Richmond, CA is a small, previously unknown, town with just over 100,000 residents on the coast of the San Pablo Bay. That changed in 2014 when Chevron contributed over $3 million to win legislative seats in Richmond -- and failed.
Chevron, one of the biggest oil corporations in the world, has a refinery based in town. On August 6, 2012, an explosion at the refinery rocked the small city, sending over 15,000 of its residents to nearby hospitals and starting a community movement to take back Richmond from the corporate giant. The community rallied, and in the 2014 elections gained positions over the Chevron candidates. We had the opportunity to talk to one of these successful candidates, Jovanka Beckles -- now a city council member -- about her experience with Chevron in Richmond, the difficulties her community faces, and above all, how she and her town defeated Big Oil.