Issues

Vote November 6th!

The Richmond Progressive Alliance has endorsed:

Willis, Recinos, and Martinez Open Up Point Molate Process

Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) is pleased to announce that a motion regarding Point Molate, sponsored by RPA-endorsed Council Members Eduardo Martinez and Ada Recinos and Vice Mayor Melvin Willis, was unanimously passed Tuesday June 19, 2018. In the motion Staff was directed to make modifications to the timeline and scope of the Point Molate Land Use Visioning process to allow for more comprehensive outreach and meaningful community participation. This significant motion put forth by RPA council members has the goal of engaging more residents to participate in the decision-making process around Point Molate, something RPA has continuously fought for. Though originally critical of the motion, Mayor Butt voted with the progressive council members to improve on the work plan originally brought forth by consultants

Tuesday’s motion by Martinez, Recinos and Willis will:

1. Make sure that public input on is gathered from a minimum of 2,500 community members from across Richmond (via the website, workshops, pop-up events, youth forum and interviews).

2. Publicize community meetings, tours, forums and other activities widely and at least 30 days before the date of the event.

3. Provide at least 4 public tours of Pt. Molate with transportation, translation, and childcare as needed.

4. Include community-driven, special-topic forums as part of the community planning process. Some examples of potential forums would cover topics relating to:

  • Community Economics and Housing Forum
  • Public Uses of Pt. Molate Forum
  • Achieving Equity and Sustainability
  • Natural Resource Forum
  • Site Infrastructure Forum

5. Redirect market analysis and feasibility studies to include development benefits for Richmond residents.

6. Add a transparency component that gives progress reports on Council agenda and lists all organizations and businesses that are contacted and interviewed.

7. Add a real-time evaluation component for participants to give feedback after every workshop and event.

8. Solicit development proposals after City has completed zoning and made updates to the General Plan.

For more information about the role of the Richmond Progressive Alliance in protecting Point Molate, go to www.richmondprogressivealliance.net/environment.

CCC Racial Justice Task Force Presentation

The Contra Costa County Racial Justice Task Force (created as a result of excellent campaign work by the CCC Racial Justice Coalition) has recently come out with a set of thirty recommendations for ensuring racial equality within the county’s criminal justice system. Recommendations range from providing resources to incentivize school districts to explore, evaluate, implement or expand existing non-punitive discipline practices; to establishing a community capacity fund to build the capacity of community based organizations - especially those staffed by formerly incarcerated individuals - to provide services to reentry clients.

June 5 Voter Guide

 

PRIMARY RACES
Vote for one, top two advance to November election. Elect a West County team!

Lieutenant Governor Gayle McLaughlin
Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton*
County Supervisor John Gioia
Assembly District 15 Jovanka Beckles

 

STATE PROPOSITIONS

Prop 68 Yes Creates a $4 billion fund for parks in low income neighborhoods
Prop 69 No Dedicates diesel tax receipts to transportation projects
Prop 70 No Requires a 2/3rds vote of the legislature to spend cap and trade funds
Prop 71 Yes Moves effective date of ballot propositions to 5 days after election certification
Prop 72 Yes Excludes rainwater collection systems from property tax

 

CITY OF RICHMOND
Measure E Yes
Charter Amendment creates a Department of Children and Youth with a community oversight board and requires increased funding of youth programs and services from the general fund with significant use of non-profit community organizations (The Richmond Kids First Initiative)

Measure K Yes
Charter Amendment to modify Measure E if it is passed. Modifications include removal of the requirement to use non-profits for a significant portion of the youth services defined in E, and providing that funding obligations beginning on July 1, 2021, are contingent on passage of a general tax measure for the City of Richmond

County Sheriff - Write in “No Confidence”
Current Sheriff David Livingston is running unopposed but has supported the expansion of the County’s contract with ICE and has prioritized jail expansion over providing services that would reduce recidivism and the need for jails. The write-in is the recommendation of the Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition as well as the RPA — let’s send him a message!

 

* Candidates marked with an asterisk haven’t yet pledged to run for office free of corporate donations. The RPA only endorses candidates who make this pledge, so these candidates are supported by the RPA but not officially endorsed

New Refinery Monitoring Tool

Big thanks to all the presenters who inspired us at the RPA’s Earth Day event, Activating Environmental Justice.               

And many thanks to panelist Cheryl Holzmeyer who just introduced us to the Refinery Monitoring Tool.

Produced by Air Watch Bay Area this new, online, interactive tool allows you to see current data on air pollution in Richmond, Crockett, Rodeo, and Benicia. You can also sign up for daily air quality alerts or use the website (or a downloadable app) to report smells and pollution events to the Air Watch Bay Area website and/or to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

This tool was created by the The Fair Tech Collective at Drexel University in Philadelphia in collaboration with the Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Empowerment Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

Richmond People's Assembly

Inspired by the Richmond People’s Convention of 2004 (organized by Richmond Progressive Alliance, Just Cause Richmond, ACORN, and others) which drew over 300 people, the 2018 Richmond People’s Assembly aims to gather neighborhoods together to organize for collective power, bring a voice to the community, and empower residents to engage in political activities to create the change and solutions we need as a community.

The Richmond People’s Assembly will take place on May 19th at Richmond High School from 9:30 - 3pm.

It’s being led by the Richmond Our Power Coalition, a collection of local community organizations including the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Communities for a Better Environment, Urban Tilth.

In the weeks leading up to the Assembly, coalition canvassers will go door to door to listen to and take inventory our community members needs. Maybe you've already been approached! Please mark you calendars and watch this space for more information!

AD 15 Race is a Test for Progressives

Howie Klein writes: 

Jovanka Beckles is the AD15 candidate whose election would bring to state government, and to national visibility, a uniquely successful local Progressive political model. Jovanka is a working-class veteran of the nation’s most Progressive city council, which has built the nation’s best record of winning elections and implementing successful Progressive policies, in the face of massive oppo-spending by global villain Chevron Corporation, in Chevron’s long-dominated ‘company town’ of Richmond California.

Read More

RPA Featured in New Podcast

Our movement is in the news again!

Hot off the "presses" is a wonderful podcast from Stepping Up, titled Smackdown: City Hall v. Big Oil. Produced by Claire Schoen, this podcast focuses on “surprising stories from climate activists” and features our favorite Communities for a Better Environment rep, Andres Soto. Well worth a listen!

And if you haven’t already checked it out, read a Counterpunch article penned by Ralph Nader titled Citizen-Mayor Gayle Roars through Richmond California. It chronicles the history of the RPA and Gayle’s bid for Lt. Governor. An excerpt is below:

[In Richmond], McLaughlin found a few like-minded progressives and started the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA). (Gayle had volunteered in the Green Party’s 2000 Presidential Campaign)

With very little money, but many long overdue proposals for the betterment of the city, the RPA went to work. They had three public assets—a set of progressive policy changes, support of a large silent majority of residents, and a dedicated core of thirty no-nonsense local champions for a just community.

RPA ran a slate of candidates for City Council in 2004, with some success. This was followed by a victory in 2006 that made McLaughlin mayor—a post she held until 2014 when she was termed out and then successfully ran for city council. RPA now controls five of the seven seats—overcoming the Chevron Company’s longtime political boosters…

Because of McLaughlin and the RPA, Richmond has a higher minimum wage of $15 an hour, a police department that has curbed police misconduct, a major drop in serious street crime, an increase in Chevron’s tax payments, a decrease in toxic pollution by Chevron, and Solar Richmond, a program demonstrating a greener local economy, more energy self-reliance and jobs.

City Updates Sanctuary City Ordinance

Thank you to our progressive City Council!  On April 3, Richmond amended its 1990 Sanctuary Cities ordinance, which bars the police from using city funds to collaborate with ICE. Read more below:

Due to the escalating immigration enforcement, Ordinance 29-90 should be amended to address the threats from the DOJ and the fears of the immigrant and refugee community.

The immigrant and refugee community in Richmond make up more than half of its population, 33.7 % are foreign born and 62.7% are non-citizens (per the 2015 U.S Bureau Census 2011-2015). The following recommendations will assist with educating the residents and departments of the City of Richmond protocols, and inform the public officials.

- Provide information to the general public about this City Council policy in the top three spoken languages in Richmond, such as in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Disseminate information to the community about available resources in English, Spanish, Mandarin.

- Provide a report to the Richmond City Council regarding the threats by the DOJ of incarcerating public officials of Sanctuary Cities

- Provide a report to the Richmond City Council on how the Richmond Police Department is dealing with the escalating immigration enforcement and fear tactics by ICE.

Richmond Housing Action Team Presents to City Council

Did you miss it? The RPA Housing Action Team did a superb job in their presentation to the Richmond City Council at an affordable housing study session.

For over a year, the HAT has been researching best practices in other Bay Area cities and counties to promote affordable housing. The HAT’s presentation this month was the culmination of that research, and featured three affordable housing developers.

One of the most notable aspects of HAT’s presentation was the ambition of its vision for affordable housing. Noting that the Association of Bay Area Governments has set a goal of constructing 700,000 new units by 2040 (50% affordable), the HAT pointed out that there aren’t many cities in the Bay Area able to or willing to contribute 5% of the total. However, in Richmond, where we have more vacant land and abandoned or underutilized properties with low market values, we could probably fit 30-40,000 units of housing.

The HAT also urged the City to stop worrying so much about attracting high end developers, who are very cautious about Richmond because upper middle class projects here can’t command the selling prices needed to make expected returns. (Meaning: no “trickle down” model of attracting market rate housing to generate in lieu fees to subsidize affordable housing). Rather, the HAT called on Richmond to work hard to facilitate the construction of 1,500 units per year, including 15,000 housing units at Hilltop and the South Shore, and 15,000 housing units in the Macdonald corridor, 23rd St and on San Pablo Ave

Finally, the Team also pointed out Richmond needs to staff up to ensure that we are well poised to take advantage of affordable housing development opportunities. It noted that we have 3.8 people in our Housing Department, while Oakland has 41.5 people.

One observer called the presentation “a model of what community involvement in the city can be” (not withstanding Mayor Butt’s hostility and arguments with guest panelists). If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, watch the video of the study session - it's around 1hr 14 min mark.