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Talking Points

The following are mix/match paragraphs – approximately 20- to 40-seconds each for the average to fast speaker.
General Issue:
The AstraZeneca site on the Richmond southeast shoreline is leaking highly contaminated water and soil gas from 550,000 cubic yards of hazardous material left behind by 100-years of hazardous material left behind by 100-years of chemical manufacturing.  The community is near unanimous in its commitment that the material be removed from the shoreline to protect San Francisco Bay and all future generations from its harmful impacts. 
Pouring concrete on top of 65-acres of hazards to build dense 80-foot-high condominiums will leave an unmitigated toxic-forever legacy.  There would be no way to physically reach contaminated source material after development, short of tearing down newly constructed multi-story buildings.  There is no containment on the sides or underneath the massive quantities of hazardous material, allowing contaminated soil and groundwater to leak, unchecked for all-time.
To do anything less than a full and complete removal of the hazardous waste on the Zeneca site on Richmond's southeast shoreline endangers the community's health, the environment, and the Bay.  Any future development must wait until the site meets the highest residential standard for health and safety, allowing for the widest possible range of use now and in the future for this site.
Lawsuit:
The community-based lawsuit regarding the AstraZeneca site was filed December 30, 2020, against the City of Richmond, triggered by gross judgment errors of the prior City Council whose term ended January 12.  The newly seated City Council has an opportunity to resume the strong 15-plus year collaboration with a highly engaged community regarding the Zeneca, aka Campus Bay, site and correct broadly unpopular choices made by the prior City Council. 
Commitment to swiftly settle the lawsuit will save the City extraordinary legal fees and diverted city-wide energies that should be dedicated to finding solutions for a full clean-up of shoreline sites which had prior unwavering City Council and community support.  The community voted-in a new council majority to support a full cleanup and to more fully evaluate impacts of sea level rise on Richmond’s 32-mile shoreline.
Public Voice:
The prior City Council’s vote to enter the development agreement was in spite of overwhelming well-informed community outcry.  COVID pandemic restrictions rendered the community voice highly muted with the City’s extremely cumbersome and poorly executed public participation tools through Zoom.
Community members who set aside hours to be heard for 1- or 2-minutes at Planning Commission and City Council meetings are frequently dropped or not called-on during open forum or designated speaking periods.  The complaint record of public voices being overlooked or cut out, speaks for itself.  
City Council and employee bureaucratic-speak that works well within the City’s institutions, requires simplification and more step-by-step directions for representative public participation.  To correct part of the lawsuit’s complaints, the new Council can insure ways to include broad public voices.
Seek ways to change course:
In response to the community-based lawsuit regarding the heavily polluted AstraZeneca shoreline site, the new City Council has an opportunity to change course and seek ways to remove the site’s hazardous material before development – no homes on AstraZeneca’s toxic landfill.  The new City Council can give City Staff, City Attorneys and the community a strong signal that solutions are being sought to resolve shoreline hazards that do not include leaving them in-place.
Leaving contaminated material in-place jeopardizes human and environmental health during and after future development.  Avoid future lawsuits and liability for the City – Do not build homes on an active, leaking, Superfund-qualified toxic waste dump.