Making Richmond Polluters Pay Their Fair Share

Making Richmond Polluters Pay Their Fair Share

City Council Moves Critical Ballot Initiative Forward

Making Chevron and other polluting industries pay their fair share of taxes has been a cornerstone of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) since its founding 20 years ago. 

June 18, 2024, marked a bold step towards progress for our community. The "Make Polluters Pay" measure is officially on the November ballot!

Richmond Progressive Alliance. 2024. Photograph.

What's The Make Polluters Pay Initiative?

You may have heard of the Richmond Business License Tax Measure T in 2008. While passed by voters, Chevron put up an expensive legal fight and it was voided by a judge the following year. 

Make Polluters Pay is our city’s chance to say "no" to over 100 years of socioeconomic and environmental oppression. It also aims to build resilience against potential disruption from Chevron's profit-based choices in the future.

While this particular measure focuses on Chevron, RPA is taking other steps towards a just transition. City leaders hope to utilize tax dollars to fund renewable energy infrastructure and support local business growth while retraining employees in unsustainable industries for the jobs of the future.

Richmond Progressive Alliance. 2024. Photograph.

Here’s what our RPA-elected leaders have to say about the measure:

"This is the people of Richmond saying that Chevron needs to pay more so that the city can provide the services that we need." — Eduardo Martinez, Mayor, City of Richmond, CA

"We are asking corporations...who are doing really well, to pay a little more into the city so we can have the means to fund the services at the quality level that we need...It just makes sense that the ones who contaminate, the ones who just do a lot of mess, pay for that." — Claudia Jimenez, Vice Mayor, City of Richmond, CA

How Do Refineries Threaten Public Health?

Richmond Progressive Alliance. 2024. Photograph.

Numerous studies show that Richmond children, families, and working people are at higher risk of asthma, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic health conditions as a direct result of living near big industry. Chevron’s Richmond and Martinez refineries, the Santa Fe train tracks, the AstraZeneca site, and the Richmond Parkway are some of the most prominent offenders. Residents also deal with toxic particulate matter, sound and noise pollution, and traffic congestion daily.

"For decades, there hasn't been an investment in the people of Richmond, especially the people who are our most vulnerable." — Doria Robinson, Councilmember, City of Richmond, CA

"People will see this measure as Richmond standing for the health and well-being of our community, the health and well-being of our planet." — Gayle McLaughlin, Councilmember, City of Richmond, CA

"If industry cares about our community, safety would have been prioritized a long time ago, then there wouldn't be so much community advocacy." — Melvin Willis, Councilmember, City of Richmond, CA

What's Next?

Our local efforts are gaining momentum at the state and national levels. This November, please plan on voting "Yes" to hold polluting industries accountable.

RPA's Commitment To You

The Richmond Progressive Alliance is proud to have joined forces with our city's foremost environmental justice action groups, nonprofits, and organizations to move the Make Polluters Pay initiative forward. We've rallied support by organizing in-person and online — putting pressure on elected officials to ensure the community's voice is heard.

For more information contact RPA. We appreciate your continued support in making our city a healthier place to live.