The Flywheel

Next Meeting: September 10TH

Joel Beam

Global Real Estate Securities, including the United States

Joel Beam, who runs the Forward Select Income Fund for Forward Management SF, will draw on his experience in real estate securities and REIT investing to discuss his view of the global real estate securities markets. Beam's fund is Morningstar ‘5 Star’ rated.

This program may suggest investment strategies which are made without recommendation or warranty.


Last Meeting: September 3rd

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Club President Alan Baer rang the bell and called the meeting to order. George Egan led the Pledge of Allegiance. Stoney called for a moment of silent prayer for freedom, peace, and justice on Earth.

Rotarians with Guests

Joan Davis introduced her guest, Michelle Poehlman, the Development Director of the Richmond Community Foundation. The guest of Mark Howe was David Del Simone, an attorney in Point Richmond. The guests of invited speaker Mayor Gayle McLaughlin were Kay Wallis, Juan Reardon, Eduardo Martinez, and Elizabeth Watts.

Sunshine Report

Dan Tanita had triple cardio bypass surgery at the beginning of the summer, had a relapse, but is now doing well. Richmond Rotarians sent him their good wishes and hoped for his speedy recovery.


  • Alan Baer described two dictionary projects. The first brings English dictionaries to Africa. Our District Governor asks each Rotarian to donate $7 for this worthy endeavor. The second dictionary project distributes dictionaries to West Contra Costa schools. Contact Alan for more information.
  • Bob Dabney was pleased to announce that he had all the volunteers he needed for the GRIP Dinners to be held on October 27th, October 24th and December 15th. To learn more, contact Bob.
  • In past years, Richmond Rotary has given $100 to each teacher of Peres Elementary School for the purchase of classroom supplies, a project we are doing again this year. David Brown reported that teachers typically spend up to $1,500 yearly out of their own pocket for supplies. Many members wrote out checks and within a few minutes, David had collected some $1,100—short of our goal, but impressive. You can send your check to David in coming days.
  • Mark Howe informed us that the Peace Garden will be spotlighted on TV. For the time and date, contact Mark.
  • Alan Baer advised members that the Contra Costa College Career Day is September 29th.  Contact Alan for more information, especially if you feel your career is worth talking about with a receptive high school student.


James Beaver conducted Recognitions in masterful fashion.
  • Erle Brown celebrated his wedding anniversary—uneventful, he confessed—and in recognition of the milestone he made a donation to the Carl Reyfus Fund.

Happy and Sad Dollars

"The Beav" continued his mining operation:
  • Joan Davis had happy and sad dollars. The sad dollars were for a long-time friend who passed away. Her happy dollars were for her son getting married.
  • Rafael Madrigal, Erle Brown, Jim Young, David Brown: the smiles, stories and dollars went by a bit too quickly for our scribe to scribble the details this time. Suffice it say that Rotarians know how to enjoy themselves and raise money at the same time.
  • To wit: Jim Beaver offered a twenty to the kitty if anyone could answer this trivia question, chosen especially on the occasion of today's presentation by our current mayor: "Who preceded Mayor Thomas Corcoran as Richmond's mayor?" John Nicol immediately shot out the answer: "Stan Grydyk. And Stan was a Richmond Rotarian."

    Wow. No senior moments stalking the recesses of that brain.


Mayor McLaughlin's "Unlimited Possibilities" for Richmond

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

(This is a shortened version of a longer summary of the Mayor’s remarks, recorded by Yvonne Nair. Download the complete summary.)

Yvonne Nair introduced Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, electedto her first term as Mayor in November, 2006. She seeks re-election this year.

Mayor McLaughlin thanked the Richmond Rotary for inviting her to speak, and for its long history of community service. “Richmond,” she said, “is a city of unlimited possibilities.” As its mayor, her focus has been “to help move the City fully into the 21st Century,” with new green and sustainable jobs, new businesses, and a higher quality of life. Among her first-term accomplishments, she cited the following:

  • The City budget has been balanced without cutting services or laying-off workers. 
  • Richmond has negotiated with Chevron on a settlement for the corporation to pay an additional $114 million in taxes over the next 15 years.
  • The City showed a declining trend in violence with 60% fewer homicides this year.
  • Mayor McLaughlin joined other East Bay mayors to found the East Bay Green Corridor which promotes the new green economy, the only growing sector of the region’s economy and the sector in which Richmond already has 40-plus green-certified businesses.
  • The Mayor also co-founded Solar-Richmond which is training hundreds of young Richmond residents in solar energy installations, supporting our 21st Century economy, and making Richmond number one in the Bay Area in per capita solar-watts-installed.

Moving on to other accomplishments during her tenure, the Mayor cited:

The Green Team
The City employs a full-time environmental staff, who form a “green team.” New environmental initiatives during her tenure include green building ordinances, waiving of solar permit fees, and new waste reduction policies. She noted that Richmond now is “an official California Green City.”

Jobs and Business Promotion
The Mayor has worked with all stakeholders to strengthen local employment programs. The City’s summer youth employment program has given jobs to more than 2,000 young people, and places them with part-time jobs year round through the Richmond Youth Corps.

The Mayor noted that the Business Opportunity Ordinance has been strengthened to specify 20% to 25% inclusion of Richmond businesses, of which 10% must be small businesses.  New businesses “have brought more than 1,000 jobs to Richmond.”

Municipal development
During her term, the City has completed the Gold LEED Certified Civic, renovated Nevin Park, created a skate park at Nichol Park, promoted Greenway gardens for residents’ vegetable gardening, re-opened library branches, supported the restoration of the Richmond Plunge, and undertaken major renovations of the Macdonald Avenue streetscape.

The Mayor noted that the City is a partner in the NURVE project (Nystrom United Revitalization Effort) and with the East Bay Center for Performing Arts for their new Winters Building.

Quality of life
“Soon we’ll have a new General Plan based on new urban planning principles with a groundbreaking public health element and climate change element. All these 21st Century developments are giving Richmond a new reputation. They are encouraging more and more business to come into Richmond.”

Pt. Molate and the Chevron Upgrade/Expansion project
Addressing the controversial subject of Pt. Molate development, the Mayor said that the proposed casino would “burden our City with more problems than solutions,” including more crime, traffic, and addiction. She advocated a project that will bring together retail, education and art centers, a vocational training center, and recreational facilities.”

Regarding Chevron’s “Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project”, the Mayor stated that it was “shot down by three judges and two courts because Chevron prepared a flawed EIR (Environmental Impact Report). (...) We expect all our businesses in Richmond – large and small–to play by the rules, and I challenge Chevron to be a better corporate neighbor. I know they can do it.”

Concluding, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said, “Our vision must be broad and we must not short-change ourselves with low expectations. We will not look backward, but we’ll continue moving our City into the 21st Century with new jobs, businesses, and quality of life that you— that all of us— deserve.”

(This is a shortened version of a longer summary of the Mayor’s remarks, recorded by Yvonne Nair. Download the complete summary.)

- Yvonne Nair, rotating scribe