By Alfredo Angulo
Did you know that Eduardo Martinez is endorsed by every single environmental group that makes recommendations in the Richmond mayoral race? His endorsers include:
- Sierra Club
- League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay
- Sunflower Alliance
- APEN Action
- 350 Bay Area Action
- Bay Rising Action
He received all those endorsements because he is the only candidate for Richmond mayor with a record of standing up for the environment. Not only does he believe that clean air, water, and land are essential for the health of Richmond residents, he has backed that up with action during his nearly 8 years on city council.
- In 2020, Eduardo sponsored a city ordinance banning the transport through Richmond of coal and a material called petcoke, which is one of the most toxic byproducts of oil refining. Richmond took on Phillips 66, Wolverine Fuels and the State of Utah and won; all coal and petcoke transport through the city will be phased out by 2027.
- Eduardo protects our wildlands and shoreline. He supports making AstraZeneca pay for a full clean-up of the toxic waste they left on our shoreline near Marina Bay. He’s pushed for public transparency and good governance around the development of Point Molate, a vital part of our Bay Area ecosystem that may one day become a public park.
- Eduardo also pushes Chevron to reduce harmful emissions. One of his first actions as a city councilmember was to inspire the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to adopt new refinery regulations that would require Chevron to disclose the toxic emissions from its Richmond refinery and reduce them if they rise above stipulated limits. Recently he introduced a resolution asking BAAQMD to adopt the “cat cracker” rule, which requires two of California's largest oil refineries to significantly reduce the amount of pollution they produce. Eduardo also voted for the City of Richmond to sue Chevron and four other fossil fuel companies for intentionally misleading the public about the true impact of their products on the climate.
- Eduardo’s success in all of the above inspired the Sierra Club to give him the 2021 Community Defender Award, which “recognizes outstanding work in the area of environmental justice, for the defense of Richmond communities and the environment from corporate polluters including the coal and oil industries.”
Eduardo stands head and shoulders above the other candidates for Richmond mayor when it comes to environmental issues. When KQED asked Eduardo’s opponents about what they would do to address public health and environmental issues in Richmond, particularly those related to the Chevron oil refinery, the answers were disappointing. Shawn Dunning said more research was needed to prove that Chevron is the cause of local pollution. Nat Bates said City Council members are powerless to do anything to force Chevron to follow health or safety laws. Mark Wassberg said if elected he will encourage more fossil fuel companies to come to Richmond.
I reject that way of thinking, and I hope you do too. For those of us who care about our environment, understand the relationship between our planet’s health and the health of our bodies, and believe that people have the power to change the world, the choice is clear: Eduardo is the one we can trust. Will you join me in voting for Eduardo Martinez for Richmond mayor?
ALFREDO ANGULO (they/them) is an environmental justice organizer, lifelong Richmond resident, and a recent first-generation graduate from U.C. Berkeley, where they received a B.A. in Political Science. They are the 2022 winner of the Sierra Club’s Emerging Voices Award, which recognizes young people advocating for the environmental needs of their communities.
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