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Juneteenth - Mayor Gayle with Jalen

We are walking together on the long and challenging road toward a Better Richmond. There are many obstacles in the way and there are some who don’t want us to get there.

What we have in our favor is a will to succeed shared by the vast majority of Richmond residents. What do the people of Richmond want?

The people of Richmond want:

  • Fair taxation, as exemplified by their vote for Measure T in 2008, and for large multinational corporations operating here to be more responsible to our community.

  • More of the ongoing reduction in violent crime achieved over the last three years. People want the City to recapture the dramatic reduction in homicides we achieved in 2008.

  • More JOBS: more green, clean energy, and hi-tech jobs; more infrastructure revitalizing jobs; and more community service jobs. People want the City of Richmond to continue to expand its exemplary role in preparing residents, particularly the young, for these jobs.

  • Preservation and improvement of our neighborhoods with local schools remaining open and library services expanded. People want neighborhood integrity preserved through the renovation of foreclosure homes and with the arts and culture helping us grow and prosper.

  • Transparency and participation in their local government, the ability to speak and influence the decisions by the City Council, the end of secret back-room deals and to see fairness and civility in the exercise of public office.

The next steps that I see Richmond taking will be to address these aspirations of the people of Richmond. In each of these areas there are many good ideas that Councilmembers, staff, residents, small businesses and my office are putting forward and will put forward in the coming months. To see some examples of these ideas for possible next “Positive Steps for Richmond” click on the areas above.

I am counting on you also to bring forward your thoughts and ideas for the Next Positive Steps for Richmond. Write to me here:

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

Following are examples of the ideas for next Postive Steps for Richmond:

Fair Taxation: (some ideas)

  • Continue to pursue the goals of Measure T [15 million more in revenue every year for Richmond mostly from Chevron]
  • Support the end of Chevron’s Utility Users Tax perk: Have Chevron pay a 10% rate like everyone else [$15 million more every year for Richmond only from Chevron]
  • Continue to support the 15% reduction in business license fees for all Richmond businesses except large manufacturers like Chevron as per the regulations of measure T.
  • Propose a two year business license fee refund to all new businesses starting up or coming to Richmond who hire Richmond residents.
  • Ensure that large industrial property owners pay their fair share of property tax to the City and County

Reduction in violent crime: (some ideas)

  • Expand the community healing process with support from the City to the organizations leading it.
  • Support and help further the efforts of our churches and community organizations in spreading the message of peace and violence prevention.
  • Increase the Richmond police force to 200 sworn officers.
  • Expand and improve community-policing policies that create trust between officers and communities, including expanding on-foot and bicycle officers in areas of concern.
  • Expand the Office of Neighborhood Safety outreach efforts.
  • Develop innovative programs to remove all illegal firearms from the city through faith-based organizations and police collaborations.
  • Use funds from fair taxation of Chevron to expand City employment of young residents with our Youth Corps setting the goal of providing City work experience for 1,000 young people annually.

Job expansion (some ideas)

  • Monitor and further strengthen the Local Employment Ordinance, most recently strengthened to require 25% hiring of Richmond residents in construction contracts with the City.
  • Create a Richmond Jobs Now! That utilizes federal stimulus funding to provide wage subsidies to companies hiring Richmond residents (modeled after San Francisco’s program)
  • Review and address the ‘red-tape’ concerns and difficulties small businesses encounter starting-up in Richmond
  • Implement a solar financing program so that more homeowners can solarize their homes using local labor without the prohibitive up-front costs
  • Promote Richmond as location for hi-tech manufacturing, such as CyberTran, a new personalized high-speed transit system..
  • Expand the training of Richmond residents for 21st Century jobs with further support for Solar Richmond, Richmond BUILD, Youth BUILD and the Richmond Youth Corps.
  • Continue the regional coordination of the East Bay Green Corridor to collectively pressure the federal government for the promised green jobs
  • Strengthen local purchasing policies and establish incentives for growing locally consumed fruits and vegetables in Richmond.

Preservation and Improvement of neighborhoods (some ideas)

  • Expand the “Neighborhood Stabilization Funds” program of renovating City purchased foreclosed homes with energy efficient building practices utilizing our local green job work force, and providing affordable home ownership to low income residents.
  • Use some of funds coming in from the end of Chevron’s utility users’ tax perk to keep our local schools open.
  • Give to every Neighborhood Council the power to identify reputable neighborhood groups that would be exempted from fees ordinarily charged by the City for the utilization of the City community centers and parks.
  • Create a community fund to cover the insurance costs of those in the community wishing to have an event at a community center and lacking the funds to purchase the insurance for the event.
  • Utilize the efforts of artists to renovate and beautify vacant foreclosed buildings and warehouses owned by the City; and facilitate the establishment of art and cultural centers in these buildings where art exhibits, theater and music performances can enhance our lives and interconnection with one another.
  • Promote and expand health and wellness with more community gardens, community-driven park renovations, and an urban forestation policy that both beautifies neighborhoods and reduces global warming.
  • Use some of funds coming in from the removal of Chevron’s utility users’ tax perk and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and other federal and state funds available to expand the repaving and renovation of Richmond streets, allowing each neighborhood council to have a say in setting priorities for street repair in their neighborhood.
  • Implement our new General Plan with protection of open shorelines and development of a pedestrian and bike-friendly city with infill development near transit and downtown.

Transparency and participation in their local government (some ideas)

  • Reaffirm Public Forum participation rights against any attempts to downsize them
  • Monitor City Government against any secret back-room deals
  • Promote more fairness and civility in the Richmond City Council and City commissions.
A Better Richmond is Possible!
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Gayle McLaughlin
for City Council
PO Box 5284

Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456

Gayle McLaughlin for City Council
PO Box 5284, Richmond, CA 94805

(510) 237-1456   •  GayleForCouncil@gmail.com
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