Editor’s Note: Late last year, Chevron began unveiling a series of billboard advertisements in Richmond. Broadly interpreted, the ads convey a theme of city pride and feature images of workers as well as city landmarks like the Rosie the Riveter museum and local parks. Initial reactions from residents have been mixed, with some people saying the ads are effective while others have been more cynical about the messaging which they see as an attempt by the oil giant to repair its image in the wake of the latest refinery explosion of 2012 and festering public anger about the refinery’s health impact on the city. Richmond Pulse asked three youth from Richmond to weigh in on the billboard campaign.
Sergio Solis, 20:
It seems like nowadays you can’t go anywhere in Richmond without seeing Chevron’s mark. The oil giant has been running a massive citywide propaganda campaign to make their company appear as a loving member of our community — billboards showing pictures of people of color who work for them, saying that they live and work in Richmond and safety is their number one concern. [It’s] an obvious attempt to try to stay in a positive light in the eyes of Richmond residents after their explosion in 2012, [but] Chevron is doing nothing to fix these issues. In fact, they seem to think that throwing us a few dollars (in the form of this propaganda) will keep us quiet.
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