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In Richmond, We Would Not Let Democracy Be Bought


In Richmond, We Would Not Let Democracy Be Bought

Gayle McLaughlin

In November 2014, my city of Richmond, California, provided us with a beautiful and successful David vs. Goliath story in which ordinary people (the people of Richmond) triumphed over the Chevron Corporation and its $3 million attempt to stop Richmond’s progressive direction. We experienced a clean sweep in the elections with all the progressives winning and all of Chevron’s candidates losing.


You go Gayle, living in Richmond, it was a privilege to work on all of your campaigns in the fall, in a very bad election season it’s really special to be living in Richmond.

as always, to the barricades,


To echo Rob: I worked on canvassing to defeat Chevron’s hand-picked “candidates,” and it was a rare pleasure to savor the victory of Ms. McLaughlin and her like-minded colleagues, set against the amorality which is a foundation of the extractive industry management mentality.


Inspiring front-line reporting, and i very much appreciate McLaughlin’s repeated warning that their victory is not secure and their model is not easily replicable under present circumstances as some sort of panacea to defeat the corporatist monster.

That said, i would assert that overturning the Citizens United ruling is only one fairly modest step on the hard road to overturning corporate dominance. Many other steps are needed if we are to stop the utter dismemberment of the ecology and obliteration of human freedom.


“It can happen, but only if we keep demanding it.”

It can happen - only if we replicate your victory at the state and national level …


The people of Richmond California won a great victory over the power of corporate money. Still, the battle for democracy is losing. The people of Richmond were awakened to the threat of the corporations power and fought back with great determination. They won a victory but that is only a part of what needs to be a nationwide battle against corporate rule of our nation.

We all know that our elected representatives do not represent us in any way. All over the nation our elected officials vote as directed by their major ‘donors’. They do not heed the voice of the people, or give them any concern at all. It is all about money.

To break this money control we must mandate that our elected officials vote as directed by their constituents—the living breathing registered voters who live in their district. We need DIRECT DEMOCRACY. Our representative system IS NOT WORKING. We are using the method that was all they had in 1776. They choose the guy they thought would vote as they wanted and sent him off on a horse to go to Philadelphia to vote for them. Now we have computers and the internet to allow each and every one of us to direct our representative how we want them to vote IN OUR NAME.

That would be democracy. With this method we could end the wars, tax the rich, meet the needs of our people and protect our environment. Isn’t this what you want?


First off - how would you, or perhaps who would, implement it? The schmucks we have in office now? How would you “mandate” them? We could do that now by throwing them out when they don’t … but we don’t even when there are better candidates …

Don’t think DD would work in a nation of 300 million - first would require that we all pay a hell of a lot more attention to everything than we do now - and, given all the revelations about hacking, you seem to have a lot more faith in the “internet” than i do … I’ll stick to good old paper ballots …