By Jamin Pursell
Andrea Jenkins, the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to political office in the United States. She serves Ward 8 on the Minneapolis City Council.
In traditionally male-dominated spaces, simply being a woman is an act of radicalism. Being queer is always a rebellion. No matter where you sit in the rainbow of LGBTQI+, your very existence breaks rules that have been long ascribed to the human body and mind.
The 6.7 million LGBTQI women in America primarily vote with the Democratic Party and tend to be actively engaged with political issues. They are volunteers, activists, contributors, advocates, and voters for progressive candidates and causes. It is hard enough being a woman in the world, but being a woman in politics is especially difficult. Often the hardest workers and bravest must fight the stereotypes prescribed to them, and with little recognition. They must tread new ground with no map or guidance. That is why it is essential to uplift these women and admire the vision and fortitude that carries them in politics.Read more
By Tamisha Walker
Alexis Parsons, a dedicated fellow of the Safe Return community, passed away on February 1, 2022 at her home in the Sycamore neighborhood of Antioch. She was 30 years old.
Words cannot begin to describe this tragic loss. We miss her so dearly and will always treasure the two and a half years she spent with us in the Safe Return family.Read more
By Aleta Toure' and Chris Lodgson
The California Reparations Task Force members and Reparations supporters on Tuesday, March 1st, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm will be having a community meeting. The organizations: CJEC, Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Bay Area BAP (Black Alliance for Peace), The National Black Liberation Movement Network (NBLMN), AfroSocialist, and a host of other organizations are together hosting this hybrid event (both in-person and online) community meeting at the Rich City Gallery, 1500C Macdonald Avenue, Richmond, CA. which will be held next door to the Rich City Rides Cooperative Bike Shop. This Richmond Reparations Listening Session is to make sure Richmond residents are a part of this historic effort called AB 3121. A free registration link will be available soon, but please find updates at https://linktr.ee/RichmondReparations, and the Facebook page: https://fb.me/e/WYLL3weU.
As described by California's Attorney General's office, "The institution of slavery is inextricably woven into the establishment, history, and prosperity of the United States. Constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned from 1619 to 1865, slavery deprived more than four million Africans and their descendants of life, liberty, citizenship, cultural heritage, and economic opportunity. Following the abolition of slavery, government entities at the federal, state, and local levels continued to perpetuate, condone, and often profit from practices that brutalized African Americans and excluded them from meaningful participation in society. This legacy of slavery and racial discrimination has resulted in debilitating economic, educational, and health hardships that are uniquely experienced by African Americans."Read more
By Jovanka Beckles
Art obtained from the official San Francisco Bay View Newspaper Facebook Page.
The Bayview continues to be a beacon of light in the media blackout of relevant Black issues that are largely ignored by mainstream media. As we celebrate Black history month in February—fully aware that every day is a Black history day and always has been in this country—The Activist acknowledges one of the oldest and longest running radical Black newspapers.Read more
The Mower, Georges Seurat (c. 1882)
The Richmond Progressive Alliance wishes all of its members and the Richmond community a Happy Labor Day. To honor the occasion, we have compiled a small gallery of worker-centered art. We hope you enjoy. Solidarity forever!Read more
The new California Progressive Alliance seeks to elevate progressive ideas; promote the creation of local political alliances and coalitions for political power; support corporate-free progressive candidates and issue-based electoral campaigns; and expand the communication and dialogue among all our progressive family in the state of California, respecting and supporting the work done by all.Read more
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!
In case you missed it, check out this thoughtful piece by Steve Early which appeared in Counterpunch. Steve was in Torrance, CA last month to speak at 350-person rally organized by Torrance Refinery Action on the third anniversary of a giant explosion at Exxon Mobil’s facility there. People were eager to hear about how Richmond is working to hold Chevron accountable for its pollution. His piece reflects on the continuing struggle to implement a just transition that provides both a cleaner, safer environment and keeps workers whole.
A Report From Torrance
Nothing ignites a local environmental justice campaign more quickly, in California, than a refinery fire or explosion affecting down-wind neighbors. Three years ago, an Exxon-Mobil facility was rocked by a huge explosion in Torrance, a city of 145,000 just south of Los Angeles.
According to a Justice Department lawsuit, the blast catapulted a 40-ton piece of equipment perilously close to a tank containing 50,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid, a highly toxic and volatile chemical, used, with additives, in only two California refineries. If released in the air in large enough quantity, Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) can form a ground-hugging cloud, able to drift for miles. Anyone exposed to it would suffer choking, searing of the eyes and lungs, internal organ damage or possible death.
When the U.S. Chemical Safety Board tried to investigate this “serious near miss,” Exxon-Mobil balked at supplying data on cost-cutting measures that may have contributed to the accident or the health impact of showering Torrance residents with so much chemical ash. Some citizens filed a private lawsuit citing “numerous fires, leaks, explosions, and other releases of dangerous pollutants” in “an outdated refinery” located “in a densely populated area.” State regulators issued 19 citations against the company and assessed fines of $565,000 for its February, 2015 explosion.
Meanwhile, the narrowly avoided release of a hazardous chemical led to formation of the Torrance Refinery Action Alliance. With growing local and regional support, the TRAA seeks to eliminate MHF use, in any form, at the Torrance refinery, now owned by BPF Energy, and a Valero refinery in Wilmington, CA.
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The 2017 Bay Area Mural Festival brings together 11 master muralists and two East Bay youth groups through a series of artist residencies and workshops. This year, the festival comes to Richmond and culminates in the painting of 11 environmentally themed murals.
One of the murals is located on the Civic Center Street side of the RPA office/ Bobby Bowens Progressive Center (2540 Macdonald Ave.). Artist Carla Wojczuk 's theme incorporates environmental sustainability and housing justice.
On October 7, the Richmond Progressive Alliance Arts & Culture Action Team and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) hosted a Community Power Mapping workshop for Richmond residents which was incorporated into the mural.
Come on down and check out the mural’s progress! Even if you missed the workshop on Saturday, folks are invited to come inside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center to add a story and location to the map. It can be a story of a memory, person, or place that they appreciate most.
And speaking of Bobby Bowens, last month the RPA co-hosted a great event celebrating the life, work and legacy of Black Panther Bobby Bowens. Bobby’s sister and niece were among the many who were gathered. True to the spirit of the Black Panthers, the event also included a giveaway of 100 care bags to those in need. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible, especially Bill Jennings.
[Photo: sketch of housing justice mural, copyright Carla Wojczuk]