Jeff Passes Microphone
RPA Endorses Eduardo, Marilyn
An overflow, standing room only, crowd enthusiastically embraced Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois as we kick-off their campaigns for the City Council. Jeff Ritterman announced that he had decided not to run for reelection so he could spend more time with his family but was pleased that someone as qualified as Marilyn would step in.
Here are Marilyn's remarks:
Thank you Jeff and thank you all for being here.
It's another beautiful day in Richmond, like yesterday, when we had so many fantastic Earth Day activities going on: at Civic Center, EcoVillage Farm Learning Center, Point Molate Beach and the dedication of the Fred Jackson Harmony Garden in North Richmond. How fitting a tribute that was to our beloved Fred.
I want to give special acknowledgment today to my mother, Barbara Langlois, who just turned 90 and is here with us, for giving me so much support and unconditional love. And for being a role model in local politics. She was the first woman elected to the Lafayette City Council in 1974, and she advocated for equitable development and smart growth long before these concepts became buzzwords throughout the country. Thanks, mom
I, too, believe in equitable development in Richmond with the emphasis on EQUITABLE. After all, Richmond is the city we call home, and we all deserve to feel healthy, happy and safe here. As a City Council member, I will support every policy we can to achieve this end, addressing the needs of those among us who are hurting, while also recognizing that each of us has something to contribute to benefit our community as a whole.
Jeff, one of the many things I'm grateful to you for is drawing attention to the issue of excessive income inequality and how that correlates with all the social ills we face in Richmond. I intend to pursue that theme throughout my campaign, because I know it's possible for everybody to have a good life if we can collectively to do a better job of sharing our many resources and assets-and that includes multi-billion dollar corporations whose sharing skills are still a bit lacking. I also want to thank you Jeff for your leadership in the Fit for Life campaign both leading up to the coming election and beyond, and you can count on me as a participant in that effort.
Jovanka and Eduardo, I'm really looking forward to joining both of you and our Mayor on the City Council come January. You have been steadfast comrades throughout so many struggles in the past years, ever since I first met each of you--Eduardo, in 2004 when we were part of the group that organized March4Education and we walked side by side from Richmond to Sacramento demanding equitable funding for our schools-and Jovanka, in 2006 when we campaigned for the first Measure T to raise taxes on Chevron, and you came up with that wonderful slogan: T taxes Chevron not you! I really appreciate the deep commitment from both of you
Gayle, our Mayor, you have been the pioneer and guiding light for all of us. For your first four years on the Council-2 years as City Councilmember, and your first two years as Mayor, you were often the lone voice of the grassroots progressive movement until we got Jeff elected and then Jovanka. Our challenges are still huge, but because of you, it will be easier for all those who follow to achieve social, environmental and racial justice. Gayle, I also want to express again publicly how much it has meant to me personally to work with you in the Mayor's office these past four plus years, where I learned so much. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here now, running for office. Thank you Gayle.
And now, most importantly of all, I want to express my gratitude to all of you who are here today for your inspiration and your undying support for our movement and our vision of a beautiful and healthy city for future generations. You are all amazing people with a rich diversity of backgrounds, skills and ideas and I feel privileged to know so many of you. Fred Jackson would call you a People Bouquet. You have taught me a great deal over the past years by sharing with me your pain and frustrations, as well as your insights and ideas for solutions. Thank you for that. I look forward to getting to know more of you during the course of my campaign. After all, we're here because of you, and we're all in this together.