Gayle McLaughlin is the mayor of Richmond, California, a city of over 100,000 and the largest one in the United States to have a Green Party mayor. She is up for re-election in November. Below is her most recent campaign update sent to supporters, along with some news stories about the race.
The campaign is moving forward with leaps and bounds. Our Wednesday night phone banks are a resounding success. Our enthusiastic volunteers are engaging in hundreds of one-on-one conversations with Richmond voters, who are confirming to us that they support our healthy and sustainable direction for a Better Richmond.
I am pleased to announce that I received the endorsement of the United Teachers of Richmond (UTR). Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez have also been endorsed by the UTR. Our young people depend on us to light the way to a better future and that is just what we are doing, hand in hand, with our dedicated teachers!
While we continue to move along the campaign trail, we are also bringing the issues to the City Council that need urgent attention now. On September 7, the day after Labor Day, the City Council unanimously supported my resolution calling for a new Works Projects Administration (WPA). See media coverage here: http://mayorgayle.net/media/10Sep7CCT.htm I brought forward this resolution, because we are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. With this resolution, we join the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and more than 200 other groups to insist that our federal government put massive funding into public works jobs, just as was done in the 1930s. We are doing our part in Richmond in many ways (for ex: by helping fund our schools and providing our youth with new skills through our green jobs training program). We call on Washington to do its part by shifting its priorities – away from war and into jobs for our residents!
Given the current job crisis and economic downturn, we need to think outside the box and explore every possibility for turning things around, both at the local and national level. To this end, I am attending an international seminar this week (at no public expense) with the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain, a 54-year old network of over 100 worker-owned cooperatives, to learn about a very promising strategy for job creation, worker empowerment and local wealth building. http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/language/en-US/ENG.aspx . There is much potential for Richmond, and upon my return I look forward to bringing local stakeholders together to look seriously at this model.
From the New York Times:
Nathaniel Bates, a 78-year-old retired parole officer, has run unsuccessfully for mayor of Richmond three times. He kicked off his fourth campaign one recent afternoon by attacking the policies of the incumbent, the Green Party’s Gayle McLaughlin…
Richmond, with a population of 103,468, is the largest city in the country with a Green mayor. But with the city’s unemployment rate near 20 percent, Mr. Bates is seen as a formidable candidate to unseat Ms. McLaughlin, whose environmental activism is suddenly viewed as a potential liability during hard economic times…
Ms. McLaughlin strenuously opposes the casino, which would be built on a promontory known as Point Molate. “We most definitely need jobs and a good healthy development at Point Molate,” she said in a telephone interview, “but a casino will not bring that. The evidence is overwhelming that casinos create more problems: crime, prostitution, theft, drug sales. We need the kind of development that will bring about a legacy for Richmond that we can be proud of.”
From Richmond Confidential:
In other business, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jeff Ritterman introduced a resolution calling on President Barack Obama for a new “New Deal,” similar to the one in the 1930s that created jobs for people during the Great Depression. “I think we all know that we’re in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and we need to find a way to reverse that,” McLaughlin said. “We need to move forward in a way that really advances us all,” she added, calling for a new Works Progress Administration program to put people to work.
McLaughlin said Richmond was reeling from high unemployment–city statistics put local jobless figures at more than 18 percent, nearly double the state average–and in dire need of an infusion of federal funds.
From the Contra Costa Times:
RICHMOND — Richmond city leaders are joining others in the call for a comprehensive public works program that would employ millions of Americans on the path to economic recovery.
The City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night urging President Obama and Congress to help get people back to work by hiring millions to fix roads, sewers, schools and other public infrastructure throughout the nation.
“We can put our people to work,” said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who sponsored the resolution with Vice Mayor Jeff Ritterman. “We’ve seen it done in the ’30s. We need to do it in the 21st century.”