Corbin served on the Richmond City Council from 1985 to 1993, and then as the mayor from 1993 to 2001. In 1993, Corbin defeated incumbent Richmond Mayor George Livingston, who was seeking re-election.
Corbin was the first female mayor of the city. She ran unopposed in 1997, while in 2001 she ran up against term limits as mayor and was succeeded by her vice mayor Irma Anderson. In 1999 she had to fight the Chevron Richmond Refinery from lowering its property tax contributions and argue against the company insisting the city survive on a leaner budget. Corbin is still involved in local politics and campaigned against Indian casinos and in support of the failed Measure T.
She serves on the Rosie the Riveter/Homefront World War II National Historic Park board, a project she spearheaded as mayor. She was also involved with the largely successful Main Street Project, which has resulted in remodeling MacDonald Avenue, the creation of the Richmond Transit Village and Richmond Shopping Center, and the resurrection of the MacDonald 80 Shopping Center.
- Chevron Access Needed for Richmond Bay Trail Link, by Geneviève Duboscq, The Berkeley Daily Planet, 27-03-2007, access date 06-04-2009
- http://www.rosietheriveter.org/trustbd.htm Rosie the Riveter
- Peterson, Gary (2012-01-07). "Richmond's first elected black mayor dies". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Examiner staff report (November 5, 1997). "Election '97. Incumbents do well in Contra Costa". San Francisco Examiner. SFGate. Retrieved 2011-12-10. "Also in Richmond, voters re-elected Mayor Rosemary Corbin, who ran unopposed..."
- Richmond reluctant to pressure Chevron, Benjamin Pimentel, San Francisco Chronicle, 09-04-1999, access date 23-03-2012
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