|Issue: #88||October 2, 2012|
To have an item listed send it to
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260
PASS IT ON!!
As the campaign heats up Richmond mailboxes will be full of literature supporting the Chevron and Big Soda agendas. Since we don't take corporate money, once again, our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to publicize our candidates 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.
Chevron Renews Fight on Property Tax
Chevron has just announced that it is appealing the decision of County Assessor Board regarding its 2007-2009 property taxes. In April, after a hearing lasting several months, the panel determined that Chevron was actually under-assessed and owed the County an additional $27 million dollars. Chevron claims that this appeal is just to preserve its "legal rights." But this legal game is a central part of Chevron's bullying tactics. Chevron has super profits. The County is strapped for funds. Chevron can afford to extend these appeals as a way to bully the County into accepting its terms.
We have to resist. The ability of the City and County to repair potholes, maintain hospitals and health care, public services including the police and fire, and education all depend on maintaining our tax income. When Chevron wins in these cases or even delays payment it transfers the costs to the people who can least afford it. Everyone loses when Chevron promotes special deals that pit Richmond against other sections and services of the County. The end result of Chevron's demands is that we have to pay more in taxes or we have to give up vital services.
Community protest is vital. Keeping the public light focused on these maneuvers is the only way to defeat them.
You can help
Write letter about Soda Tax -- Yes on Measure N
Next Saturday's (October 6) Reader's Forum in the Contra Costa Times will be about the Richmond Soda Tax.
Write a letter to the editor in favor of Measure N and state why you think it is a good measure.
175 words maximum -
Include your first and last name, address and daytime telephone number.
All letters are subject to verification and editing.
For the Contra Costa Times and the East County Times,
email to Readers' Forum: Soda Tax firstname.lastname@example.org
and email also to Dora Scardina <email@example.com>
The DEAD LINE for SUBMISSIONS is this Wednesday October 3rd, 3 PM.
Title: For Saturday's Readers Forum Sota Tax
Please help by sending in a letter
The www.fit-for-life.org website has lots of materials and quotes
Chevron Mails You a Hit Piece
Marilyn Langlois has always stood up for her principles. So when one principle (her responsibility to pay taxes) went against another principal (that our taxes should not be used for illegal and unjust military adventures), protested by contributing three times the amount of her taxes to worthy organizations and forcing the government to take action to collect the taxes.
But the Chevron campaign for Bates, Bell, and Roberson is so desperate, that it actually sent out a mailer attempting to "expose" Marilyn and spin this generous, principled public protest as a dirty secret.
In reality, this is all the more reason to support Marilyn-she acts on her principles even at cost to herself.
Chevron has to take responsibility for this slime. Chevron is the funder of this mailing even while it demands millions back from the County on its own taxes. Bell, Bates, and Roberson --the Chevron candidates-- have to take responsibility. They signed a pledge that they repudiated this kind of campaigning. Well it's time that they repudiated Chevron's role in Richmond politics.
Marilyn's statement :
I have received inquiries about the hit piece against me that arrived in mailboxes today. I appreciate this opportunity to clarify.
As stated on my website,
the root causes of violence need to be addressed by reversing decades of racial and economic injustice in our community, our nation and the world. I have been a peace activist for many years, advocating reduced spending on militarization, weapons and warfare, and putting money instead into jobs programs to build healthy communities and eliminate poverty. I was a war tax resister after the start of the Iraq War, re-directing my federal tax liability to educational and social services organizations.
I engaged in war tax resistance as a symbolic gesture to protest the use of federal tax dollars for the illegal and destructive Iraq war. I informed my congressional representatives of what I was doing and why. I knew that the funds would ultimately be received by the IRS anyway (the amount owed plus interest and penalties was eventually taken from my bank account during the collections process).
I fully support taxation as a way to pay for public services, and I have gladly paid all of my local, state and federal taxes, with the exception of this act of war tax resistance at the federal level. At the time I engaged in war tax resistance, in order to act on my belief that more funds should go towards socially positive activities, I donated about three times the amount of my federal tax liability to educational, social services and arts organizations in Richmond and beyond.
At that time (2006), I made substantial donations to the following organizations in Richmond: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, National Institute for Art and Disability, Girls, Inc., EcoVillage Farm Learning Center, WCCUSD Education Fund, The Latina Center, Neighborhood House of North Richmond, and Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP).
At the present time I continue to pay my full share of taxes and to advocate vigorously for reduced military spending and increased funding for jobs programs in our community.
The information you received originated from corporate-funded entities that do not share my values of social equity and peace building.
Please let me know if you have further questions, or you would like to discuss this with me.
Whom does Chevron Want on the Council?
Bell, Bates, and Roberson
Whom does Chevron NOT Want?
Eduardo Martinez and
How do we know?
Because they are forced to admit it in the fine print. Chevron is the main funder of the committee that has bought up the billboard space promoting Bates and Bell.
Whom do you want representing you?
Chevron has the economic power in the community. Chevron makes contributions to numerous good organizations to buy their silence. Chevron has millions for PR and advertisements. Chevron has the deep pockets for the lawyers that bully the government agencies resulting in you paying more taxes and getting fewer services. Chevron's operations are a threat to the community.
Isn't the field tilted enough? Do you really want Chevron supported candidates representing you in regulating safety and pollution at the refinery or negotiating over Chevron's taxes?
RPA Steering Committee Statement on 9/27 Incident
Booze's Antics a Distraction From Real Issues
The RPA stands for respectful communication by representatives of our organization in their interactions with others and does not condone any physical violence.
A member of our organization, David Moore, got into a personal argument with Councilmember Booze. Booze struck Moore in the face, prompting a reflex response to strike back, which Moore then immediately halted.
While Mr. Moore pursues his legal options, this incident should not divert any of us from the real issues in Richmond, which are living-wage jobs, improving the city, and protecting Richmond residents. Key issues include Chevron and the beverage companies funding attempts of some of our opponents to divide the city.
Councilmember Booze has a history of provoking disturbances in City Council meetings and elsewhere. He maligns our grassroots organization and attempts to distract attention from the fact that the mostly white, mostly male multi-millionaires who run and profit from corporations like Chevron, Coca Cola and Pepsico try to manipulate voters in Richmond.
Booze's close ally, Councilmember Bates, is Chevron's preferred candidate in this election, as evidenced by the dozens of billboards throughout the city that are funded by the oil giant. When Councilmember Bates tried Booze tactics to stir up hatred with his disrespectful routine of twisting the truth and accusing the RPA of "plantation politics" at Wednesday's Candidates' night, he was booed. This stopped him and he did not continue it the following night.
Note how candidates Bell and Myrick sit on the sidelines on the current issues and carefully decline to "take sides". Where do they stand? With the people or the billion dollar corporate elites?
Don't be distracted. Follow the issues. Follow the money.
RPA Steering Committee Statement
Plant the signs
Come by the office 1021 Macdonald and pick some up
or call us and we will deliver 510-412-2260
1 % vs 99% on State Ballot
California Federation of Teachers YES on 30 / NO on 32 toolkit
Two measures on the November State ballot are about the domination of wealth in our government. Proposition 30 requires that the wealthy pay more to maintain education and other crucial state services.
The RPA urges a YES vote on 30. On the same ballot is a measure that will weaken the power of unions while maintaining and increasing the power of wealth in politics. The RPA urges a NO vote on 32. We believe that both the Yes on 30 and the No on 32 are two parts of the same fight and should be waged together against the massive corporate money on the other side.
Want to fight politics dominated by money? The only alternative is that we do the work.
We need your help
- data entry work,
- arranging house meetings, rallies, and events.
Please do your share to keep People Power in Richmond.
The office is open on Saturdays 9:30 -2
Weekdays 2-6. All staffed by volunteers.
Come in or call and tell us what you are willing to do.
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 author, unsigned text the views of the editor, Mike Parker, 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.