RPA New LogoThe Activist

Issue #204, 9-11-2016

In this issue:

Council can stop evictions Tuesday

Mayor Butt misleads on moratorium
Canvassing; Every Saturday and Sunday
Community effort stops sale of Adams School property
Community needs to determine Pt Molate Development
Frackopoly Thursday night
Support Measure T and Candidates
Victory for Richmond Walmart workers
New Issue of Richmond Sun
Hundreds of Richmond residents given notice
Tell the Council to Stop the Evictions  Tuesday 5:30

Sharon Brown Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle

See Chronicle Coverage

East Bay remodeling project leaves renters in bind   By Otis R. Taylor Jr.

photo:Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle

Evictions are happening everywhere in the city as landlords try to beat the clock to lock in high rents and speed gentrification. The City Council can stop these mass evictions on Tuesday by passing an emergency moratorium that would go into effect immediately.  Even people opposed to rent control recognize the injustice of the landlord actions. A moratorium will let the voters decide the issue in November. The time to act is now.

Call or email Nat Bates, Vinay Pimple and Tom Butt, tell them to pass this moratorium. Join us on Tuesday, 5:30pm on Civic Center Plaza to show support and consider speaking during public forum.

--Zak Wear      
Mayor's answer to residents
Misleading information on Creekview Evctions

Creekview Tenants

Evicted Creekview tenants point out that they have lived there with major repairs going on for years

(Here is the full reply from Tom Butt copied to residents who have asked him to support the eviction moratorium.)

"No one is being evicted from Creekview. They were all on month to month rentals at far below market rates because the owners knew they would eventually have to vacate the buildings for major repairs. Creekview informed them that their rental agreements would not be renewed. This may sound like splitting hairs, but it's an important technical point. If a building has to be repaired, the tenants, in this case, are severely inconvenienced. I'm not sure what the alternative is. The moratorium, by the way, would not prohibit vacating a building for repairs.

While the moratorium does not solve everything it would:

  1. Put a stop to the mass evictions
  2. Give renters much more than 60 (or, for some, 30) days to find a new place to live.
  3. Require the landlord to offer the place back to the tenant after the repairs under most circumstances.
  4. Require the landlord to offer any vacant places he/she has for the interim period.
  5. Prevent the landlord from making an exorbitant rent increase.

BTW according to tenants, the landlord is housing construction workers in some of the "vacated" apartments so they can be habitable during repairs. The generous landlords "knew" the repairs had to be made but could only give a 60 day notice? Click here for more on the Beverly Hills landlord.

I think the tenants all over Richmond would really appreciate these protections. I hope you will vote for the moratorium.

--Mike Parker    
Every Saturday and Sunday
We love Richmond, so let's get outside

Let's knock on some doors.  Every Saturday (10–2) and Sunday (noon–4), meet up at 2540 Macdonald Ave., across from the library. The office will be staffed noon–8 on weekdays, too. We’ll provide instructions and answer your questions. We’re finding people home in the early evening and especially Sunday afternoon.

We’ve got cool new canvassing tools, so bring your smartphone if you've got one. If not, no worries, we've got you covered

Get out and meet your neighbors all around Richmond!

Find out their concerns.

• Talk about Measure L, rent control and just cause for eviction.

• Talk about our health and environmental justice: refinery pollution, asthma, and the lack of votes on the 2014 City Council to save our only public hospital.

• Talk about public schools, and how our candidates are pledged to support neighborhood schools and stop the spread of corporate charters in Richmond. Talk public safety. Talk budget priorities: our kids, our support services

• And talk about the progress we've made and can continue making if we elect Ben Choi and Melvin Willis to the City Council.

The next three weeks are super-critical! 

Canvassing is our best tactic. Personal conversations often determine how voters make up their minds. We want to reach likely voters before they start voting by mail—mail ballots will go out in early October.

To help our volunteers prepare walk sheets and materials, we ask you to please RSVP here, or phone us at 510-412-2260.

We know you're busy... 

But at the end of the day, we're all in this together. We're at an historic crossroads, and we have a clear choice: Do we want a city government that will work to make Richmond a more vibrant, livable city, or do we want to be controlled by big developers, organized landlords, and Chevron?

Thank you for all your support!

Community organizing wins victory
School Board Stops Adams Sale to Charter

Eduardo Martinez

Melvin Willis photos: Juan Reardon

RPA: "No, billionaire bullies, you can't have Adams!"
RPA joined a coalition of parents, teachers, and neighbor's of East  Richmond Heights in opposing the Adams Middle School sale to Caliber (a charter management organization).
The proposed sale for $60,000 would transferred valuable public land to a shell corporation, controlled by failed hedge fund managers and bankers. 
Richmond Vice-Mayor spoke on the coalition's behalf last Wednesday, Sept. 7. He noted, "The sale of Adams affect Richmond residents and students forever." With such overwhelming grass-roots opposition, the Board announced the close of negotiations on Adams. 
In short, we stopped the privatization of public land. Thanks for your efforts, energy, and enthusiasm! 
--RPA Education Committee

Bullying Cartoon
Council Agenda Tuesday
Insist on Public Process for Pt Molate

Pt Molate mapCouncilmember Gayle McLaughlin has  placed item L-2 on the  Council agenda on Tuesday to have staff work with the Point Molate Community Advisory Committee(PMAC) and others to organize three community meetings to determine the outlines of rehabilitation and redevelopment of  this valuable section of Richmond.

Please come to City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, to speak in favor of L-2 that will start the process for these three community meetings so the public can weigh-in on land use designations for Pt. Molate. The future of this treasured site is in our hands.

Click here for  Councilmember McLaughlin’s full letter and background documents.

Thurs 9/15 at 6:30pm
Special event - Frackopoly

Join us for a special event with Frackopoly author Wenonah Hauter. A true tale of corruption and greed, Frackopoly exposes how a century of political meddling facilitated the control of our energy system by a handful of giant corporations and financial institutions. The book also examines the powerful and sometimes unlikely interests that have supported fracking.

But even amid such dire circumstances, author Wenonah Hauter is hopeful. Now more than ever, people are standing up to the fossil fuel industry and forcing action from elected leaders. Frackopoly chronicles the power generated by a growing grassroots movement that is not just fighting fracking, but re-claiming our democracy.

The events will take place Thursday, September 15th from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center (2540 Macdonald Ave.)

Support Measure T and school board candidates who will...
Strengthen our neighborhood schools

Carlos TaboadaCarlos Taboada

I have been a teacher, UTR Executive Board member and school counselor 21 years in West Contra Costa Unified School District. I will work toward a stronger relationship between the district and the communities it serves. Public education is an investment and a commitment to our children, our communities and our future.

-Comprehensive Academic Reform: “Let Teachers Teach”
-Active Community Engagement: “Strengthen Neighborhood Schools”
-Support the West Contra Costa Adult School Program
-Stop Encroachment from the Charter School Industry

Mister Phillips BBQ

The Richmond Progressive Alliance has endorsed Measure T, the extension of the parcel tax, that funds important educational programs and school libraries.

The RPA has endorsed three candidates for school board who are committed to rebuilding neighborhood schools and have pledged not to take contributions from corporations and charter school PACS. They are
Carlos Taboada

Mister Phillips

Antonio Medrano

Taboada and Phillips  have the endorsement of the United  Teachers of Richmond (UTR).  You can vote for no more than two candidates.

This election will be hotly contested with the Charter Schools providing huge funds for their candidates.  See PublicCore.net

Legal Victory for Richmond Walmart Workers
NLRB rules that discipline for strike was unfair

Walmart Vigil
Protest Against Walmart Labor Practices. Vigil in Warren Michigan
photo: Jim West

Workers at the Richmond Walmart had been disciplined for a brief protest strike in an action that was widely supported by the Richmond  progressive community during the Thanksgiving period in 2012. On September 1 of this year, the NLRB ruled that the discipline was unfair.  Reported in Daily Labor Report
New Issue of Richmond Sun Mailed

Spanish Section SUN September 2016

Front Page Sun September 2016

It went out to voting households in Richmond.

If you did not get yours  you can see it on-line