following is provided at the request of Councilmember Jeff Ritterman:
TOGETHER WE CAN END
Everyone in Richmond pays a 10% tax on utilities, Chevron does not.
Letís fix it.
I am reaching out to you with some good news about a collective effort
make our City of Richmond a more fair, just and livable city. We have
made tremendous advances during the last several years, but enormous
challenges remain. Our unemployment rate remains high at over 18%, and
suffered a tragic increase in homicides since last year. We are
sadly unable to adequately fund all of the programs that our city would
need to put our legacy of poverty, crime and violence behind us once and
Last year, Richmondís residents voted to pass Measure T, ďA Fair Share
RichmondĒ. The ballot measure provided $15-20 million in revenue, which
now sits in our bank account unused at a time when we are laying off
workers. The reason: Chevron Corporation has sued the city, claiming
Measure T violates their right to engage in interstate commerce.
Itís a sad time when a city of 100,000 residents, which is fighting for
its very financial survival is sued by a corporation which earned over
billion in profits in 2008. Chevron has chosen to fight against the
declared will of the people of Richmond in order to maximize its
no matter what the cost to our city.
This has been the trend in our country for the last 30 years.
Californiaís corporations pay less than half the income tax they did
Ronald Reagan was president. See
7. Our corporations and CEOs have become
unbelievably wealthy, while those who
do the actual work to create this
wealth have been left behind.
The only solution for our city, our state, and our country is a
redistribution of wealth and income
from those who have gotten rich at the
expense of others during the last
generation. It is only by doing this
that we can provide the city services
which will increase employment,
lessen crime and enhance the well
being of all who live and work in
We can do this in this city, and we can make Richmond a shining example
for other communities. Today
I am happy to tell you that in November
the voters of Richmond will have a chance to vote for a positive future
for our city. We will have
the chance to vote for a ballot measure which will close a loophole that
has existed for more than 20 years.
This loophole has allowed Chevron Corporation to pay a smaller Utility
Users Tax than every other household
or business in Richmond. This is not
only unfair. It has resulted in a
loss of tens of millions of dollars of
potential city revenue over the prior
decades. Imagine what our city
could have done with all of this
revenue to improve the lives of our
The ďEnd Chevronís
PerkĒ measure will restore fairness, and at the same
time bring in much needed revenue from
Chevron. If we had this revenue
now, we would not need to lay off city
workers. We would be able to
provide a much improved level of city
services. We could start community
gardens in all of our schools. We
could expand our job training programs.
We could guarantee that all of our
neighborhood schools will remain open
Remember, each and every one of us already pays this Utility Users Tax.
No one will see an increase in Utility
user taxes but Chevron Corporation
because no one but Chevron has been
receiving this discounted rate.
If the past is any guide, we can be sure that Chevron will use its
wealth to keep from paying its fair share in
taxes. Our only strengths
are the righteousness of our cause, and the
creativity, sacrifice and hard
work of all of us together. It will
not be easy, but the future of our
city and our world depends on what we
I am inviting you to join me for a kick-off meeting to begin this
to bring tax fairness to Richmond.
January 13, 2010, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Where: 402 Harbor
Way (across from Kaiser Hospital) Richmond, CA 94801
For the ďEnd
Chevronís PerkĒ measure, we need:
The endorsement of your organization
and your own endorsement;
Your financial support for materials to
support campaign materials;
Volunteers to educate, organize and deliver
the End Chevronís Perk Measure.
No one can do this
Together we can and
we must build a Better Richmond
Jeff Ritterman, M.D.
Richmond City Councilman
117 Park Place
Point Richmond, CA 94801
Tom Butt Political Website: