Richmond is located in the San Francisco Bay area in Contra Costa county. The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905 and has since been slowly moving from a economy based on heavy industry towards one which concentrates more on commercial and service industries. San Pablo, as well as the unincorporated areas of North Richmond, El Sobrante and East Richmond Heights, are surrounded by the Richmond’s city limits. The city is currently the 56th largest in the state with a population that was roughly 103 468 in 2006. Richmond is the largest city in the country who has a green party mayor.
The city was ranked the 6th most dangerous city in the United States in 2010. Thankfully, most of the crime problem is located in the cities core with the rest of the city being relatively safe. The police department admits that the city has had a chronic violent crime rate for decades.
There are a variety of unique industries that have been located in Richmond. The Giant Powder Company, which produced dynamite and gunpowder, closed down in 1960. Point Molate was the location of the last active whaling station in the county, which was closed in 1971. The Prohibition in 1919 caused Winehaven, one of the worlds largest wineries, to close down.
During World War II, the economy was mainly supported by industrial industries, in particular shipbuilding. However, as time has passed, it has become a major seaport and ships over 26 million tons of goods per year, with the bulk of goods being oil and petroleum. A major oil refinery, run by Chevron USA, is located in the city and has a capacity of 15 million barrels.
Two of the largest employers in the city are the Social Security Administration, which employs over 1000 people, and the Kaiser Pemanente’s Richmond Medical Center Hospital, which is located in downtown Richmond. A video game animation studio, Treeskunk Production, is located downtown, as in Bay View recording studio, where artists such as Smash Mouth record their hit records. Galaxy Desserts is also operated and run in Richmond.
Vetrazzo is a green company located in the former Ford Assembly Plant which takes recycled beer bottles and old traffic lights and creates beautiful glass countertops. It has won several awards for its green initiatives.
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