We’ve made a lot of progress over the last ten years but there is still much to be done. Our values of equality, democracy, respect, and integrity will lead the way.
Here are six areas I believe need special attention:
Chevron is an important part of Richmond. We want Chevron to be a good neighbor. The community deserves state-of-the-art, safe, clean facilities with training and hiring of Richmond residents.
Pollution continues to be the biggest problem as every single year Chevron pours 500 tons of deadly particulates into our air. We need the refinery to truly modernize to be cleaner and safer. Chevron's initial "modernization" proposal actually increases 61 out of 88 Toxic Air Contaminants. Chevron does the bare minimum and only in response to community pressure.
I have fought and will continue to fight to hold Chevron to a true modernization plan. Rather than allowing Chevron to get away with the minimum possible, I will hold Chevron to be the safest and most environmentally friendly it can be. My proposal for Chevron's modernization plan will actually bring MORE jobs into Richmond to construct and maintain the cleaner infrastructure while giving Richmond the cleanest refinery in the state.
It's up to us as a community to negotiate with Chevron so that everyone in Richmond wins, not just Chevron. Otherwise they will continue their practice of cutting corners and doing the bare minimum that led to, for example, the refinery fire on August 6, 2012 and 15,000 residents to seek treatment at area hospitals for respiratory problems. This election is about who you trust to negotiate with Chevron for a better RICHMOND, not just a more profitable Chevron. Together we can counter Chevron's dirty tactics of trying to buy elections by purchasing most of the billboards and a big chunk of our local TV time, dominate our mailboxes, and control or silence many of our non-profit organizations. We can protect our democracy.
The educational system is failing our children and their teachers. The quality of the schools helps define the quality of a city, and it is the teachers who make the schools. It will take the strength and connections of the City to support the teachers and the learning process in the classrooms. Our priorities are smaller class sizes with more teachers and community volunteers in each classroom. Our local schools should also become true community centers and all-day learning centers for children and adults involving parents, grandparents and retirees.
The key to attracting good paying jobs to Richmond is to have a trained workforce ready. Good job training will enable Richmond residents to get the jobs that will come here. We can strengthen and link City programs, high schools, adult education, and the community colleges to provide the kind of training that will produce more jobs for Richmond residents. Our large employers, labor unions, community colleges, adult education, high schools, and city training and placement agencies should all work together.
Richmond is a diverse city. Speculators and market forces are driving Richmond residents out of their homes. Now is the time to put in place plans that will help homeowners keep their homes, keep rents affordable, and communities livable.
We must make sure the County takes responsibility for keeping DMC open. All our residents must have access to nearby medical care. Area hospitals should share the costs. Corporations that compromise and threaten our health must support medical facilities in the area.
We strongly support people who are working to enhance life in Richmond by organizing themselves. Stronger unions, neighborhood associations, cooperatives, and community organizations are a big part of the solution. Whether their initiatives involve playlots, stopping violence, stopping discrimination against immigrants, or supporting re-entry programs, all of Richmond benefits from an active partnership between people and their elected officials.
We will maintain and strengthen the community policing approach—cooperation between the community and the police. The Office of Neighborhood Safety’s direct-dealing with violence and the Ceasefire efforts have made Richmond a safer and more open city. More people on the streets and in the parks and in youth athletic programs add to our safety while they improve the quality of life.
Here are my other priorities. Together, we can have a city where:
- We recognize that the criminal justice system is broken and often unfair. We provide ways for previously incarcerated people to participate in society with fair access to jobs and housing.
- We ensure that Richmond leads the way to end all forms of racism.
- We end discrimination against immigrants and help them become part of the American family.
- We provide the services they and their children need.
- We create a culture where all people, including LGBT people, are respected and have full rights.
- We remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating.
- We recognize that homelessness is also a result of a broken system. We help the homeless reenter the job market while defending their rights and providing for immediate needs.
- We recognize the talents, experience, and dedication of our seniors. Their participation can help us solve many of the problems facing Richmond
- We help residents open and grow small businesses. We promote local enterprises and cooperatives.
- We support the movements for healthier food, urban gardens, cleaner air and water, and protection of our natural and historical treasures.
- We promote healthy living: nutrition education, access to good food, sports, and exercise, and bike and pedestrian paths.
- We protect and enhance the shoreline for us all.
- We recognize that climate change is a reality and a big threat to all humankind.
- We are part of the solution and not bystanders.
- We make public transportation safe, dependable, and affordable.
- We fight against inequality. We support unions and union organizing drives.
- We work to increase the minimum wage to a livable one.