We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the effort, time, and heart you poured into the 2018 elections. Despite what the press reports, the results are not yet final. The Contra Costa Elections Department still has 177,000 ballots to count county-wide, and we believe an election does not end until every vote is counted. But while we wait, we wanted to reach out today to tell you that we are so proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.
With our members running for city council, mayor, assembly, and lieutenant governor, the RPA took our progressive agenda to the next level this year. We were, are, and always will be, an audacious, hopeful and visionary group. We ran positive and substantive campaigns in all our races. Through the five campaigns we have made connections with thousands of like-minded people, building alliances which will bring us closer to our goal of creating a society that puts people above profit.
Once the results are in, we know there will still be a solid core of strong progressive voices on the Richmond City Council. Looking at the group of people who made serious runs this year, it’s heartening to see how, after years of effort, we have been able to break the stranglehold of Chevron and establishment politics in our city. RPA has helped redefine the political landscape in Richmond and the East Bay. We look forward to making progress towards a more sustainable, equitable and just city, state, country and world.
Richmond Progressive Alliance
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|
|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
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.
Remember that chant “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie?
There’s a new one now: “Nina, Nina, Nina”!
Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution, is coming to the East Bay to help us send to Sacramento and the Alameda County DA seat three corporate-free, people powered WOMEN.
No one is more eloquent than Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution. Her grandma told her about three bones in the body (Ask her!) -- she’s got all three!
Nina Turner brings a powerful message to the Bay Area Saturday, April 28th at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School from 6pm-8pm.
Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign was attacked as mostly “Bernie Bros” - young men operating on social media. Never true. Here are the new “Bernie Bros”– four WOMEN, dynamic, experienced, and out to help us take back our government!
No one is a more determined and successful champion of all kinds of voters than Jovanka Beckles, Richmond City Council person, now Assembly District 15 candidate.
Gayle McLaughlin has been leading Richmond and the East Bay for years. Now she’s going (for us) for Lieutenant Governor.
Pamela Price promises to be an innovative, corruption-free Alameda County District Attorney, and she and Jovanka have endorsed each others’ corporate-free agendas.
These four women are people-people. They listen carefully. They craft solutions creatively. They fight resolutely for all of us who want corporate money out of politics, who want medicare for all now, who want the broken justice system fixed.
Come, celebrate and support four women who are fighting for us!
Gayle McLaughlin launched her new book Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall. The book is Gayle’s memoir of her 14-year career as an activist, city councilmember and mayor of Richmond.
Gayle will be signing books and singer/songwriter Patrick O’Malley will be performing. It promises to be a great time.
Steve Early’s provides a review and excerpt of the book in Counterpunch
On issues like promoting renewable energy or improving refinery safety, McLaughlin had, at most, only one reliable ally; when she was elected mayor in 2006, she was still the only Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) member on the council. “I was a working class person consciously representing the voices of many people living in a system dominated by the rich,” she writes. “One of the first things I realized was that I wasn’t going to get anything done without an organizing campaign on each issue.”
At its March 31, 2018 membership meeting, the RPA enthusiastically voted to endorse Melvin Willis for Richmond Mayor, and Eduardo Martinez and Ada Recinos for City Council.
Melvin Willis, Richmond’s current Vice Mayor, announced his intention to run in December and will be running against Mayor Tom Butt. Three Council seats are also up in November: those of Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Ada Recinos. Jovanka is not seeking re-election in order to focus on her bid for Assembly District 15.
The vote occurred a few weeks after an RPA candidates night, during which RPA members had a chance to meet and get to know several candidates who were seeking the RPA’s endorsement. All candidates seeking endorsement were also asked to fill out a questionnaire and confirm that they would reject corporate campaign donations – the only “bright line” requirement of RPA electoral endorsement.
The RPA is thrilled to back such inspiring candidates with progressive values. Melvin, Eduardo and Ada’s campaigns will take a lot of work by the candidates and the campaign committees, and you can help starting now!
Many of you have already heard the story: A couple of weeks ago, Gayle went to Martinez to officially turn in all the filing paperwork for her candidacy for California Lt. Governor. When she arrived, the clerk asked Gayle where her check was, assuming that like all other candidates in this race she was just going to pay to get on the ballot. Gayle smiled and reminded the clerk that her supporters turned in over 14,000 signatures in lieu of the filing fee, something that shocked the clerk until they got confirmation from the Secretary of State’s Office.
Then there was more good news: at the recent California Democratic Convention in San Diego, many corporate-free progressive Democrats voted to block an endorsement of the big money candidates. Although Gayle is running as an independent and therefore not looking to be the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, what was telling was that there was not enough support for any of her Democratic opponents to win. Similarly, the Dems were not able to coalesce around a choice for Attorney General or Senator (Feinstein: you are officially on notice!)
Next up: statewide outreach driven by volunteers. This Wednesday, you are invited to come to the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center between 5:30-8:30PM for a text bank for Gayle McLaughlin's campaign for Lt. Governor. RSVP here to attend. There will be a phone bank on Wednesday, 3/14 at the same time. RSVP here to attend that one. If you can't make either, visit Gayle's website and scroll down under Volunteer to see all the options to host or attend events.
The RPA may be gearing up for Richmond citywide races, but one race that may go unopposed is the Contra Costa Sheriff’s race.
Judith Tannenbaum’s OpEd in the East Bay Times points out, “March 9 is a few weeks away, so there’s still hope that someone who better represents Contra Costa will file to run against the sheriff. However, even if Livingston runs unopposed, we must speak out against his record and speak out for a vision of public safety and justice that is more consistent with our values.” And excerpt of her OpEd is below:
My Word: Where are the candidates to oppose Contra Costa Sheriff Livingston?
Where is the sheriff Contra Costa County needs? Candidates have until March 9 to file for the June 5 election but, so far, only Sheriff David Livingston has signed up.
A sheriff, of course, runs the county jail system and decides how that system will operate. A sheriff can create a system based on the awareness that criminal acts are often a consequence of the racial and economic inequities that shape every aspect of life — from health care to education to workplaces to housing to transportation. A sheriff can learn from the people most affected by these inequities, listening to the personal stories that illuminate shared circumstances. And a sheriff can not only listen but also respond by providing alternatives to imprisonment, by recognizing that jail is no place for the mentally ill, and by offering the deep and substantive programming that encourages rehabilitation.
Or a sheriff can operate as David O. Livingston has, running our county jail system with the wrong-headed ideas and practices similar to those that resulted in three decades of nationwide mass incarceration.
For example, Sheriff Livingston contracts with ICE to hold immigrant detainees in the West County Detention Facility. At a time when SB54 is law and California a sanctuary state, this contract is a clear sign of how out of step our sheriff is with county and statewide values.
Click here to read the full OpEd.
This November, Richmond voters will be choosing its next Mayor, and as well as three City Councilmembers (Ada Recino’s, Eduardo Martinez’s and Jovanka Beckles’s seats are all up this year). The RPA membership has not yet made any 2018 endorsements for citywide races, but is gearing up now. At the end of the month, the RPA elections committee will make candidate questionnaires available to any candidates interested in seeking the organization's endorsement. As always, the RPA will not endorse candidates who accept corporate political donations.
In mid-March, the Richmond Progressive Alliance will hold a Candidates’ Night for members and the public to meet those running for citywide office. After a vetting process, the elections committee and Steering Committee will present a slate of candidates to RPA members at the March 31 membership meeting for vote. Stay tuned for more details!