Former Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson, who represented the Cities of Contra Costa County at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission from 2003 to 2007, died Sunday at 93.
During her tenure at MTC, Ms. Anderson was Vice Chair of the Programming & Allocations Committee and served on the Administration, BATA Oversight and Executive committees, as well as the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority.
In her leadership role on the Programming and Allocations Committee, Ms. Anderson reviewed several hundred million dollars worth of grants each year, and in her role in the BATA Oversight Committee, she played a major role in keeping several massive bridge rehabilitation and expansion projects on track and on budget.
During her career in public service, Ms. Anderson broke many barriers, and earned the distinction of being the first African-American woman elected mayor of a major California city — Richmond — as well as Richmond’s first African-American female councilmember, a position she held for eight years prior to becoming mayor.
Ms. Anderson also was chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Children, Health and Human Services Committee; a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Advisory Board; a member of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee; vice-chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority; co-chair of of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)'s North Richmond Task Force; a member of the Association of Bay Area Governments’ Administrative and Legislative Committees; and board chair of the Richmond YMCA.
During her tenure as mayor and MTC commissioner, Ms. Anderson presided over the transformation of downtown Richmond into a model for the region of transit-oriented development. Ms. Anderson's public career was preceded by a long career in nursing and public health.