May 29, 2018
The story of how the Richmond Progressive Alliance took power – as of November 2016 with 5 of 7 seats on a weak-mayor city council – is eloquently and lucidly described by veteran trade unionist and labor journalist Steve Early. Early moved to Richmond late in life, but has now produced a compelling work that describes the halting process of holding Chevron and the real estate lobby accountable for its frequent misdeeds by building a dynamic multiracial coalition that eschews traditional party politics.
November 4, 2017
In response to a recent S.F. Chronicle report detailing horrendous conditions suffered by female detainees in the West County Jail in Richmond, today I sent a “cease and desist” letter to Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston. Despite massive opposition from Richmond residents and elected officials, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s office contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the use of the West County Jail to house people suspected of immigration violations.
January 8, 2017
In a huge victory for the voters and renters of Richmond, earlier today Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block rent control and just cause eviction protections passed by the voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan 6.
September 25, 2016
On Sept. 13, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and Councilmembers Nat Bates and Vinay Pimplé blocked a proposed 45-day “urgency” moratorium on rent increases and no-cause evictions. Before Mayor Tom Butt voted “no” to block the moratorium, he failed to disclose to the residents at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting that he has been accepting political contributions from the California Apartment Association, an organization representing the interests of landlords, not tenants.
May 12, 2016
I have been consistent in my advocacy for improving the lives of Richmond residents, especially the disenfranchised. Bernie Sanders’ growing popularity shows us that the people want candidates with integrity. When Sen. Sanders visited Richmond, he did so because he knew that Team Richmond – Gayle McLaughlin, Eduardo Martinez and Jovanka Beckles – were candidates who were and will continue to be of the people, for the people and by the people.
October 9, 2015
According to Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, on Oct. 5, Contra Costa County began counting signatures from the petition that blocked renter protections in Richmond from taking effect on Sept. 4, 2015. When the petition was turned in Sept. 3, the California Apartment Association (CAA) announced that they were behind it. Now people in Richmond are anxiously waiting to find out if enough valid signatures were turned in.
September 10, 2015
Now that the California Apartment Association (CAA) has blocked the implementation of renters’ protections, including rent control and just cause eviction protections, in Richmond, thousands of renters are at risk of being severely exploited with massive rent increases. Additionally, thousands more are now at risk of displacement and homelessness due to no-cause evictions.
May 1, 2015
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt has set himself up to be the spokesman for landlords in a campaign against rent control in Richmond. The jump in Richmond rents the past few years, reflecting trends in the Bay Area, has produced new calls for the progressive city council to respond with rent control and “just cause” requirements for eviction. The mayor’s arguments are classic examples of misusing numbers and logic.
February 13, 2015
Richmond residents, social justice advocates, elected officials and Chevron shareholders today announced a resolution being put forward at Chevron’s upcoming shareholders meeting that would prevent the company from dumping money into the political cycle. The resolution comes after Chevron spent more than $3 million to influence elections in Richmond – a small portion of the millions spent to influence elections at all levels across California and the country.
October 28, 2014
As Chevron Corp. tries to kill the world, one tiny corner of the world is fighting back. Running for seats on the 2014-2015 Richmond City Council, Team Richmond, comprised of Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez, continue to rise to the occasion. Nov. 4 is days away. For the Bay View’s election recommendations, see Bay View Voters Guide: It’s time to claim our political and economic power http://sfbayview.com/2014/10/bay-view-voters-guide-its-time-to-claim-our-political-and-economic-power/
October 21, 2014
In August 2012, a rusted pipe inside a massive Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, caused an explosion and fire that spewed toxic chemicals into the air, sending 15,000 people to the hospital for treatment. A year after the fire, the city filed a lawsuit against the company, citing its record of safety violations and disregard for public welfare going back to 1989. Chevron’s response? As Rachel Maddow reported, they’re trying to buy the city government of Richmond.
August 5, 2014
It’s common for all the members of a city council to vote unanimously to move forward with good will, no matter how long they have wrangled to reach a compromise that has majority support. That did not happen at the Richmond City Council this week, when the council approved Chevron’s complex oil refinery expansion permit. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles abstained on the final midnight vote.
February 18, 2014
“Richmond is Better Now; Let’s Build on a Decade of Progress” is the theme promoted by a progressive team of candidates for Richmond City Council, announced Feb. 13. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin – limited by City Charter to two consecutive terms as mayor – will run for a City Council seat, along with Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles and Planning Commissioner Eduardo Martinez. Mike Parker will seek the office of mayor.
December 27, 2013
At its last meeting of 2013, by a vote of 4-2, the Richmond City Council moved further along on its plans to stabilize our neighborhoods by restructuring the mortgages of underwater homeowners. Under the plan, mortgages would be reduced to a reasonable level that reflects their current value, which will give underwater homeowners some equity in the home and mortgage payments they can pay.
September 14, 2013
Tuesday night, Sept. 10, the Richmond, California, City Council held a meeting packed with hundreds of community members who rallied to defend the Richmond CARES principal reduction plan that has inspired hope nationwide and a Wall Street-led campaign of threats, litigation and a deceptive election-style effort to sway public opinion. The City Council voted 4-3 to form a Joint Powers Authority to enact local principal reduction.