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Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

The Progressives have ruined California with their liberal anything goes platform. Paganism at its finest, yea right!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 08/05/2017 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

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Posted by Nicole Marie on 08/04/2017 at 6:42 PM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

Richmond's finances are in horrible shape, now she wants to take her ideas to Sacramento (The State is already in enough financial trouble due to tax & spend politicians).

Her campaign slogan should be "Progressively Bankrupt"

Posted by Bob Kray on 08/04/2017 at 8:38 AM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

The real RPA, a history!
Mike Parker, along with the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), has unleashed a misguided, middle class, liberal agenda on Richmond, California's poor working class community of 106,000 residents.

Parker has been on the RPAs steering committee since he arrived in Richmond in 2008 during a campaign to pass by popular vote a tax on Chevron known as Measure T. He is the editor of the RPAs email newsletter with complete discretion to write articles expressing his political viewpoints. His strongest opinions have been expressed in support of a misguided tax settlement with Chevron and two regressive tax proposals but he has remained indifferent and mostly silent about City Hall corruption and ongoing bullying of City workers.

After the voters passed Measure T, a tax on Chevron, Chevron challenged it in court and in 2010 Parker and the RPA pushed through, without any public discussion, a settlement of this litigation which gave the City $114 million from Chevron paid on a graduated schedule over fifteen years. In exchange, Chevron demanded a fifteen-year moratorium on the City levying any new taxes on Chevron. The significance of the Measure T sellout cannot be measured in dollars and cents alone. The passage of Measure T was a grassroots effort against enormous moneyed opposition that resulted in the people standing up to Chevron for the first time in Richmond's history. Mike Parker and the RPA's so-called progressives squandered this major victory, setting back Richmonds nascent grassroots movement for years to come.

In 2011, the RPA proposed a regressive sales tax; Measure D. Parker supported this regressive sales tax proposal which was to be levied on a poor working class community which already had the highest sales tax in the area. The voters defeated Measure D.

In 2012, Parker pushed a regressive inventory tax, Measure N. This was a regressive tax on merchants based on the inventory of certain sugar products sold in their stores which could be passed off onto their customers. By an overwhelming margin, the voters also defeated measure N.

In 2013, Parker refused to hold the City Manager responsible for not terminating the Human Relations Director for blatant corruption which took place with his knowledge. Ultimately, she was allowed to retire, with full benefits and a glowing letter of appreciation, only because of City workers and citizens demands for her termination. As a result of the RPAs condoning such corrupt mismanagement, there remains in Richmond City Hall an ongoing culture of bullying and retaliation against whistle blowers.

In 2013 the RPA and Parker proposed and pushed for an untested eminent domain scheme purportedly designed to assist homeowners in danger of foreclosure because their mortgages were underwater. In fact, this scheme was not designed to help those most in need and, if implemented, would cost the City years of litigation. Because of this poorly thought out political grandstanding, the City was burdened with higher interest rates on its bonds. When the RPA was unable to garner a super-majority on the City Council to implement the use of eminent domain, they tried to get around this requirement by setting up a Joint Authority with other jurisdictions to do so. They were unable to find a single jurisdiction willing to take the risk.

All of these examples demonstrate that the RPA under Parker's leadership has consistently acted in the interest of the gentrifying element in Richmond while alienating the working-class residents. Parker and the RPA prefer headline-grabbing gestures rather than working seriously on multiple community problems such as, for example, the horrendous situation at Richmond's Public Housing Authority and the huge deficit in the City budget. Parker and the RPA talk about empowering the residents while refusing to fight for district elections, a political structure that truly empowers voters on a grassroots level. As they have pushed their political agendas they have consistently exhibited arrogance and intolerance for the people of Richmond. They have furthered class and ethnic divisions in our community and made a mockery of the term, progressive.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 08/03/2017 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

I may speak for many progressive Richmond residents when I express disappointment, dismay, and even disgust with the RPA's "ends justify means" political playbook. Sadly, the disconnect between their words and actions give progressivism a bad name. Start with their movement away from district elections now that they dominate the council, though they reside in only one or two districts; follow that up with well-documented public harassment and intimidation of an elderly landlady over the just cause eviction of a problematic tenant during their push for rent control laws ;check Richmond city council meeting minutes for accounts of Council member Beckles publicly humiliating a visually impaired fellow council member; and photos of her playing games on her phone during a budget hearing. Most egregiously, note that while RPA has sworn off corporate donations, they have no such qualms about taking donations from both local and national organized labor groups. This effectively rules out significant financial support for non-RPA candidates lest they be accused of being the puppets of corporations or wealthy individuals. . Yet the RPA dominated city council rules routinely on matters affecting union members - but somehow those contributions aren't seen as influential.

Posted by aj benham on 08/03/2017 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

The Richmond Progressive Alliances first priority when they arrived in Richmond in 2004 was to fight for district elections.
Once they got into power they turned their backs on the working class community and fought against district elections.
Here is what they said about district elections.
Former Mayor and current Richmond Council Member Gayle McLaughlin
Districts could create truer democracy.
Current Richmond City Council member Eduardo Martinez
I have said that I support district elections and I stand by that.
KPFA radio show host Andres Soto
On at least two occasions Andres has endorsed the concept of district elections during his KPFA radio show. His son Alejandro ran in a district election in Berkeley in 2014
Founding member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance Roberto Reyes
He endorses district elections and still does but he has since moved out of State.
Former Richmond City Council Member Jeff Ritterman
"I felt I represented all of Richmond, not Point Richmond," he said. "But it's true that the concentration of elected officials (in Point Richmond) could raise the question of district elections and whether that should be debated in the city."
Richmond Progressive Alliances initial public statement as stated on their handout upon their arrival on 1-12-2004.
The more efficient city council we envision will also require that the city council members reside in their districts.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 08/03/2017 at 11:43 AM
Posted by Lavon Godfrey on 07/26/2017 at 6:06 PM

Re: “Trapped Part One: Cruel and Indefinite Punishment

My husband and I are friends with Demian and his wife, Hilda. They are both beautiful people. If you don't think serving 30+ years in prison for his crime of accessory, then you aren't paying attention. He's a mature man who's doing wonderful things with his life. I encourage each of you who have no idea who he is to write him, introduce yourself, and be open to the possibility that he deserves a second chance.

Posted by Nandi on 07/23/2017 at 9:26 PM

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