RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #176
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Spread the Truth about Rent Control Petition!
9/26: RPA Members Meet to Decide Bylaws
Envisioning the New RPA
Tell CA grant makers: No jail expansion!
Look at the lies they're telling!
Resources to Argue Against Petition
Gentrification & Displacement & Hope for Changing Trends
SOIL NOT OIL! (9/3 & 9/4, Right Here)
9/12: Remembering Pedie Perez

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.


Beware: Petition drive to suspend Rent Control & Just Cause
The Truth Squad needs you!

Many paid signature gatherers, now reportedly making a whopping $20/voter,-who-signs, are going door-to-door and working BART stations, super markets, and other public places, trying to get enough signatures to suspend the newly-approved ordinance before it has a chance to go into effect this Friday. If successful, their effort may delay any further action on rent control and just cause for eviction until after the next general election in November of 2016.

The means by which they are urging voters to sign the petition distorts and misrepresents the truth here. Some who carry the petition may genuinely believe that they are advocating for all rental units in Richmond to be protected (contrary to limits imposed by state law), or that they're speeding up the process for implementation of rent control.

The coalition that fought for rent control and just cause is asking for volunteers to hand out fact sheets in public places where these folks are known to work. If you have a few hours available this week, please give David Sharples of ACCE a call at (415) 377-9037 to set up a time and place.

If you are asked to sign the petition, or see someone trying to collect signatures, please talk with the canvasser, and, if possible, record  on video the arguments s/he gives in support.  If  you think they may be misleading, distorted, or outright lies, please send the documentation here: contracosta@calorganize.org. Consider posting it to You Tube and publicizing it, too.

If you have signed the petition and want to withdraw your name, a simple form is available here or at the City Clerk's office (third floor, 450 Civic Center Plaza, 8:30-5, M-F) .  Do so right away; to remove a signature, a hard copy of the request must be received there before the petition is filed. If you are unable to get it in during these hours, you can bring your completed form to the ACCE office at 322 Harbour Way, Ste. 25, and they will make sure it gets submitted to the City Clerk.  The ACCE office is open until 8pm.
RPA Members Meeting Sat. 9/26, 3-5:30pm, 1021 Macdonald  
Join in shaping the future of the RPA!

Members will be talking over and voting on the proposed bylaws to carry our organization forward, stronger and better.


The procedure was discussed in the Activist #175, and members have received a link to the draft documents.

Read about the vision for the reorganized RPA in the section below.


In order to participate, you need to be a member --Doh!  That means supporting the RPA's values and goals, and paying dues, which start at $12/year.  Here's the scoop:


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 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.
Members shape, lead RPA; here to stay; join today!
Exciting Reorganization Underway at the RPA

The Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) aims to reorganize for our next ten years of operation.  We're solidifying transparent, accessible, and democratic structures, and opening the organization's steering committee to accommodate the participation of a broad array of people interested in election to leadership roles.

Members will finalize proposed bylaws at a meeting on Saturday, September 26.  At the same time, we'll introduce a nominating committee, which will ask people to contact them as candidates or with recommendations. People can seek election as one of two coordinators, five standing committee chairs, or as one of five at-large members. (Representatives of allied organizations and of action teams, each with full voting rights, will be chosen by those groups to serve on the steering committee and affirmed by the membership as soon as possible.)  Through the usual parliamentary procedures, any interested member has a shot at getting elected at a membership meeting later this fall.

An elected steering committee shares importance in the draft by-laws with the action teams that would form around urgent topics and/or issues in Richmond. Through acting and planning together in our own behalf, action team members would raise initiatives to the steering committee for RPA and its allies to embrace and champion. The action teams, it is envisioned, could reach into affected communities and neighborhoods, hold meetings, solicit in-put and offer support to efforts underway. Meanwhile, from action teams, future leaders emerge.

The ongoing infusion of grassroots members entering these pathways to participation and activism and assuming responsibility for the organization's operation ensures continuous development of future leaders.  Also, of course, ultimately, we ensure the opportunity to experience the phenomena that has propelled us this far:  the sense of increased empowerment shared with more and more people like ourselves - working people with limited voice, power, or influence coming together to overcome those who want and/or are persuaded more by money in politics than by people's needs.

--Kathleen Wimer, Chair, Membership Committee    

Letters urged in opposition to jail expansion 
RPD Chief calls for clear message to State funders

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus came out in opposition to the Sheriff's plan for expanded jail facility in Richmond, writing that " tax dollars geared toward reducing crime and recidivism are better spent on community-based corrections than further jail construction," via email, quoted here.

Since the Contra Costa County Supervisors voted August 18th to submit the grant proposal for funds for expansion, the Chief has warned that the State could still approve funding for a new jail without the Board of Supervisors pledge of ($9M in) matching funds. He strongly encourages letters from everyone opposed to funding for a new jail. Send them to: 

Executive Committee
2590 Venture Way
Sacramento, Ca. 95833

Document any fraudulent or misleading claims
Dirty tricks mark campaign for rent control repeal

Here's a video about one woman's experience being asked to sign the Rent Control petition: 
Stacey Agnitsch, Richmond Resident and SEIU member, shared her experience of being lied to by a petition gatherer.
Stacey Agnitsch, Richmond Resident and SEIU member, on being lied to by a signature gatherer.

A reminder: Please send any documentation to contracosta@calorganize.org.
Tools to fight anti-rent control petition drive:
Do what you can, please, to limit the signatures.

Copies are available here and at the RPA office, 1021 Macdonald.  Carry a few to give out to voters if you see someone trying to collect their signatures.  

Members of the coalition in support of rent control and just cause (shown above) were able to obtain a sheet of talking points given out to those paid to get signatures,  and they've prepared answers to the sponsors' points, highlighted in yellow: 
Here's a link to this sheet, if you'd like to print it out or look at a larger version. [Apologies for the size here! --PB]
A well researched and documented study has an answer to:
What's ahead for the Bay Area?

Here's a link to a recent study on gentrification and displacement, out of UC Berkeley.  It describes "the San Francisco Bay Area's transformation into a sprawling, exclusive and high-income community with less and less room for its low-income residents" as " just beginning." Take a look at the Richmond situation. Note that the report includes tenant protection and rent control, along with subsidized housing production and strong community organizing, as important elements in those area that are more stabilized.
Fri & Sat, 9/3 & 9/4, from 8am, Richmond Auditorium :
Soil Not Oil International Conference here, soon

"The goal of the two-day conference is to provide practical information, research, and networking to help society create a more vibrant, healthy future via better farming practices. Along with reduced reliance on fossil fuels and increased availability of green energy, we need to shift to carbon farming [regenerative agriculture] to mitigate climate change," said Miguel Robles, conference organizer and Director of the Biosafety Alliance, in the press release. 

Tickets for the Keynote Address by Dr. Vandana Shiva, 7pm Friday, are $20. 
Click for conference details and register here or volunteer here.

Sat. 9/12, 11:30am, at 3322 Cutting Blvd.
One Year Later: Remembering Pedie Perez


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.