October 13-19, 2010
Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin:
Ready to serve second term
By Clifford L. Williams
Gayle McLaughlin was elected to her first term as mayor of
the city of Richmond in November 2006. She has accomplished
and achieved many of the promises she made prior to her first
election. Now, she’s prepared to do more for her city.
During the past four years, McLaughlin has inked four consecutive
balanced budgets that maintained and expanded city services.
The number of police officers on duty has increased by 22 percent,
and crime is down significantly, including violent crime. This
year homicides are down more than 60 percent from when McLaughlin
first took office.
The Contra Costa Times reported that, “Under Gayle’s leadership,
over 700 new businesses opened shop in Richmond, creating over
1,000 jobs; and in 2007 Gayle joined other East Bay mayors
and leaders in a widely heralded partnership for an East Bay
Green Corridor for research and jobs for the new green economy.”
The corridor was just declared an Innovative Hub (iHUB) by
the state of California.
The Times added, “Gayle has advocated both fair taxation from
large corporations and incentives for small businesses and
start-ups.” Her demand for fair taxation from the wealthiest
businesses operating in Richmond was fundamental in forcing
oil giant Chevron to agree to contribute $114 million more
to the city of Richmond over the next 15 years.
“I’ve accomplished much of what I said I would do four years
ago,” said McLaughlin. “I didn’t set out to make unattainable
promises like some career politicians have been known to do.”
McLaughlin’s priorities and interests have focused on Richmond’s
residents, families and small businesses. She created her monthly
“Meet the Mayor” sessions to make herself readily available
to all her constituents, “whether they represented a wealthy
corporation or a low-income family.”
As chairperson of Richmond’s City Council, she has promoted
a more participatory, democratic and transparent local government,
and supported moving the open forum time to the beginning of
the meetings to make for easier participation.
Mayor McLaughlin led the Richmond City Council to honor elders
and heroes of all communities, including African-Americans.
She has honored Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party, Martin
Luther King Jr. III, Clarence Thomas of the Longshoreman’s
Union and many other local residents.
Additionally, McLaughlin instituted the Martin Luther King
Jr. Community Service and Leadership Awards, and also introduced
a resolution requesting clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams,
a death row African-American man seeking redemption, and honored
him for his work from prison against gangs. Only one Richmond
council member voted against clemency for Williams, who was
eventually executed by the state.
McLaughlin’s successful election to mayor in 2006 was accomplished
without the support of any corporate funding — a first in Richmond
politics. “My mayoral election in 2006 represented a dramatic
departure from ‘politics as usual’ in Richmond,” said McLaughlin.
“I refused to accept one dime of corporate contributions to
my campaign and I continue that pledge today.
“For too long local elections had been won and lost within
the deep pockets of corporations, and I’m proud my campaign
has demonstrated that Richmond voters would choose a candidate
based on the power of her values and ideas, and not the power
of special interests,” she said.
McLaughlin has supported programs promoting education, culture,
the arts and youth, and has worked to renew faith in city residents
and in their aspirations for a better Richmond. She also co-founded
Solar Richmond, a nationally recognized local program promoting
solar power and green jobs in Richmond.
McLaughlin opposes urban casinos in Richmond, and she demanded
that the Richmond refinery’s retrofit and expansion project
proceed only with important safety and environmental safeguards
in place. The courts have agreed with her.
Much has been accomplished in the mayor’s last four years,
although, she admits, there remains additional work to be done.
“We face unprecedented challenges in the economy, the environment
and public safety,” said McLaughlin. “With that I am asking
for your support and vote to be re-elected mayor of Richmond
for another four years.”
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is running in a progressive slate with
Richmond City Council candidates Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo
Martinez. She has also endorsed City Council candidate Courtland
For more information on McLaughlin’s mayoral campaign, call (510)
237-1456 or visit www.MayorGayle.net.