An Inclusive Planning Process for Point Molate

By Pam Stello

For over two decades, thousands of Richmond residents have supported a regional park at Point Molate and opposed the sale and destruction of Point Molate’s public land for gambling and luxury housing. And wisely — soon after the casino plan was defeated by Richmond voters, 58 - 42%, similar schemes in other locations collapsed, and financial consultants showed that the most recent luxury housing scheme would have cost Richmond millions. Fortunately, East Bay voters had approved Measure WW in 2008 by over 71% (with 75% of Richmond voters in support), which included funding for a shoreline park at Point Molate. But during this lengthy and contentious historical debate, Point Molate has never undergone an open and inclusive public planning process about the actual park itself, since the previous efforts were centered on sale of the land for upscale housing or casinos.

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A Reflection on Richmond Kayaktivism

By Laura Mangels

On the morning of Saturday, August 8th, ten years after the Chevron fire that put thousands of Richmond residents in danger and in the ER, a few dozen of us gathered at Brickyard Cove. Kayaks, a support crew, months of preparatory training, and uncounted hours of planning, banner-making, sweating, and stressing all came together on this day to launch our official first action as a group—our very own homegrown Bay Area kayaktivism group. In coordination with a land-based march organized by Richmond Our Power Coalition, we paddled together as a sign-festooned flotilla to Keller Beach in order to highlight the harm Chevron causes to folks living on the front lines of fossil fuel, and to demand an end to the poisoning of our land, air, water, bodies, and future. Despite the grim anniversary, the mood among my fellow kayaktivists as we circled up that morning was decidedly elated. We knew what a special day this was.

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End Climate Chaos

On August 6, 2012, a massive fire tore through the Chevron Richmond refinery, sending a huge plume of black smoke over West Contra Costa County. The fire blanketed neighborhoods in black smoke and the sky turned dark as the smoke blocked out the sun. 15,000 residents sought medical treatment, and many report developing long-term respiratory issues as a result.

In the aftermath of the fire, thousands of people mobilized to City Hall, demanding that our politicians and air regulators take real action to hold Chevron accountable and protect the health and safety of workers and communities.  Investigators with Cal/OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that Chevron had ignored a decade of warnings about severe corrosion in the pipe that caused the refinery fire.  

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Tom Butt Is Lying to You About: Point Molate

Welcome to our new series, in which we sift through Mayor Tom Butt's latest lie.

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Anti-Chevron Day

See you at Anti-Chevron Day! C’mon out for United Steelworkers—who at this date have been striking at Chevron for over two months—and Richmond community organizers who join the workers in defense of safe jobs and healthy neighborhoods. Speakers include Steve Donziger, Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Eduardo Martinez, and Richmond City Council member Claudia Jiménez.

This ninth annual global day of action unites labor and environmental organizers in calling out Chevron’s abuses from Ecuador to Myanmar, from the Philippines to Richmond. Together, we can imagine and win a world free from corporate greed.

You can find more information here, and RSVP and get more details on Facebook.

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Chevron Threatens Our Air

Flaring at the Richmond Lubrications Oil Plant. April 14, 2-4 pm.

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 workers have been on strike at Richmond's Chevron Refinery since March 21, 2022. Since then, workers and community members have carefully documented flaring events at the refinery, which is currently run by strikebreakers who do not have the necessary training to safely operate the equipment. Below are three important documents of this extremely unsafe situation: a) a letter addressed to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) by organizer Marisol Cantú, articulating the current risks to our surrounding community and demands of relevant inspection agencies; b) a photographic gallery of flaring events taken during the strike by workers and community observers; and c) a letter authored by a USW Local 5 refinery worker, describing the extensive training he and his colleagues receive that is necessary to keep the community safe (and that current employees operating the plant do not have).

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The Chevron Strike Continues

By Shiva Mishek 

Photo Credit: @USWLocal5Richmond on Instagram

“To strike at a man's food and shelter is to strike at his life, and in a society organized on a tooth-and-nail basis, such an act, performed though it may be under the guise of generosity, is none the less menacing and terrible.”

—Jack London, The Scab, 1904

This week, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 enters its seventh week on strike at the Richmond Chevron refinery. Over 500 Chevron employees have been on strike since March 21, rejecting a contract that would codify a meager raise, unsafe working conditions, and Chevron’s so-called “standby” policy.

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Point Molate: The Real Story

By Jeff Kilbreth

Until two years ago, the battle for Point Molate was largely waged between developers and environmentalists. Those in favor of development assumed that the resulting building jobs and property taxes would be great for Richmond, while environmentalists saw a precious opportunity to create the last ridge-to-shoreline park on the San Francisco Bay. 

It was simply a tough call between two perfectly reasonable points of view. Developing Point Molate would create a lot of jobs for a period of time, and Richmond undoubtedly needs to expand its tax base.

What changed?

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Grid Alternatives’ No-Cost Solar Program for Richmond

By Catalina Coz

Grassroots support for advancing solar energy in Richmond goes back to the early 2000s. Since then, we have had nonprofit businesses train residents in solar installations, among other green-collar jobs. Grid Alternatives came along in 2015 as a city-sponsored program that uses city funding to provide free solar to low-income homeowners in Richmond and North Richmond (including unincorporated North Richmond). Over the last ten years, Grid Alternatives has solarized over 500 homes in Richmond.

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Listening Project Announcements for April 2022

By Alfredo Angulo

Rich City Rides (RCR) and Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) Vegan Pop Up with student organizer Zack and LP organizers Alfredo and Marisol

The Listening Project has been hard at work since you last heard from us! While some changes have occurred, our mission remains the same: to share the stories and amplify the voices most harmed by the climate crisis and fossil fuel operations in Richmond.

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