Richmond, California Beats Big Oil

Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How Richmond, California beat Big Oil this election
This year's midterm election offered few victories for progressives to savor. But despite the gloom there were successful progressive election results in several communities across the country. On this episode of Locus Focus we focus on one of these bright spots - Richmond, California. For a century Richmond has been a company town. Chevron's oil refinery, one of the largest in California, dominates Richmond's landscape, politics and economy and for 100 years Chevron has owned the town. Chevron tried to buy this election as it has so many in the past. But to their surprise, progressive underdogs triumphed in the city's races for mayor and city council, despite being dramatically outspent by Chevron-backed opponents. Richmond Progressive Alliance member and writer Steve Early tells us how it happened.

Steve Early has been active as a labor journalist, lawyer, organizer, or union representative since 1972. He is the author of Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home (Monthly Review Press, 2009), The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor: Birth of a New Workers’ Movement or Death Throes of the Old? (Haymarket Books, 2011), and Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress (Monthly Review Press, 2013). He is currently working on a book about Richmond, CA's labor history.


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