Issue #212, 10-31-2016
Only one week left
and we need you!
Help us get out the vote... and win a progressive majority in
"Real change is not easy and real change never takes place from
the top on down, always from the bottom on up. And, that is what our
political revolution is all about... We need you, and you, and you, to
get involved at the local level." -- Bernie Sanders, June
November 8th is only one week
away, and we need you
to continue our political
revolution by getting involved in our local election!
thanks to everyone who has canvassed, phone banked, passed out
literature, made a donation, or shown their support. Now is the time
to step it up -- if you have pitched in already, we ask you to keep it
up until Tuesday. And for those who have not yet done so, it's not too
We are phone banking
every day up until the election. Bring your cell phone, and a tablet
or laptop if you have one to the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center (2540
Macdonald Ave.). You can RSVP
or call Zak Wear at 510 621 7566. If these times don't work
for you, you can schedule something that works for you.
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 6-8pm
- Friday: 4-6pm, and 6-8pm
- Saturday: 10-1pm, 1-4pm
- Sunday: 12-4pm, 4-8pm
- Monday: 10-1pm, 1-5pm, 5- 8pm
We have lots of canvass opportunities too! Meet at the Bobby
Bowens Progressive Center.
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 5-8pm
- Saturday: 10-1pm, 1-4pm
- Sunday: 12-4pm, 4-8pm
- Monday: 10-1pm, 1-5pm, 5- 8pm
Volunteer on election day.
This is a huge day for
us. We need people to hand out slate cards at polling stations,
canvass the day-of, and work the phones in order to get out the vote.
If you can help out all day, please do so -- otherwise we have plenty
of shifts ranging from 2 hours or more. RSVP
Of course, your donations
are always needed and welcome. Donate securely to the campaigns of Ben
have to volunteer through an organized event to get involved. RPA
supporters have been seen mingling and passing out literature at
community events and concerts, flyering in front of grocery stores,
handing out The Richmond Sun
at BART stations, and waving
placards on street corners during rush hour. Come by the RPA office to
pick up supplies and get out there! As Bernie says, real change always
starts from the bottom up!
Who inspires us: volunteer canvasser Diana Wear
We caught up with Diana Wear last weekend for our third in a
series of interviews with volunteer RPA canvassers. Diana says that
canvassing is "rich and meaningful experience" that has made her feel
"more connected to Richmond." She also shared how, in the course of
having a heartfelt conversation at the door, she was offered some
freshly caught salmon (!). Just goes to show: you never know what
great stuff might await when you connect with your neighbors.
When did you begin canvassing?
My first day out was when we kicked off the campaign at this year’s
Cinco de Mayo Parade. A lot of people were at the parade and I enjoyed
meeting folks before the parade, talking about rent control. I
canvassed in the neighborhood of the parade so a lot of people weren’t
home but I did meet a few people who weren’t registered to vote and
they were appreciative to get voter reg cards since they were
unfamiliar with the process. I did however, have some meaningful
conversations with some Richmond residents that day.
memorable experiences canvassing?
I was in a neighborhood not far from the RPA office. I walked a
good few blocks, knocking on doors and no one was home. Finally, I
came across a gentleman and his wife who have been longtime Richmond
residents and homeowners. They were astonished by the rising rents in
their own neighborhood, commenting, “We’ve lived here for so long. It
breaks our hearts to know that we could not afford to live here if we
had to rent.” He mentioned a house across the street that had been
recently renovated, “It’s crazy for an 800 square foot, one bedroom
house to be asking for that much money.” He also mentioned he had
been salmon fishing the day before and offered me some fresh-caught
salmon. So I got a good catch too! But more than that, he was
grateful to see canvassers taking the time to talk about the
issues—that day I was talking about both rent control and our two
terrific city council candidates, Melvin and Ben.
How do you feel about the campaign materials you give
I think they’re quite good. I’ve gotten them in the mail and my
husband and I have discussed them. They’re helpful. I also appreciate
seeing the endorsements of other groups.
Do you have any advice for first time canvassers?
In the beginning, if you’re not familiar with it, go with another
person. My first time out was with Marcos—it was great that he could
speak Spanish with some residents and he was also an experienced
canvasser, so I learned a few tips. A second time I went with a woman
and we walked a big apartment complex. We split up and went different
ways and kept getting lost in the huge complex but by budding up we
were able to keep each other going.
Canvassing for Ben, Melvin and rent control have been good
experiences. I’ve been able to whole-heartedly stand behind them and
the issue and speak with genuine excitement. A good number of people
that I’ve talked with in a variety of neighborhoods have expressed
appreciation for my taking the time to talk with them about the
issues. I’ve also felt more connected to Richmond is reaching out to
fellow voters on issues facing our entire community. It’s a rich and
meaningful experience—I highly recommend it.
Rules for sign planting
We have received several comments and questions in light of
the recent correction that was issued on sign planting. RPA co-chairs
Marilyn Langlois and Marcos Banales offer the following
For better or worse lawn signs
have become an expected part of campaigns. They are frequently an
important part of free speech to show support of candidates and ideas.
And like all freedoms there are always some abuses. The city of
Richmond has adopted a reasonable policy on signs that
allows residents, candidates and groups the opportunity to express
themselves and at the same time make sure that the city is not
blighted. The most important rules are:
- There must be permission to post a sign
- That political signs can only be put up 90 days before an
election and must be taken down immediately after an election by the
candidates and committees that posted them.
A quick tour of any section of
Richmond shows that there are signs of every candidate (including Team
Richmond candidates) that are clearly in violation of city
The RPA supports the city policy
on signs and we urge supporters
- To place signs in legal places and ask residents/property
owners to place them on their lawns, windows or fences. We will
remind campaign committees to inform volunteers that the planting
signs policy is "planting with permission".
- To oppose any defacement or damage to the signs of other
political candidates or issues
- To remove all signs that we have put up immediately after the
- Marilyn Langlois and Marcos Banales, RPA Co-chairs
Fair Chance Housing ordinance at City Council
On Tuesday, November 1 (6:30pm) the City Council will be debating
the Fair Chance Housing Policy. This ordinance would remove barriers
to housing for formerly incarcerated people by limiting the use of
information about past convictions to deny people access to public and
subsidized housing in Richmond. The Safe Return Project, in
collaboration with others, has been working with the city manager and
city staff to develop the policy, and urges people to come out and
speak in support of this policy.
Summary of Fair Chance Ordinance
- Applies to all city-owned and subsidized units in the city. Does
not apply to market-rate housing, housing subsidized by the city that
doesn’t have an affordability requirement (like home rehabilitation
- Prohibits housing providers from using a 'blanket ban' on
applicants with past convictions.
- Prohibits housing providers from asking about past convictions, or
obtaining a background check, until they have determined that an
applicant has met all other criteria to be a finalist, and have
offered the applicant a conditional lease.
- Housing providers are required to provide the applicant with the
background check and rationale for denying them housing if they are
going to do so.
- Creates an appeal process through which an applicant can provide
information correcting the background check, proof of rehabilitation,
and other relevant info. The enforcement entity will be designated by
- Policy will be implemented 6 months after passing, giving the city
and housing providers time to adjust their protocols.
For questions email
or call Tamisha Walker, Director of Safe Return Project (cell:
Signed articles are the opinion of the author. Official RPA
positions are noted as Steering Committee decisions. Other content
created by Michelle Chan, editor.