Climate battle close to home
Last month, many of us gathered in Oakland for the People’s Climate Rally, to demand action on global climate disruption.
Street actions calling attention to the urgency of climate change are energizing, and the next step is to put that energy to work.
Six months ago we gathered in Petaluma to hear from members of the Richmond Progressive Alliance who beat Chevron’s multi-million dollar campaign to keep control of the Richmond City Council in the 2014 election. But because Chevron wants a city council that won’t challenge refinery pollution and environmental racism, they’re not taking that defeat lying down.
Our friends at the Richmond Progressive Alliance are organizing already for the 2016 election, where they’ll face a renewed challenge from Chevron Oil Company. Please read the letter from them, below, and consider giving them your support.
Thank you for your activism and support.
Dear Progressive Friend,
Did you wake up with a heartache the morning after the November 2014 election? Republicans took command of the Senate, added to their majority in the House, and gained state houses and governors' mansions across the country. Hardly surprising, since corporate money now controls our democratic process.
However, in Richmond—a predominantly working-class city of 108,000 across the bay from San Francisco—David defeated Goliath.
Our progressive alliance won. And now you can help us to do it again.
Chevron, the nation's third-largest corporation, owns a huge refinery on the Richmond shoreline, and it's accustomed to getting its hand-picked candidates elected. In a nationally-watched local election, Chevron spent $3 million, roughly $72 per voter, outspending the rest of the candidates 20 to 1.
Nonetheless, the morning after the election, Richmond voters awoke to the best possible news: Chevron's slate was defeated by three city council candidates backed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA).
This city council election was anything but a one-shot campaign. For ten years the RPA has been organizing around community needs and electing council members committed to responding to them.
Our candidates called themselves "Team Richmond." They touted the RPA's progressive track record with a simple message—“Richmond is better now”—and the voters agreed. "It's true that big corporations, like Chevron, have lots of money and influence," said former mayor and present city council member Gayle McLaughlin, one of the founders of the RPA. "But that's nothing compared to the power of people when united!"
That power of the people will be needed more than ever as Chevron comes roaring back in an effort to crush our progressive alliance. Please click here now to help us hand Chevron another big defeat!
Chevron is poised to regain control of Richmond city government. It wants a city government that doesn't challenge corporate aims. It hopes to stifle community criticism about refinery pollution, fair taxation, outrageous election spending, and environmental racism.
Our response: Keep organizing! Your donation is critical to this fight.
- The RPA is an all-volunteer membership organization, but we must pay for our office—a progressive community center—phone, and other expenses.
- Chevron saturates the community with mass mailings and a local online newspaper, and we need to fight back against their nonstop propaganda. Early next year we will publish the Richmond Sun, a print newspaper devoted to our views on unfair taxes, Chevron's pollution, rent control, and protecting the environment.
- We'll distribute the Richmond Sun door-to-door and talk with Richmond residents. As we’ve shown in our winning election campaigns, our volunteer outreach gives us the edge over Chevron's money.
The Richmond Progressive Alliance continues to inspire communities across the nation to rise up against corporate control of the democratic process. Help us model how to defeat big money in elections by contributing to our pre-election organizing campaign!
Richmond Progressive Alliance
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