RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #151
October 28, 2014  
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Let's make Team Richmond visible & show Chevron's (dirty) hand, too
10/31: The Iron Heel to be performed in Berkeley
Imminent arrival: Richmond Sun #2
11/1: Healthy Communities Richmond Event
Gayle's Travel's Modest; Her Work for Richmond, Anything But
An Appreciation for the Poets & Artists
Richmond in National Media Round-up
Andrew Young's Richmond visit reported on
Rachel Maddow Show just featured Richmond AGAIN

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.


Signs of the times: Sign up, sign on, sign wave (sigh):
Opportunities to show which side you are on

~Tuesday, October 28 at 4pm at Macdonald & San Pablo Aves.:

Free Speech Message to be displayed with three mini-billboards under 2 Chevron billboards.  The location is four blocks north of the Del Norte BART Station. The photo above shows them set up for a nighttime dry run.  The conclusion: The mini-billboards work GREAT.  The organizers say: "We can get 20 more just like these if enough of us are willing to participate.  We are creating a Facebook event page that should be up tomorrow [10/27]."

~Thursday, October 30, 4:30 - 5:30 pm at the intersection of San Pablo &  Barrett:

Volunteer crew waving ordinary yard signs accompanied by large sandwich boards announcing "Not Paid By Chevron." Powerful message. Loads of fun.

Photo: William Barish.

~As soon as possible:

Having a bunch of bike riders --say five-- strap a Team Richmond sign on their backs and ride around Richmond.  Say this biker, who commutes along Cutting Blvd. with her Team Richmond sign attached with clothesline wire:   "People definitely notice the sign when I ride my bike with it."

~Sat-Tues, Nov. 1-4, most daylight hours, Reach for Victory Election Weekend:

Use the buttons at the top to sign up now to call supporters or for the most urgent need, volunteers to greet voters at the polls and hand out the Team Richmond slate cards.  We plan to  have supporters at nearly 30 locations, from 7am to 8pm.  The most critical shifts are 7-9am & 5-8pm. 

We will be leafleting, bannering, and waving signs all day next Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Just drop by the office any time 9am-6pm for materials, assignment to a busy location, and a partner if you'd like one.

And canvassing continues all this week.  Come by the BBPC, 1021 Macdonald, for walksheets, or call 510-412-2260 to arrange a time. 

Fri., Oct. 31, 6pm at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant
See a visionary novel come alive on Halloween

Presented as a benefit for the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the Sunflower Alliance, this is a one-night-only event, a Readers Theater, Puppetry and Music 
adaptation of the visionary dystopian science fiction tale of anti-capitalist rebellion & the rise of authoritarianism.

Written by: Tarnel Abbott & The IronHeel Theatre Collective 
Art Director: Regina Gilligan 
Puppetry Director: David Solnit 
Readers Theater Director: Alicia Littletree Bales
Please "join" the  Facebook Event Page and "invite" interested friends.  Also get an actual ticket --to hold your spot and to let us know how many to expect-- from
http://ironheel.brownpapertickets.com.  Suggested donation is $10-20, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

* Jack London's great granddaughter Tarnel Abbott & his great-great grandson, Devin O'Keefe
* Live Saxophone musical score by master musician Andrés Soto
* Introduction by Jonah Raskin, editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War & Revolution.

This performance is in conjunction with the international Jack London Symposium, held this year in Berkeley.  It will begin promptly at 6 and go for about 1 hour 15 minutes with no intermission.   

Join us!  Costumes are optional. 
Be on the lookout: New issue of the Richmond Sun is on its way.
Once again "Shining a light on Richmond's news"
Like its predecessor, this one is crammed with a lively mix of articles, cartoons, Voice of the Voter features, and informative graphics.  It's most fun to read full sized, but if you live outside of Richmond, don't have a voter in your house, threw it away by accident with all that junk mail from Moving Forward, or just can't wait for your home delivery, here's a link, that's good for sharing, too.

Read what Jim Rogers's election could cost Richmond and other arguments against all of Chevron's candidates.

More hard copies are available at 1021 Macdonald, with the office open 9-6 most days for this week before Election Day.  
Photo: Fletcher Oakes
A crowd in the Richmond BART station reads the first edition of the Richmond Sun earlier this month.
Sat. Nov. 1, 11am-3pm, 420 Macdonald Ave, Richmond
Healthy Communities Richmond's We R Richmond

From the event flyer:
Residents!  How healthy are we in Richmond?  What can we all do to promote healthy living in our community?
  Here is an opportunity to hear from Atty. John L. Burris (handling many claims from the Aug 2012 Chevron explosion & fire) & a host of public agencies concerned about the health of our environment.  Let's talk about it while enjoying refreshments and the wealth of talent from our neighborhoods.  Eduardo Martinez will speak for a few minutes between 1 & 3.

Town Hall Meeting at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church


She works hard for Richmond!
And guess who the council's jetsetter really is?

Photo: Melvin Willis.
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin pitched in with a slew of other volunteers Saturday to help rebuild the Parchester Playlot in Parchester Village.  Many hands lightened the work.

And in contrast to that Chevron-funded billboard shown in the first section, and the mailers, the door hangers, and the TV commercials, that all would try to convince you otherwise, she has worked long and hard for Richmond, in Richmond.  According to a Richmond Confidential article by Brett Murphy and Elly Schmidt-Hopper, "an analysis of city documents, invoices, travel receipts and bank statements dating to 2010 shows that McLaughlin has traveled less, missed fewer meetings, and spent less money on the trips than City Councilman Nat Bates, a longtime supporter of the oil giant's mammoth refinery here and the Chevron-backed committee's favored candidate for mayor."

Bates outspent our mayor about 3:1 on travel, in terms of both time and money.  Apparently his own position on frequent and international trips differs from the stance in his patron's ads; he is quoted in the article as saying: "You can't accomplish things staying at home, and not engaging with global community."  All this has led Tom Butt, who is running against Bates for mayor, to conclude that "the Chevron-funded campaign to paint McLaughlin as a frequent traveler who has eschewed her responsibilities is hypocritical."

Once again, it's a good and informative read from those UC journalism students, with interesting graphics to boot.  For the full article, "Chevron's campaign criticizes progressive mayor's travel, but its favored candidate traveled much more," use this link.

"Back out of all this now too much for us..." *
Richmond Poets & Artists gave us a gift

Some of the poets and listeners have described the event Friday evening as "healing," "a respite," and "a lovely time."   Organized by local poets Daniel Ari and Rafael Jesús González, and members of Eduardo Martinez's campaign team, it benefited Team Richmond and enriched us all.  The BBPC was transformed into a dimly-lit poetry house and art gallery, full of quiet energy and appreciation, for a few hours.  Here are some photos from the open mic which followed the featured poets.  As you can see, the age range was significant.  So was the shared joy.

* Robert Frost, "Directive."   
Richmond in the National Spotlight
Chevron's trying to buy Richmond's government

In the week since Rachel Maddow decried Chevron's interference in Richmond politics, numerous other national media voices have featured Chevron vs. Richmond as an example of corporate cash dominating American elections:

                                                                                --Daniel Goodwin    

One week ago:
Andrew Young visited Richmond.

Major funding by Chevron (and Coca Cola).  Sound familiar?

's appearance showcased his most recent incarnation as a skilled, if not uncontroversial, friend of private enterprise, including some of the biggest firms in the world. The timing of his visit was not unrelated to Richmond's upcoming municipal elections," wrote Steve Early in his piece in Beyond Chron on Thursday. 

He noted: "In recent years, Young's own lucrative partnering with global business has sometimes tarnished his reputation as an esteemed elder in the African-American community." For his full take on the visit from this protean character, look here.
This just in: "Crude, but effective."
Rachel Maddow focuses again on Richmond

The show on Monday, October 27, had a 13-14 minute feature on Chevron's campaign to buy the election here, with a focus on the mayor's race. The title isn't news for us: "Oil corporation invests in candidates ahead of election." There's no youtube link to embed here yet, but you can watch the whole thing at her site

And note the duplicitous duplication of names for two new PACs:  Richmond Working Families, started by ACCE, APEN, SEIU1021, and others to canvass and phone bank for a slate where 4 out of 5 have strong opposition from Chevron, and Richmond Working Families for Jobs 2014, which supports those Chevron wants elected.  [Jael Myrick is on both "slates."]  And all along we thought it was bad there was an Al Martinez running for council with backing from Chevron.  He managed to squeeze just ahead of EDUARDO on the ballot, and note, too: His signs are printed in blue and gold.
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.