Message from Mayor McLaughlin
Dear Richmond residents and friends,
"Don't be so consumed by the pain that you don't hear the
message," said writer Cynthia Griggs Fleming, a civil rights
historian, speaking last Friday at a 40 year remembrance of
Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis.
And that is truly our challenge in Richmond and throughout
While at a recent crime scene in Richmond,
speaking to the press, I spoke also with a resident living
in the area, who shared with me her hope for her son -- to
get his GED, to get help for his alcohol addiction, and to
get good job training. Not enough attention is drawn to the
day-in and day-out desires, aspirations, and hopes that drive
the lives of ordinary people living in our hi-crime neighborhoods,
and there MUST be attention given to these desires.
The cycle of violence
we see in Richmond emerges from a cycle of desperation. We
will not lower crime until we lower desperation. There are
some who think that police are the primary entity that will
get our crime under control, while focusing more intensely
on programs addressing social needs and providing pathways
out of desperation should "wait." I
am one who sees this approach as sadly lacking. Lives are not
put on hold, while our police force is built up. Desperation
from poverty and lack of education and social oppression does
not get put on hold. So let's not stop addressing these root
causes of crime. Let's look to the immediate "enhancement of
life" needs of people. Let us remember that long-term solutions
to poverty start now. We continue to support our police in
their ongoing efforts to provide us as much protection as possible
as we continue our journey to better lives for all. But our
journey is one that does not stop and wait, but instead chooses
to follow the advice of Dr. King who put out the message to, "keep
on moving," no matter what obstacles we face.
And "keep on moving" is
indeed what we are doing in Richmond! The real story of Richmond
is happening right now. Here are some of the wonderful transformations
my office has been involved in initiating, promoting, and
we are looking
at expanding the solar installation component of our "Richmond Build" program
bringing capacity for more solar job training and solar jobs
to our residents. We are poised for becoming the center of
solar job training in the East Bay. Our Richmond youth deserve
we are networking with community groups
and the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) maximizing effective
violence prevention activities in the City and spreading the
message of peace. We are reaching out to families affected
by violence in conjunction with ONS and local organizations
to promote the healing process and break the cycle of violence.
Richmond Little League is back in
operation and, along with the ongoing Richmond SOL soccer program,
our kids are starting off the season having fun in our parks!
Community gardens are popping up
all over Richmond, including right next to our main library
and at our Greenway. Our Farmer's Market and local community
groups continue to stress the importance of local food production
and urban farming to bring healthy fruits and vegetables to
we continue to
seek out the "truth" from
Chevron in terms of its proposal to modify and expand the Richmond
oil refinery. This Thursday, April 10th, at 7pm in the Council
Chambers, the Planning Commission will continue to review the
final environmental impact report (EIR) on this project. Omissions
and deficiencies of information in this document puts our community
in jeopardy of being more profounding impacted from increased
pollutants. Environmental justice necessitates a recirculation
of the EIR for further environmental review.
we continue to support the rights
of immigrants in Richmond. I recently spoke at an ACLU immigration
forum and I will be bringing concerns of the community to a
meeting with our police chief.
we continue to promote a healthy
environment by supporting the preservation of our north shoreline
area, requiring proper clean-up of our southeast shoreline
area, and advocating for the creation of a sustainable Pt.
we oppose bad ideas like the spraying
for the light brown apple moth (LBAM), which threatens to bring
more toxins and health problems into our already toxically
over-burdened community. Recently the Richmond City Council
unanimously supported a resolution opposing this spraying!
we oppose the State budget cuts of education
funding and I will be bringing forward a resolution regarding
this opposition to the City Council.
and lastly, my
office continues to initiate and support community empowering
events and activities. Our Women's Day event on March 8th
was a great and empowering success, and now we are embarking
on facilitating a "youth event" helping
to carve out "space" for our youth to empower themselves! As
details emerge, I will send out more information on this.
These are just a few of the many efforts
underway in our city. I want to thank the West County Times,
the Richmond Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle for covering
some of our transformative happenings. Check out how Richmond
is making the news with our good events and principled stands,
as we continue to face our challenges head-on: htttp://www.gaylemclaughlin.net/press-index.htm I
look forward to ongoing relationship-building with reporters
throughout our area so the story of the real Richmond is spread
far and wide!
We believe our dreams are more powerful than our fears and
we believe our hopes outweigh our hurt!
Mayor, City of Richmond