RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #142
July 27, 2014  
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IN THIS ISSUE
Plan a Team Richmond House Party now!
Tu. 7/30 from 6:30: Council to decide on Chevron
In Defense of PC's Conditions for Chevron
Mike Parker's 7/22 Presentation
Wed. 7/30, 4:30-5:30: Short March for DMC
Fri. 8/1, 6:30 at BBCP See Richmond/Regla Film
Sat. 8/9: Our Power Day of Action
Canvass for the Team & Save Sat. 8/16.
Sat. 8/16, 4pm: NOJROTC Meets
End the Seige of Gaza
One is infinitely better than none!
"Chevron is the biggest loudmouth in Richmond."
Morning commuters get a message
 

Bobby Bowens Progressive Center
1021 Macdonald,
510-412-2260


PASS IT ON!!  

Since we don't take corporate money,  our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to promote activities and programs in Richmond. The RPA Activist is one tool we use to put out our ideas. One simple thing that YOU can do is to forward the RPA Activist to friends and acquaintances. Thanks.

 

Oops!
The editor apologizes if you get #142 twice!

Due to a one-time problem with our mailing lists, this copy may be the second one you receive.  If so, please forward it to a friend!
Tu. 7/29, 6:30-very late: Hearing will conclude in Auditorium.
Council will decide on Chevron project conditions: "Do not agree that they have the right to continue to poison us."
    
The Richmond City Council expects to act on Chevron's appeal of the Planning Commission's conditions on Tuesday.  Plan to be there!

The session will begin with the Council hearing the remaining public speakers (starting with the first numbered speaker card after the last speaker of July 22); followed by
2 minute rebuttals by the appellate and presenters for the Planning
Commission decision; then questions and deliberation of the Council;  and finally motions and votes.  If you are among the 100 or so uncalled speakers, please arrive on time for your chance to express your concerns.

Please, come and stay for the whole thing if possible.  You will be a witness to history.  And if you've attended Council meetings, you know the event will have plenty of drama, most likely with boring bits mixed in.  The session may not conclude until midnight.  It will be an ordeal, a marathon, and something you'll never get a second chance to be part of.  

If you must be up early on Wednesday morning, then the Richmond
RCC 7/22/14 Hearing.  Photos by Juan Reardon.
Environmental Justice Coalition (REJC) is encouraging you to be there between 6:30 and 9:00pm.  It will be helpful to have lots of audience applause when good points are made by the public speakers. 

If you are able to  stay later, you may want to tune in on-line or on KCRT TV at home, and come down to the Auditorium (403 Civic Center Plaza) when the questions and deliberations get started.  Let's continue to show that there's considerable public opposition to rubber-stamping Chevron's appeal and applaud at the critical moments!

Bring signs, bring food and drink for when you need a break, bring friends and neighbors.  Let's show by our presence Tuesday that we want Chevron to support Richmond by cutting pollution, proactively protecting worker and community safety, and contributing to a meaningful program for a future of Clean Energy & Green Jobs.  Let's show up in all our colorful diversity (consider wearing something that isn't blue & white!) and by our presence fight for the best future we can create.  "We deserve the best... and Chevron can afford it, easily."     
A brief report on the first night of the public hearing (Tu. 7/22): 
In defense of the Planning Commission's work

Over 400 people showed up.  Over 200 signed up to speak.  Chevron had many there with their with signs and blue and white jerseys and impatience for approval.  While in smaller blocks, the green shirts of APEN and the red ones of CNA were a welcome sight. 

A day or so before the hearing, Chevron announced it would drop objections and accept "the environmentally superior" Alternative 11 (absent from the first 4500 pages in the Draft EIR), but the appeal continued, pressing City Council to lift the addit
ional conditions imposed by the Planning Commission. 
Greg Karras, CBE 

Greg Karras, of Communities for a Better Environment, and RPA's Mike Parker shared the 8 minutes allowed for formal advocacy of the Planning Commission position.   Speaking first, Karras made the case for the conditions --lowering emissions, replacing old components subject to corrosion, and funding an expanded CGRP, the Clean Energy Jobs Program-- as consistent with high standards for public health, worker safety, a just transition to a clean energy future, and environmental stewardship.
Mike Parker, RPA
Photos by Juan Reardon.
Mike Parker's statement is worth hearing in its entirety (of less than 5 minutes!), so a link is provided below, but if you do not have that opportunity, here are a few highlights:  "I want to focus on one issue: the right to breathe clean air, and the enormous cost to the community, in health-care and property values, for the dirty air that we breathe. As the EIR acknowledges, Richmond is an impacted community. It already has high pollution, which creates a higher cancer risk for residents.  ...Our position is that modernization of the refinery must make the refinery operations themselves cleaner, not dirtier. ...
[Referring to diesel particulates from shipping:] Chevron's business does not require these sources of pollution. They have just chosen to avoid the expense of stopping it.  In this case, Chevron owes it to our community to do everything reasonable to cut this kind of pollution.  ...It is as though Chevron is claiming that the law grandfathers in its right to poison us. Do not agree that they have the right to continue to poison us.
Finally, we know that the refinery operation is a health problem for this community. We know that the refinery operation is dangerous. The continued operation of the refinery must include provisions for available medical care for the community and must include a major contribution to keep Doctors Hospital Medical Center open as a full-service hospital.
I urge you to support the Planning Commission conditions. Thank you very much."

About 100 public speakers followed, many of us urging the City Council to follow the recommendations of the Planning Commission.

For more background on the issues under consideration, see the RPA website; for a broader report on the 7/22 hearing, read the East Bay Express article, here
Watch Mike Parker's presentation at City Council or read it here.
"Modernization of the refinery must make the... operations themselves cleaner, not dirtier."

Mike Parker   Chevron Conditions 7 22 14
Mike Parker Chevron Conditions 7 22 14

Get in on the fun & help Team Richmond:
Plan a House Party today!

To make arrangements for Mike Parker, Candidate for Mayor, and a Team Richmond City Council candidate to speak with your neighbors and friends, contact Margaret, by email: mjordan00@gmail.com or by phone: 510-595-4661.
Two other guests & City Council candidate Eduardo Martinez at a recent House Party. 
Photo: Nancy Baer.
Wed. July 30, 4:30-5:30pm:
March from DMC to West County Health Center*

From the event flyer:
"Join us in saying NO to medical apartheid in our County and YES to equality and humanity.

"Contra Costa County must recognize basic human and civil rights of the people of West Contra Costa County, and accept responsibility for hospital care in West Contra Costa County by integrat- ing Doctors Medical Center San Pablo into Contra Costa Health Services. Our basic human and civil rights require the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors to act so that every person's need for hospital care is equally met in Contra Costa County.

"Every patient in West Contra Costa County has a heart that could urgently need a Cardiac Cath Lab or lungs that could need an Emergency Room because of a refinery accident. West Contra Costa County patients who receive Medicare and Medi-Cal funded healthcare through Contra Costa Health Plan in West County need inpatient hospital care from Doctors Medical Center San Pablo. Without our Hospital patients will die. Our County Supervisors need to stand up for the whole County."

*Gather at Doctors Medical Center, 2000 Vale Rd., San Pablo, & march a quarter mile to West County Health Center, 13601 San Pablo Ave., San Pablo     
Fri. Aug 1, 6:30-8:30pm, Enjoy this Richmond/Regla event:
"From Ghost Town to Havana" Special Screening

Join the Richmond/Regla, Cuba Friendship Committee at the BBPC, 1021 Macdonald, for this feature length documentary on the meanings of young men's baseball from the East Bay to the Cuban capitol.  Director Eugene Corr will be present for Q&A.  $5-10 is the suggested donation, but everyone is welcome.
       
Free!  Invite your friends & neighbors!  Tell the activists you'll be walking & working & dancing with about the big August 16th Richmond Rising canvassing event for Team Richmond (see next section), too.
Start sooner & save the date: Sat. Aug 16, Monster canvass bash
Every Saturday at 3, from BBPC, start canvassing!
 
Team Richmond canvassers are key to the campaign.  Contribute to this people powered effort by attending a brief training, available every Saturday at 3pm, then start walking and talking one-to-one with interested voters.  It's the best way to counter the big bucks and slick tricks of the corporate-backed candidates.

If you're already canvassing, and you want to have one of the candidates walk with you from 4-6 any afternoon, sign up here.
Mike Parker in action, canvassing. 


Team Richmond is planning a special event for Aug. 16th, Richmond Rising, an all-day blitz with the goal of reaching 1000 households.  Activists from Bay Area environmental and community groups will team up with Richmond residents.  There'll be two canvassing shifts: 10am-2pm (arrive at 9:30am for briefing) and 1-5pm (arrive at 12:30pm).  Plan on working one, or both!  Free food before the sessions has been mentioned, too.

Help hit the goal and add your count to the tally.  Return to the Bobby Bowens Center (1021 Macdonald, near Harbor & Richmond BART) and party from 5:30 on. 
 
Sat. Aug 16: Another busy day:
NOJROTC in WCCUSD Meeting at 4pm.

Maybe you can canvass in the morning, go to this meeting, then return for the party at the BBPC? 

The next meeting to keep JROTC out of WCCUSD high schools is in Richmond near I-80, call Susan at (510) 234-0645 or email for directions.  
         
Imagine all the people, living life in peace:
Stop the killing, end the siege of Gaza.

Imagine: A group of kids in Richmond playing outside. Maybe a pick-up soccer
From Mission in Palestine, Denmark
Children in Gaza running for their lives. What if they were your kids or your neighbors? (Photo from Mission in Palestine, Denmark)
game in an empty lot. Suddenly bombs start exploding around them and they run for safety. Only there's nowhere to run because bombs are falling all over Richmond. And imagine bombs falling all over the East Bay, from Richmond to Hayward, from the hills to the bay. Imagine this area has been closed off by a foreign army for 66 years, surrounded by barbed wire, concrete walls, checkpoints and heavy armaments so that no one can come in or go out, not even by boat on the waterfront. Imagine the terror and trauma of those children, the ones that survive the bombing, which many don't.

This is the reality in Gaza today and for the last 66 years. We would never stand for it here, and Gazans are saying No to this ongoing oppression. They're saying they, too, deserve a dignified life with basic rights.

More and more Americans are insisting that Israel must stop not only the relentless murder and mayhem against Gazans but also the decades long illegal occupation and control of Gaza's borders. Israel needs to take a stand: either allow Palestinians to have an autonomous state throughout Gaza and the West Bank, where Palestinians control their own borders; or proclaim Gaza and the West Bank to be part of the state of Israel, thereby giving all Palestinian residents full citizenship, voting rights and all the freedoms that Israeli citizens enjoy. Israel can't have it both ways, controlling the territory and people who live there, but not letting them be part of its own state.

The meager yet defiant attempts by some Gazans to defend themselves against the prolonged oppression and periodic brutal massacres of civilians will end when both the Israeli attacks and its siege of Gaza end and Gaza's borders are opened.

US government leaders must join Americans in calling for an immediate halt to the Israeli bombardment and blockade of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. If any US communities faced similar circumstances, what would they say to that?
                                                               --Marilyn Langlois, Richmond resident 
       
At 23rd & Roosevelt, southbound on the right:
RICHMOND ES MEJOR AHORA.

Look for the Team Richmond billboard, up on poles on the NIAD Art Center.
       
Oil + Politics = A slimy me$$:
Hey, shouldn't they be immiscible?


"If the Supreme Court is right that corporations are people and money is free speech, then Chevron is the biggest loudmouth in Richmond, where I live." So starts David Helvarg's piece in the San Francisco Chronicle editorial section last Sunday.  If you haven't read the whole thing yet, it's worth following this link.

And labor activists in Australia are challenging the dirty hand of Chevron there, too, with help from their Richmond allies.  Check it out here & take a look at their Facebook page, here

Fri. July 25th.:
Protest seen in Richmond on morning commute.
     

 

Quick, easy and free!
Endorse Team Richmond Now

As you know, 2014 is going to be a super important election here in Richmond, if we want to keep the progressive momentum going and keep building on the good things happening in recent years.  You've probably noticed how Chevron is already spending tons of money on PR...
 
Here's a free and easy way to show support for Team Richmond.  Your endorsement is valuable and will make a difference!   Please let us know if you endorse the Team Richmond candidates:  Mike Parker for Mayor and Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez and Gayle McLaughlin for City Council.  
 
Simply send a brief e-mail to langlois-rine@comcast.net, with "endorse Team Richmond" in the subject line. Include your full name, city of residence, and any affiliation or title you would like to include (affiliation is for identification purposes only).
 
Thank you.  It only takes a moment and will be greatly appreciated!

 RPA Membership Drive Continues 

RPA Bag
Become an RPA member
Under the leadership of Mayor McLaughlin and her progressive colleagues on the City Council, 
Richmond has drawn local, national and international attention with its innovative solutions to persistent problems.  Let's keep the momentum going!  As we gear up for the coming election year in 2014, RPA needs your support more than ever. Join now and be part of history in the making.
 
Dues are just $12 per year (or more if you are able), and go towards paying our share of rent at the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave--a space that is used by RPA and other organizations for educational forums, town hall meetings, strategy sessions, campaign organizing, celebrations and many other events open to the community.
 
By joining now you'll get our e-newsletter and action alerts, and opportunities to participate in building a better Richmond.  We'll also give you a large, attractive tote bag--ideal for grocery shopping, now that Richmond has enacted a plastic bag ban as another step toward protecting our precious environment. 
 
Don't put it off--  write, call or e-mail us now!

Join the RPA

RPA Symbol

We can only keep this city moving forward, protect our health and safety, and resist corporate domination of our politics if enough of us join together. We are asking you to take sides--to join the RPA.     

 

 

RPA BELIEFS:

UNITY - One Richmond: African-American, Asian, Latino/a, Native Americans, white, united for the good of all.

DEMOCRACY- Government of, for, by the people; all the people, not just those rich enough to buy influence.

DIVERSITY - of ideas: Democrats, Greens, independents, or other. We sometimes disagree but respect each other enough to keep working for a better Richmond together.

WHAT RPA MEMBER VOLUNTEERS DO:

  • participate in periodic RPA discussions and events of community interest;
  • staff the office, make phone calls, meet in committees, arrange events and parties;
  • work on campaigns of RPA-endorsed candidates for city council;
  • engage with neighbors;
  • help shape RPA and its priorities;
  • join in support of other allied organizations working to make a difference in Richmond;
  • read the newsletter at www.richmondprogressivealliance.net for what REALLY goes on in Richmond;
  • eat; have fun.

Download the membership form and mail it in with dues.

OR

Send us an email at info@richmondprogressivealliance.net with the information requested on the form.  And go to the RPA web page. Press the "Donate" button in the left column and make a dues contribution. An additional contribution is greatly appreciated and helps us keep dues low for those with low income.

 

Some History and Understanding of the RPA
  Social Policy Article









Long article with pictures 

--have patience in downloading

 

RPA Activist Info

is for Richmond community members who want to be active in taking on the problems of the environment, racism, joblessness, housing, and crime to create a healthy Richmond. We believe that community involvement means more than voting every two years. It means regular communication with the candidates we elect, letting them know our issues and positions, supporting them as they try to take our issues forward. It means we attend meetings, use email, phone our neighbors, or go on marches building an organized movement to create real change.

Comments and columns are welcome. Articles and columns are the views of the authors, unsigned text  the views of the editor, Patsy Byers, and not necessarily those of the RPA. Send photos, articles, and comments to  RPAactivist@gmail.com or call  510-595-4661. Longer articles of analysis and archives of past newsletters can be found on our website.