RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #173
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Tomorrow! 3-5pm, Celebrates & Plan with RPA
7/28: Attend RCC for 2nd Reading of Ordinance
Sat. 8/1: SF Mime Troupe at Nichol Park
Randy Shaw in Berkeley: Book on fighting gentrification in S.F.'s Tenderloin
Books to borrow, read, review, & talk over
Wed. 7/29: CA Refinery Task Force Reports
7/30: Rally to Save & Expand Medicare, in Oakland
Plan for Richmond Our Power 8/22 Festival
Teamsters for a Democratic Union Event

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. 7/24/15, 3-5pm, at 1021 Macdonald 
RPA Members Meeting: Lots on our plates!

We, collectively, did it!  The Richmond City Council approved the first reading of the draft ordinance for Rent Control with Just Cause for Eviction by a 4-1 vote Tuesday!  (See coverage here.) Come and have a piece of cake and a chance to talk about our next steps in building a Richmond that's a good home for all of us.


Three of the 4 who voted "Yes" will be there!  We'll thank them in person, and owe thanks to Jael Myrick, too!


The first part of the meeting will focus on Education. (We'll be talking about the Richmond Promise Program, a "laboratory school" proposal, & the battle to get JROTC out of Richmond high schools.)


Then, we want to examine how RPA's media can be used to better communicate our message and as a tool for outreach. We're looking for constructive criticism of this newsletter, the webpage, our FB page, our Twitter-ing, and more conventional online and print forums.  Come with ideas and see if there's a niche you'd like to fill.  


New members can join at the door and current members can update their status.  

If you'd like to join now, follow this link to the membership form.  Print and complete the form and mail it in with a check for your dues, which start at $12/yr.  Or, to avoid printing and snail-mailing, you can:

  •  send an email to info@richmondprogressivealliance.net with the information requested on the form &
  • go to the RPA web page & press the "Donate" button in the left column and make a payment for dues. Any additional contribution helps us keep dues more affordable for those with low income and is welcomed.
Howie Hawkins, a founder of the Green Party & Clamshell Alliance, & 2014 Green candidate for NY Govenor, will be a guest at the meeting.

Celebration & working together!  It doesn't get much better than that!
Tu., 7/28, 6:30pm, Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza
The 2nd reading: Rent Control with Just Cause

To make these provisions law, Council has to re-approve its decision from Tuesday.  Be there to show your support for the action they've taken and to make sure nothing gets de-railed.

It's the last session scheduled before the August recess.  Although the agenda is not yet available online --after 5:30pm on Friday!-- it's sure to be jam-packed.  You should be able to view it here; to review the Agenda while being able to access the supporting documents, choose the Sire link in the Agenda Documents section. 

Sat. 8/1, 1:30pm for Music, 2pm for the Show, Nichol Park*
See the S.F. Mime Troupe's Freedomland 



"Are the police out of control?  What happened to 'Innocent until proven guilty'?"



The Mime Troupe will performing its free summer drama/comedy/musical in Nichol Park on Saturday, August 1 at 2:00 p.m. (Music starts at 1:30).  Bring blankets, chairs, and the family.


* 34th & Macdonald.


[Apologies for the poor quality of the graphic; I was unable to locate and upload a better image. --PB]



Wed. 8/5, 7pm, Books, Inc. in Berkeley, 1491 Shattuck Ave.
What can the Tenderloin experience teach us?

Randy Shaw, who wrote the Beyond Chron piece on the Richmond's Rent Control vote, linked to above, also wrote a book: The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco.  He's a lawyer-activist advocating for that illusive  sweet spot: "Development without displacement."  Get more info on his appearance in Berkeley here.
An invitation to start something:
Knowledge is Power

SEIU (Service Employees International Union) 1021, Communities for a Better Environment,and the Richmond Progressive Alliance all share the space named the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center.Even if you have visited there, you may not have noticed the shelves along the west wall.

These bookshelves are the progressive library, where books may be checked out and returned free of charge. You wouldn't be reading this newsletter if you didn't find something of interest there: biographies, case studies, political analysis, history, fiction, etc.

I am writing this short announcement in the hope that the next time you visit the Center you wander over to the library, take home and read something fascinating. I go further. I'm hoping that after you've read the book, you might write a short note like this one and review it so others might benefit.

I go further. I'm hoping that one of you will organize a book-reading club.  Before his passing, Bobby Bowens strongly suggested that everyone should read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Community or Chaos, which he found inspirational.  I would love to read Michelle Alexander's Mass Incarceration in a group and discuss it with others.

If that weren't enough, you can even find dvds to check out, with titles such as "The Corporation," "Food, Inc.",  "Crude" and many more.  Perhaps we can even start a dvd rental service which I would dub "Leftflix".

The more ways we discover to work and play together, the more we and our movement grow.


In solidarity,         

  Michael Beer       

[If you want to follow through on any of these ideas, please send an email here.]


Wed. 7/29, 6-8pm, Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center  Plaza:
CA Interagency Refinery Task Force Safety Forum


ADA accessible.  Spanish translation available. Q & A following presentations.

For any questions, please contact: Paul Penn

Emergency Management & Refinery Safety Program Manager, CA EPA

(916) 327-9558 (o)  --  paul.penn@calepa.ca.gov

Th. 7/30, 11am, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland*:
Rally for Single Payer on Medicare's 50th!

On Medicare's 50th Birthday, we demand:  Protect Medicare! Improve Medicare! Expand Medicare to Cover Everyone!

If there's one event you go to this year to protect & expand Medicare, this is the one!  Laws are being formed right now to gut Medicare as we know if for seniors and people with disabilities.  And tens of millions of younger peoples need Medicare-type coverage because they are uninsured or can't afford to use their insurance.

More info can be found here.

*Exit 12th St. BART station using the 14th St. escalator.  (Just W of B'way.)

Sat. 8/22, noon-5pm, The Greenway (Ohio & 16th.)
The Richmond Our Power Festival

To help now planning RPA's contribution, or to sign up to work on 8/22, contact Janet Jackson, by email 
or phone: (510) 331-3985

And invite your friends and neighbors, and bring the whole family, for a people powdered afternoon of fun in the sun, that showcases ways to grow strong and healthy communities.  The festival will feature a bicycle-powered musical concert, solar-powered popsicle truck, preventative health screenings, urban agriculture & farmers market, cash-free swap, and more. 


Also on 8/22, 2-6pm, 747 Lobos Ave (@ Western)*:
BBQ Fundraiser: Teamsters for Democratic Union

TDU national organizer Ken Paff is coming to the Bay Area for a labor barbecue and fundraising party in Richmond on Saturday, Aug 22 starting at 2 p.m. All labor and community activists are invited to meet Ken-and learn more about the Teamster reform movement.

Next year, 1.3 million Teamsters will vote in a one-member, one-vote election for the union's top officers and board members. 

Come get the latest info on what's happening to change the current direction of North America's largest industrial union. Since the mid-1970s, TDU has been helping Teamster rank-and-filers enforce their contract rights, defend union democracy, and help chart a new, progressive course for the labor movement.


  *Hosted by Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon.  RSVP here.  There's more info here.
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.