RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #172
7-16 -15   
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

RPA Summer Picnic THIS Saturday, 7/18
7/21 & 28: Let's Get Just Cause-Fair Rent!
RPA Members Meeting: Focus on Education
7/23: Town Hall to Stop Jail Expansion in Richmond
Fri. 7/17: Richmond Ceasefire Citywide Walk
7/19: Connect the Dots Rodeo-Richmond Refinery Healing Walk
Update on Chevron's FTZ
What it looked like in the blast zone last Saturday
Help RPA with Our Power Festival (8/22): People-Powered Fun in the Sun

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.


Sat. 7/18, 11am-4pm, at Miller-Knox Regional Park
RPA's Summer Picnic


When the flyer says "You're invited," we meanYOU. Please come, with your family, friends, and neighbors. It'll be a chance to play some corny games, eat a tofu(?!) hotdog, watermelon, and s'mores, enjoy a beautiful setting, fly kites, and get to know each other over a beer or an iced tea...



RPA will supply compostable paper ware, charcoal for the fires (from noon to 1:30), some beverages (beer & wine are permitted).  Bring something good to share.  Musical instruments. Remember sunscreen.  There's a tot lot and playground not far from the Marsh Hawk Picnic Area we've reserved.  Let's make this a waste-free event.  And one to remember as a real good time. 


* A downloadable map is available here. Choose Miller/Knox from the list.  The Marsh Hawk Picnic site is #4, close to parking.


Tues. 7/21 (& 28), 6:30pm, Council Chambers.  Be there for:
Up-coming vote on Rent Control & Just Cause

On July 21, Richmond City Council will be voting on whether to pass a Rent Control with Just Cause Evictions ordinance. The second reading, required for implementation, is scheduled for the following week. Please plan to be at both sessions; we need to show strong community support for these important tenant protections.  

Another measure, for a Mediation Board, will also be considered by the Council on Tuesday, and some landlords and others are organizing support for that option. Since the spring, this newsletter has been featuring articles --by Gayle McLaughlin, Mike Parker, Marilyn Langlois, and Rebecca Auerbach-- that show how only Just Cause-Fair Rents will protect many current renters from the pressures of gentrification or displacement as Richmond grows and prospers.

Recently, another basis for the position was developed by Richmond resident Cecilia Cissell Lucas, who states that  "access to affordable housing is a human right under international law." She calls rent control with just cause for eviciton "essential policy for securing the right of housing in our city, which is now facing the same epidemic of displacement as other Bay Area cities" and engages with the arguments made by councilmembers who oppose the ordinance. Here's the link to her full essay.  Give it a read, and if you are unable to attend the council meetings contact your councilmembers before July 21 to encourage them to support keeping hard-working Richmond residents in their homes!

If you can canvass renters, to urge them to turn out on Tuesday, contact
Dan Jameyson [dsjameyson@dan247.com]. Volunteers are most needed on Sunday.
Sat. 7/25, 3-5pm, at 1021 Macdonald 
RPA Members Meeting looks at Education!

Join us for updates from our Councilmembers and then presentations and discussion on the Richmond Promise program, a pilot model school proposal, and other ideas for improving Richmond's schools.


We also have details on organizational progress for the RPA: restructuring, fund-raising, hopes for a new issue of The Sun, office-hunting, and more.


And we plan to continue and deepen our discussion of ways to do the most effective outreach.  Please attend!


New members can join at the door and current members can update their status.  

If you'd like to join now, 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.
Thurs. 7/23, 6:30pm, Town Hall at Ryse Center, 205 41st St. 
Invest in Health, Not Jails: Stop Jail Expansion

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will vote on August 18th, 2015 on a multi-million dollar construction grant proposal to expand the West Contra Costa Detention Facility in Richmond.  This project would cost the County millions over the coming years, with added staffing costs alone.

On July 28th, the Richmond City Council will have the opportunity to go on record in opposition to this costly and misdirected proposal.

The English version of the flyer below asks: "Where are the County's priorities? Doctors Medical Center, the only public hospital serving hundreds of thousands of residents in West Contra Costa County, was shut down just months ago and the County did not intervene, citing budgetary concerns. The County is also now on a pathway to continue to divest in critical medical services, including Contra Costa Medical Center and the critical clinics.

"Yet the County is poised to spend millions to expand jail facilities.

"Join for a Town Hall on July 23 at 6:30pm to discuss the details of the jail proposal, the cost, and where that money could be better spent. The County budget needs to reflect the priorities of Our Community.


Our County, Our Health, Our Choice. Invest in Health, Not Jails.


For more information please contact; Tamisha Walker [Cell: 925- 529-0221. 

Email: tamisha@safereturnproject.org]


Co-sponsor by: Safe Return Project, Ryse Center, and the Contra Costa County Racial Justice Coalition"


This is a countywide issue.  There is another community forum on July 25th at noon at Mt Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek. As the CNA flyer for that says, let's "invest in caring, not caging."
Fri. 7/17, 5-8pm, start at New Hope Missionary Baptist *
Alive & Free: Richmond Ceasefire Citywide Walk

From the press release: "Richmond Ceasefire Citywide Walk is a cross city walk to express to the city of Richmond,  those who have been impacted by gun violence, and those who may be potential perpetrators and /or victims, that we want them to be 'Alive & Free.'

"With the cloud of Charleston hanging over our heads, the heat of church burnings across the country, the shackles of mass incarceration, and the devastating currents of an abrupt awakening of racism, please join us Friday July 17th at 5:00 pm as we walk from North Richmond to South Richmond in a powerful expression of love and hope for our beloved City of Richmond."

Organized by Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizing (CCISCO) & Richmond Ceasefire.

321 Alamo Ave., Richmond CA
Sun. 7/19, from 8am to 5pm, start at Lone Pine Park, Rodeo:
Refinery Healing Walk: Rodeo to Richmond

The walk will end at Keller Beach in Richmond  with a feast provided by Urban Tilth & Mike Little Bear!

Use this link for a wonderful webpage full of details about the walk, its purpose and its logistics.  This one is the final of four for the Summer of 2015.  If you are unable to participate in the full day's activity, there are places to join for a part of it. Please take a look, sign up, and walk the talk.

S.F. Port Commission creates window for education, review
Chevron's FTZ Status Update

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, the San Francisco Port Commission voted to approve a 180-day extension to renew Chevron's authority to operate its refinery site in Richmond as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 3 sub zone site.  Without public pressure, it is likely the term agreed upon this week would have been five years, with three options to extend for five years each.  This shorter term will enable the San Francisco Maritime Marketing Manager and staff to prepare study sessions to educate the public and the Commission itself about the Foreign Trade Zone No. 3 and the use of "alternative site frameworks" (ASF) to designate nearby sites to be covered by San Francisco's FTZ as used in the case of Chevron in Richmond, Valero in Benicia, and Phillips 66 in Rodeo.

In a conversation with Paul Kilkenny and Eduardo Martinez beforehand, Joe Lorenz, the Senior Public Affairs representative for Chevron, validated some of the concerns expressed later in the meeting.  He agreed that Chevron could have done a better job in informing the community and city council of their renewal of their FTZ agreement.

Speakers at the meeting voiced concerns over the lack of transparency, the questionable "public benefits and public interest," the nature of Chevron's self-monitoring of their imports and exports, and the unknown savings Chevron has been enjoying at tax payers' expense through this trade zone agreement.  The Port Commission suggested that Chevron also hold study sessions and community forums to inform the residents of Richmond of what the FTZ is and how it works.

A more comprehensive article on this matter will be published in the Activist soon.

                                                                                        --Eduardo Martinez


Pictures from a Demonstration (with music!):
Richmond's Part in the Week of Action to

First, to start the soundtrack, just give the arrow a click. [You can enlarge it and look at the video later.]:  

Bakken Frackin/ Oil Train

Then, take a look at these photos, all by Tarnel Abbott:

Everyone and everything you see above was in the Blast Zone.
Save the date & help make it great:
Growing Strong & Healthy Communities

"Join in transforming our city and showcasing alternatives to our climate and economic crises."  What can RPA to contribute to the festival?  If you have ideas and some time to offer, in preparation or on August 22nd, please contact Janet Johnson, by email or phone: (510) 331-3985. 

There will also be activities to mark the 3rd anniversary of the huge explosion and fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery, August 6th.  Details TBA.

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.