RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #177
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

9/26: RPA bylaws up for vote & election's next!
An invitation for RPA members who use Facebook
RPA Nominating Committee Announced
9/21: Demand BAAQMD Board hold staff accountable
9/22: Tell the County we want Health4All
9/19: Hear Hedges, McLaughlin, & Sawant for only $10!
Oil & politics an ugly & dangerous mix
"Justice Denied" --Hunziker on Perez case
Fast & fun lesson on Prop. 13

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.


Members to vote on bylaws 9/26/15, 3*-5:30pm, at BBPC**
Help decide how RPA works!

There were a handful of points in the proposed bylaws for a restructured organization where some members suggested changes. These possible amendments --spanning questions of qualifications, nominating, and voting procedures for the Steering Committee election; duties of officers; and modifications for more inclusive language-- will be emailed to members for their consideration in advance of the meeting. They were developed though discussions on the RPA Community Group Facebook page. (For more on that, see the next section.)

In addition to deciding on bylaws at the meeting, the membership will be introduced to the Nominating Committee, which kicks off the process of identifying candidates for election to the Steering Committee.  There will be many opportunities following the meeting, as well, to learn the next steps for anyone interested in running in the election. Plus, refreshments!  Please attend!

Here's the link to the Facebook event page for the meetinghttps://www.facebook.com/events/410169635848360.

As usual, 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.
* If you need to pay dues or join at the door, please plan to get there early, so the meeting can start at 3.  We'll be set up from 2:30 for new & renewing members at
**Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald (close to BART).
The honor of your presence is cordially requested:
Join in the RPA conversations on Facebook

A Facebook group for RPA members (only) was suggested at the last membership meeting. Look what happened:


RPA Nominating Committee named:
Will seek RPA Steering Committee candidates

The current acting Steering Committee of the Richmond Progressive Alliance announces unanimous agreement on members who will serve as a nominating committee.  The Nominating Committee will assemble a slate of people to recommend to the general RPA membership for the first annual Steering Committee election, which will be held sometime in December.  The slate and election date will be announced far enough in advance that others, also, have opportunity to seek a seat on the Steering Committee.

Members serving on the RPA Nominating Committee include Tarnel Abbott, Marcos Banales, Michelle Chan, Stephanie Hervey, Claudia Jimenez, Andres Soto, Zak Wear, Kathleen Wimer, and Cesar Zepeda.  Upcoming issues of the Activist will have contact information and details on the process.
Mon. 9/21, 9:30am, at the office: 939 Ellis, San Francisco
Push back on industry capture of the BAAQMD

Bay Area refineries and ports are a main hub for West Coast transportation, processing, and export of fossil fuels. We are at a key crossroads in the fight to restrict emissions from these sources and begin a just transition to a renewable energy economy.
The five local refineries are intent on massive investments in new infrastructure to enable them to transport and process "extreme crudes," particularly the dirtiest tar-sands from Canada. It's the job of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to regulate toxic emissions from these sources.  
A coalition of environmental and climate justice, worker, and frontline community groups have been demanding that the Air Quality District institute a strict cap based on currently measured refinery emissions, including greenhouse gases (GHG). After many delayed promises to meet these goals, the District has released their staff proposals. They include no regulation of greenhouse gases, permit the maximum theoretical emissions levels possible from existing equipment, and rely entirely on the refineries to monitor and report their own emissions. 
This is a recipe for guaranteeing that new, higher emission tar sands projects will be grandfathered into existing operations.
The Air District's Stationary Source Committee will be meeting at the BAAQMD office in San Francisco (939 Ellis Street at Van Ness) at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 21, to hear formal staff proposals for these rules.
It is vital that we have massive community turnout to hold them accountable. Attend the Stationary Source Committee meeting and tell Board members, our elected officials, that the agency's failure to use "all the tools in its toolbox" --a promise it made just last month-- is a dereliction of its mission.
We need an enforceable numeric cap on overall GHGs, per each refinery. The health of our communities and our climate depends on it.
For more information contact: Andrés Soto (Communities for a Better Environment, 510-237-6866), Sandy Sateurn (Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 510-236-4616 ext.303), or Ratha Lai (Sierra Club, 562-760-1005).
 --Sunflower Alliance, http://www.sunflower-alliance.org/ 

Tues. 9/22, carpool 8am, to County Supervisors Meeting for 
Contra Costa CARES: Health for all!  

Come out in support of this low-cost and coordinated program to expand access to health care, regardless of immigration status.  Estimates countywide of those remaining uninsured after the Affordable Care Act run as high as 85,000.
From the ACCE flyer.
>From the ACCE flyer for the event.  
The financial costs of limited access are staggering:  Lost productivity at work; higher emergency room usage and bills, and increased expenses due to delays, more severe conditions, and lack of preventative care.

Carpools meet at 8am on Tuesday at 322 Harbour Way.  The CCC Supervisors meeting starts at 9 at 651 Pine St., Martinez.

For more information, contact Jovana Fajardo at (925)437-9570 or see www.acceaction.org.

Sat. 9/19, 7pm, First Unitarian, 685 14th. St., Oakland 
Fundraiser for Kshama Sawant.

Our own Gayle McLaughlin will join journalist and author Chris Hedges at this event, speaking in solidarity with Kshama Sawant, Seattle's Socialist City Councilmember, as she runs for re-election. The Facebook webpage for the fundraiser is here, and tickets ($10) are available here.  
Something's got to give:
More on oil & politics.

BAAQMD is also holding town hall meetings on the new rules.  One in Richmond will be Monday, 9/28, 6-8pm at Lincoln Elementary, 29 Sixth St.   It's another opportunity to demand that staff honor their mandate to protect the public and the environment.  Four draft rules will be available for review and public comment; the link to download and review their proposals is http://www.baaqmd.gov/rules-and-compliance/rule-development/meetings-and-public-hearings, and written comments must be in by September 25th.

The Sacramento Bee published a very strong editorial in response to the oil industry's success in eliminating petroleum reduction targets from SB 350, with this statement highlighted: "WE HOPE BROWN IS AS ANGRY AS HE NOW SEEMS. WE ARE DISGUSTED BY THE INFLUENCE OF OIL MONEY ON THE CAPITOL." [Caps in original.] If you follow the link, note the site of the lead AP photo, too.  

Just over one year later:
"Justice Denied in Richmond"

"Justice for victims of questionable police shootings has been the focus of an intense national dialogue that is slowly bringing greater scrutiny and transparency to police departments across the country. Richmond is ahead of the curve as a national role model for community policing, a pioneer in alternative crime reduction programs and a regional leader for social justice.
Pedie Perez.  Source: Radio Free Richmond.

"However, for the family of Richard 'Pedie' Perez, the unarmed young man killed by Richmond police on September 14, 2014, that justice may never come. The Richmond City Attorney has unlawfully blocked independent review of the Perez shooting by the Richmond Police Commission, a civilian oversight board that itself suffers from an inability to fulfill its purpose. ..."

Thus begins a recent editorial by Felix Hunziker, published online by Radio Free Richmond. [This site is not one I would often reference, but I believe the merits of the piece trump my reluctance. Part of the text is used here with the author's permission.--PB] Felix Hunziker is a Richmond Police Commissioner and Past Chair. As noted in the original document, "These opinions are his own and do not represent an official position of the Richmond Police Commission." Follow the link for the full text. (The editorial is also available there in Spanish.)  It concludes:

"I don't know what happened that night one year ago at Uncle Sam's Liquors but as a Police Commissioner I have questions, and the Perez family deserves answers. Has all witness testimony been recorded and cross-examined? Did an intoxicated Pedie Perez really try to grab the officer's gun or was he (still wrongly) just grappling with him? Is there clear and convincing evidence that excessive or unnecessary force was used against Perez? I've participated in RPD "Force Options" training and have witnessed the remarkable restraint and training our patrol officers possess as they consistently deploy less-lethal options to control assailants. Did Officer Jensen, who shot and killed Pedie, carry his Taser, mace, or nightstick that night, in accordance with the RPD Policy Manual? If so, why didn't he use them instead of his sidearm? 

"Ultimately it comes down to this: a young, unarmed resident has died in what began as a minor altercation with a police officer. The family has asked the Police Commission to investigate while the City Attorney is attempting to block them. Who do you think is right? What is justice in Richmond?"

Why we need to close the corporate loopholes of Prop 13:
Take 3 minutes for a lesson from Robert Reich.

Here's a quick fact from the video:
CA Property Tax Paid by:      Corporations          Homeowners
In 1978:                44%                         56%
& Now:                 28%                         72%


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.