RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #182
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

RPA Members Meeting to focus on Rent Control & Just Cause
12/12: Holiday Party at BBPC
Slate to be announced next week; elections 1/9/16
Berkeley Global Campus Community Benefits Briefings
12/16: Critical BAAQMD Meeting
A NorCal Climate Mobilization Photo Break
Rally for Salary with our teachers
Celebrate 16 Years of Richmond-Regla Friendship
Benefit party for 48 hills
K2 & the Invisible Footmen premieres
El Cerrito Council votes for $15/hr minimum wage
Seasonal events in Richmond

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. 12/12, 3-5:30pm, BBPC, 1021 Macdonald   
RPA Members Meeting: Let's Talk Rent Control

The next meeting of RPA members and prospective members will focus on Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction.  Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, Marilyn Langlois, and others from the coalition working on the issue will give an update on where things stand in the struggle to get these important tenant protections onto the ballot and into law in Richmond.  They'll outline possible next steps, options, and strategies under consideration, and they'll be asking us for our opinions and insights.  Come prepared for an informative and challenging discussion.

After the meeting, dinner's at 6, at BBPC   
Hot Holiday Party!  (Only the food will be tepid.)

Early in the evening on the 12th, we'll be working on a fast transformation of "the office," from a place for the members' meeting to a festive holiday party site.  And we know it's a busy time of year, but we're hoping you'll be able to join us, whether immediately following the meeting, as soon as you can go home to get the kids, or later in the evening when we'll have cleared the rug for some music and dancing.

Here's a peek at what's planned:
  • Poltluck refreshments.  Please bring something to share, whenever you arrive.  If it's at 3 for the meeting, we'll have space ready for your party contribution, but our old building has no stove or reliable microwave, nor any refrigerator space, so plan on something that holds well at room temperature, please. We'll sit down together around 6, to carry on talking politics and/or getting to know each other in new (twinkling) light.
  • We'll have an optional White Elephant gift exchange.  To participate, bring a wrapped gift (new or very gently used) that would retail for $10 or less.
  • If you play an instrument, please bring it.  We hope to put together some impromptu music and song.  Or bring a favorite CD (& be sure to label it so it will get returned to you.)
  • We'll have ornament and card-making activities for kids of all ages, and
  • We'll be creating a collaborative collage to envision our hopes for the coming year.
If you'd like to help with further planning or with decorating, please call the office, 510-412-2260, and leave a message.  The Culture Club welcomes new members.

RPA Steering Committee Slate will be announced next week!   
Election scheduled for 1/9/16: 3-5pm at BBPC

RPA members can be on the lookout for an email from the Nominating Committee announcing its slate for the 2016 Steering Committee.  It's scheduled to be sent out in just about a week. The Nominating Committee has been working hard to follow its charge from the new bylaws, identifying a diverse and dynamic group willing and able to serve in leadership in the coming year.  These steps are important ones in the restructuring that's underway, designed to help RPA become a more accessible, transparent, representative, accountable, and effective organization.  It's quite an undertaking!

And remember: In addition to the slate, any other RPA member seeking a place on the Steering Committee may run for election by following the procedures in the upcoming email. The required materials must be submitted by Boxing Day (12/26).  All candidates will have equal access to RPA media.  
Next step: Th. 12/10, 6-8:30pm, at BGC site   
Berkeley Global Campus: 1st Community Briefing

Photo: Patsy Byers.
A capacity crowd attended the Berkeley Global Campus Community Working Group (CWG) Community Briefing and Open House (!) Monday evening. They were able to view and comment on working drafts of recommendations from subcommittees on Procurement, Housing/Displacement, Local Hire/Workforce Training, and Education.  Event organizers promised the attendees' feedback would be incorporated into revisions. The final CWG recommendations will be submitted to UCB and LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab), probably later this month. The goal: a legally binding agreement on community benefits for Richmond from the University and the Lab.

The next step will be the Community Working Group meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 10th from 6 to 8:30 pm at the site of the Berkeley Global Campus, in building #454. Click here for directions and a map to the building

This session also will be preceded by one organized by the Raise Up Richmond Coalition at 5pm at the CCISCO office, 1000 Macdonald, for preparation and carpooling.

Wed. 12/16, 9-noon, rule changes could cut refinery pollution  
Show up & speak up at BAAQMD meeting (in S.F.)

Now in bold at the top of the Sunflower Alliance webpage entitled "Showdown at the Air District, Dec 16" is this note:

Breaking news: Air District staff has agreed to include both its own proposed Rule 12-16 and our Community/Worker proposal for further discussion at the December 16th meeting. Consequently no vote will be taken on Rule 12-16 at this meeting.*

Please plan to attend and speak (for 2 minutes) at this session.  
We want rules that will honor and uphold the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board's resolution to reduce refinery emissions by 20% by 2020.  

The BAAQMD Board members need to feel continued pressure from the public, and the oil industry is expected to try to pack the room, too.  We need to show broad and engaged support for the alternative proposal that could keep tar sands fuels out of the Bay Area and set refinery-wide enforceable caps on all pollutants, including greenhouse gases, based on current emissions.

A good source for background information is the *Sunflower Alliance webpage quoted above. It links to a fact sheet and file of a slideshow prepared by CBE (Communities for a Better Environment) as well.  These materials can be sources for preparing comments.   

In order to have a place in the room and in the proceedings, please plan to arrive by no later than 9am. Closer to 12/16, the RPA Activist &/ Key List will announce if carpools from Richmond are being organized. The BAAQMD meeting is on the 3rd Floor of 939 Ellis St., San Francisco, about a 15 minute walk from the Civic Center/UN Plaza BART stop.

It's a long newsletter. Take a breath here, then read on.
Pictures from a Climate Mobilization

In Oakland, Nov. 21:


Photos: Top & upper left-Eduardo Martinez; Middle 3-Tarnel Abbott; Bottom-Patsy Byers.

Wed. 12/9, 5:30-6:30pm, 3400 Macdonald (DeJean Mid. School) 
Stand with Our Teachers

There will be food & music.  
Wear warm & green clothing. 
Bring a flashlight to "Shine the Light on Inequity in Education."

Wed. 12/9, 6:30pm, Whittlesey Rm, 325 Civic Ctr Plaza
16 Years of Sister Cityhood Celebration

Thurs. 12/10, 6-8pm, House Party & Benefit in Berkeley
Support local+independent+alternative news

If you've enjoyed reading its articles in the links below or otherwise relied on 48hills.com for information, please consider making a contribution for the editors and writers.  An evening of fun, politics, and conversation is planned.  Richmond Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin will be there!

Sat. 12/5, 5-7pm, Bobby Bowens Progressive Center
Bay Area Premiere: K2 & the Invisible Footmen

Presented by the Green Party of Contra Costa County.  
Cultures of Resistance film, by Iara Lee.

K2 and the Invisible Footmen documents the unsung efforts of the indigenous porters who for decades have facilitated the ascent of the Earth's second-highest mountain. Shot over the summer of 2014, the feature film opened in festivals in April 2015.

More info about the film, the director and the subject is available hereAll are welcome; suggested donation is $10; & no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Contact:  510-260-9393timlaidman@yahoo.com
See the trailer at https://vimeo.com/126423435.

From the Richmond Community Foundation: "Victory!"  
El Cerrito First in County to Set $15/hr Minimum 

"On Nov. 3, with strong support from Ensuring Opportunity Campaign partners and allies, the El Cerrito City Council voted unanimously to adopt a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2019. California's current minimum wage is $9.00/hour.

"For the past year, a working group chaired by Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia explored the feasibility and benefits of increasing local wages. The group included representatives from a diverse array of stakeholders, including East Bay Leadership Council, Contra Costa Central Labor Council, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, United Way of the Bay Area, Richmond Community Foundation, First 5 Contra Costa, Family Economic Security Partnership, East Bay Economic Development Alliance and Multi Faith ACTION Coalition."

In Richmond, the hourly minimum wage will go to $11.92 (from $9.60) on Jan. 1.

The SEIU State Council is sponsoring a new minimum wage initiative for $15/hr., statewide, by 2020, with 6 paid sick days  to be included.  See an East Bay Express article hereThe RPA Steering Committee supports this campaign. 

Also of note:   
Arts and Gardens 

The Richmond Love Your Block initiative launches its interactive art installation Dec. 4, 8:30am, at Richmond BART. Up until mid-month. Think about what you'd do with a $1000 grant to show your block some love.  Applications close 12/11. .Get more info here.

~ Dec. 5, 11-3pm, Holiday Arts Festival at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett. Details here.

~ 6-9pm, also 12/5, Under $100 Holiday Exhibition (thru 1/3/16) Opening Reception for the Artists at BridgeMakerARTS, 23 Maine. (Go after you see K2?) See http://bridgemakerarts.org.

Reminder: Dec. 12, 10-2, is also a Second Saturday Love Our Greenway work party day.  Info.

Want to learn more about the RPA?
Here are some links, suggested by Mike Parker

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.