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I'm a Richmond resident who salutes Mayor McLaughlin for helping us "connect the dots" between the damages Chevron has done to our local community with the devastation to public health and the environment in the Ecuadorian rainforest. For decades, Chevron has dominated local politics in Richmond, but in the last 10 years, there's been a seismic shift, thanks to a grassroots progressive movement that has brought brave, principled leaders like Mayor McLaughlin to the fore. This brief trip to Ecuador in no way diminishes her focus on local crime, job creation, etc. Many, many of us are so proud that Richmond now gains headlines not for its homicide rates, but for innovative and courageous efforts to help homeowners (eminent domain) and demanding accountability from corporate giants like Chevron.
As a 12-year resident of Richmond, I've watched the recent renaissance of our city with pride and astonishment. We can thank the grassroots organizing to support enlightened policies and city planning (championed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance and others) for the wonderful turnaround. Why anyone would want to return to the disgraceful medieval days of a Chevron-dominated city government is beyond me. But that's exactly what the oil giant is spending over $1 million to achieve. I urge all Richmond voters to reject the politics of the past that kept us mired in pollution, corruption, and violence. Let's earn our emerging reputation for credibility and integrity by telling Chevron and their candidates Bates, Bell and Roberson -- this election is not for sale.
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