition to serving in her statewide post, Stanford volunteers with NABVETS through their Richmond chapter.
“The Cost of Courage Foundation,” based in San Jose, awarded her the Veteran of the Month Award for the month of November 2020.
“Growing Up Navy” is a book, available on Amazon (and in Kindle) that Stanford wrote in honor of her father who was the inspiration for her joining the Navy.
Thank you Carole, for your service and beyond and thank you NABVETS for assisting our Black veterans.
For more information about NABVETS, log onto NABVETS.com.
Progressives Win in School Board Elections – Oakland and Richmond
The Oakland Unified School District recently grabbed headlines when progressives won three out of four open seats on the school board, for the first time in years giving a major voice on the board to public school advocates who say teachers and families deserve to have a say whether their schools are allowed to stay open and how the schools are run.
In Oakland it was grassroots teachers who worked through their union, parents and families and community members who helped elect the new school board members in Districts 1, 3 and 5,
They faced down campaigns fueled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate and billionaire donations that flooded into the races.
Occurring at the same time but with not so much publicity, progressive candidates made an astonishing clean sweep on Nov. 3 in West Contra Costa school board elections., defeating candidates who had more money and were supported by real estate interests and others.
Winners in the West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD), which includes Richmond, El Cerrito, Pinole and Hercules were Jamela Smith-Folds (Area 1); Otheree Christian (Area 2); Demetrio Gonzalez-Hoy(Area 4); Lelie Reekler (Area 5); and Consuelo Lara, who won the Area 1 seat on the county board.
In an interview recently with radio station KPFA host Kitty Kelly Epstein were two of the spokespersons of this movement: United Teachers of Richmond (UTR) union and political action leader Francisco Ortiz and newly elected county board member Lara, who discussed strategies and hard work that yielded such a major victory.
In previous elections, those with big money had frequently won in Richmond, utilizing tactics that allowed them to win all of the seats, said Ortiz. but this time, big money did not call the shots.
Fundamental to winning victory were the solid community backing for the candidates and strong solidarity of the teachers’ union and community organizations.
The approaches they used:
- “We started early.” Trying to organize against those who outspend you requires more organization and more time to build unity, he said.
- “We raised money from the community,” he said . Grassroots fundraising takes time since money is not coming from those who are used to bankrolling campaigns.
- “We did a thorough endorsement process,” to find candidates with a strong base and track record in the community, according to Ortiz.
- “Once we picked the candidate, we elevated them through social media and interviews,” he said. “They showed they were really working as a team and were going to work collaboratively.”
The five winning candidates had the kind of community support individually that lent strength to their coalition:
- Smith-Folds was formerly a teacher in the district. She is an active community leader and parent advocate throughout the Hercules community.
- Christian is a youth minister. He is past president of the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council and past president of the Richmond chapter of the NAACP.
- Gonzalez-Hoy is a former educator and past president of United Teachers of Richmond.
- Reckler is an active parent and past president of the PTSA and worked on bond programs to help rebuild the schools.
- Lara, who served a term on the school board and is now moving to the county school board, is a retired teacher and was encouraged by community leaders to run for the position.
Lara said she was interested in working at the county level to increase the numbers of Black and Brown teachers and implement distance learning without the digital divide.
“These are issues not just in Richmond” but all the 18 districts in Contra Costa County, she said.
“All of advocacy is about building relationships,” said Lara. “Many of those who make up the county board are potential friends and allies,” she said.
Summarizing the lessons of the winning campaign, Ortiz said, “We followed the money and revealed to the public what we found.”
“We did not want school board seats to be bought by corporations,” he continued. “They may had the money but the individuals we chose were experienced in public education.”
“Our candidate had community accomplishments, and we had great endorsements and there was a clear message. This was a movement that won over voters.”
Opinion: Why I am running for Richmond City Council
I am a longtime resident of the Iron Triangle and of the Richmond Community as a whole. In fact, I have lived in Richmond over 50 years.
I am running for Richmond City Council, District 1, because I have witnessed how our community has been left behind. I am encouraged to fight for our community to make sure we get our fair share of resources, including public safety, economic development, grants, small business loans, youth programs, parks, and recreation.
I want to make sure that we can walk down clean streets. I want to stop the illegal dumping in our community that no one in public office seems to really care about. Have we really looked at the streets of the Iron Triangle? Have we seen the illegal dumping in Belding Woods? If we do not care, no one will.
Let us make a statement to City Hall that we care about the appearance of our community.
I am ready to serve our community on the City Council. My top priorities are safety for all, economic development, youth programs, and housing for the homeless. Your vote will help to determine whether we get what we have always gotten or something new and improved.
I am proud to be endorsed by The East Bay Times, Richmond firefighters and police officers, Laborers Local 324, BAPAC, BMW, Mayor Tom Butt, Vice Mayor Nat Bates, former mayor Irma Anderson, former councilperson Vinay Pimple, Trustee Mister Phillips, former trustee Elaine Merriweather, and many others.
I humbly ask for your vote this Tuesday.
Eleanor Thompson is a non-profit executive and candidate for Richmond City Council, District 1.
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