RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #101January 17, 2012
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Protest "Citizens United" Saturday
MLK Day of Service
Council Vacancy
Special Exhibit Features Cuban Artist
Zeneca Clean Up
Richmond: Model for Crime Reduction
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Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260


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.


Protest Citizens United Decision
National Day of Action Targets Chevron


Saturday January 19 12 Noon


Richmond BART

March to the Chevron Refinery Gate.


National organizations lead by Common Cause are coming together on this anniversary of the infamous Citizens United  decision which declared that corporations are people and can spend as much as they want in elections.  The national focus is Chevron as an example of the corporate abuse of our elections.  Many Richmond organizations are joining in.

  ChevronDemo 1/19


MLK  Day of Service

Monday, January 21,  9 am -- 2 pm

MLK  Day of Service on the Greenway

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on the Greenway takes place on Monday, January 21 from 9 am to 2 pm.  Sixth Street is one place for volunteers to register to work.  Projects include mulching, planting, etc

You should bring gloves, water, sun lotion.  From 12 pm to 2 pm, after an invocation  and remembrance of Dr. King, a free lunch will be served and performers will entertain us.  Stay and work or work and play for as long as you like.  


Progressive Alliance members can (and will) volunteer as individuals to help with various gardening-type projects.

The RPA has also organized and will host a children's activity booth where kids of all ages can get their hands into red clay to create their masterpieces.  These self-drying creations from the earth can then be taken home.


 The Greenway promises to bring a needed park and recreational space to an under-served part of Richmond.  


For this reason, Friends of the Richmond Greenway received a $5 million dollar State grant to rejuvenate the Greenway and transform this unused railroad track into a vibrant park, community gathering place, and urban farm landscape.  Urban Tilth is taking the lead in making this happen. 


Monday, January 21 will be another step forward in a process in which Iron Triangle and Richmond residents literally help build a better Richmond.       

You will find more information and schedule  here. 

Compostingly yours,

Michael Beer     


Council Vacancy
Marilyn Langlois urges support for Eduardo


Dear friends and neighbors,

Marilyn It was announced that Councilmember-elect Gary Bell will not be able to take his seat on the city council, due to his medical condition.  Let's keep him and his family in our prayers as they take the time and space they need to support him in regaining his health.  I had the opportunity to get to know Gary better during the campaign, and I appreciate his kindness and good heart.  I'm very sorry he has been afflicted with this illness and look forward to seeing him in the community again when he gets well.

This unforeseen turn of events has given the remaining six city council members a weighty task that is normally carried out by the voters, namely selecting a seventh person to join them in representing the residents of Richmond.

I believe Eduardo Martinez is clearly the best choice, and I am urging the city council to select him.

As I see it, the voters in this case have spoken. Eduardo was thoroughly scrutinized and vetted in the election this past November and was the next highest vote-getter, very close to the 3rd place candidate. 

Eduardo Martinez will make an excellent city council member.  He truly stands with the people and has no ties to any special financial interests.  As a teacher, commissioner and community volunteer he has worked with a broad cross-section of Richmond residents and families and is well equipped to advocate on their behalf. 

I personally have seen Eduardo in action working with multi-racial, multi-ethnic and inter-generational coalitions to affect positive change.  The March4Education effort in 2004 that brought significant savings to the West Contra Costa School District and the recent successful mobilization to stop the jail expansion and increase funding for re-entry services in Richmond and throughout the County are two examples.

As a city council member, Eduardo will help build unity and reduce the divisiveness we have seen lately.  He will make decisions that are well thought out, well researched, and arrived at after listening to many points of view.

I invite you to join me in supporting Eduardo Martinez and expressing your thoughts to the mayor and city council members.  Their contact information can be found on the city website. 

Thank you for your interest, your involvement and your caring about the future of our community--





Special Canet Exhibition: January 12 - March 8, 2013
Richmond Art Center Presents

Cuba: Portrait of a Revolution
A solo exhibition of Cuban Artist,
Antonio Canet Hernández

Canaet Drawing This exhibition

Exhibition: January 12 - March 8, 2013
Richmond Art Center 2540 Barrett Ave,
Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-5
Exhibitions and events are FREE and open to the public
Wheelchair accessible ~ Free and abundant parking

Curated by Tarnel Abbott with help from The Richmond Regla (Cuba) Friendship Committee & The Richmond Progressive Alliance Arts Committee.
Sponsored by The Richmond Regla (Cuba) Friendship Committee, Richmond Art Center, The City of Richmond Arts & Culture Commission, &  The Richmond Progressive Alliance Arts Committee.

Tarnel Abbott curated exhibit

More than 250 people showed up at the Richmond Art Center (RAC) for the January 12 opening reception of CUBA: Portrait of a Revolution; A solo exhibition of Cuban Artist, Antonio Canet Hernández. Live music by Tito Gonzalez and his Trio had the crowd dancing, tasty snacks and a dance performance by Las Puras livened up the atmosphere of the painting studio - all provided by the Richmond Regla Friendship Committee.


The 95 fine art prints will be on display at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., through March 8, 2013. The prints were created by the late Cuban artist Antonio Canet Hernández who gave the 95 prints to the Richmond Regla (Cuba) Friendship Committee to hold in trust for, and to show to, the people of the United States.  


The Serie Moncada /Moncada Series was created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks by a small group of insurgents led by Fidel Castro. The appalling poverty and greed of the Batista dictatorship years, conditions that led up to the revolutionary struggle, are haunting.   The work does not shy away from depicting the brutality of repression and armed resistance. The series is comprised of a complex tapestry of images, some of which are beautiful and full of hope, while others are disturbing. The work presents a realistic vision of the multifaceted historical phenomenon known as the Cuban Revolution.   The artist pored over historical photographs to create this graphic record and chose historical quotations to accompany them. This is the first time that the Moncada Series has been shown in its entirety in the United States.   The Richmond Regla Friendship Committee hopes to exhibit the prints in other venues in the future. The exhibit is curated by Tarnel Abbott and sponsored by Richmond Regla (Cuba) Friendship Committee, The Richmond Art Center, City of Richmond Arts & Culture Commission and The Richmond Progressive Arts Committee.


The 95 images with corresponding captions may require more than one visit to absorb. Volunteer docents will be on hand Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. On February 2 from 11-3 the RAC will have a printmaking workshop with Andres Cisneros Galindo - for information or to register call the RAC at (510) 620- 6772. On February 23 from 2-4 p.m. there will be a film screening of Cuba El Valor de Una Utopia - Cuba Value of a Utopia ; a documentary featuring three cultural icons including Canet teaching graphic arts to at risk youth.

Mayor McLaughlin:
Progress on Zeneca Clean Up



On December 18th, I introduced a resolution to the Richmond City Council urging the Department of Toxics Control (DTSC) to ensure clean up of the Zeneca property along our south shoreline to "unrestricted standards." This resolution was unanimously approved by the City Council! See resolution here.


2005 Demonstration
2005 Demonstration demanidng the site be cleaned

This is truly a victory for the grassroots movement led by the Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area Community Advisory Group (CAG).


Thank you to Eric Blum (chair of the CAG), Sherry Padgett, and Peter Weiner for their essential help in creating this resolution. Thank you also to all who spoke on the item and who showed support from the audience. Speakers were extremely articulate and all those present indicated that this issue is of deep concern to the community!  


Although some members of the City Council seemed to have forgotten this, we all know there has been resistance by the City Council for years in regard to the level of clean-up needed at this site. It has been a long hard struggle.  So this is a "sea change" in the political climate.  


The City Manager has sent a copy of the resolution to Debbie Raphael (DTSC director), as per the resolution's directive, and I have written Senator Hancock and Assemblymember Skinner letting them know of this unanimously approved resolution and seeking their help in urging DTSC to ensure a comprehensive clean-up to unrestricted standards. I have also sent a copy of the resolution to LBNL director Paul Alivisatos seeking the lab's help as well.  


Cap at Zeneca seen from Bay Trail
Cap at Zeneca seen from Bay Trail

Of course this is only the first step. It is essential that we continue to make sure that DTSC moves forward in a timely fashion with accessing the funds for this clean-up from the corporate polluters of origin. This will allow the City to move forward with our land use plans for this shoreline area, which include LBNL's 2nd Campus and mixed development which will enhance jobs and economic development for Richmond, while protecting the public health today and into the future.  


Thank you to each and every one of you who have stood steadfast on this extremely important issue. Environmental justice took a step forward on December 18, and I look forward to future steps!

--Mayor Gayle McLaughlin  

30 Acre


Positive Richmond in the News
Richmond becoming model for dealing with violence


While several Bay Area communities are experiencing and increase in crime, Richmond is starting to get recognition for its significant reduction in crime.


Not all the reports get it it completely right --that the success has been a broad effort involving the police, ONS, the Council,  the Mayor, the city staff  and, most of all, community  groups.  But it is still good to get recognition.


Click here for KPFA's long discussion  with Mark Gagan, of the police department and Pastor Henry Washington.



Click here for the CBS story  


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.


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