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  Sorting Out the Different Groups
February 20, 2013

The following is from Mike Parker:

Sorting out the different groups

One Richmond!  ?? 

Lately several organizations have used the term One Richmond or something close to describe their program or their organization. This might help to sort out any confusion.

The slogan One Richmond was used in 2009 by candidCore beliefsate for City Council Jovanka Beckles and the late community activist Fred Jackson to describe a vision of Richmond where neighborhoods and ethnic groups in Richmond would unite around common problems and oppose those forces that were pitting these communities against each other.  

In 2009 the Richmond Progressive Alliance adopted the slogan One Richmond as one of its three core beliefs listed in its basic brochure.

In 2010 Jovanka Beckles adopted One Richmond as her campaign slogan in her successful run for City Council and had it on all of her campaign literature. Jovanka Beckles


In 2010 Fred Jackson used the slogan One Richmond
in a meeting of non-profits in Richmond to work on cooperation and participants adopted it. The meeting earlier this month called One Richmond! was organized by Joan Davis of the Richmond Community Foundation, City Manager Bill Lindsay, Don Lau of the YMCA, and Terrance Cheung, Chief of Staff for Supervisor John Gioia.


In August 2012 1Richmond was founded by "a group of citizens representing local neighborhoods, including North Richmond, Central Richmond, South Richmond and Parchester Village ... to reduce violence, raise public awareness and involvement and advance the education of Richmond's youth." It is closely associated with Councilmembers Corky Booze and Nat Bates and at some of the meetings there have been claims of significant Chevron financial support. Post story.   

In October 2012 something calling itself the Richmond One Committee put out a hit piece mailer attacking Tom Butt. While it was not signed, the text echoed (nearly verbatim) public statements repeatedly made by Councilperson Corky Booze. More here. 


Also in 2012 came the 4Richmond Committee. The Steering Committee features BAPAC leader Joe Fisher, best known for voting to refund Chevron's property taxes, Chamber of Commerce and Council of Industries functionaries, the Building Trades representatives, the president of the Firefighters union (sponsor of the vicious attacks on Mayor McLaughlin 2010) and the Chevron Manager. The group is clearly funded by Chevron and is promising projects with Chevron's support. It looks like just another way of Chevron organizing and paying off its political support.

 One news article explained that Chevron was the main funder of this "coalition." 
"Councilman Nat Bates, recently re-elected with the help of more than $1.2 million Chevron funneled into the November election to support some candidates and oppose others, said he welcomed 4Richmond's rise.
Bates said the coalition could be not just a philanthropic force, but a "watchdog" that could "counter" the direction of City Hall, which has been led in recent years by progressives who take a hard-line against the oil giant.

"I expect this new group to be active," Bates said. "It's a welcome change because the Richmond Progressive Alliance has been riding roughshod on businesses and the community."  CC Times story 

Clearly the idea is to use private funding to get around publicly elected government. 4Chevron is probably a more accurate name.

One Richmond is a great slogan summarizing our vision of Richmond. Like all great slogans it gets adopted by everyone who believes in it as well as those who think they can get a free ride by distorting it. Terrible things have been done in the name of democracy, equality, and freedom. Yet we can't give up on the fundamental ideas themselves. We need to keep our eyes open even as we unite with all who genuinely want One Richmond.  
--Mike Parker