RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #124October 29, 2013
Join Our Mailing List


Facebook: Richmond Progressive Alliance   

RPA Membership Drive
Bill Moyers Features Richmond -- Talk with the Mayor
The American Way of Housing
Weigh of Life Halloween Benefit
New Fred Jackson CD
Ecuador Report
Mercy Killers--Richmond Performance
Vote for Saffron Strand
Some History of RPA
 To have an item listed send it to

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.


November-December RPA Membership Drive

Become an RPA member
Under the leadership of Mayor McLaughlin and her progressive colleagues on the City Council, 
Richmond has drawn local, national and international attention with its innovative solutions to persistent problems.  Let's keep the momentum going!  As we gear up for the coming election year in 2014, RPA needs your support more than ever. Join now and be part of history in the making.
Dues are just $12 per year (or more if you are able), and go towards paying our share of rent at the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave--a space that is used by RPA and other organizations for educational forums, town hall meetings, strategy sessions, campaign organizing, celebrations and many other events open to the community.
By joining now you'll get our e-newsletter and action alerts, and opportunities to participate in building a better Richmond.  We'll also give you a large, attractive tote bag--ideal for grocery shopping, now that Richmond has enacted a plastic bag ban as another step toward protecting our precious environment. 
Don't put it off--  write, call or e-mail us now!


Join the RPA

RPA Symbol We can only keep this city moving forward, protect our health and safety, and resist corporate domination of our politics if enough of us join together. We are asking you to take sides--to join the RPA.     




UNITY - One Richmond: African-American, Asian, Latino/a, Native Americans, white, united for the good of all.

DEMOCRACY- Government of, for, by the people; all the people, not just those rich enough to buy influence.

DIVERSITY - of ideas: Democrats, Greens, independents, or other. We sometimes disagree but respect each other enough to keep working for a better Richmond together.


  • participate in periodic RPA discussions and events of community interest;
  • staff the office, make phone calls, meet in committees, arrange events and parties;
  • work on campaigns of RPA-endorsed candidates for city council;
  • engage with neighbors;
  • help shape RPA and its priorities;
  • join in support of other allied organizations working to make a difference in Richmond;
  • read the newsletter at www.richmondprogressivealliance.net for what REALLY goes on in Richmond;
  • eat; have fun.

Download the membership form and mail it in with dues.


Send us an email at info@richmondprogressivealliance.net with the information requested on the form.  And go to the RPA web page. Press the "Donate" button in the left column and make a dues contribution. An additional contribution is greatly appreciated and helps us keep dues low for those with low income.


Progressive Richmond in National News

Bill Moyers Show Features Richmond and Mayor Mclaughlin 

Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists
Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists

Historian Peter Dreier shares  with Bill Moyers and us why he's optimistic about America's future, including dynamic grass-roots initiatives around the country like Richmond.


The link on the video takes you to the segment of the interview concerning Richmond .

Talk to the Mayor, Discuss Video and other Richmond issues

Mayor's Office Monthly Video and Discussion

Friday, Nov. 1

5:30 - 6:30 pm 

Whittlesey Community Room  

(next to the main Richmond Library) 

325 Civic Center Plaza


Light Refreshments

Book Review:
The American Way of Housing


Dream A Dream Foreclosed - Black America and the fight for a place to call home

by Laura Gottesdiener

2013,  Zucotti Park Press


(copy at the RPA Office)


It's just a great book, warmly telling the story of how four people and their families experienced the "American way of housing" over the past ten years. Two are caught up in the predatory lending and fraudulent loan servicing delivered by the inadequately regulated banking industry and two were in public housing. Each story is different and thought-provoking. Ms. Gottesdiener's particular skill is in telling an important national story through the experiences of ordinary people. In accomplishing this, she also provides many important facts about the history of our housing system with examples of bad public policy as well as fraudulent and criminal behavior on the part of the financial services industry. Her book is short - less than 150 pages - and in the highly readable style of great journalism, but it is also a persuasive cry for justice and action. 


Some of the many interesting things we learned:

  • Over the last decade, over 10 million families have lost their homes to foreclosure - more than 10% of the houses in the country. Detroit had over 100,000. How many have there been in Richmond? Probably over 5,000.
  • Lots of people were tricked into bad mortgages but lots of them were cheated a second time by the regularly fraudulent behavior of the mortgage servicers. 
  • Black soldiers coming back from WW II were not eligible for the GI Bill's housing subsidies that launched their white counterparts into home ownership
  • The total number of units of public housing has been reduced significantly since the early 1990s 

Laura Gottesdiener is one of us. This book would help anyone become an absolute believer in both the importance and righteousness of Richmond's anti-foreclosure campaign.   

 - Jeff Kilbreth & Gail Eierweiss


  Weigh of Life

Saturday, November 2,  6pm

Sunday, November 10,  7pm
Ecuador Report

Friday, November 15,  6pm
Richmond Performance
Mercy Killers
Click here for more information
or call Myrtle Braxton  510-233-0777
or Eli Williams 510-232-4690

Help Saffron Strand, Inc. get $10,000 more
from Safeco Insurance


Yvonee Nair

Yvonne Nair has been named a Safeco Insurance Community Hero and Saffron Strand, Inc. will be receiving a $5,000 donation  
from Safeco Insurance on her behalf for its work with the homeless.


Now we have a chance at an additional $10,000 grant if Yvonne Nair garners the most votes in the "Vote for your favorite Safeco Community Hero" contest!


Your vote can help us win!



You can vote once every 24 hours until 10 a.m. PST Nov. 4, 2013.



Thank you for your support!
Some History and Understanding of the RPA
  Social Policy Article

Long article with pictures 

--have patience in downloading


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.