Gayle McLaughlin was elected to her first term as mayor of the city of Richmond, California, in November 2006 and was re-elected in November 2010. As mayor, she has led the city in a progressive direction.
Under her leadership, the City Council passed a Minimum Wage Increase Ordinance, raising the minimum hourly wage for Richmond workers to $13.00 by 2018. McLaughlin facilitated grassroots efforts calling for fair taxation that led to an historic settlement in which Chevron, the city’s largest employer, agreed to pay an additional $114 million into the city’s general fund over the next 15 years.
She has also advocated for residents evicted by banks and speculators in her city. McLaughlin initiated the Richmond CARES (Community Action to Restore Equity and Stability) program, a foreclosure prevention program that is seeking to acquire severely underwater mortgages in Richmond from the banks — either through voluntary sales or through eminent domain. Through the program, Richmond can refinance loans for homeowners with reduced principals in line with current home values.
As a young activist during the 1980s, McLaughlin worked with the Central American solidarity movement, People United to Save Humanity (PUSH) and the Rainbow Coalition. She is married to Paul Kilkenny, a Richmond activist for social and environmental justice.
(Bio excerpted from the City of Richmond)