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

PO Box 5284,
Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456
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April, 2008
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 the world.

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 advancing:

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 no less!

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 our residents.

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. Molate.

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:// 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!

Sincerely,Gayle McLaughlin

Mayor, City of Richmond

PO Box 5284,  Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456   •
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