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

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Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456
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August, 2009
Message from Mayor McLaughlin

Dear Friends,

August is here and we're well into the summer of 2009.

I must share with you some of the recent and highly acclaimed successes that the City of Richmond has experienced, even as we work hard to face our ongoing challenges.

Richmond is a SOLAR CHAMPION - solarizing rooftops with green jobs!

First, I want to announce that the City of Richmond received two Solar Awards in the month of July for being among the top cities in the State for number of rooftops with solar panels as well as having among the highest wattage per capita of solar installed. One award came from the NorCal Solar Energy Association and the other came from Environment California. We have more than 144 solar roofs totaling 5,076 kilowatts of solar power capacity, according to Environment California's report.

These solar awards are so exciting because it shows how, with hard work and dedication, we can truly make a difference. Solar Richmond, a non-profit contractor with the City, truly deserves great credit for how far we have come as a City, both in promoting solar as an essential source of renewable energy, but also as a source of green jobs for our residents. It is truly phenomenal that Richmond is turning into a Solar City in the region!

The 9th cohort of the City's RichmondBUILD program (which includes 5 weeks of Solar Richmond's award-winning solar installation training program) just graduated last week. We continue to train and place Richmond residents in the field of solar and other green jobs. Thanks Solar Richmond and all the partners who are training and networking our residents into healthy, green jobs in Richmond.

MODEL Wireless Communication Facilities Ordinance Passed by City Council!

I am also proud to announce that, with the support of a great community effort, we have passed a model Wireless Communications Facilities Ordinance that rigorously addresses the placement and regulation of wireless facilities throughout Richmond. This ordinance should also serve as an example for other cities in need of similar legislation. This success is thanks to an ad hoc committee that met for nearly two years coming up with an ordinance that addresses the needs of the community while still allowing the wireless corporations to do business here on our terms. In addition to my staff and myself, this committee consisted of Councilmember Tom Butt, community representatives of the Richmond Responsible Antenna Placement committee (RRAP), and City planning and legal staff . Thank you to all involved in making this happen, especially to the community!

I would also like to share with you some of the ways you can help us address ongoing controversies that threaten our healthy and positive direction for our community.

Public Comment on Pt. Molate Casino Proposal - Tomorrow, Aug. 12 at 6 pm - Richmond Auditorium

One of the controversies we continue to face is a proposed casino for Richmond at Pt. Molate. Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 12) at 6 pm at the Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, there is an opportunity to share your views on the environmental impact of this casino proposal. As many of you already know, I have been opposed to this project since it was initially proposed in 2004 (before I was even on the City Council). There are much better development ideas to consider for this site including recreation, sports, and light industry.

Festival Rally and March on Chevron - Saturday, Aug. 15 at 11:30 a.m. - Richmond BART

Another ongoing controversy, of course, is the Chevron Expansion Project, which has been ruled as having a flawed Environmental Impact Report by a Superior Court Judge in Contra Costa County. Many of us continue to say to Chevron that they need to provide a healthy project, one that will not further degrade our air quality and our public health. Chevron has tried to pit workers against environmentalists, but we continue to say to the oil giant: we want jobs AND clean air.

There is an important festival rally and march to the Chevron refinery on Aug. 15. It starts at 11:30 at the Richmond Bart Station (16th and Macdonald Ave.). Please come join this event to lend your support for environmental justice, climate justice, and economic justice. We need clean air, jobs and a healthy planet to sustain ourselves and generations to come!

Let's continue to make a difference in Richmond. Good things are happening, but many more good things must happen. We must build a better city together.

Sincerely, Mayor McLaughlin

United We Demand, Divided We Beg -- Construction worker commenting on Chevron Debate at Richmond City Council meeting.

PO Box 5284,  Richmond, CA 94805
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