RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #149
October 10, 2014  
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Haven't you heard? Canvassing is Key
Richmond Sun Debuts at Number 1
Economic Justice: Let's Talk Together
You Make the Call for Team Richmond
Chevron trying to push Richmond backwards
Chevron PACs Spend Big & Bad
Gayle, Bernie, Dan, & Dennis
What's happening here?

Bobby Bowens Progressive Center
1021 Macdonald,


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.


What will it take to get you out there for Team Richmond?
Are you tired of seeing appeals to canvass?

I'm tired of writing them.  But the truth is canvassing is our best chance for getting Team Richmond elected.  Conversations turn those who might not even go to the polls into voters committed to Eduardo, Gayle, & Jovanka.  Despite all the attempts to convey it in print, when folks hear a neighbor say that our candidates don't take any corporate money, it brings the point home.  And it doesn't get much better than seeing yard signs going up on a block after you got the residents to agree to them!  (Well, maybe that's a tiny bit of an exaggeration... .) 

I don't want to wake up November 5th and think "If only... ."  My birthday's coming up, and I've decided to celebrate it by canvassing that day (and it really isn't my favorite thing ever).  If you're crazy enough to join me, please sign up at www.teamrichmond.net/canvassing. 

Although you can --and are encouraged to-- canvass whenever it works well for you, this weekend volunteers will be at the BBPC, 1021 Macdonald, 9am-1pm on Saturday, the 11th, and noon to 4pm on Sunday, the 12th, first to provide kits, training, and a partner if you'd like one, and then to collect the materials when you call it a day.  [Next week, the focus on Sunday will shift to the afternoon, as part of the plan to canvass late afternoons & early evenings Sun-Fri.]  This weekend, be sure to bring water, dress in layers, and put on sunscreen, since highs in the 80s are forecast.

If at least 50 of us canvass on the weekend, I won't send out any more appeals for canvassers on the Key List mailings!  That means no more than 3 more of these pitch pieces all year!  Wouldn't that be nice?            
                                                                                                   --Patsy Byers 
Setting a new standard for Richmond journalism:
The Richmond Sun, Vol. I, No. 1, is numero uno

It's 8 big pages of analysis, cartoons, graphics, and Voice of the Voters features from all over the city, complete with a voters guide, and lots of compare-and-contrast between Team Richmond candidates for Richmond City Council --Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Gayle McLaughlin-- and those other ones whose campaigns get megabucks from Chevron, developers, and the real estate industry.  Most likely it arrived in your mailbox this week, if you have a registered Richmond voter in your home.  Don't make the mistake of throwing it in the recycling with the ads that may have come along at the same time.  The lead article, above the fold on page 1, lays out why Chevron execs think it's worth investing millions in buying this election and why we can't let that investment pay off for them.   


Share it with your neighbors and friends.  More hard copies are available at the BBPC, 1021 Macdonald Ave.  If you live outside the area or want to send the very first issue of The Richmond Sun electronically, it's available in its entirety here.  Please have patience while the large file loads.      


Thurs. Oct. 16th, 7-8:30pm in Richmond Memorial Auditorium
A Town Meeting with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders

Who you gonna call?
The voter who will get Team Richmond elected!
Canvassing is our #1 priority for volunteers, but there's plenty more to be done.  Like phone banking.  It's happening Sunday & Monday evenings from Pt. Richmond, and out of a Berkeley office many Thursdays.  We have scripts and training available, always.  Treats, too.  Get the full calendar and sign up right here, or make a call to 510-412-2260 with your availability and preferences.  We need leafletters, sign wavers, office helpers, letter-writers, Tweeters, and more. 
Opinion: Chevron wants to buy my vote.  Thanks, David Helvarg!
L.A. Times Piece Hits Nail on Head

"...the oil giant is trying to turn Richmond back into a company town where elected officials don't force it to pay more property taxes, or demand transparent environmental impact reports  or challenge it on pollution and local hiring practices."  Read it all, here
If you had $1.6M to spend here, couldn't you do some good?
See what Chevron's PACs choose to buy.
If you haven't read the recent article in Richmond Confidential, "Chevron's Moving Forward spreads big money across political campaign committees," please take a moment to do so.

In it, UC Berkeley journalism student Harriet Rowan compiles data on where and how Chevron's PACs are spending-for-votes: "..this year's massive spending, spread across multiple committees, represents an effort by the oil giant to ramp up the effectiveness of its political efforts and mask the size and scope of its campaign... ."

The most disturbing take-away from the top graph:  Relatively light spending for Al Martinez.  It looks like Moving Forward doesn't really want or expect him to win.  He's just being used as a decoy to take votes from that other Martinez, Team Richmond's Eduardo, and allow Jim Rogers to "independently" sneak across the victory line. 

But take a look at the comments, too.  They show how smart Richmond voters can be and offer hope that the Moving Forward effort will fail miserably after having done perhaps a bit of good: giving some Richmond residents active employment outdoors at $13/hr.    
Richmond carries on the tradition of
"Pioneering municipal reformers"

Here's another take on the upcoming visit of Bernie Sanders, along with some information about Dennis Kucinich, who'll be in Oakland later next week in support of its mayoral candidate Dan Siegel.  Progressive mayors, monied opposition, national attention.  Sound familiar?  Interesting background reading for our Town Hall on the 16th., thanks to Steve Early.
A crowd...  cars blocking the street...
What's going on here?  An accident?  Worse? 
Photo: Michael Beer
Nope: Good news!  An independent feature movie entitled Kicks, about a boy who searches for his stolen sneakers (inspired by the classic The Bicycle Thief) was being filmed --not "shot"-- on Richmond streets last week.  And in August, the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center was used as a location in the upcoming "Citizens United: The Movie.  Richmond's getting ready for its close-up.  
Moved recently?  Know anybody new to Richmond?
          To vote on November 4th, register now.
Just click on the reminder here in the first line.  The deadline is October 20th.
Easy, fast, & free!
Give your endorsement to Team Richmond today

If you've read this far, odds are you're a Team Richmond supporter.  Please show that publicly by adding your name to the candidates' list of endorsers.  
All that's needed is 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 

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.     




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.


  • 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.


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.