Richmond used to be noted for its murder. Now it is noted for how it has reduced violence. Mayoral candidate Nat Bates's main program for safety is to return the city to the policies that build distrust between the largest ethnic group in the city (40% Latino) and the police. Bates is the Chevron candidate for Mayor, who has enabled hate-speech at Council meetings.
Richmond is Rising! Team Richmond smashed through its goal of knocking on over 1,000 doors. In a single day, we knocked on over 1,130! With over 50 volunteers, including 25 canvassing with us for the first time, we met many supporters and convinced new ones along the way. And it's fun! Together, we show that an organized community has the power to make its voice heard.
The next mass-mobilization canvassing event will be on Saturday, Sept. 6.
After five months of vigorous campaigning for the office of Richmond Mayor, I am withdrawing from the race. A few days before the final filing deadline, I learned that Tom Butt had decided to enter the race.
My supporters and I determined that in this race the progressive vote would likely be split. We decided my time is better spent campaigning for our team of progressive candidates for the Richmond City Council, Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Gayle McLaughlin.
Taken together Gayle, Eduardo, and Jovanka, and the many campaign supporters behind them, represent a different kind of politics, based on organized people-power—not on corporate power.
I am still an active part of “Team Richmond.” I will work very hard to continue the progress we have made in Richmond and to elect members of the Council who support the fight for Doctors Hospital, a cleaner and safer refinery, jobs for Richmond, and rebuilding our system of public education through community involvement. We need to challenge the Chevron candidates and those unwilling to stand up against Chevron when representing the community.
In the course of this campaign, I have met and been inspired by many wonderful Richmond residents. I thank all those volunteers, unions, and community organizations who have endorsed me and especially those volunteers who worked so hard to make my campaign an exciting grass roots effort. I know we can continue the same spirit and energy to make Team Richmond a success.
In gratitude and solidarity
Mike Parker is featured in a BeyondChron article about Chevron and the battle for Richmond. Written by Steve Early, labor journalist and author of Save Our Unions, the article shows how Parker leads the community in standing up to Chevron and its billions of dollars.
From the article:
During the protracted local debate about refinery modernization issues, Parker was a frequent speaker at public hearings in Richmond... Testifying on behalf of the Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition, at a packed council session on July 22, Parker pointed out that any shift for the better in Chevron’s stance was due to community pressure—and more was still needed.
The article goes on to quote Parker's speech at the July 22 Council Meeting:
“Every year now, Chevron pumps into the air thousands of tons – think of that, visualize that – thousands of tons of pollutants, 500 tons of particulates, and others. Unfortunately, the city has very little everyday legal leverage in getting Chevron to reduce these pollutants. Now, in setting conditions for this project, it is the one time that the City has the ability to require cooperation from Chevron on pollution control. Now we have the legal leverage, and if we don’t do it now, when will we ever do it?”
On Chevron's involvement in the upcoming mayoral election:
Chevron’s preferred candidate for mayor in this year’s elections is not Parker, of course—but an 82-year old African-American Democrat named Nat Bates. ... In a recent interview, Bates hinted that Richmond voters will soon be getting... bulk mail warnings [from Chevron-backed groups] about Mike Parker. “You’ll be hearing a lot more about him, “ Bates vowed. “He’s a complete nut.”
You can read the whole article here: http://beyondchron.org/chevron-goes-another-round-richmond/
In response to the City Council's decision to accept the EIR for the Chevron modernization project subject to Alternative 11, Mike Parker issued the following statement:
The Chevron Project
A Partial Victory and Opportunities Lost
The Chevron project passed by the City Council on July 29, 201 4, is in part a victory for Richmond residents concerned with clean air, greenhouse gas, safety, and jobs. At the same time, there were important opportunities for the community that the City Council chose to ignore.
This permit part of the project is completed. We hope the project can proceed quickly to deliver on the jobs that are promised.
But the job of the City is not done:
- We must work on refinery safety issues and strengthen the Industrial Safety Ordinance
- We must find other ways to work with Chevron to reduce air pollution and get BAAQMD to require emission reduction
- We must make sure that the local hiring provisions are enforced, and that effective apprenticeship and training programs are in place
- We must find a way to keep Doctors Medical Center (DMC) open.
We must maintain our vigilance and pressure on Chevron even while we attend to other important issues facing the city.
Now's the time and here's the place to start canvassing for Team Richmond! We are planning an all-day blitz, Richmond Rising, with the goal of knocking on 1,000 doors in a single day. Join Team Richmond on Saturday, August 16 for this grassroots-powered event.
Activists from Bay Area environmental and community groups will team up with Richmond residents. It's seriously fun, and it's the only way we can overcome the financial advantage of our adversaries: talk to our own neighbors one voter at a time. Whether you've already been canvassing, or you've never done it before, please join our Richmond Rising celebration. We can do it, but we need your help!
Join Team Richmond in Building a Better Richmond. Click here for more info and to sign up and help us hit the goal of knocking on 1,000 doors!
Representing the Richmond Evironmental Justice Coalition at the July 22 City Council meeting, Mike explains how it is thanks to community organizing and pressure that Chevron accepted the environmentally cleaner Alternative 11 for its modernization project. Mike emphasizes that this is only a first step, however, and that Chevron could and should do more for Richmond. He urges the City Council to adopt the Planning Commission's conditions. Watch Mike's speech below.
The League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay endorsed Mike Parker for mayor of Richmond on Monday. LCVEB is the latest group to join the community activist's growing list of allies, including environmental, labor, and community groups.
"We support Mike Parker because he has a proven track record of working with the community to advance public health and environmental issues," said Beth Gunston, President of LCVEB. "We know he will build upon the progress made under Mayor McLaughlin to fight against corporate pollution and inappropriate development of Richmond's shoreline."
Parker said, "I have defended the environment as a community member, and when I am mayor I will work with the League of Conservation Voters to continue to defend it. We've only got this one planet and it's our job to protect it for posterity." Parker's latest environmental efforts focus on getting Chevron to reduce emissions and pollution from its Richmond refinery.