RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #189
Join Our Mailing List





Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Hearing on MCE solar farm cancelled
Fair & Affordable Richmond files ordinance for ballot measure
Sat. Mar. 5: 9th Annual Sisters in Solidarity
Free Solar for Qualifying Homeowners
"--with respect to the RPA--"
Invitation to Pt. Molate Panel Presentation & Q&A
3/11: What's really changed between US & Cuba?
Demonstrations for Bernie in Oakland & San Jose
4/2: RPA Members to Meet on Candidates & Campaign
3/26: Next RPA HAT Meeting
Send Your Poems to RAP & Save 4/6
RPA: History & issues. Hot links here.

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.


Tonight: Hearing Cancelled on Appeal of MCE's Permit    
"Appeal withdrawn by applicant"

Note: A very similar statement was sent last night via the RPA Key List.  If you read that, you probably want to skip to the next article.

The challenge to MCE's 10.5 MW solar farm, Solar One, has been dropped.  The Activist's sources had no details about what happened, but the removal of this obstacle means that Marin Clean Energy (MCE) can move forward on generating enough locally-produced greener, cleaner power for 3400 homes.  And at least 50% of the workers who do the installation will be local, hired in cooperation with RichmondBUILD, and paid prevailing wages.  That's a pretty good use of a Chevron brown field. 

If you were planning to show up at the Richmond City Council to speak for Community Choice Aggregation and the Solar One project, as urged in the Key List last week, many thanks! You might still want to go to the meeting, to express support for MCE in Open Forum,  make an announcement, give the RPA Councilmembers a thumbs-up, or advocate on any of the other items the Council will consider.  The March 1 agenda, with links to the supporting documents, is available at http://sireweb.ci.richmond.ca.us/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=632&doctype=AGENDA.

First Step to get Fair Rent on Nov. ballot
Fair & Affordable Richmond Coalition moves ahead 

Making rent control, just cause for eviction, and homeowner protections Richmond law --for the second time in two years!-- advanced last week when the proposed ordinance was filed with the city clerk.  This preliminary step will be followed by a major signature-gathering drive, expected to begin in a few weeks, and needed to get the measure before Richmond voters in November.  

Background info: The Richmond City Council passed rent control legislation last year, and before it could go into effect, the California Apartment Association (CAA) funded a signature petition drive to repeal it. CAA's signature gatherers were found to have misrepresented the issue, telling residents they were signing in support of rent control, instead of the truth. Contra Costa County Elections Division invalidated 20% of CAA's signatures, but they had enough to repeal. (Source: Gayle MaLaughlin's e-newsletter.)  

In its press release announcing the filing, the Fair & Affordable Richmond Coalition noted:
A recent poll commissioned by Fair and Affordable Richmond shows that nearly two-thirds of voters would vote today to enact rent control and just cause eviction protections. Richmond voters understood that similar limits on evictions and unreasonable rent increases have helped to prevent thousands of middle-class and low-income people from losing their homes, making communities safer and more stable for everyone, and they think the City of Richmond should have such protections.

A major campaign kick-off event is in the works; details will be in the Activist and Key List as soon as they're available.  Those at the December 2015 RPA Members Meeting overwhelmingly supported these issues, and many pledged to gather signatures and work for the passage of the ordinance.  That opportunity will arrive shortly. 

The Ordinance itself is available by clicking here.  Or cut and paste this URL into your browser window:  http://richmondprogressivealliance.net/docs/Richmond_Fair_Rent_Just_Cause_Homeowner_Protection_Initative_(Final).pdf 

Sat. 3/5, 10am-2pm, Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Ctr. Plaza
Richmond's 9th International Women's Day Fest

Please note: 
The date was incorrect in the last Activist
The Celebration is this Saturday, March 5th.

You are invited to add a "building block" to the RPA Arts & Culture Team's project, with your answer to our question: "What becomes home?"  Look for the RPA table, too.

The event is free, and everyone is invited.

Th. 3/3, 6:30-8pm, Multipurpose Rm., 440 Civic Center Plaza
Grid Alternatives Free Solar Workshop

RSVP here or call 510-621-1541.
Program Requirements: 
  • You Own and Live in Your Richmond/North Richmond Home 
  • Your 2015 Household Income is at or Below the Qualifying Limit:
  Please Bring Copies of:

  • Latest Tax Return (first two pages for each member of household)
  • Complete PG&E Bill
  • Mortgage Statement, Insurance Statement, Property Tax Bill, or Copy of Deed
 Household  Size

Max. Household Income


A request for greater thoughtfulness
"...with respect to the RPA..."

This letter was written by Jeff Shoji and sent to Mayor Butt last week.  It expresses the thoughts and feelings of the RPA Steering Committee.

Hi Mayor Butt,
Regarding your e-forum statement:
"...This is simply a massive transfer of jobs from the government sector to the non-profit sector, financed by your taxes. I am told that the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) does not support the 2016 Richmond Kids First Initiative because it would ultimately function to divert jobs now provided by unionized public employees to non-unionized employees of non-profit providers. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU 1021) is an "allied member" of the RPA and would stand to lose big time if this initiative passes...."
The RPA Steering Committee has not discussed this initiative at this time.  While we will likely consider it carefully and take a position at some point, that has not happened yet.
Speaking for myself, I would request greater thoughtfulness in your public framing of what the RPA does or does not do or think.  While some of your comments stem from actual written statements we disseminate publicly or actual interactions you have with City Councilmembers in the RPA, you often make unfounded assertions about our thoughts, plans, or intentions.
While I do appreciate your commitment otherwise to informing yourself and others on issues that affect our city, I think the general tenor of your e-forum with respect to the Richmond Progressive Alliance has become counterproductive for all parties involved, including the people of Richmond.
All of us are working for our city's betterment and it is a shame that the situation has deteriorated to the point where it feels like your personal relationship with some monolithic caricature called "the RPA" overshadows both the people who comprise it and the issues we are concerned about. 
Jeff Shoji
RPA Steering Committee member

Fri. 3/11, noon-1:30pm, City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza
What's our vision for Pt. Molate?

As many of you know, the work to bring about a sustainable and healthy Pt. Molate continues. Thanks to dedicated community leaders, our beautiful Pt. Molate Beach Park is well-utilized, and tours and workshops are held at the site to give young people an understanding of this great natural treasure on our shoreline. Just this past Friday, a Coastal Day for Richmond High School students took place at Pt. Molate, organized by Citizens for a Sustainable Pt. Molate.
Students from RHS Health Academy. Photo: David Helvarg
A next step will occur on March 10 and 11.  The Urban Land Institute will be holding a Technical  Assistance Panel in Richmond to be focused on Pt. Molate. This panel will be made up of experts from various fields such as planning, engineering and real estate to develop concepts for the development of Pt. Molate, including topics such as land use, public finance, architecture, engineering, historic restoration, governance, and transportation. 

The public is invited on Friday March 11 from 12 noon - 1:30 pm  in the City Council Chambers to hear a presentation and discussion of this expert panel's recommendations, followed by a Q & A period.  Please join this important discussion.  We defeated the casino back in 2010.   Now it's time to be a part of a new discussion as we begin to examine better uses of this site and how we get there.
                                                                                                     --Gayle McLaughlin

This invitation gives some more information about the panel members and their charge.

Fri. 3/11, 7pm, Whttlesey Community Rm., 325 Civic Ctr Plaza
First Secretary of Cuban Embassy here for discussion

And: Free Ghost Town [Oakland] to Havana documentary screening by Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley Social Justice Council on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT). 1 Lawson Rd., RSVP.

Report from Oakland & San Jose
Demonstrations 2/27 for Bernie & against Big $$$

On Saturday, two major demonstrations took place in support of Bernie Sanders and around the themes of getting control over the big financial institutions and getting big money out of politics.

The Oakland Demonstration targeted CitiBank , which organizers said is Clinton's top lifetime donor.

In San Jose nearly a thousand people converged on the State Democratic Convention to demand that super delegates vote according to the popular vote.  The super delegates have automatic votes by being elected officials or holding Democratic Party apparatus positions.  Most are pro-Clinton.

The Sanders demonstrators flooded into the Conference Center but were prevented from entering the convention room by Secret Service, TSA,  and police dogs.
                                                                                                 --Mike Parker
Photos from Mike Parker.


Save the date: RPA Members Meeting Sat. 4/2!
Don't be an April fool: Attend the meeting!

The Spring RPA Members Meeting will be on April 2nd at the BBPC, 1021 Macdonald Ave.  Time TBA. The meeting will feature candidate endorsements and RPA's work on the Fair & Affordable Richmond campaign for rent control, just cause for eviction, and homeowner protections.

The RPA Membership Committee will be meeting Monday, March 7th, at 6:30pm at BBPC to plan the April meeting.  Any interested members and supporters are invited to participate.

If you'd like to join the RPA 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.

Sat. 3/26, 3-5pm, BBPC, 1021 Macdonald, Richmond
RPA HAT (Housing Action Team) meets

The agenda is not yet available. Anyone interested in housing issues in Richmond is invited.

Richmond Anthology of Poetry*
RAP wants to publish your poems

Submit 1-4 poems, each up to 50 lines, between now and the end of April: 
  • by email to richmondpoetry@sonic.net
  • online at rap.submittable.com/submit
  • or by post to: Richmond Anthology of Poetry, c/o City of Richmond, PO Box 4640, Richmond CA 94804.  Add: Attn. Michelle Seville
See the last Activist, #188, available on the RPA website, for more info.  Or wait for the next Activist... .  But get writing, revising, reading, reciting, rapping right away!  Richmond content especially welcomed.

*RAP is made possible by a grant from the Richmond Arts & Culture Committee. 
Contact Daniel: efflux@sonic net for more info.

*     *     *

The RPA Arts & Culture Team is planning a Poetry Month celebration of the publication of Daniel Ari's One Way to Ask on Wednesday, April 6th, 7-9pm at BBPC. He will be reading from and signing his new book. Some of the proceeds will benefit the RPA. Plan to be there for art, refreshments, an opportunity to hear other poets, and a chance to read yourself, too.

Want to learn more about the RPA?
Here are some links

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.