RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #197
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Richmond Progressive Alliance   

RPA says: Vote for Bernie & NO on N&O
New Digs! Need work!
Celebrate & Support Richmond's LBGT Community
FAR Petition Success!
Contribute your time & energy to a good cause: The RPA!
Ben Choi Campaign Updates
Correction to #196: Cesar Zepeda is RCC Candidate
Youth Summit in Richmond Tomorrow
Mark your calendars: Full days 6/18 & 7/9

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.


CA Primary Tues. 6/7   
Bernie & NO on N&O is the way to go!

Saturday's "A Future to Believe In" Oakland rally with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had crowds 8 blocks long 1 1/2 hours before the area opened, and the lines lengthened throughout the afternoon.  

Here's a photo on closed-circuit TV, from inside a packed cafe-bar near Oscar Grant Plaza; that's as close as we could get and the best we could do:

Registered Democrats & NPP (No Party Preference) voters are urged to complete a Democratic party ballot, voting for Bernie Sanders for President! For those listed as NPP, these ballots can be requested at the polls Tuesday.  If you are considering voting for Hilary, please read this article first.

Photos: Patsy Byers.
The RPA also asks all Richmond voters to vote NO on Measures N&O. Both initiatives, financed by Florida developer Richard Poe, reflect the use of 1%-er money to try to buy political power. Measure N would be a special deal for luxury housing that subverts Richmond's General Plan.  Measure O would restrict the City Council when it comes to hiring a new City Manager, while doing nothing for broader, meaningful compensation reform.

Sun. 6/5, 1-6pm, at 2540 Macdonald Ave.
1st Work Party in New RPA Office!

Exciting news: We have a new office in a primo location: 2540 Macdonald, at Civic Center, right across from the Richmond Public Library & the Richmond Art Center.  Our lease will run through February 2018, with a 1 year extension option at a slightly higher rate.  This move secures the RPA and allied organizations a stable place to meet and work, since our status at 1021 Macdonald had been month-to-month since January 2015.

We took the space "as is," however, and there's lots of work that needs to be done before we can move in (& move out of 1021 by June 30)! We're holding our first work party on Sunday, June 5, 1-6pm, at the new location, to be followed by a group dinner (just where will be decided then).  There's no need to sign up for Sunday, just swing by.

If you are able to contribute some time and energy, any other time, please send a text to Tim Laidman at (510) 260-9393 with your availability and construction skill set, if any.  There are many vital unskilled jobs, too, so don't feel you have to be an experienced construction worker!  Later in the month, we'll be asking for help sorting and packing up at 1021.

If you can make a donation for any of the following, you will not only earn the gratitude of all who use the new space in the coming months, but you'll be honored in some fashion (still TBD) in the interior!  Here's what we're looking for right away:

$ 220:  Baseboard molding to go all around the perimeter inside 
$   61:  Caulking for baseboards
$ 810:  Paint for all interior walls (2 coats)
$ 185:  Each for 2 blinds for west-facing windows (approx. 6'Wx10'H)
$   88:  Drop cloths for curtains on north-facing windows
$   78:  Hardware for curtains 

To donate funds for any of these items, or to contribute towards them, please go to the Donate button (in the top blue bar) on the RPA homepage, and then fill in the "Add special instructions to the recipient" or "Purpose" fields, specifying what you'd like the money used for.  (Alternatively, send an email with that info to RPAActivist@gmail.com.)

Here's a shot of the exterior, showing the full extent of the part of the building that the RPA is renting:
Photos: Patsy Byers.

Sun. 6/5, 10am-3pm, Marina Park*, Richmond
Richmond Rainbow Pride Festival

Enjoy a family-friendly event in a beautiful setting. And attend in support of respect and equality for the LGBT community. Ben Choi, RPA-endorsed candidate for Richmond City Council, will be doing just that.  Come by and say hi!

Marina Park: Corner of Regatta Blvd and Melville Square
Yesterday, at City Hall:
FAR submitted petitions for Rent Control measure

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/fairandaffordablerichmond.

The Richmond City Clerk received 5175 signatures yesterday, of Richmond voters who want put the proposed ordinance for Rent Control, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protections on the November ballot.  Just under 4200 are required to advance the initiative, and volunteers going door to door have a very high rate of valid signatures, so Fair & Affordable Richmond (FAR) backers are confident the measure will qualify.

Many thanks to all who have worked so long and hard to move forward these tenant and neighborhood stabilization provisions.  There will undoubtedly be a strong and well-financed campaign in opposition as the vote approaches, but for today, let's take a collective breath and rejoice!

And a sad footnote: Please recognize that any "rent control petition" now being circulated in Richmond is a cynical effort by the real estate Industry and large corporate landlords to permanently block the implementation of rent control & just cause.  Don't sign it!

RPA Help wanted:
Office staffers, Activist & Key List Editor(s)

RPA has done an awful lot with a strictly volunteer workforce, and we're looking for more folks to step up.  Besides the need for workers to tackle getting the new office ready and the old office moved over and cleaned out, we need people to staff the space on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, regularly and as subs. Please contact Tarnel Abbott, Office Committee Chair, if you are interested in helping in the office: Call (510) 910-4510 or emailtarnelabbott@comcast.net.

And, we're looking for someone to share the work of putting together the Activist newsletter and Key List emails.  We have a couple of willing volunteers, but not yet enough commitment to carry on all the work, which I will have to relinquish soon. If you'd like to consider becoming part of a small team, please send an email here, to RPAActivist@gmai.com, and you will be contacted quickly, to explore the possibilities.  

Training will be provided for these positions, and you'll be making an important contribution to a better Richmond.
                                                                                                     --Patsy Byers.
Opportunity to get involved & to give!
Ben Choi for Richmond City Council 2016 news!

The Ben Choi Campaign Committee named Richmond Immigration Attorney and RPA Steering Committee member Sharron S. K. Williams as Campaign Coordinator this week. For more than a decade, Sharron has worked on numerous campaigns, in capacities from advocacy to management, and in scope from Propositions to Congressional contests. Congratulations, Sharron!

Remember, Ben accepts no contributions from corporations or businesess, because he knows they aren't people! To volunteer and help Ben Choi get elected, send an email to benchoi4richmond@gmail.com. Donations from individuals may be made through this site: www.benchoi4richmond.com/donate. Please be sure to provide all the information required by California campaign law.

A correction:
Cesar Zepeda is the City Council candidate.

The last issue of the RPA Activist mis-identified Richmond City Council candidate Cesar Zepeda. Please note his correct name. I regret the error and apologize to Cesar for this mistake.
                                                                                                                 --Patsy Byers        

Tomorrow, Sat. 6/4, 10am-2pm, Richmond Auditorium 
Youth Summit by & for those aged 14-21.

This event will be hosted by the young adults of Richmond. The focus of this summit is to not only give young adults the ability to become better engaged with local government, but to also equip youth with important tools and resources. The target audience is youth between the ages of 14-21.  Go to the Summit's event page to learn more and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/west-county-youth-summit-tickets-25218080959?aff=es2

Save these dates now:
June 18 & July 9: Both "double dips!"

Sat. June 18th is the date for both the Richmond Juneteenth Parade & Festival and the 7th Annual Native American Richmond Contest Powwow.

And on July 9th the Richmond Progressive Alliance will hold an afternoon Members Meeting in our new office, at 2540 Macdonald, followed by a house-warming party there (planned by the Arts & Culture Team). 

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.