|Mayor of Richmond, California|
January 9, 2007
|Preceded by||Irma A. Anderson|
|City Council member of Richmond, California|
January 2005 – January 9, 2007
|Political party||Green Party|
|Profession||educator and activist|
Gayle McLaughlin (born 1952 in Chicago, Illinois) is a California politician. She is a member of the Green Party and, since 2006, the mayor of Richmond, California. McLaughlin was elected on November 7, 2006 by a 242-vote margin over incumbent mayor Irma A. Anderson. Richmond is, as of 2009, the largest city in the country with a Green Party mayor.
McLaughlin is a social activist who has participated in the peace, social justice, civil rights, and environmental movements. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, with graduate study in psychology and education.
Background and experience
During the 1980s, McLaughlin was an activist with the Central American solidarity movement and a steering committee member of CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). She also played an active role in the North Star Network, a national networking effort to unite progressives, and in coalition-building efforts with Rainbow/PUSH.
McLaughlin graduated summa cum laude from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. She continued her education with two years of graduate study in psychology at Rhode Island College, with additional graduate study in education at U.C. Berkeley Extension.
McLaughlin has worked as a postal clerk, teacher, caregiver for the elderly, and tutor/clinician for children with learning disabilities. She has also worked in the capacity of support staff for various not-for-profit health and educational organizations.
Richmond City Council and Richmond Progressive Alliance
On November 2, 2004, McLaughlin was elected to the city council of Richmond, California, in a non partisan race. She is a founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), a non-partisan progressive group in western Contra Costa County, composed of members of the Green Party, Democratic Party, Peace and Freedom Party and Independents.
In Richmond, McLaughlin's activism has found her in many local struggles in support of both social and environmental justice. She opposed the Patriot Act, the criminalization of the homeless, and Chevron's Richmond Refinery tax perks. She has also been involved in an ongoing effort to stop development on the North Richmond shoreline and supports the battle against job or salary cutbacks against Service Employees International Union
Mayor of Richmond
In the 2004 election McLaughlin was the first Green Party candidate ever to win a seat on Richmond California's City Council. In 2006, she decided to challenge incumbent mayor Irma Anderson, whom she defeated by 242 votes.
In 2008, a member of McLaughlin's staff was implicated in a scheme to steal more than $50,000 from the City of Richmond by creating phony contributions to charitable organizations. The staffmember was fired when this came to light. Contra Costa County District Attoney's Office prosecuted. The staffmember pled guilty and served time along with making restitution of the stolen funds.
McLaughlin won a second term in office in the 2010 municipal election. She overcame a well funded offensive by local police and firefighter unions to unseat her during the election campaign. She was sworn into office on January 11, 2011 to her second term.
McLaughlin was criticized for attending an Occupy rally on Veterans Day of 2011 instead of a symbolic ship-launching portrayal at the former Richmond Shipyards. McLaughlin stated she was a supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
McLaughlin is a strong proponent of a plan being pioneered by the city of Richmond to use eminent domain to purchase "underwater" properties whose values have fallen below the mortgage owed. According to the plan, the city, in partnership with a private company, would purchase or use eminent domain to seize loans on properties in danger of being foreclosed at amounts reflecting current prices. The mortgage payable by the owner of the property would then be reduced. A number of banks have filed lawsuits against the proposal arguing it is an illegal use of eminent domain. Critics states that this plan would severely damage the mortgage industry. However, other cities such as Newark, New Jersey, North Las Vegas, and Seattle are considering adopting similar plans to alleviate the foreclosure crisis.
- RichmondProgressiveAlliance.net "Asleep at the Wheel in Richmond", Chip Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle (July 12, 2004)
- KESQ.com Palm Springs, Coachella Valley - Weather, News, Sports: Our Apologies
- Green Party likely to win in Richmond mayor's race
- Mayor Anderson concedes race
- She was elected to her first term as mayor in November of 2006 and was relected in November of 2010. Election Results
- City of Richmond website, Gayle McLaughlin profile, retrieved May 27, 2006
- Mayor Gayle McLaughlin website, Gayle McLaughlin's official site, retrieved October 9, 2012
- "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members".
- "Results of 2010 midterm elections are mixed bag for Mayor Bloomberg". New York Daily News. 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "California Mayor Snubs Veterans to Attend Occupy Rally". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Dreier, Hannah. "Richmond Mayor to skip Veterans Day events for Occupy rally". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Paul Elias (August 25, 2013). "Desperate Calif. city looks to use 'eminent domain' to seize loans to ease homeowners burden". Star Tribune.
- GayleMcLaughlin.net - Official website
- ContraCostaTimes.com - 'Council Pool Not Deep' (editorial), Contra Costa Times (October 27, 2006)
- RichmondGreens.net - 'Many Neighborhoods - One Richmond', Richmond Greens
- Editorial by McLaughlin on Curbing violence