RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #199
Join Our Mailing List





Richmond Progressive Alliance   

7/5: Come out to Richmond City Council to support caps on refinery emissions!
Sat. 7/9: RPA Celebrates at 2540 Macdonald
4-7pm Sun. 7/10: N&E Meet & Greet Ben Choi
Love Our Greenway Day Sat. 7/9, 10-2
Tell Councilmembers what you want (or don't) at Pt. Molate
Honor Ranger Betty Reid Soskin
Sun. 7/17: Refinery Corridor Healing Walk heading to Richmond
Welcome the Activist's New Editor

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.


Tues, 7/5, 6:30pm, Richmond City Council Meeting   
Let's wake up from "Pollution Nightmare"

Come out to the July 5 City Council meeting to speak in support of a resolution, proposed by Council member Gayle McLaughlin, urging that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) adopt Rule 12-16. If adopted, this Rule would compel the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to impose limits, or "caps," on regional refinery emissions of greenhouse gases, toxins, and ultra-fine particulate matter. 
Photo: Chevron Richmond refinery fire, 2012 photo by Frank Schulenburg, Wikimedia commons.
Environmental justice advocates such as Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) support the rule because it would help address "pollution hotspots," concentrations of pollution that tend to disproportionately affect low income areas and communities of color. They note that the pollution hotspot around Richmond, caused chiefly by Chevron refinery emissions, could get even worse as more dirty tar sands oil is brought into area refineries. Arguing against the Rule are the California Air Resources Board and the Western States Petroleum Association, who claim that it would undermine the state's cap and trade program. The cap and trade program allows refineries to offset their emissions by buying pollution permits or carbon credits from other parties. For more background on this issue, see a recent  East Bay Express article

The agenda item is #J2. Click here to read the text of the resolution as well as supporting documents.
Links used above, to copy and paste:

Sat. 7/9, 3-5+pm, 2540 Macdonald, the RPA's new home!
Potluck celebration & quarterly meeting

The Bobby Bowens Progressive Center has a new home in Civic Center! Come to our quarterly RPA membership meeting on July 9 at 3pm, and check out our new digs at 2540 Macdonald. Think about how to use our space for social justice and community enrichment. Get in sync with the campaign agenda as the efforts for Ben Choi and rent control lift off for November. Meet friends, share food as part of the potluck. We will treat this quarterly meeting as a more casual time to dialogue as members and prepare for the fall.
                                                                  --Zak Wear, Membership Committee chair

All members and supporters are warmly invited to this event.Those interested and able to stay after 5 can continue conversation with food, beverages --and perhaps music-- in celebration of our interdependence and our new home.

At its June meeting, the RPA Steering Committee voted to join Tenants Together and approved a contribution to support the No Coal in Oakland rally and organizing. (Oakland City Council unanimously voted to block coal the following week!)  It heard updates on the upcoming campaigns, the work to upgrade and relocate to 2540, and discussed what can be expected from those who serve on the SC.  A need for more help with the Communications Committee was identified; please send an email to RPAActivist@gmail.com if this is something you might be interested in. 

If you'd like to join the RPA 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.
Sun. 7/10, 4-7pm, 2810 Gaynor Ave., Richmond
1st Neighborhood Mixer to Meet Ben Choi

Please note that no one will be turned away for inability to contribute.

As (we hope!) you all know, the RPA has endorsed Ben Choi for Richmond City Council. Please join Ben for a North & East Meet the Candidate event, his first in a series of neighborhood events in which Ben will be connecting with folks in a very personal way. It will be held at 2810 Gaynor Ave, Richmond, CA from 4-7pm. Come out and meet Ben and to learn more about him and his progressive plans for our fair city.

You can rsvp on Facebook. If you are not able to attend please consider volunteering or donating to Ben's campaign. You may make an online donation at https://benchoi2016-teamrichmond.nationbuilder.com/donations. Or, you can send a check to: Ben Choi for Richmond City Council PO Box 70923, Richmond, CA 94801, payable to Ben Choi for Richmond City Council 2016. For contributions of $100 or more, your name, address, occupation and employer are required by Federal law. (Note: donations to the campaign are not tax deductible.)

Sat. 7/9, 10am-2pm, Greenway @ 2nd (Just north of Ohio)
July's "Love Our Greenway Day"

Love our Greenway Day 2015 photo by Rich City Rides, www.richcityrides.org
Come out Saturday July 9 for the monthly "Love Our Greenway Day" park clean up. Hosted every second Saturday of the month (for the past 5 years!) by Friends of the Richmond Greenway, it is a way to show some love to one of Richmond's urban treasures. Meet on the Greenway at 2nd Street (between Ohio and Chancellor). R
akes, brooms, shovels and tools provided; all you need to bring is your energy, family and friends.
Weigh in with Council on your vision.
Pt. Molate: Getting Closer to a Deal?

In 2010, Richmond voters, with the backing of the RPA and many other community groups, voted down a proposal to build a Vegas-style casino at Point Molate. In response, Jim Levine, the casino proponent, sued Richmond; the City prevailed but Levine has appealed the ruling.
The City has since been debating alternate futures for Point Molate. Despite housing a Navy fuel yard for 50 years, Pt. Molate still has outstanding natural values, including significant native plant populations; it is also historically significant as the site of former Chinese shrimping camps, as well as the country's largest pre-Prohibition era winery.
Environmental advocates would like to have the site owned and managed by a public/private (non profit) trust, which could then develop a hotel, conference center, camping sites, and a park. An alternate proposal has come from Levine, who has proposed 1100 senior housing units. A recent statement issued by City Manager Bill Lindsay states that Levine has approached the City with a settlement proposal; the statement did not describe the offer (except to say that it does not include a casino) but reiterated that the Council is "at the earliest stages of any possible process" and that any settlement agreement would be subject to the "required public process for land use approvals." Stay tuned.

                                                                                            --Michelle Chan

NPS Ranger Betty Reid Soskin recovering after attack
Honor & help: donate to documentary film 

Photo credit: Wikipedia.
Richmond residents were shocked to learn that in late June, beloved NPS Ranger Betty Soskin was attacked in her home in Richmond by unknown intruders who beat her and stole some of her possessions, including a commemorative coin presented to her by President Obama. At 94, Soskin is the country's oldest serving Park Ranger, serving as an interpreter at the Rosie the Riveter National Park. She is reportedly doing better, and has vowed to return to work.

Those who want to help can make a donation to Betty's Fund. As the donation page states, "Beyond immediate needs, all funds raised here will be used, as Betty has asked, to complete a film in progress that contains vital documentary information about Betty's life and impact. This is the legacy that she wants to continue passing on to younger generations, and a remarkable testimonial to her strength of spirit."

Sun. July 17, from Rodeo to Richmond
Join the July "Connect the Dots" Healing Walk

2015 Refinery Healing Walk #3: Singing to the water on the Carquinez Bridge. Photo by Bryan Parras at www.refineryhealingwalks.com
Throughout 2016, Native Americans in Prayer has been organizing a series of Refinery Healing Walks,
inspired by the Tar Sands Healing Walks in Alberta, Canada, the Longest Walks, and the Peace & Dignity Journeys. The last Bay Area Healing Walk of the year will take place on July 17, starting at the Rodeo Conoco Phillips 66 refinery and ending 13 miles later at the Richmond Chevron refinery. Members of Idle No More SF Bay will conduct prayers at each refinery and toxic sites along the way, and walkers will be joined by special guests Kandi Mossett and Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

People are invited to join for the full day, but there is also the option of joining along the way, or welcoming the walkers with a potluck dinner as they conclude their day at Keller Beach in Richmond.

More information can be found 

Newsletter news
Welcome our new editor, Michelle Chan


RPA Steering Committee Recording Secretary Michelle Chan wrote most of the copy and chose the photos for this issue of the Activist, and she will soon be taking on the full editiorship.  The schedule will be more regular and less frequent, likely moving to a monthly edition. (If you're willing to help get it out more often, please send an email to RPAActivist@gmail.com!)  Look for changes in the layout and delivery, too.


Thanks to all who have contributed during the time I've worked on the newsletter and to all who have read it and offered words of appreciation and support.  I will truly miss much of it and this interaction with many of you.  I do look forward to reading the Activist here in Richmond in the second half of 2016.


Many thanks, Michelle, and best wishes!


                                                                                    --Patsy Byers


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.