The initial smell and feel of Spring is in the air
and we must seize this Spring 2009 fresh beginning
to renew ourselves, our hopes, and our energies to
build social change for our City and our world.
April will be a lovely month from which to join
hands more firmly to strengthen our commitment to
environmental health and justice, economic equity,
and social empowerment for all.
Let me share with you just a tiny snapshot of a
few recent achievements and updates from my office.
7, my office organized Richmond's 2nd Annual International
Women's Day event and it was a smashing success!!
Hundreds of women (and also some men) joined together
to celebrate "Women
in Solidarity: Honoring Self, Honoring Community." An
enormous thank you to my staff, especially Marilyn
Langlois, as well as to all the community groups
who participated in organizing this extraordinary
event. An enormous thank you also to former Black
Panther Party leader and criminal justice reform
advocate, Elaine Brown, who was our dynamic keynote
speaker. Elaine spoke passionately about the historic
struggle and the ongoing critical need to bring about
efforts that create authentic social change, particularly
for those most in need -- those suffering the most
-- throughout our nation.
The initial planning meetings
for the 2nd Annual Richmond Youth Empowerment Day
have begun! This will be another great event this
year, organized by my office. It will be held in
June . . . exact date to be announced soon.
participated in getting the first Green Bus Tour
in Richmond off the ground. Thank you to Nicole
Valentino from my office and of course to the East
Bay Green Tours group! Last month a group of youth
were "on the bus" receiving
a tour of Richmond's many green businesses, community
gardens, our Richmond Greenway, many of our solarized
buildings and our Solar Richmond/Richmond Build green
job training center. These exciting tours are expected
to continue. Check out the blog that has been created: http://localbizblogs.com/greentours .
is participating in the Green Expo coming up on
May 14 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Craneway Pavillion
of the Ford Building. This expo is titled "Green is Gold Expo" and
is being presented by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce
and the City of Richmond.
We continue to work throughout
West County and our region as a whole standing up
for Immigration Rights! This issue cannot recede
into the background. One out of 4 of our residents
are foreign-born in Richmond and we honor the full
diversity of human rights in our City. I participated
in the annual ACLU Immigration Rights Forum last
Friday, March 27th, and the key points raised were
the need for more unity, more action, and more joining
together among all social justice groups in West
A couple final points of information I want to share
with all of you are:
1. The City of Richmond has a new
web page with updates on the City's requests for
federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Check
out this link to stay informed on applications that
are being processed and allocations of funding that
have been confirmed: http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.asp?nid=1790
2. EXCITING NEWS: The new newsletter
of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) has arrived!!!
Articles included in the first issue are: The Measure
T Lawsuit; Schools and Foreclose Crisis Immediate
Issues ; Richmond Women Celebrate International Women's
Day; and Mobilizations to Save Neighborhood Schools.
This newsletter will come out by email every few
weeks. It's clear that, with your help, we have brought
forward lots of breakthroughs in Richmond in recent
years. The RPA wants these breakthroughs to continue,
to deepen, to spread out to every family and individual
throughout Richmond and we are committed to coordinating
efforts and sharing information to create the best
possible Richmond for all! Sign up TODAY for the
RPA newsletter by emailing RPAactivist@gmail.com and
ask your friends to sign up as well. The first issue
has been sent out, and the next issue will be available
Thank you all again for continuing your efforts
to bring about a better Richmond!
Sincerely, Gayle McLaughlin
"From the depth of need and despair, people can
work together, can organize themselves to solve their
own problems and fill their own needs with dignity
and strength." ---Cesar Chavez