RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #93October 30, 2012

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Tom Butt Endorses Marilyn and Eduard
Betty Reid Soskin Challenges Attacks
Ritterman on Bates
Beckles on Prop 30
Campaign Signs Vandalized, Removed
Bike Caravans Get the Word Out
Somebody! Do Something!
Does Bates Encourage Wassberg?
RPA Richmond Recommendations
RPA State Recommendations
Plant the Signs
Prop 30 and 32 Info
We Need Your Help
 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260


As the campaign heats up Richmond mailboxes will be full of literature supporting the Chevron and Big Soda agendas. Since we don't take corporate money, once again, our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to publicize our candidates 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.


  "If, on the other hand, you want council members who will treat Chevron in a businesslike manner with the respect it deserves but make the people of Richmond their top priority, you should vote for Langlois and Martinez along with reelecting Tom Butt."


Tom Butt Urges Vote for Marilyn and Eduardo  


For those who have not seen it, the following is
Tom Butt's E-forum mailing of 10/29/12.   


You don't need a ream of mailers, constant television ads or billboards all over town to figure out who to vote for in the Richmond City Council  race. All you need to know is that a PAC called "Moving Forward" funded 99.999% by Chevron is spending  $1.2 million in Richmond to try and elect three candidates and defeat two others.


If you really think that Chevron is the best source of advice on who can best lead Richmond, you should probably vote for their candidates; Bates, Bell and Roberson. If, on the other hand, you want council members who will treat Chevron in a businesslike manner with the respect it deserves but make the people of Richmond their top priority, you should vote for Langlois and Martinez along with reelecting Tom Butt.


The current City Council majority is a well balanced mix of RPA members (McLaughlin, Ritterman and Beckles) and non members (Butt and Rogers). This majority has provided balanced leadership that has truly resulted in a Richmond renaissance. Consider the following:


  • Crime in Richmond continues to drop precipitously, with homicides on track for a 50% reduction this year. While other cities are laying off cops, Richmond continues to hire.
  • Unemployment continues to drop in Richmond, and job creation is rising. Businesses such as Nutiva, which recently held a job fair to hire 100 workers, are moving to Richmond for its location, labor pool and sustainability initiatives.
  • While our needs continue to exceed our resources, Richmond's streets are in the best condition they have been in for decades.
  • Parks and street landscaping are in the best shape ever. Parks are being rehabilitated all over town.
  • Richmond was selected from over a dozen competitors as the final location for LNBL's new second campus.
  • Led by City Manager Bill Lindsay, Richmond has a management team that is the envy of many cities in California.
  • Richmond is becoming a destination city, with out-of-towners often outnumbering locals on the Bay Trail, at Craneway Pavilion events and at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park.


For more, see Richmond's Progressive Coalition Faces Uphill Battle Against Corporate Spending, October 12, 2012.


The current City Council majority is a known quantity and, despite claims by detractors, has taken care of an amazing amount of critical municipal business even though hampered by recurring interruptions and late night meetings. The current Council minority, Bates and Booze, have largely become "no" votes and naysayers, opposing important legislation like the adoption of the General Plan 2030 and the adoption of an integrated pest management policy for the City of Richmond. They opposed rehabilitation of the Riggers Loft at the Port of Richmond that is currently under construction and providing dozens of construction jobs. Booze even opposed accepting a grant from Richmond Pacific Railroad to extend a quiet zone adjacent to the southside neighborhoods.


Richmond Confidential reports, "Boozé and Bates hope to capitalize on the election not just to keep Bates in his seat but to add to their ranks by electing Bea Roberson, who aligns with Bates and Boozé on several issues," and Bates and Booze both routinely encourage Mark Wassberg, a candidate best known for disrupting City Council meets with homophobic, anti-hispanic and anti-Semitic outbursts of profanity.


The current City Council majority has adopted a constructive and business-oriented engagement policy with Chevron, authoring a pair of policy resolutions directing City staff to expedite permitting for both the long-pending refinery renewal project and repairs from the August 6, 2012, fire. Staff responded quickly, and as a result there are hundreds of workers already swarming over the damaged crude unit on a 24/7 basis racing to make repairs by the beginning of 2013. This City Council majority is also looking out for the interests of Richmond, having successfully negotiated a $114 million settlement with Chevron over disputed tax issues.


What about the scurrilous claims Chevron is making that that Langlois withheld taxes and is a conspiracy theorist, or that Martinez skipped meetings, missed mortgage payments and advocates anarchy?  These one-sided claims are not what they seem; however, with a campaign budget of $1.2 million, I'm surprised Chevron couldn't gin up something really damaging. For example, while I don't share Marilyn's skepticism about 9-11, we do know that the Vietnam war was escalated by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution based on a trumped up confrontation with North Vietnam and that the Iraq War was largely based on trumped up claims of WMDs. History has proven that skepticism is healthy in political affairs. Just today, in an interview with Dianne Feinstein, the senator said the decision she most regrets in her entire political career was her vote to go to war in Iraq.


While Langlois and Martinez can't match Chevron dollar for dollar, they both offer video responses on-line. See below:



I guarantee you that if the same resources were available, even more damaging claims could be made against the Chevron candidates.

In a city that is overwhelmingly Democratic, voters should be aware that Chevron is investing millions to elect Republicans, including Mitt Romney. Chevron Corp. made a $2.5 million contribution on Oct. 7 to the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House and Senate. The super PAC took in $3.1 million through the first part of October, entering the home stretch with $8.7 million in the bank. "Moving Forward," the same PAC engaged in the Richmond campaign, also gave $100,000 to the Reform California Now Independent Expenditure Committee, which according to a recent article from the Sacramento Bee, supports Republican candidates for the State Senate.

Richmond is on a roll, and we want to continue that progress with a well-balanced city council. This is not the time to replace proven leadership with a team paid for by Chevron.

Vote for Butt, Langlois and Martinez.


You can subscribe to Tom's E-Forum by clicking here 




How dare they?

Betty Reid Soskin Challenges Attacks on Marilyn 


Betty Reid Soskin The urgent need to defend...


After a list of famous international dissenters, Betty Reid Soskin posted:


To this illustrious list, I'd add my long term friend, Marilyn Langlois for a lifetime of speaking truth to power, and whose values and principles have served us all by calling attention to human and environmental injustices. 

The recent and sustained personal attacks upon her character have revealed the ignorance of those opposing her candidacy for public office.  They obviously have no idea of how important and essential is the role of the dissenter to participatory democracy.

Whatever would the world have done had these brave souls not walked among us, holding us to live up to our highest ideals -- and the nation to keep to its promises granted by the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

How dare they?   


Click here to read the full blog entry 

Jeff Ritterman:  It is not just about Chevron

If the City Council had followed Nat Bates leadership:


Kennedy High School, Olinda Elementary School and Grant Elementary School would all be closed.  Nat Bates argued against funding the schools during a time of emergency.


Richmond Sanitary Services would have been awarded a sole source contract for recycling and yard waste pick up rather than send the contract out for a competitive bidding process.  By advocating in favor of RSS, Councilmember Bates is undermining the chances of getting the very best deal for our rate payers, the residents of Richmond.


The City would be using poisonous pesticides in our parks rather than the Integrated Pest Management Plan advocated by Parks director Chris Chamberlain.

                                                                             --Jeff Ritterman



Beckles to Contra Costa Times:   

Proposition 30 is for All of Us


Proposition 30 is vital  for the future of our state.  The ability to attract industry depends on having our young people trained in the kinds of skills including writing and math that modern jobs require. 


The city of Richmond has already taken a huge hit from state budget cuts.  We can't afford the additional cuts that will come if Proposition 30 is defeated.


It is mainly a tax on those who have been getting unfair tax breaks for years--those who take-in more than $250,000 per year.


Yes on 30, No on 32

--Jovanka Beckles

Langlois, Martinez,  Yes on N     

Campaign Signs Removed and Vandalized  


It is not enough that Big Soda and Chevron are working together and they are outspending us  by 50 to 1. Signs are very expensive we can afford only a few big ones. There is clearly an organized effort to remove or vandalize our signs.  If you see such action, please take a photo and email it to us or call the office.



On the other hand, they have so much money that they have crews planting signs on street lawns and anywhere else.  Of course most of them are taken down at city expense (our money) by code enforcement  but when you have millions to drop on a city you can afford getting publicity this way.



Publicizing the campaign     

Bike Caravan, Car Caravans   


Bike Sign One way we can publicize the campaigns at low cost is through caravans.  We have already had one greatly successful Bike Caravan.    Another is planned.  Call the office  510-412-2260 for date and time. There is also a car caravan planned  on Sunday at 10:AM   Come to the office at 1021 Macdonald.

I said Somebody should do something about that.  
Then I realized I am Somebody.  

                     - Lily Tomlin -


Mad about Chevron's hit pieces?   

Think that $2.2 million for lies is insulting?


"Be the Somebody that does Something."  Don't wait for us to call you.  Call the RPA office and volunteer some time.  510-412-2260


Put up a sign
Wear a button
Call some friends
Call people you don't know
We especially need lots of help on election day.  Call now, sign up to do your part to keep Richmond free.

Does Nat Bates Encourage Mark Wassberg?

  Bates Wassberg Cartoon

At most Council meetings over the last year Mark Wassberg, also a candidate for Council, makes comments that are racist or homophobic. Frequently his remarks are admiring of Hitler's actions toward the Jews. He often uses vulgar language or gestures and yells out from audience.


Candidates Bates and Wassberg
Video: Candidates Bates and Wassberg

Bates has not officially endorsed Wassberg. But Bates seems to be encouraging Wassberg in his "political" career. (See video --warning--offensive language.)   


Wassberg's actions  serve two functions for Bates. First, Wassberg can make the vicious attacks on the RPA while Bates poses as a "reasonable person" on the council.   Second, Wassberg and the small group he sits with, who cheer each other and Bates and Booze, help create chaos in council chambers during meetings to make things difficult for Mayor McLaughlin. Bates then blames the chaos on McLaughlin. 

--Mike Parker 


RPA  Recommends
RPA  Recommends on Propositions

Plant the signs

Come by the office 1021 Macdonald and pick some up  

or call us and we will deliver 510-412-2260


 Lawn Signs


  Yes on 30 No on 32

Yes30  No32

Two measures on the November State ballot are about the domination of wealth in our government. Proposition 30 requires that the wealthy pay more to maintain education and other crucial state services.  


The RPA urges a YES vote on 30. On the same ballot is a measure that will weaken the power of unions while maintaining and increasing the power of wealth in politics. The RPA urges a NO vote on 32. We believe that both the Yes on 30 and the No on 32 are two parts of the same fight and should be waged together against the massive corporate money on the other side.


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.