Issues

A Roof, Hot Water, and Hope

By Chris Broglio

Let me introduce you to Tina Qualls and David Alford, a couple trying to survive in a homeless encampment along a creekside in Richmond. David and Tina are devoted to each other and have been together for several years.

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Richmond Authors Tell Story of Veterans, Locally and Nationally

By Suzanne Gordon and Steve Early

Two years ago, Richmond Civic Center Plaza was the scene of a protest vigil organized by Estefany Sanchez and her two sisters. Estefany is a Richmond resident and an Army veteran whose experience of sexual harassment in the military led her to identify strongly with the tragic case of Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year old soldier at Fort Hood in Texas.

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HelloFresh Layoffs Aren't Cause for Celebration

By Shiva Mishek

In his latest e-forum blast, Mayor Tom Butt announced the closing of the HelloFresh warehouse location in Richmond, which will result in the layoff of 618 workers. Butt triumphantly notes, “There was a union election that the RPA supported, but unionization was turned down by a vote of the workers.”

Given the brutal working conditions at the HelloFresh warehouse, I would hope that the mayor of my city would be right there, first supporting low income workers who are his constituents fighting for a safer workplace, and then expressing dismay and concern for hundreds of people who now have no income. These layoffs come in a fiscal year with abnormally high inflation rates and gas prices—and all in one of the most expensive regions in the country for housing.

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2022 November Voter Guide

The RPA is proud to share a voter guide for the November 2022 elections. The items included on this guide undertook a multi-step approval process. 

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Progressives Do Support More Housing Development

By Alfredo Angulo

The Terraces at Nevin, a multi-family and senior housing complex in Downtown Richmond. Photo courtesy of Apartments.com. 

In the fight to make sure affordable housing isn't built on the toxic former AstraZeneca site, or that luxury housing isn't built at Point Molate, progressives have been characterized as anti-housing. But a look at the voting record of progressive Richmond City Council members simply doesn't support that claim. 

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Conversations with a Canvasser

By Diana Wear

Diana Wear and City Council candidate for D4 Jamin Pursell getting ready to canvass.

People often ask me why I'm such an avid canvasser. I’ve been an RPA member for seven years, and each year I get new enthusiasm for walking Richmond's streets and speaking with our community. In fact, at the end of each campaign season, I’ve mentioned to our strategy teams that we ought to do this year-round and not just during campaigns.

The organizers have often smiled at that idea, haggard from the tremendous hours of scheduling, planning, recruiting, publicizing, and arranging all the on-the-ground efforts during the campaign. They just want to rest and recuperate. I get it—it’s a huge endeavor.

So, what is it about canvassing that I find so compelling?

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Reflections on Iran's Current Protest Movement

By Shiva Mishek

Photos courtesy of Sarah Ramani (Instagram: @sarahrmni).

Sometime last week, I spoke to my mother on the phone about the protests happening in Iran. Major unrest has spread across the country since the police murder of Jîna Amini, a Kurdish woman who was arrested in Tehran in mid-September for wearing her hijab too loosely. My mom had a lot to say, but a particular sliver of our conversation stood out to me.

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Fall 2022 Updates from Safe Organized Spaces

By Daniel Barth, Executive Director of Safe Organized Spaces Richmond

Ramon Quintana from Collaborising and O’Neill Fernandez from SOS. Integral partnerships are created when funds are shared among organizations large and small, such as Collaborising and LifeLong Medical Care. Photo Credit: Maurice Tierney

Safe Organized Spaces Richmond (SOS) continues to fulfill its commitments to the city in our first year of funding, delivering on promises of jobs, encampment services, and working toward safe living spaces.

Our most recent accomplishment was helping clear the Rydin Road encampment. After residents were provided alternative temporary housing, the city had the task of making sure the street was properly cleared of debris and cleaned.

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RPA October Calendar

Here are upcoming RPA meetings and events. Note, most meetings are only open to RPA members, although allies and guests are often welcome. If you are interested in becoming a member, you may do so here. Dues may be waived if they are a barrier to you joining the RPA. If you have questions about joining the RPA, or are interested in attending a meeting as a non-member, please contact  [email protected]

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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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