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

PO Box 5284,
Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456
Re-elect Mayor Gayle McLaughlin
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin Newsletters
Gayle's Message 2010
About Gayle
Richmond Positive Steps
Richmond Next Steps
Gayle's Supporters
News & Media
Photo Gallery
Action Center
Gayle's Home Page
<< Return to Newsletters Main Page  

December, 2009
Message from Mayor McLaughlin


Dear Friends,

Please join me on Wednesday, January 13, for an important community meeting. The Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) is hosting a meeting with the community to discuss a ballot measure that we're calling: End Chevron's Perk.

In November 2010, Richmond voters will finally have the opportunity to vote on a ballot measure that has been a long time coming. Since the 1980s, Chevron has been paying a flat tax (a special "perk") on their utility users taxes. You and I pay 10% of our utility usage in taxes, but Chevron gets a break by paying this flat fee, otherwise known as the "maximum tax payable." Chevron is the only taxpayer in the City that uses this "maximum tax payable" option, and it is a lot less than the full 10% of their utility usage.

That simply is NOT FAIR. Many of you will remember that this issue was front and center in 2004 when the RPA was founded. We brought up this issue again and again informing the people of Richmond of this unjust policy that had been in effect for decades. We, in the RPA, along with Councilmember Tom Butt, kept moving this issue forward insisting that this perk must be removed. The fact that Chevron, with its multi-billion dollar revenue stream, was and still is getting special treatment is more than outrageous!

The fact that this "perk" has cost the City of Richmond hundreds of millions of dollars is unconscionable, but illuminating. It illuminates the ongoing history of contradictions we continue to witness in Richmond. While Chevron has built itself up to be the corporate "fat cat" that it is today, people in our neighborhoods continue to face ongoing and increasing poverty. Chevron would like us to see this as coincidental, but we think otherwise. One must examine the economics of the whole City in seeking answers. A corporate entity, like Chevron, can only reach such great economic prosperity over decades, side by side with a spiraling downward and cyclical poverty of the same city, by engaging in hoodwinking City leaders. And that's exactly what has happened historically in Richmond. Does Chevron have a right to exist in our City? Yes. Businesses, providing they exist within the confines of a just law, have a democratic right to exist and thrive. But what has occurred in Richmond, in the case of Chevron, is not democracy. It is corporate domination. We, in the RPA, believe that the time for hoodwinking is over. We think it's time to change the law and close the loophole that benefits Chevron and only Chevron.

Please join us to learn more about this latest ballot measure as we continue to fight the good fight and hold Chevron's feet to fire for fair taxation with the End Chevron's Perk campaign (See details below). This is all part of a process of building definitive support for a just and equitable economic system. Corporate domination ends when you get involved.

Kick-off meeting for End Chevron's Perk campaign
Wednesday, January 13 at 7 pm
402 Harbor Way (across from Kaiser Hospital)
Richmond, CA

Sincerely, Mayor McLaughlin

P.S. You may have heard that the judge ruled in Chevron's favor for Measure T (based on technicalities), but do not feel down-hearted; stay tuned for our next steps to resolve those technicalities! We will not, we cannot, we will never throw in the towel. This is a matter of justice.

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