SOME FACTS WITH SOME OPINION THROWN IN FOR CONSIDERATION
SHOULD THE RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK FOR THE PEOPLE OF RICHMOND WITHOUT EVER SPEAKING WITH THE PEOPLE OF RICHMOND?
SHOULD THE RICHMOND CITY TAKE ACTION, ON BEHALF OF THE 116,000+ RESIDENTS OF RICHMOND, ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES?
On Tuesday October 24th, the Richmond City Council will address Agenda Item R.1 which purports to support the people of Gaza. According to the agenda, this is the subject:
“Resolution Affirming Richmond's Support and Solidarity with the Palestinian People of Gaza”
When a resolution is presented, what is included in the WHEREAS section are arguments supporting the acceptance of what is in the RESOLVED section. What is actually being voted on—what goes in the record—is the RESOLVED section.
It is not unusual for the authors of resolutions to use/abuse the WHEREAS section by making inflammatory—and sometimes untrue—statements geared towards the acceptance of the RESOLVED section of the resolution.
On October 7th, on behalf of the people of Gaza, the duly elected representatives of the people of Gaza invaded southern Israel in a Pearl Harbor style surprise attack murdering more than 1400 unarmed civilians. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, however, their targets were military
On October 7th, HAMAS, a political/religious body that has repeatedly been elected to represent the people of Gaza—and largely funded by Iran—in a highly coordinated and meticulously planned attack—broke through the barricades erected to prevent the senseless slaughter of Israelis by Gazan terrorists and attacked the civilian residents of Israel.
At no time was their goal to wage war on the Israeli Defense Force. Their goal was to wage war against unarmed civilians. Men, women and children were attacked and slaughtered. More than 5,000 rockets were fired into civilian areas. Fleeing civilians were shot—many in the back. Grenades were thrown into bomb shelters. Shelters and homes were torched incinerating those seeking refuge inside. Women and children were raped. Children and babies were decapitated.
On two previous occasions, Richmond City Councilmember and a staunch leader of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) Jeff Ritterman sponsored resolutions for humanitarian aid for Gaza. The people of Richmond sent a clear message that they were NOT in support of his resolutions.
And now, RPA cofounder and Richmond Vice Mayor Gayle McLaughlin has partnered with Richmond Mayor and enthusiastic RPA member Eduardo Martinez to sponsor another resolution that would say to the world that the people of Richmond enthusiastically support the people of Gaza. But do the people of Richmond actually support the people of Gaza and what they did on October 7th?
Four members of the Richmond City Council, Gayle McLaughlin, Eduardo Martinez, Melvin Willis and Claudia Jimenez, have proudly boasted of their membership in and the support of the RPA. Councilmembers Doria Robinson frequently sides with the RPA as does Councilmember Soheila Bana. The last member of the Council, Cesar Zepeda, selectively sides with the RPA depending on the issue.
We have frequently heard from current and former members of the Council that share RPA sympathies, that they’ve spoken with the people of Richmond and we have often heard them proclaim that “the people have spoken”. Perhaps these representatives of the people can share with “the people” exactly how they reach out to the people on these issues of importance to “the people”. Have they hosted any town hall meetings where the public can weigh in? Have they used a reputable survey company to elicit opinions of the people? If they have, these have largely been secret because there’s no record of such events.
So how can these elected leaders claim that they’re speaking FOR the people when they really haven’t spoken WITH the people.
If we look ONLY at what’s in the RESOLVED section, this resolution might seem benign. But we need to look at the history of the people sponsoring and supporting it and perhaps we ought to remove our rose colored glasses and really look at the intent of this resolution. We need to review the arguments included in the WHEREAS section and the intent of this resolution that comes across as being against the state of Israel and the Jewish people that largely make up Israel.
After the terrorist attacks on October 7th, war was declared by Israel. Unlike the surprise attacks by the Gazans, at least Israel went through the formality of a declaration.
In the WHEREAS section what’s missing is an explanation about why the Gazans kidnapped more than 200 Israelis and took them to Gaza to be used as hostages. Nowhere does it address the promises of the leadership of Gaza to publicly execute these hostages and publish the videos of these executions. Nowhere does it mention the deaths of more than a dozen of these hostages.
Even before considering the merits of the resolution, the people of Richmond might consider whether it’s even appropriate for the City Council to weigh in on an issue that dos not directly address the people and businesses of Richmond. Should the Richmond City Council weigh in on affairs that are so indirectly outside of the Council’s purview?
The Richmond City Council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 PM on Tuesday October 24th where Item R.1 will be addressed. It is likely that the room may be flooded with RPA supporters. There will also likely be a flood of callers on ZOOM. Anyone interested in letting the Council know their thoughts on this are encouraged to reach out to their elected “leaders”:
The resolution can be found here: