E-Mail Forum
  Chamber Bashes Richmond Mayor
March 8, 2010

In the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s relentless campaign to discredit Mayor McLaughlin, our credulous Chamber friends would now have us believe that Mayor McLaughlin is responsible for Richmond’s unemployment, business closures and business/resident ratio! They must have just come out of one of Richmond’s ten illegal weed dispensaries, some of whom are proud Chamber members, to have come up with that accusation.
Last time I checked, It is the Chamber of Commerce whose job it is to build up Richmond’s business and commerce. There is a nation-wide recession going on, or doesn’t the Chamber read the papers? Blaming the mayor for this is like blaming the Chamber for the price of oil.
The missive below is about Point Molate. Whether or not you support this project, the fact is that any construction jobs are at least two years away, and any operational jobs are at least five or six years away. Under the current LDA, Upstream Point Molate has no obligation to hire anyone from Richmond for a construction job. The Chamber makes it sound like the mayor’s opposition to a casino at Point Molate threw 2,600 licensees out of business and caused Richmond’s unemployment to skyrocket from 7.2% to 17.6%.
Statistics show that during this recession, the rate of new green jobs far outstrips the creation of any other type of employment, and that is where Mayor McLaughlin is focusing her efforts.
An organization irresponsible enough to write things like this has no credibility whatsoever. The Chamber should concentrate on helping Richmond small businesses and attracting new businesses to Richmond and stop lobbying for developers and oil companies who are big enough to take care of themselves.
Mailer Bashing
A message to the Richmond Chamber
Membership and the Community

The Richmond Chamber of Commerce and many other business associations and agencies in the City of Richmond work tirelessly to promote an inviting and positive image of the city we care about so deeply. Given this, it was with great sadness and dismay when I saw the latest advertising missive from well-monied special interest opponents of the Point Molate Resort Development.

This print ad deliberately and maliciously depicts Richmond in highly negative light by using hurtful stereotypes and distasteful scare tactics. But what I think hurts the City of Richmond the most is the fact that both Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jeff Ritterman are included in the advertisement quoting their public opposition against the Point Molate project.

To be fair, we have heard both of these city representatives say they were unaware that they were linked to this anti-Richmond material. However, what I do know is that now more than ever we need our elected officials to show leadership by working just as tirelessly to create jobs, ensure public safety and seek ways to grow Richmond's diverse economy.

The Point Molate Project will bring thousands of construction jobs and new investments into the City. This means more tax revenue for programs and increased multiplier-effect spending on our local businesses. And yet, both Mayor McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Ritterman oppose the project and the jobs that come with it.

Let's look at the Mayor's record since 2006:
1. According to the California Employment Development Department, in 2006, when Gayle McLaughlin was elected mayor,  Richmond's unemployment rate was 7.2 percent. In 2009, it had reached 17.6 percent and is the second-worst rate in the county.
2. During McLaughlin's term as mayor approximately 2,600 businesses in Richmond have not renewed their business licenses.
3. There are not enough jobs in Richmond. According to the City's Redevelopment Plan Draft EIR, Richmond has a ratio of jobs-per resident of .85. That means that there are not enough jobs within Richmond for all of its residents, and more of Richmond's residents must commute to other cities for work. For comparison, the ratio for the nine counties in the Bay Area is 1.02.
When faced with statistics like these, wouldn't a job-focused Mayor and Vice Mayor want to take a leadership role in doing all they could to create incentives for all types of business to relocate to Richmond and to do all they can to encourage its existing businesses to stay? Certainly they would distance themselves from such a negative hit-piece by those who do not have Richmond's best interests at heart.

Judy Morgan

Richmond Chamber of Commerce