RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #148
October 2, 2014  
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

10/4: North Richmond Shoreline Festival
As ballots go out, come in to canvass & call
How to put up billboards with less than $1.6M
Poets Laureate Proclaimed at Council
Cartoons! Cartoons! & More cartoons!
Th. 10/9: "The New Black" Event for Jovanka
Show your support for Team Richmond
Municipal ID Cards Launched
10/16: Bernie Sanders is coming to town!
Fri. 10/31: See THE IRON HEEL
$3M lifeline keeps DMC open

Bobby Bowens Progressive Center
1021 Macdonald,


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.


Sat. 10/4, 11am-5pm, Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline Park
Celebrating community, health, and beauty

The burritos from Fusion Latina Cooperative are worth the trip all by themselves!

Stop & say hi at RPA's table, #13.  Additional info, including shuttle schedules and materials in Spanish, is available here
If you're thinking about getting involved in the campaign, please,
Start working for Team Richmond NOW!
As a recent email from Team Richmond reminded: "We're going to win this one with people power --the combined force of all of us who say NO to corporate control of our politics and YES to sustainable growth, community health, income equity, and clean energy."

The first 3 weeks of October are critical.  Vote-by-mail ballots go out Monday, and we need to reach voters while they're deciding how to vote. (More than half the voters will likely mail in ballots this year.)  Talking with voters --on the phone or at their front doors-- gives us a chance to counter the heavy negative mailings that may have turned people off to Team Richmond or to voting itself.  Reminding them that they don't like corporations polluting our elections and telling them the  truth about Eduardo, Jovanka, and Gayle can do wonders to negate all that spending.

More volunteers are needed now for:

* Canvassing: Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m. RSVP at www.teamrichmond.net. This coming weekend we'll head back to the El Sobrante areas that are exclusively vote-by-mail.

* Phonebanking: Starts Sunday and Monday, 10/5 & 10/6, 5:30-8:30, downtown Pt. Richmond. Sign up at www.teamrichmond.net. We may add other locations.


* Delivering Team Richmond yard signs.  


For more information, email us at  walk4teamrichmond@gmail.com. 


=> And if you or anyone you know needs to (re-)register to vote, do so NOW!  There's an easy link near the top here.  The deadline is Oct. 20, but why wait? 

Mini & mobile, cute & frugal, versatile & visible...you get the idea:
Volunteer your vehicle as a mini billboard!

Do you have a trailer, a van, or a pick-up truck that could be outfitted with a  8'x4' Team Richmond sign and transformed into a mobile mini-billboard?     


We need your help to promote Team Richmond.   If you have a vehicle that might work, send the info here, and we'll contact you.  We need 10 to 15 mobile mini-billboards, and your van, truck or trailer may very well qualify!     

Our 1 BIG 1, at 23rd & Grant.
Wanted: 10-15 mini & mobile all over our city!
Unlike in those Chevron ads, your truck won't thank you, but Team Richmond sure will!


City Council Honors 3 Richmond Poets Laureate
"Art plays a critical role in transforming our city."

At our Sept 23rd City Council meeting, we honored Lincoln Bergman, Brenda Quintanilla, and Donte Clark as the three official Poets Laureate for the City of Richmond for the period of August 2014 through August 2016.  Read the proclamation here.  
L to R: Lincoln Bergman, Brenda Quintanilla, Gayle McLaughlin, & Donte Clark.


Lincoln Bergman: Lincoln is a Richmond poet who has been writing poetry since childhood, and whose work was first published at the age of 8. Since then he has published several books of poetry, much of which delves into political commentary on the times.


Brenda Quintanilla: Brenda is a 17-year-old Latina from El Salvador. In her poetry she tells the stories of struggle and survival of those who have fled to the United States. A member of RAW Talent (Richmond Artists With Talent), Brenda has shared her poetry at open mics and hopes to motivate other students to tell their stories.


Donte Clark:  Donte is a Richmond playwright and poet. His plays include "Po' Boys Kitchen" and "Te's Harmony." Donte is part of a local group called RAW Talent, a poetry workshop that began at Making Waves Education Program in 2007, and which has just merged with RYSE Youth Center.     


As I have always said, art plays a critical role in transforming our city.  It is the universal way we connect with one another as human beings --heart to heart and soul to soul. 


As Audre Lorde says: "Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before."


Thank you Lincoln, Brenda and Donte for giving us your poetry and for helping us build new and authentic human connections in Richmond.  We will look forward to hearing your poetry at many events throughout your 2 year period serving as our official Poets Laureate!

                                                   --  Gayle McLaughlin


A new kind of display in the Activist:  Our first-ever gif!
Enjoy 'em & talk about the issues they raise!
These cartoons are all the work of David Moore.  Thanks, Davey!    
Thurs., 10/9, 7-9:30pm, at BBPC, 1021 Macdonald Ave.
It's not just trucks & trailers that can work as little billboards.
Step right out and strut your stuff.
As a 1-person picket line or with a group of your neighbors and friends, stand up against Chevron and for Team Richmond!

Photos: Millie Cleveland 
Eric Rhodes with the signs he made to picket outside the gates of Chevron. 


These folks held a sign-waving event in front of Brickyard Landing.  They reported:  "Everybody had a great time!"

The ribbon's been "cut" & now it's official:
Richmond Municipal ID Cards Available Oct. 15th.
At the reception Tuesday morning, Sept. 30th, Mayor McLaughlin said: "We want to make sure that no resident in our city goes without the banking accounts, the leases, the library cards that make every day possible, simply because they lack identification."
The new ID card program combines valid photo identification with a pre-paid MasterCard ATM debit card option.  It is designed to reduce some of the barriers often encountered by homeless residents, immigrants, seniors, youth, and those re-entering the community after being incarcerated, due to their lack of a valid ID or access to banking services.
"The community organized way back in 2008 -- it's been a long time coming and that's why so many of us are so happy it's finally here," said Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles, who had sponsored the ordinance creating the card program.

Applications will be accepted starting October 15th at an office in Grace Lutheran Church, 2369 Barrett Ave., Richmond CA.   Interested residents can get more information or schedule an appointment here. Walk-ins are also welcomed. 
Save the date:  Thurs. 10/16, in the evening,
Bernie Sanders is coming to Richmond!
Planning is still underway, but an early evening reception-fundraiser to benefit the RPA will be followed by an open town hall meeting.  The time and place are still to be determined.  Vermont's self-described democratic socialist senator (and likely presidential candidate) will be seeing what he can learn from Richmond's progressive initiatives to take back to Washington.    
Fri. 10/31, 6pm, Berkeley City Club Hotel, 2315 Durant Ave.
Rare live theater opportunity: See The Iron Heel.

The Iron Heel Theatre Collective presents The Iron Heel, based on the Jack London novel, first published in 1908.  This dramatic Readers Theater production features mask/puppetry performance, giant hand-painted cantastoria illustrations of the story, and live music.

Jack London's The Iron Heel is a dystopian science fiction novel that predicted the First World War, the rise of fascism, authoritarianism, and its brutal suppression of movements for change. The message is a timely warning in this era of corporate domination of the political process.

The production will be in the ballroom of the Berkeley City Club Hotel at 2315 Durant Ave., between Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues, at 6:00pm.  Parking is difficult, but it is a short walk from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Requested donation: $10-20.  No one turned away for lack of funds.
Net proceeds will go to the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the Sunflower Alliance.
SB 883 signed by Gov. Brown on Sat. 927,
$3M lifeline for DMC keeps it (barely) open for now
This one-time funding will buy a bit more time for Doctors Medical Center and give the district the opportunity to put together a package to keep it open.  If you took action to urge Brown to sign SB 883, thank you.  All three Team Richmond candidates are committed to doing all they can on Richmond City Council to save the hospital as a full-time, full service facility.  That's why they have been endorsed by DMC's greatest champion, the California Nurses Association.  
Easy, fast, & free!
Give your endorsement to Team Richmond today

If you've read this far, odds are you're a Team Richmond supporter.  Please show that publicly by adding your name to the candidates' list of endorsers.  
All that's needed is a brief e-mail to langlois-rine@comcast.net, with "endorse Team Richmond" in the subject line. Include your full name, city of residence, and any affiliation or title you would like to include (affiliation is for identification purposes only).
Thank you.  It only takes a moment and will be greatly appreciated!

 RPA Membership Drive Continues 

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.


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 authors, unsigned text  the views of the editor, Patsy Byers, 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.