RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #174
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Richmond Adopts Rent Stabilization and Just Cause for Eviction
8/17 Workshop: How we people beat big corporate bucks.
8/18: Climate Action Plan Community Workshop
The Richmond Our Power Festival!
Vigil of Remembrance and Resolve
8/22: Bay Area Labor BBQ for TDU
8/23: See The Iron Heel in Glen Ellen
Plan for RPA Members Meeting 9/26

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.


Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction passed by Council
Richmond: First CA city to adopt in 30+ years 

On August 5, in a hard-won battle, Richmond successfully adopted its Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance. As a result, many renters in our City will be protected against skyrocketing rents and unjust evictions. By way of this ordinance, the City Council has made it clear that stability, something every human being deserves, is worth preserving in Richmond in the face of ever-increasing Bay Area housing costs.
I am proud to be among 4 councilmembers who supported this ordinance. Thank you to Councilmembers Beckles, Martinez, and Myrick for your show of courage and conviction in adopting this tool. A special thank-you goes out to the Richmond Coalition for Fair Rent and Just Cause for your undaunted advocacy, hard work, and social justice commitment on behalf of the many struggling renters in Richmond.   This coalition consists of the following organizations:  AFSCME Local 3299, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Tenants Together, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, California Nurses Association, CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization), Centro Latino Cuzcatian, CUIDO (Communities United in Support of Olmstead), Eviction Defense Center, EBHO (East Bay Housing Organization), Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Saffron Strand, SEIU Local 1021, Urban Habitat, and Urban Tilth. 
Thank you one and all!  Once more, as always, we have seen that change comes about when people organize and unite.  

The ordinance will go into full effect September 4th, 2015. At that time rents will roll back to the amount charged on July 21st, 2015, and tenants will not be able to be evicted without a "just cause." 

Tenants Together, California's Statewide Organization for Renters' Rights, has put together a fact sheet that provides more information on the ordinance

Until the Rent Board is up and running, the following are resources for assistance: 
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Richmond office:  925-348-9165
On a final note: It bears repeating that this is but one tool in our toolbox for addressing the housing crisis and economic needs of our community. We need to build more affordable housing, bring in more jobs and job training, enhance education, and increase wages so that low to middle income people can truly make ends meet. While passing this ordinance is a fantastic victory, we have much more work to do. I look forward to working with each and every one of my colleagues on the City Council and with our great community on the many important challenges that persist in Richmond. As we all know, Richmond is seen as a beacon for urban transformation....let's keep that beacon shining bright!

--Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin

There will also be a monthly clinic hosted by ACCE and Tenants Together on the Second Wednesday of each month at the ACCE offices in Richmond. For more info call ACCE at 925-348-9165. 
The SF Chronicle's August 6th column by Chip Johnson (available to subscribers here, as premium content) carries this headline: "Richmond's rent-control battle was brutal, but right choice made." 
Mon. 8/17, 6:30-8pm, Whittlesley Rm., S. end of Main Library
Fighting the Undue Influence of Money in Politics

Councilmember (& Former Mayor) Gayle McLaughlin will lead this workshop on how grassroots organizing beat big corporate spending, with a discussion and a Q & A session following her presentation.

It's a Summer of Our Power event.


Tues. 8/18, 6-7:30pm, Richmond Memorial Auditorium:
Climate Action Plan Community Workshop

"The Climate Action Plan will serve as a roadmap for the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change on the public health, infrastructure, ecosystems, and public spaces in our community. Development of the plan is underway, and it is important that we have broad input from all community members to ensure that the final plan is one that effectively meets the needs of the community." --Richmond City Mgr, Bill Lindsay

Food and refreshments will be provided. Please register to help the organizers. More information about the plan can be found at www.richmondclimateaction.org

Sat., 8/22, noon-5pm, free & on the Greenway: Ohio @ 16th
The Richmond Our Power Festival!

People-powered fun in the sun, growing strong & healthy communities--
Here's the fine print from the flyer: "Join us in transforming our city and showcasing alternatives to our climate and economic crises.  Festival activities include a bike-powered music concert, cash-free swap, urban farming, solar-powered popsicle truck, preventive health screenings, farmer's market and many more!  Be green and ride your bike to the event --free bike parking is available." The RPA is a community partner for the Festival.
Vigil at Civic Center Plaza:
3 Years after the Chevron explosion & fire here  

Photo: Eduardo Martinez.
Each person at the vigil Thursday evening stood for about 250 local residents, the ones who had to get medical help after the exposures 3 years ago.  (Then, most of them went to Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo, which was closed in April.)

As the speakers reminded us, threats to the health and safety of all are still very present.  This event was an opportunity to deepen our resolve to organize and fight for a future free from the human and environmental burdens imposed by the fossil fuel economy.

A couple of other signs at the vigil read: "Wake Up--Stop Crude by Rail" and "Hold Chevron Accountable."  And there was this one:
Photo: Patsy Byers.
Also Sat. 8/22, 2-6pm, Fundraising Barbecue:
Benefit for Teamsters for Democratic Union...

...with TDU national organizer Ken Paff at 747 Lobos Ave. in Richmond (the home of Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon).  Steve says: "All labor and community activists are invited to meet Ken and learn more about the Teamster reform movement. 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."

 More info is available here.  Send an RSVP by email here.    
Sun. 8/23, noon, Jack London State Historic Park*:
Historic Setting for Iron Heel Production

Photo of Spring 2014 production to benefit Team Richmond.

The Iron Heel Theatre Collective and Signdance Collective International will present The Iron Heel, based on the novel by Jack London. The story chronicles the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. Watch this dramatic, multi-media Readers Theater production in an unique, outdoor presentation in the Winery Ruins, with the use of  mask, puppetry, dance, performance, and live music. 

The performance is free ($10 parking), and donations are appreciated.  Proceeds beyond production expenses will go to the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the Sunflower Alliance, and Signdance Collective International.

*2400 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen CA

Save the date now: Sat. 9/26, 3-5pm, at 1021 Macdonald 
RPA Members Meeting to consider bylaws!

The Restructuring Committee and the RPA Steering Committee have been working on developing a clearer organizational structure.  Draft bylaws will be up for consideration by the membership.  Once approved, the process of electing the new Steering Committee will be underway. Please plan now to be at this meeting.


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.
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.