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End Chevron's Perk

The following is provided at the request of Councilmember Jeff Ritterman:

Everyone in Richmond pays a 10% tax on utilities, Chevron does not. Letís fix it.

Dear Friend:

I am reaching out to you with some good news about a collective effort to
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 we  have 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 for all.

Last year, Richmondís residents voted to pass Measure T, ďA Fair Share for
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 city workers.  The reason: Chevron Corporation has sued the city, claiming that 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 $20 billion in profits in 2008.  Chevron has chosen to fight against the declared will of the people of Richmond in order to maximize its profits, 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 when Ronald Reagan was president.  See http://www.cbp.org/pdfs/2009/0902_Californias_Tax_System.pdf, page 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 Richmond.

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  2010 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 immense
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 do.

I am inviting you to join me for a kick-off meeting to begin this campaign
to bring tax fairness to Richmond.

When:   Wednesday, 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 for us.
Together we can and we must build a Better Richmond

RSVP   JeffRitterman@endchevronsperks.org

In Partnership,

Jeff Ritterman, M.D.



Tom Butt

Richmond City Councilman

117 Park Place

Point Richmond, CA  94801

Phone:  510.236.7435

Fax:  510.232.5325

E-mail:  tom.butt@intres.com

Tom Butt Political Website: http://www.tombutt.com/