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  About the Times Endorsement - a Letter from the Mayor
October 28, 2010

October 28, 2010

Contra Costa Times Endorsement    
Why we need Jovanka, Eduardo, and Corky

Dear Friends, 

I thank the Contra Costa Times editorial board for its endorsement of me for Mayor (10/28/10).   I especially appreciate their reasoning:  It is not about personalities, it is about the powers at play in Richmond and what direction we want the City to go.  The Times properly identified that we need a City Council that is willing to stand up to Chevron when necessary, and that we need to oppose the casino.

Unfortunately, the Times did not use the same logic when it came to its City Council endorsements. The Times endorsed three individuals (Viramontes, Lopez, and Finlay) who supported Chevron's flawed Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its refinery expansion project.  The endorsement of Viramontes and Lopez was particularly puzzling, given the Times stern reprimand in 2008 saying the Council majority "...led by Councilwoman Maria Viramontes, should be ashamed" of their secret deal with Chevron to approve the flawed EIR. (Stop the secret oil deal, 5/12/08).  Viramontes, Lopez, and Finlay also, in one way or another, have promoted and/or enabled the casino development to date.
As Mayor of Richmond, I have only one vote on the Council.  For a Council that stands up for Richmond, I ask that you vote for Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Corky Booze to join me on the Council.  These three candidates share a positive vision of empowering Richmond residents and have stood consistently for an alternative to a casino at Point Molate.  We need City Council members who see their job as moving Richmond forward, rather than prioritizing the needs of corporations, developers, and other deep-pocket special interests.

The Richmond Police Officers Association (RPOA) has been amplifying its attacks against Jovanka Beckles, blanketing the city with smear messages in mailings, billboards, and robo-calls.  Undoubtedly there will be last-minute hit pieces this weekend.  The RPOA's deplorable tactics during this election are condemned by the Times in today's editorial: 

"The police and firefighters unions should be ashamed of their hit pieces... there is no excuse for their despicable personalizing of their attacks. We're disappointed that public safety workers in Richmond continue to choose union leaders who still cannot conduct themselves in a professional manner."

We may be outspent by unscrupulous opponents, but we can harness the indomitable power of truth, integrity, and grassroots participation. And you can make the difference.   In addition to your vote for Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Corky Booze, we need you to talk to your friends and neighbors.  Help them understand that we must elect a City Council that is dedicated to Richmond steering its own destiny, toward a healthier and more prosperous future for all.

Building a Better Richmond together,

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

Contra Costa Times endorsement