Statement from Gayle McLaughlin

Released by Gayle McLaughlin 6/29/17

Dear friends,

As most of you already know, I'm fully involved in a statewide organizing effort, that includes my run for Lt. Governor of California 2018, but is so much more than that.

I am reaching out to many communities where I find local residents eager to hear of our successes in Richmond.  People are learning about the way we have organized our community here in Richmond to obtain political power and make our city better, healthier and happier.

I have been visiting residents in dozens of cities throughout California, from San Diego to Redding, putting out a call to everyone to develop local political power for the long run.  I'm encouraging the formation of corporate-free, inclusive, multi-party affiliated, diverse, year-round, grassroots organizations who run corporate-free candidates for local office - sharing the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) model and the experience of our transformation.

On Tuesday night (just a short while ago), with great joy for this new work I am undertaking on behalf of us all, I announced that I will step down from my seat on the City Council to fully focus on my Lt. Governor organizing campaign.  I am running with the goals of "putting people first, organizing corporate-free local groups throughout the state, and giving the voters the choice of a corporate-free candidate."

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the 12.5 years I have been serving the people of Richmond, eight as Richmond mayor.  There is no community like the Richmond community.  We understand our strength comes from our diversity, our willingness to take bold action, and through the transformational work that we have accomplished together.

I am proud to have been called the Bernie Sanders of the East Bay.  So many of the issues that Bernie addressed in his campaign for President 2016 parallel the important issues we need to keep addressing in cities throughout California. 

Our nation is in a catastrophic free-fall, and the Trump Administration is dragging the world down with it. 

With the help of their corporate controlled policy-makers, corporations are boldly grabbing all the resources they can from the state and are dismantling every little protection gained by the people of our nation over the years. While Wall Street controls our federal government and the planet burns with unprecedented heat, 28 million Americans are thrown out of health coverage. And the same law that takes away our healthcare gives another $30 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest 1%. 

Public education is being privatized, the EPA eliminated, millions of workers are threatened with deportation, racists are emboldened, and police forces are militarized. Wall Street and the banks are set free from the limited restrictions imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act to continue their predation on the American people.

California is resisting a bit more, but nothing is guaranteed for the people unless we organize. The insurance companies and big-pharma just killed this year's efforts for single payer universal health care, and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon demonstrated 'again' what happens when you elect a representative that is not corporate-free. Corporate money is both toxic and addictive. Our democracy needs to get clean and sober.

People are frustrated everywhere and at a loss. The times are ripe for organizing.

My organizing race is also being done with Richmond in mind and heart because there are many statewide policies affecting Richmond that need change. These policies can only change with statewide pressure coming from many cities, communities, and coalitions of labor unions, community organizations and corporate-free organized activists.  In addition, Richmond will become further known for our great work as I continue to travel our state, and people everywhere become even more inspired by our remarkable progress and eager to take similar steps in their own communities.  What a glowing example we all have set for our state!

My last day in office as a Richmond City Councilmember will be July 18th, 2017.  I'm leaving city government in good hands with a City Council dedicated to continuing our transformation. 

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the residents of our great city who have supported me and our progressive work over the years I have served in local office here in Richmond.  Thanks to our collective efforts, Richmond is much better now.

Finally, I want to leave all of you with this simple, but profoundly important message:  Organize, Organize, Organize!  This must be our rallying call for the future in Richmond and everywhere.

Warmest wishes to all,


(510) 984-6536