RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #63December 5, 2011

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Stop Chevron's Tax Grab
Progressive Holiday Party
Chevron-Man tells his side
Bullying with Lawyers
Cuba Film Friday 12/9
Positive Moments in Richmond

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Chevron's tax grab

will cost jobs and hit every service in the county. But few know it is happening. We need the broadest possible support to stop this rip-off. Take the time to let others know.
Call  the RPA office and volunteer some time to phonebank, or help distribute leaflets. 


Download the leaflet here.   Forward it to your lists


Tax Grab

Holiday Party  


 DOWNLOAD LEAFLET HERE and forward to your friends   

Chevron-Man says: 



There are a some folks who ask why RPA doesn't publish Chevron's point of view.  It must be that Chevron's full time PR staff, the millions for "we agree" ads,  promotion of charity events,  and even those ads on your Facebook page when you look up RPA are not enough.  So when the RPA ran into Chevron-Man on the streets of Martinez soliciting more cash for the corporation, we asked him to tell his side of the story:

  Chevron-Man          Chevron USA, Inc. needs help. Here's our hard-luck story.

            Everybody who owns a property, a home or rents, pays property taxes. So do we, only we need our money back 'cause we are hurting for dough.  

            Granted, we're the richest corporation in California. Granted our profits have soared for each of the past years. Granted for eons we've gotten the benefit of the loopholes in Proposition 13. Granted we sit on some of the most valuable real estate in the bay.

            Our expert "cost segmentation" experts from "corporate" in San Ramon will gladly tell you that our Richmond refinery is actually losing money.

            So we're asking for a refund on our property taxes for 2004 to 2010 that will only amount to only, say, $168 million dollars.

            If we win, the City of Richmond, Contra Costa County, the WCCUSD, and special districts like fire, health and Community College will have to cough up, I mean, contribute to our economy.

            Speaking of donations, do you realize that last year Chevron gave away $3.7 million to charities? What we're asking back from you is a measly 25 times that amount.

Here's the good news, our $168 million tax refunds will result in leaner, smaller government and many public workers will get to spend a lot more time at home with their families.

These are tough economic times and somebody has to suffer. You don't expect a world player like Chevron to, do you? You've heard the motto - too big to fail? Meet its friend - too big to pay.

So do not attend the tax assessment appeal hearings in Room 107, Board of Supervisors room. (It's closed to the public anyway.)

            Do not discuss layoffs with your union. (It's such a downer.)

Above all, I hope you skip the community rally at 12:00 on December 15 at the Contra Costa Country Administration building at 651 Pine Street, Martinez. (Bunch of whiners.)

And thanks for putting our CEO, John F. Watson, ($13,987,263) over the top.

Your Pal at the Pump, signatures


Legal Bullying


RPA Activist LogoOne way that the 1%, like the banks and Chevron, get an ever-expanding part of the pie is their ability to do legal bullying. How this works:

  • First they lobby extensively to get technical loopholes in laws that slip under the radar when they are passed.

  • Then, they can hire expensive lawyers, "experts," and huge staff to use these loopholes to challenge county or city governments which cannot afford for defense of the public anything close to what the corporations can spend to make their case   

  • And if by chance they should lose in the first round in courts, the corporations can appeal. In the meantime any money that is involved is put in escrow so that neither side can use it. Of course the corporations can easily afford this but the county and city cannot afford to wait years for their taxes. 

So the legal bully does not have to win their case in court--just use their deep pockets to force the city and county to settle. And then they can use their PR staffs to spin and cover what they have done


Chevron is using the same techniques as the banks are using in resisting regulation. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is forced to settle most of its cases with a slap-on-the-wrist for the banks because "it does not have the money or the staff to battle the deep-pocketed Wall Street firms in Court" .


It is unlikely that Chevron has a just case for its demands for a property tax rebate. After all, its property has been covered under the corporate loophole in Proposition 13 since 1978. That means its property has been grossly under-taxed for years and its value would have to have fallen nearly 75% to go below its taxed value. But we will never be able to judge for ourselves since virtually all of Chevron's case is closed to the public because it contains "proprietary information."


Chevron is relying on its ability to financially overwhelm the County Assessor's office and bring pressure from county officials for a quick settlement. We have to mobilize the pressure of public sentiment against Chevron so it drops its bully legal attack.


--Mike Parker  

Dear Friends

Please join us on Friday December 9, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. for an evening celebration of Cuba and the 12th Anniversary of the Richmond Regla Sister City relationship. This event is a benefit for the archival framing of fine art prints by Cuban artist, Antonio Canet to be exhibited at the Richmond Art Center September 2012.   We will  show the film (which features Canet) CUBA: VALOR DE UNA UTOPIA/CUBA: THE VALUE OF A UTOPIA (see the flier).


In addition to the film show, light refreshments will be served. Books, Cuban artifacts and local handmade items will be available for purchase, all donations to benefit the archival framing of Canet's fine art prints.   We are asking for a donation of $10.00 at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Cuba Film

Positive Moments in Richmond

Honoring Native Americans Honoring Native American Indian Heritage Month.  Mayor McLaughlin presents proclamation to Courtney Cummings at the November 22 Council meeting

How to combat violence in RichmondRemembering those who died by violence in Richmond this year and discussing what can be done about it at the Meet the Mayor gathering December 2.
Most of the discussion focused on taking personal responsibility. 

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 author, unsigned text  the views of the editor, Mike Parker, 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.


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Richmond Progressive Alliance | P.O. Box 160 | Station A | Richmond | CA | 94808