RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #79July 7, 2012

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Stop Jail Expansion Monday
Independence from Big Beverage
Asking for Money
Sinking Red Oak Victory?
New Wal-Mart in Richmond?
AARP Supports Sugar Tax
Get Facts on Sugary Drinks
Black Unemployment
Hospital Overcharges
Corporations Aren't People
Healthcare Movie
We Need Your Help

 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260
Help Stop Contra Costa County Jail Expansion

July 9 Flyer
Click image for full size
As part of California's AB 109 prison re-alignment program, Contra Costa County is slated to get about $19 million, which Sheriff David Livingston wants to use to construct space for 150 more "free standing" beds in Contra Costa County jails.  People who have experienced these jails on the inside predict that those 150 beds would soon grow to 300 and then 450, as additional bunks are added.

Local criminal justice reform activists oppose this expansion of local jails, especially considering the fact that fully 85% of the people currently held in Contra Costa County jails have not been convicted of any crime.  They are either immigrants put on ICE holds pending deportation proceedings or individuals who have been arrested, often for minor offenses, but not yet convicted.   The West County detention facility in Richmond is currently used for a large number of ICE holds.

A group in Richmond that includes a number of re-entry advocates and formerly incarcerated people called the Local Organizing Community (LOC) has proposed numerous alternatives to jail expansion, including:
  • bail reform
  • alternative sentencing for low level offenses (i.e. electronic ankle bracelets)
  • an end to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) holds
  • programs to reduce recidivism
  • transitional  housing for those released from incarceration
  • transitional/subsidized employment for those released from incarceration
  • a 1st Stop Welcoming Center for re-entry from incarceration  
Furthermore, the County already has plenty of available capacity at the Marsh Creek detention center for low security cases, which has only 25% of its beds currently filled, underscoring the fact that new jail beds are not needed.

The Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee will be making a recommendation to the County Board of Supervisors very soon about how to use the $19 in AB 109 re-alignment funds.  The Exec. Committee is comprised of 7 voting members including Sheriff Livingston, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, DA Mark Peterson, and the Public Defender.  LOC is scheduling small group meetings with all Exec.Committee members.

CCISCO and the Ceasefire-Lifelines to Healing project are organizing a massive prayer vigil in Martinez on
July 9
calling on the County to explore alternatives to incarceration instead of expansion of jail facilities, and to stop honoring ICE holds.

Meet on Monday July 9, at 1:00 pm at St. Marks Church, 159 Harbour Way, Richmond

to ride the bus that will be provided, or offer to carpool if the bus is filled. 

The vigil will be at 2:00 pm at 651 Pine St., Martinez

It's time to stop locking up more and more community members unnecessarily.  Instead, the funds could be put to much better use preventing crimes and supporting those who are turning their lives around.  Current practices of mass incarceration and mass deportation disproportionately affect African American and Latino residents, and we need to put an end to this in Richmond and Contra Costa County.

Marilyn Langlois

Independence from Big Beverage

There was more than the fireworks and the Oakland Symphony on July 3.  Earlier in the day Richmonders declared their independence from Big Beverage.   
Andres Soto provided the music and Ben Franklin entertained the crowd with wisdom from two centuries back that still made sense.

Read the full Declaration at the Fit-for Life website 
Signing Declaration
Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin gave out Bon Mots

Jeff Dennis
Jeff discusses issues with Dennis Dalton at Independence Party

We have to ask for money! 


We hate the power of money in politics.  We condemn the Supreme Court for its ruling that corporations are people and can spend unlimited amounts on the candidates and issues of their choosing.

We have proven here in Richmond that we can win by a combination of standing up for what is right and what people of Richmond need  mixed with a lot of volunteer time and one-on-one discussions.

Our campaigns have no paid staff but we need some money to pay for literature, rent, and, and postage. 

We are asking you to help to kick in $25, $50, $100 or more, if you can, to help  get our message out. 

Unlike the contributions to many of our opponents, your contribution will count a lot because it is not smothered by  large corporate contributions.   Eduardo, Marilyn and the RPA accept no corporate contributions.  That is one reason you know you can trust them to do what they say they will do..

If you contribute to Eduardo and Marilyn's campaigns directly,  your contributions after July 1 are eligible for matching funds from the city. Here are different ways to contribute.

Go to their web sites
and press the donate button.



Marilyn's Website 




Eduardo Eduardo's website 




Send a check in the mail 

Marilyn Langlois for Richmond City Council 2012
P.O. Box 5323, Richmond, CA 94805

Eduardo Martinez for Richmond City Council 2012
P.O. Box 5252, Richmond, CA 94805

If you make a contribution of $100 or more, state law requires that you provide your address, name of your employer and occupation (or retired status). Whatever you can afford will go a long way to building a healthy Richmond for all.   

Donate and have a great time

Fund Raising Party for Eduardo and Marilyn   

Saturday July 21  6pm -- 9pm 

1021 Macdonald 


Live Dance Music

Classy hors d'oeuvres  

Stimulating  Conversation

Build  Our Community 


Next City Council Meeting  Tuesday, 6:30 pm
Will Booze Sink the Red Oak Victory? 
Red Oak Victory
Corky Booze is proposing that the City charge the Red Oak Victory  rent and pay back rent for berthing.  Tom Butt is proposing to codify the current arrangement. 

Here is  part of the response of the volunteers who work on this historic tourist attraction: 

"The preservation and restoration of the SS Red Oak Victory is providing a visual and physical link to that history and has given rise to a cultural tourism long anticipated and planned for in the greater Richmond area.  This tourism is recognized as being an important factor in the revitalization of this community, a community still dealing with the impacts of the economic, social, and cultural upheaval of the war years. The museum's mission for this project includes a strong commitment to service to the community while offering a unique perspective on its history. It is undeniable that the volunteers involved in the ship's restoration are providing an invaluable service to the community.  And in exchange for that acknowledged service to the City of Richmond, the City agreed in 1998 to free berthing. 

"Now, Corky Booze would choose to ask that the City renege on this no-rent agreement with the Museum.   What a selfish misguided concept, clearly indicating a lack of appreciation for the museum's commitment to the project and the City's commitment as well. This is a commitment involving year's of fundraising and thousands of hours of volunteer time."
See the full statement on the 

Also at Tuesday Council Meeting
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • 5 Year Financial Plan
  • Cap on Matching Funds for Elections
  • Anti-Union State Ballot Proposition

Click here to see Council Agenda 
RPA Activist Logo
More than 4,000 union members and community supporters, including many Wal-Mart workers, marched in Los Angeles Saturday. They opposed the chain's bid to bring its tornado of destruction into urban centers. Labor Notes Photo: Slobodan Dimitrov.
Wal-Mart in Richmond? 

Will Wal-Mart sneak into the old Albertson's Super Market,  at Macdonald and San Pablo?

The issue is now before the Planning Commission  which is looking into  issues of  air quality, noise, and traffic for a proposal to put a new supermarket at that location.
The problem is that the proposal is not specifying who would actually occupy the site, and there is good reason to believe that it is Wal-Mart.  Neighbors, local businesses and unions are mounting a campaign to prevent Wal-Mart from locating there,  Despite the undeniable need for more grocery stores in Richmond, Wal-Mart  destroys the surrounding communities when it moves it.  
The movement against Wal-Mart is nationwide.  Last week thousands marched in Los Angeles, opposing the chain. 
Why so much opposition to a particular store in a community that wants to attract new stores?  Don Gosney recently  put it very well on the Richmond Politics discussion list.  

There are a lot of arguments against a Wal-Mart in any community and only a few arguments for them. 
 There will always be some who think that Wal-Mart is their salvation and they don't know how they ever lived without one.  Who could argue with cheaply priced foreign made products manufactured in sweat shops by prison and child laborers? 
 Others, though, will tell you how Wal-Marts are community killers.  How they undercut virtually every small business-even selling at a loss-until, they've driven these businesses out of business (and then raise their prices back up to a profitable level).  In most communities those mom and pop family owned markets disappear very quickly.  Even Safeway and Lucky stores are at risk. 
 Some will tell you that their anti-union position is contradictory to this community where fair living wages and benefits have become expected for all workers. 
 Some will tell you that their failure to provide usable health care benefits to their workers hurt the community.  When they opened in Hilltop--before they drove most of the smaller shops out of business both inside the mall and surrounding it--they tried to assuage the naysayers by pointing out that they paid $645 per year for a full time employee for health care benefits (about 31 per hour) as if this could really provide health care insurance. [They also hand out pamphlets to their workers showing them how to take advantage of taxpayer supplied County health care.] 
 And then there will be those that complain how virtually everything they sell comes from oversees-negating the benefits to American workers who could use a few jobs, too.  They might also mention how these workers are treated overseas and the lack of decent jobsite conditions and worker safety laws.  

 But there will always be some in our community who will welcome any store that offers them what they want for a lower price-no matter what the cost to the community is.

Don Gosney



American Association of Retired Persons  

AARP  Endorses Sugar Tax 


AARP"Now it's sugar's turn. Look at the expanding national waistline and it's clear that it's well past time for a tax on the source of most of the sugar we consume - soft drinks and candy. One-third of American adults and nearly a fifth of children are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consider the consequences of the obesity epidemic - diabetes, heart disease and a host of other maladies - and the health care cost explosion they spark. By one count, the annual health care cost of obesity in America is $190 billion, with more than half of that paid by Medicare and Medicaid."


See Full AARP Editor's Letter   


Get the Facts.

Every week new studies come out about the dangers of large quantities of sugar.

Every week more experts tell us of the urgency in acting to protect our kids.


See the latest on the Fit-for-Life website In the News


 Fit-for-LifeGet the Facts.

Every week new studies come out about the dangers of large quantities of sugar.


Every week more experts tell us of the urgency to act to protect our kids.


Good Union Jobs Under Attack In The Black Community

Steven Pitts On Public Service And Black Workers

 Saturday, July 14  - 2:00pm - 4:00pm


Black workers in public services are now the target of the growing fiscal financial crisis. Public service including transit jobs which have provided the basis for a stable working class life is being lost at a growing rate. UCB Labor Center economist Steven Pitts Ph.D will be presenting the research work about the increasing destruction of public service jobs and what this means for working people and the Black community in particular.


SEIU 1021 Oakland

155 Myrtie Street, Oakland,  


Contact  SEIU 1021    510-710 0188

Hospital Overcharges 101
Hospital Overcharges 101
Hospital Billing


There is an amazing video on this site (hospital billing 101) about unraveling the mystery of hospital billing. With all the talk of "health care reform" and keeping costs down, nobody talks about the elephant in the room of pricing transparency. Hospitals do not want to discuss actual costs and UCRs. They think it is proprietary, which puts us in the position of paying based on the assumption we should "trust them."

                                         -Debbie Bayer  



Corporations Aren't People  

                  & Money Isn't Speech


Friday, July 27, 6:30 p.m. to Sunday, July 29, noon

Oakland Peace Center

111 Fairmount Avenue @ 29th (off Auto Row)



Sessions with David Cobb and others on:

State of the Global and US Democracy Movement,

Building a Multi-Racial Democracy Movement for Social Justice,

Imagining a New Democratic Framework for Corporations,

Running a Community Campaign,

Building Capacity


Move to Amend is a nation-wide coalition of 400 endorsing organizations and over 200,000 individuals demanding abolition of corporate constitutional rights (aka "corporate personhood") and the concept that "money equals speech."      


Get more Information and Register at


The Healthcare Movie

RPA Activist LogoWant to fight  politics dominated by money? The only alternative is that we do the work.  

  We need your help
  • canvassing,
  • phone-banking,
  • data entry work,
  • arranging house meetings, rallies, and events.  
Please do your share to keep People Power in Richmond.

The office is open on Saturdays 9:30 -2 
Weekdays 2-6.  All staffed by volunteers.  
Come in or call and tell us what you are willing to do.
1021 Macdonald 

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.