Re-elect Mayor Gayle McLaughlin Re-elect Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

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Richmond, CA 94805

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Fire at Chevron Refinery
Message from Mayor McLaughlin
August 8, 2012

Dear friends,

I write you tonight to share my deep concerns about the recent fire from the Chevron Richmond refinery that caused over 900 people to go to local hospitals with respiratory problems Monday night.
This is totally unacceptable.  While Chevron representatives are expressing apologies to the community and assuring us that they will provide a root cause analysis of the fire that spewed black smoke for miles into our air space in Richmond and beyond, there is much more at stake here.

Our very empowerment as a community is being tested at this time.  What is the way forward?  Of course, we must require full accountability and transparency from Chevron in their investigation of this situation.  I also will be engaging with independent scientists in terms of their evaluation of the situation.  I put out a press release earlier today expressing this, and you can read it here:  Press release on Chevron fire .  While we must continue to make it clear to Chevron that they must do right by our community and take all precautions to assure that such disastrous situations do not happen again, let's also not lose sight of the positive transformation that continues to define our current-day Richmond.

It continues to be my deepest honor to serve the community of Richmond and to help steer us into a progressive and healthy future.  Our collective strength lies in our vision, our values, and our political will.  We have built a movement in Richmond that is free of corporate domination.  We have stood together against political corruption and injustice.  We have done this through our own power.  Never doubt that.

It is an empowered community with trustworthy representatives that is making change.  Chevron is not the dominating force in the government of Richmond as it used to be.  Chevron just held a town hall meeting in response to Monday night's fire and they heard the voices of a community that understands that its interests are distinct from Chevron's interests. 

We must continue to journey forward.  For starters, we need to elect two more progressives to the City Council in November.  Electing Marilyn Langlois  and Eduardo Martinez will bring additional progressive voices to the City Council, making it clear that the elected city governance is more fully lined up with the needs of its residents.  While we co-exist with Chevron and seek to engage in constructive dialogue with Chevron, we are not in a  partnership with Chevron.  Regardless of the personalities of Chevron's representatives (whether decent or deceptive), Chevron is a mega-corporation that puts its profits before all else.  That's what corporations do and that's what drives the decision-making process of the corporate structure. 

What people's representatives do (or should do) is to stand strong with the people who have put their trust in them.  Speaking for myself and other progressives on the Council, we are driven by the needs of the people.  In this election year, we must push further.  Those who do not keep moving forward risk sliding backward.  We need more progressives on the City Council.  We need to have more seats filled by those who are clear on the differences between the people's elected representation and corporate representation.  Your choice this election year is very much like that in the past, only this time around we have more to lose....and more to win!  Either you stand for progressive candidates who stand for your interests or you relinquish your power allowing a corporate-dominated Richmond to regain ground.

Please check out Marilyn's and Eduardo's websites (above) and let us turn the sound of the Chevron sirens into the chorus of people's voices affirming our direction and saying: We are Richmond and we shall not moved!

Gayle McLaughlin
Mayor, City of Richmond

Contact Information:

Gayle McLaughlin for Mayor 2010
PO Box 5284
Richmond CA 94805
Phone: (510) 237-1456
317 11th Street (must access 11th Street from Nevin)

A Better Richmond is Possible!

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