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

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Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456
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September, 2008
Message from Mayor McLaughlin

Volunteers Needed for Progressive Change in Richmond!

Dear friends,

Only 6 weeks left to Election Day and that means that YOUR help is needed to create the best possible outcome for Richmond.

There are 3 great campaign efforts that are jointly asking for your volunteer help.

First of all, there are two great new progressive candidates that we need to get elected to the Richmond City Council. Jovanka Beckles and Jeff Ritterman are key to helping us turn the tide in Richmond. Jovanka and Jeff have stood up to Chevron and to big developers. They have the courage, the integrity, and the commitment to help bring about a healthier and saner Richmond. That is why I support these two principled individuals. They have my endorsement and my deep respect.

Secondly, Jovanka and Jeff both support the Measure T, A Fair Share for Richmond campaign. When passed by the voters, Measure T will bring those sorely needed funds into Richmond (26 million from Chevron) so we can provide green jobs and job training, as well as serve our residents by way of better streets, violence prevention programs, and recreational opportunites...and put Richmond on the map as a city to emulate!

Learn more about these 3 great campaigns by accessing these websites:

There is no question that we need change on the Richmond City Council and that we need increased revenue generation. Jeff and Jovanka will be part of that change. Measure T will be part of that change. Please call 510-233-3112 to volunteer to be a part of these joint efforts. Volunteers are needed for precinct walking, phone banking, and many other campaign activities. Please give of your time (whatever amount of time you can give will be so much appreciated). You are needed!

Also ... please come out and meet Jovanka and Jeff on Friday, September 26, 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM at:

Campaign Central 317 11th St. Richmond CA (parking lot available in front) RSVP at 233-3112

Buttons and signs distributed. Music, dancing, and lots of good conversation with our soon-to-be new councilmembers!

Sincerely, Gayle McLaughlin

Help Measure T, A Fair Share for Richmond, Succeed!

Dear Friends,

There is no greater human spirit and potential than in Richmond, CA. While decades of poverty, environmental degradation, and economic disparity have defined our past, a better future is on the brink of materializing. But your help is needed. Voters have the opportunity to bring in the needed resources to let our city blossom, by voting Yes on T, A Fair Share for Richmond.

Here are a few points of information about Measure T:

Our City Attorney estimates that Measure T will bring in over $26 million annually from the increase in Chevron's business license fee.

Measure T will not affect retail, landlords, restaurants, small businesses or any non-manufacturing businesses. In fact, Measure T will not affect over 99% of Richmond businesses!

Most "green" businesses in Richmond are non-manufacturing. There are a couple of "green" manufacturers that may be impacted slightly, but we are already in conversation with them and together we are coming up with really exciting win-win ideas that will enhance and elevate the green economy of Richmond for the benefit of all!

Measure T will not cost individual taxpayers a penny, while the overall improvements to our city will benefit everyone.

Measure T will provide funds for job training, jobs, and expanded city services, providing much needed pathways to better lives.

This is clearly our golden opportunity to bring in those concentrated resources that will help us reach our potential here in Richmond. But this will only happen with YOUR help. Here is what you can do:

We need to raise funds to send a mailer to Richmond residents, and since this is an all-volunteer, grassroots campaign, we are counting on YOUR support.

The opposition to Measure T is amply funded by Chevron and is already spreading myths and misinformation. The "Yes on T" campaign relies solely on a broad base of community supporters to inform voters with the truth.

All YOU need to do is get out your checkbook, or go to to use paypal, and give as generously as you can. Any amount is welcome.

Checks should be made out to: A Fair Share for Richmond, and mailed to:

A Fair Share for Richmond PO Box 5401 Richmond, CA 94805

And on November 4, vote Yes on T - A Fair Share for Richmond!

Thank you for caring about our city, our future, and especially about the young people of Richmond who look to us to point the way!! We must not let them down.


Gayle McLaughlin Mayor

Chevron Project is All-Around Bad Deal for Richmond

On July 16, I cast one of the dissenting votes in the Richmond City Council on motions to certify the environmental impact report (EIR) and issue a conditional use permit for Chevron's proposed expansion. Recently, local newspapers ran a commentary by Vice Mayor John Marquez in which he defends his vote for the controversial Chevron project that was recently approved by the Council majority. He makes the assertion that this project "has restrictions and that the community derives benefits from it." This statement contains serious misrepresentations that necessitate a response.

No limit on the type of crude

Contrary to the statement that his vote for the project "limits the type of crude refined to light crude", nothing in the Chevron Conditional Use Permit mentions anything whatsoever about limiting to light crude. There is no mention at all about any restrictions on any parameters of oil quality entering the refining process. One piece of equipment (SDA) will have a slightly reduced capacity, but the equipment changes that were approved will enable Chevron to refine heavier crude than the current baseline. Refining heavier crude is known to create more pollutants and greenhouse gases. The potential increase in toxic pollution from refining heavier crude was not evaluated in the EIR. With a "we know what's best for you" attitude, the Council majority dismissed the concerns of hundreds of community members speaking at the Planning Commission and at the City Council meetings calling for protection of the public health through specific limitations (a crude cap) on the quality of crude oil Chevron can refine.

Community Benefit Agreement a "trade-off"

Another assertion is the notion that the Community Benefits Agreement, secretly negotiated with Chevron by the Council majority, is in the best interest of Richmond residents. On the contrary, it is clear that John Marquez, along with Nat Bates, Ludmyrna Lopez, Harpreet Sandhu and Maria Viramontes, took the money rather than agree to cap Chevron's crude. This was a "quid pro quo", a trade-off of the public health for a few paltry millions, to allow Chevron's new operations.

The Future

While the recent votes on this Chevron project reflect the deep-seated problems of a divided council, there is hope going forward! As mayor, I believe elected officials have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of our residents, which often means saying “no” to the demands of big corporations. Navigating the roadblocks put up by a city council majority takes away valuable time from bringing about the kind of economy in Richmond that respects the triple bottom line (social justice, environmental health, and economic equity). While the Council majority gets led into blind alleys by major corporations and fast-talking developers, some of us have a stronger vision about the kind of economy that will truly create a thriving Richmond. Some of us hold a vision of Richmond that supports and nurtures the green economy with green jobs for our youth. Some of us hold a vision of a Richmond that offers incentives to new businesses and promotes small businesses, while seeking responsible practices among all our businesses.

Some of us realize that the Chevron corporation, which made 18.7 billion (yes, billion) dollars in profit last year should be paying more to Richmond, which offers such a strategic location for its oil refining operations. That is why many of us are coming together to support Measure T, A Fair Share for Richmond . I urge all who care about a better Richmond to vote yes on Measure T and to get involved with promoting this great campaign that, when passed, will bring in millions to the City for much needed services and programs. Measure T will not cost individual taxpayers a penny and it will not affect any non-manufacturing businesses. Unlike the Community Benefits Agreement, Measure T funds will be generated on the people's terms and will be disbursed through an open public process.

A robust economy for Richmond demands representatives who, in marked distinction from the Chevron clique on the Council, have the political will to grow a healthy, vibrant, and fair economic future for our residents. This demands a new economic sensibility, one that will not sacrifice public process for corporate crumbs.

I take inspiration from the words of Ghanian novelist Ayi Kwei Armah: I knew thenceforth that I would not spend my life working for, fitting into, and promoting the world order the slavers made. Instead, I would spend my energies looking for ways of helping to create an entirely different world. (from The Eloquence of the Scribes)

As an observer in this local electoral season (I am not up for reelection for another two years), it is clear to me that attempts by City Council candidates to elevate themselves by presenting falsehoods to the public will prove to be futile efforts.

True representatives of the people embrace public discourse, recognizing that they stand their tallest when they stand for the public. There is no place for secret deals in serving the public's interest. This election year is not a battle for "control" of the council. This is a struggle for control by the community of its own collective interest. I encourage the people of Richmond to take their destiny into their own hands and vote for a better Richmond City Council. I have endorsed Tom Butt , Jovanka Beckles and Jeff Ritterman because they are clear that the future of Richmond must not be left in the hands of big business. They join me in holding big business accountable to the people...not the other way around, as witnessed by the actions of the current council majority.

With the people of Richmond as my compass, I see a better road ahead. I know that a better City Council is possible! With your help, we will make this a reality in November!

Gayle McLaughlin Mayor, City of Richmond

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