Carlyn Obringer was elected to the Concord City Council in November 2016. She served as Vice Mayor in 2018 and Mayor in 2019. During her time on the Council, she has overseen the planning and development of more housing for Concord residents at all income levels, helped to create more jobs in Concord, protected the community’s vision for a world-class project at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, improved the condition of our roads and parks, preserved resources for seniors and public safety, and maintained a balanced budget.
During the pandemic, Carlyn has voted to protect tenants and small businesses from evictions and rent increases, provided housing to 37 unsheltered individuals in Concord hotels, have promoted and supported Concord small businesses, and ensured that homebound seniors receive daily hot meals. She has made two-dozen videos that she has promoted via social media, highlighting Concord small businesses, and encouraging Concordians to support them.
Recently, Carlyn worked to create a Small Business Grant Program, using CARES ACT funding, to support our local economy. The fund
is providing $5,000 apiece to 130 Concord small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. In addition, nearly $400,000 of the CARES Act funding will be used to help 45 families and seniors stay in their homes, and $50,000 will be used to support our local students by improving access to technology in underserved neighborhoods. A total of $750,000 has been made available to support renters affected by the pandemic under Carlyn’s leadership. Furthermore, Carlyn wants to continue her work in building partnerships between our schools, businesses, and community so more opportunities are created for our residents, families, and students.
In 2019, as Concord’s youngest-ever female mayor, Carlyn represented Concord at historic events and ceremonies, including the celebration of the land transfer from the Navy to the East Bay Regional Park District for the purpose of establishing a new regional park in Concord, and the memorial of the 75th Anniversary of the Port Chicago explosion. She joined 8,000 people gathered at the Concord Pavilion to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival in August. And, in late October, Carlyn had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of leading a 40-person delegation to visit Concord’s Sister City, Kitakami, Japan.
As Mayor, Carlyn worked hard to help recruit and retain living-wage jobs so Concordians can both live and work in our city. This involved “goodwill” visits with top employers headquartered in Concord including AssetMark, Cerus Corporation, Harris & Associates, Pulse Systems, and Sunvalley Shopping Center. Carlyn participated in the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative, a new group focused on fostering economic and social growth for start-ups, entrepreneurs, leaders, educators, and students in the Diablo Valley.
As Mayor, Carlyn initiated community outreach efforts to explain why the City of Concord faced budget challenges in the midst of an economic expansion (pre-COVD-19) and, more importantly, to solicit feedback as to how the community wanted the Council to address these issues. Carlyn hosted a series of community meetings, titled “Prioritizing Our Tomorrow,” to share information on Concord’s projected budget gap and to request community input. The October 10 community meeting was recorded and is available for viewing on the City’s website. The City also launched new online tools to help explain Concord’s budget challenges and allow people to explore the City’s budget through an interactive web feature.
As Mayor, Carlyn pushed to launch a four-year public university at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. She helped to establish a 120-acre campus district within the draft CNW Specific Plan and a Blue-Ribbon Committee comprising regional and state leaders. After meeting for nine months, the Blue Ribbon Committee, which she chaired, produced a final report that envisioned a consortium concept – one that brings multiple academic institutions together, accommodating and embracing research and development – all co-located within the campus district. Carlyn also led a delegation to meet with the Lieutenant Governor to educate her and solicit her support for the city’s vision.
As Mayor, Carlyn also worked to build a greater sense of community. To that end, she launched the “September of Service,” with more than 200 volunteers participating in the inaugural community initiative. On each of the four Saturdays in September, Concordians were invited to join the mayor in a beautification or cleanup event at a Concord park. Projects ranged from building a butterfly garden and cleaning up the creek at Newhall Park, to doing park and lake clean up at Ellis Lake Park, to cleaning up the park and creek at Hillcrest Park, to doing general cleanup and wood chip distribution at Ygnacio Valley Park.
Carlyn believes it is critical for the mayor and Councilmembers to be accessible to the people and available to hear and try to address their city-related issues and concerns. To that end, she held “Mayor’s Office Hours” at City Hall on most Friday mornings. She also held monthly “Coffee with the Mayor” or “Beer with the Mayor” events where Concordians could meet with their mayor in a less formal setting. Carlyn continues to make herself accessible and available to constituents.
For more than a decade, Obringer has worked to make Concord an even better place to live, work, raise a family, do business, and retire by serving in the following roles:
- Chair, Concord 4th of July Parade
- Chair, Blue Ribbon Committee to establish a public institution of higher learning at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station
- Chair, TRANSPAC, regional transportation planning committee for central Contra Costa County
- Vice Chair, East Bay Regional Parks District Parks Advisory Committee, overseeing the naming and development of the new Concord Hills Regional Park
- Member, East Bay Economic Development Alliance Executive Committee
- Founder and Past Chair, Concord Art, Wine (and Beer!) Walk; proceeds fund scholarships for local women and girls
- Past Chair, City of Concord Planning Commission
Past President, Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista
- Past Chair, Contra Costa Commission on the Status of Women
- Past Member, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee
- Past Member, Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan Committee
- Member, Concord Ambassadors
- Member, Concord Historical Society
Carlyn holds a Master of Business Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and resides near downtown Concord with her husband, Justin, and their dog, Coco.