RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #163
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Tues. 3/17: BAAQMD Rules Opportunity
House Hunters, RPA Style
Co-Learning Forum on a People-powered Economy for Richmond
3/19: Join the Membership Committee
3/20: Richmond Housing Issues Interest Group
Volunteer Social Media Content Provider/Manager Needed
3/20: Cross-country Peacewalk Will Start in Richmond
3/28: Race & Social Justice Workshop
Towards "Fair & Impartial Policing"

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.


Tues. 3/17, 5:30-7pm, at the Whittlesey Room, Main Library*:
Speak out for Strong New BAAQMD Rules.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is in the process of adopting new rules to improve monitoring of refinery emissions and to require at least a 20% reduction in CAP (criteria air pollutants) emissions (PM, SOx, NOx, CO, ROG) within five years.  They have scheduled a Town Hall style meeting for public input: After a presentation by Board staff members, comments will be invited.  The room is relatively small and the meeting will be brief.  Nevertheless, let's use this opportunity to show that this process is important to us and to advocate for meaningful improvements! 

The RPA suggests these points for those who wish to speak for effective rules:
  • We want emissions reporting and health risk assessments we can trust.
  • We want real emission reductions through the use of BACT (Best Available Control Technology).
  • BAAQMD should not allow any increases in pollution due to changes in feedstock.
  • The BAAQMD refinery rule should not include exemptions that would allow increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil refineries.
  • BAAQMD should enact a moratorium on permitting air emissions for proposed oil projects until the new refinery rules have been finalized.
Immediately before the meeting, at 5pm, a press conference will be held in the patio area outside the community room.  Eye-catching signs, hats, and shirts are encouraged.  

*325 Civic Center Plaza 
Can you help RPA locate a new home?
Hunt for Office & Meeting Space Underway

Our lease expired at the end of the year; we're staying on month-to-month; and we're looking for a new space, since the building's owner wants much higher rent from the next long-term tenant. 

We are looking for a space that can accommodate at least 100 people, seated together at events.  In the neighborhood of 1500-2000 square feet.  "Reasonable" rent, hopefully less than $1.25/sq ft.  With an ADA-compliant rest room.  Within easy reach of public transportation, preferably a short walk to a BART station.  A little kitchen area would be a big plus.  Decent natural light.  Yes, in Richmond!

If you have a solid lead on such a space, please email all the details and contact information to timlaidman@yahoo.com.  The "finder" will be honored at out first big event in our new digs.       
Register by 3/18 for Forum on Sat. 3/28, 10am-4pm, 2369 Barrett:
Cooperative, Living Wage, & Sustainable Jobs

The Richmond Progressive Alliance is a cosponsor.   
RSVP by Wednesday, March 18th, by email here or use this form
Thurs., 3/19, 6:30-8pm, Bobby Bowens Progressive Center*
Help expand member engagement!

Please join the RPA Membership Committee!  After two successful monthly RPA Member Meetings in January and February, the RPA Membership Committee seeks new members to maintain, expand, and plan future Member Meetings, communication, and activities.
We welcome your engagement.

Here are a few photos from the February meeting, mostly of the groups that met to discuss specific issues:
Photos: Juan Reardon 
*1021 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond.  Phone: (510) 412-2260  
Sat. 3/21, 3pm at BBPC, 1021 Macdonald Ave:
Housing group to meet again. Interested? Great!

The dozen or so RPA members and friends who discussed Richmond housing issues on February 28th plan
to get together again, and anyone else who's interested is invited.
This information was provided by Kathleen Wimer, who "hosted" the table:

Here's a list of resources. Feel no obligation to read any of these before we meet. They are kind of interesting, though.
If you want munchies or beverages at the meeting, please bring enough to share.
Help Wanted: Richmond Progressive Alliance Seeks
Volunteer Social Media Content Provider/Manager
The RPA social media presence requires a content provider/ manager. Qualified individual(s) will create: 
  • content that speaks to the broad spectrum of people RPA wishes to join into an on-line community
  • content that signals the RPA's core values and promotes RPA initiatives and the agenda it shares in alliance with related communities, virtual and actual
  • timely content, nearly constant posts and tweets 
  • constant monitoring against unwanted content
If interested, please contact kathleenwimer@gmail.com or @RichProAll
Fri., 3/20/ 8am @ Richmond BART station, as spring begins:
Peacewalk for a Nuclear Free Future to start here

A group of dedicated activists is walking from Richmond to the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York City in April.  One of the organizers writes: "We are starting in Richmond because we want to bring the energy of all of the good things happening there with us as we walk."  The walk will be led by Reverend Jun Yasuda, (affectionately known as "Junsan") a Nipponzon Myohoji Buddhist nun who has been walking around the country and the world for more than 40 years.

The group will meet in a prayer circle before beginning the walk, and you are invited to join in and to see them off.  If you'd like to start the walk with them, the  route on the 20th will go to West Oakland, passing many BART Stations along the way, so it would be possible to walk part of the day and BART back. (A support car is also available if someone can't make it to a BART Station for some reason.)

For a flyer with more about the walk and its full route, follow this link.

Also Sat. 3/28, 3-6pm, Whittlesey Room, Richmond Public Library
Race & Social Justice: Whose world is it?


Just a reminder: From the Meetup page for the event: "This public open forum is designed and intended to address race and social justice, and to begin to make needed changes in our city and world, in our relationships, as well as within ourselves."


The workshop is offered by Bill Say. He "works at the intersection of diversity, conflict resolution and community building as a consultant, trainer and facilitator...[working] with relationships, community and our own bodies and minds as ways to become more whole and aware. His website is: www.billsay.com."    

Article by Steve Early asks:
"Can Police Retraining Put The Cuffs on Racial Bias?"

Snoop Dogg/Instagram  Photo credit: Salon.
Be mindful about stereotypes: Only one of them is a convicted felon.

Richmond Police Department recently underwent new training to promote "Fair & Impartial Policing" (FIP), designed to help "law enforcement personnel recognize unconscious biases related to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status that may adversely affect their day-to-day job performance," reports Steve Early.  As "Malcolm Marshall, the 42-year old African-American editor of The Richmond Pulse" characterized the training for Early:  "It's a start but it's not a cure-all."  Follow this link to read the full article.


Want to join the RPA?
Literally pennies a day and invaluable, too...
RPA Logo

New members are welcomed at any time!  If you feel you know enough about the organization to join now, please follow the steps below.  For more background, read the article by Mike Parker at the end of this newsletter.  You can also get more current information from our webpage or our Facebook page. 


If you'd like to join, follow this link to the membership form.  Print and complete the form and mail it in with a check for your dues, which start at $12/yr.  Or, to avoid printing and snail-mailing, you can:

  •  send an email to info@richmondprogressivealliance.net with the information requested on the form &
  • go to the RPA web page & press the "Donate" button in the left column and make a payment for dues. Any additional contribution helps us keep dues more affordable for those with low income and is welcomed.
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.