Historic moment in Richmond, CA; A Rout of Corporate Power and Money

by Laura Livoti on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 12:50pm
from the Richmond Progressive Alliance

The power of the community and commitment to keep building a strong and healthy Richmond together prevailed in the polls yesterday!

Gayle McLaughlin was re-elected as mayor with an even bigger margin than four years ago. Close allies Jovanka Beckles and Corky Booze were elected to the city council, ousting two incumbents heavily funded by Chevron.

McLaughlin and Beckles, along with City Council candidate Eduardo Martinez, ran on a slate supported by the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) and it's dense network of volunteers and activists. None of them accepted a penny of corporate campaign donations. Martinez--a recently retired teacher, activist and relative newcomer to city council politics--had a very impressive showing at the polls, clearly a sign that his ideas and values had resonance with voters.

A majority of Richmond voters said no to the old ways of corrupt and negative politics. Love and truth carried the day, in spite of the million dollars Chevron spent on three candidates who lost, in spite of the malicious and unrelenting campaign against McLaughlin and Beckles by leaders of the Richmond police and firefighters unions that clearly backfired.

RPA had dozens and dozens of volunteers working on the campaigns for the last several months and 175 volunteers came out on election day to support our candidates by leafleting near the polling stations. If ever there was a collective effort, this was it.

Many thanks to all the wonderful activist allies in Richmond and throughout the Bay Area and beyond who are part of our movement!!


Richmond Progressive Alliance steering committee member


I note that Chevron dumped over a million in traceable $$ into this campaign to no avail. The company, the Democratic Party and much of labor all lined up behind the proChevron candidates (The company and labor have made agreements in the bruising battle around the refinery expasion that has been framed as jobs v. the enviornment issue---which didn't win them the day! The Democratic Party joined in support of the establishment candidates because Mayor Gayle is a Green Party member) and every one of them lost! Those fighting against the progressive slate turned the fight really ugly with the attempted character assasination on Gayle and Jovanka.

Overcoming these seemingly wildly insurmountable odds, this is the first time in history Richmond is not a company-owned town. Now My Question is how can we --you and me---support this new majoirty in building momentum for the transition to the new Green Economy as quickly as possible ????

And, how can we help the Richmond community build its voter engagement strategy---remarkably this feat was accomplished with simple shoe leather and dialog---no sophisticated voter id and targeted gotv. Laura