Jim Rogers ~ In His Own Words


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On November 8th we will have a chance to use the full weight of the electoral process to determine who will be the next President of the United States.  As important as this is, here in Richmond there is also a critical race being contested for three seats on the Richmond City Council.

Radio Free Richmond has extended an offer to all nine candidates to post their own words to let you, the voters, know their positions on what they believe to be the important issues.

RFR will post a new candidate statement every couple of days.


 

Dear Reader,

Richmond has come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

I am proud of my record as Richmond Councilmember.

Let's look at some of the changes after I was elected in 2002.

We adopted a long term, painfully slow strategy of Community Policing.

We also started the (ONS) Office of Neighborhood Safety.

Though painfully slow, the results speak for themselves: homicide reductions of about 1/2 and a slow steady reduction in other crimes.

There were many reasons this was possible but one reason is because we had money to start the ONS and hire more and better police.

This was largely due to the passage of 2 taxes, which I spearheaded the campaigns for, and which brought in well over $10,000,000/year.

The lion's share of the taxes were paid by big businesses, out of town people, and rich people.

Chevron alone paid about 2/3 of the taxes.

As a former Vice-chair of California Common Cause, fairness and a progressive tax code are very important to me.

As someone who sees all Richmond does for the surrounding cities (jobs via heavy industry, homeless shelters, drug rehab centers, etc.)

it is crucial that taxes are shared by those who benefit from Richmond and use our services.

That is why I oppose Measure M, the Real Estate Title Transfer Tax which hits Richmond property owners but does not cost out of town businesses and visitors a penny.

Further, even though M theoretically applies equally to residences and businesses, we all know that large businesses e.g. Chevron, only rarely sell property and pay the tax, so they are getting a nearly free ride, not the stuff of which someone who deeply believes in a progressive tax system would approve.

I have the experience to effectively deal with big complicated fiscal issues.

I served on the negotiating team that successfully secured a $114 million settlement with Chevron over tax and ballot measure disputes in 2009. One key factor in Chevron coughing up that much guaranteed money was my pending tax measure to fund Richmond schools and other services, which could have cost Chevron tens of millions.

Jael Myrick, Tom Butt and I successfully negotiated the $90 million ECIA with Chevron in 2014 that we are implementing right now with the Richmond Promise and many other programs.

It was clear that there were other yes votes and two other no votes so we had a lot of leverage. 

Though the benefit programs made the headlines, equally important was that we negotiated the toughest, and best package of safety, air pollution reduction, and Greenhouse Gas reductions in the history of the U.S.

Critics argued that we could have reduced emissions more.

However, at some point, the regulations are drawn so tightly that Chevron does not have cost-effective ways to reduce emissions, so they reduce by reducing the amount of gas they refine.

Since you have not changed the underlying demand for the product, that means the refining will still occur, but in a refinery (e.g. Texas, Indonesia) with less strict regulations and with more safety, air pollution and greenhouse gas problems.   

Electing me will result in a City Council that is both pragmatic and progressive while continuing the priorities voters care most about – crime prevention and public safety, streets, parks and other infrastructure, jobs and environmentally sensitive economic development and fiscal responsibility.

Richmond, in spite of all its undeniable problems/challenges has made undeniable progress in this decade.

I had as much to do with that as any other Councilmember.

Richmond has come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

I hope to be able to continue to help us get there.

Due to space limitations, I was not able to discuss many important issues.

Please feel free to contact me if I left your issue(s) out:

Jim Rogers

(510)867-5725

elirapty@aol.com

 

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