Richmond may no longer be "The City of Pride and Purpose."
City leaders want to change the motto to something catchy and memorable that reflects the city's assets and helps market Richmond to new businesses and visitors.
"We Can Do It, Again. Si Se Puede, Otra Vez" is one idea, harking back to the World War II era, when thousands in search of jobs flocked here to help the homefront effort and work at the Kaiser Shipyards. Women and African-Americans integrated into the work force — a major milestone in American history — and Rosie the Riveter and the "We Can Do It" slogan became iconic.
"We need to look to the future by looking back to the past," City Councilman Jim Rogers said. "We have the ability to come up with a slogan and a marketing plan which would try to establish us as a solar valley, a place where 'green' businesses feel they can come in."
Not every city has an official motto, but those that do generally pick a short phrase that refers to their history, economic base or reputation. Mottoes vary from the simple to the creative to the eyebrow-raising.
Hercules was once a bustling company town that revolved around a dynamite plant that opened in 1881. Its motto is "The Dynamic City on the Bay." In Colma, where 73 percent of the land is devoted to cemeteries, the motto is "It's Great to be Alive in Colma." Redwood City's slogan, "Climate Best By Government Test," is a puzzler, unless you know about the pre-World
Walnut Creek used to be "Paradise in a Nutshell," but city officials discontinued its use in 1972.
It's not entirely clear how Richmond became "The City of Pride and Purpose." Vice Mayor John Marquez said a committee appointed by the mayor developed the motto in the late 1980s. Councilman Tom Butt said he has heard other accounts. The genesis of the city logo, which is a bird or an arrow depending on whom you ask, also is unclear.
What is clear is that city leaders want to attract new businesses and visitors, all of which would bolster revenue to fund public services. And they want people to know about Richmond's 32 miles of shoreline, history and other assets to help shed its reputation for crime.
A marketing firm might be hired to study the city's values, assets and priorities, and to talk to residents, businesses and outsiders to create a new brand, motto and logo. Council members directed city staff Tuesday to return with a plan for selecting a marketing firm, collecting public input and funding the effort.
Preliminary talks with the national branding company North Star Destination Strategies show the work would cost at least $82,000, said Lashonda Wilson, a city management analyst. Officials hope local businesses will be willing to help finance the study, she said.
Reach Katherine Tam at 510-262-2787 or email@example.com.
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