John E. Márquez
Councilmember Márquez has been a recipient of many community awards and recognition, including:
- Contra Costa Hispanic of the Year
- NAACP, Richmond Branch Award for Community Service
- Contra Costa College Distinguished Alumni Award; California Association of Community Colleges Distinguished Alumni Award
- Unity Church of Richmond Award for Community Service
- California Assembly Resolution for Outstanding Community Service (Introduced by former Assembly-member Robert Campbell, 11th A.D.)
- Peacemaker Award, Contra Costa Center for Human Development Conflict Resolution Panels
- Elected Official of the Year, League of California Cities, Latino Caucus.
John E. Márquez was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council in 1985. He was elected in 1987 and lost a reelection attempt in 1991. He was elected again in 1993, and reelected in 1997 and again in 2004. In 1990 and 1998, he served as Vice Mayor. He was the first and only Hispanic/Latino to serve on the Richmond City Council during his fourteen years in office.
Councilmember Márquez has a combination of 37 years of volunteer and professional experience in student and academic affairs, fiscal planning, contract negotiations, personnel labor relations, labor law enforcement, and developing partnerships with the public and private sector.
Councilmember Márquez and his wife Marie have two sons, three daughters, and eleven grandchildren.
Councilmember Márquez was born in Taos, New Mexico USA and moved to Bishop California with his parents and siblings in 1955. He attended Bishop Union High School, after which, he joined the US Army in 1957. He served as a paratrooper in the Infantry and Military Police Corps, including service in Beirut, Lebanon in 1958 under hostile conditions and was awarded the American Expeditionary Service Medal. He received an Honorable Discharge in August, 1960. He returned to Bishop, California where he worked in a tungsten ore mill before moving to Richmond, California in 1967 to attend college.
Councilmember Márquez’ dedication to public and community service is demonstrated by his organizing and affiliation with many community based organizations. As a student at Contra Costa College in 1970, he was a cofounder of La Raza Studies Department which is still in operation.
He has been an active member of numerous community based organizations such as:
- SER-Jobs for Progress
- American GI Forum
- League of United Latin American Citizens(LULAC)
- Mexican American Political Association (MAPA)
- Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- California Association of Criminal Investigators; the El Sobrante Boys and Girls Club
- East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
- YMCA of West Contra Costa County
- Richmond Police Commission
- Latino Caucus of the League of California Cities
- National Institute of Arts & Disabilities (NIAD)
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 913, Life Member
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)Life Member, Richmond Branch
- Richmond Museum of History.
Councilmember Márquez served as a member of the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee and was a State Delegate to the California Democratic Central Committee representing Congressman George Miller and former Assemblyman Robert Campbell, respectively. He was elected as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1988 representing the 7th Congressional District. In 1990, he traveled to Nicaragua with a delegation of elected officials from California to serve as Official Observers during the national Presidential election.
Councilmember Márquez represented the City of Richmond as member and Chair of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC) and previously served as a member and Chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA). He was an active member of the League of California Cities Pubic Safety Committee, and served on the Directors Nominating Committee. He was also a member of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and served on the Regional Planning Committee and Administrative Committee. In 2000, he served as Chair of the Housing Methodology Committee, and in 2001 as Chair of the Housing Methodology Appeals Committee, of ABAG. He is a former member of the Recreation and Parks Commission for the City of Richmond.
Councilmember Márquez worked part-time while attending Contra Costa College and San Francisco State University where he earned his Associate of Arts Degree in 1970 and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971, respectively. He attended University of Hastings College of Law for two years before deciding to withdraw and work full-time. He attended graduate courses at night at Cal State Hayward and San Jose State University and earned a California Community College Teaching credential qualifying him to teach Spanish, Psychology, and Ethnic Studies.
Councilmember Márquez worked as a deputy Labor Commissioner and Labor Standards investigator (Peace Officer) enforcing labor laws and regulations with the California Department of Industrial Relations before retiring in 1993. He is an Adjunct Professor at Contra Costa College and teaches Political Science part-time in La Raza Studies Department. He is a Peer Mentor Program Coordinator for the League of California Cities, Latino Caucus. He is also a Certified Spanish/English Interpreter and has his own business: Márquez & Associates.
Councilmember Márquez enjoys working on his 1956 Chevrolet Station Wagon during his “spare time.”