Issues

Tribute to Kabir Kapur

By Nicole Valentino and Diana Wear

Kabir Kapur left an indelible mark on our RPA community when he died at the young age of 30 years old. He died of complications following an asthma attack that progressed to cardiac arrest. We are deeply saddened by this loss. Yet while we are bereft with his death, we are also left with some wonderful memories and profound lessons.  Kabir was a longtime, active member of RPA. Over the years, he worked on a number of committees and action teams including the leadership body of the RPA, the Steering Committee, as well as Membership and Council Action Team. He also participated actively with the Communications Team meetings urging coverage of relevant issues.

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Kabir - Playlist & Stories

This playlist tribute to Kabir Kapur is a compilation of songs submitted by Kabir’s fellow RPA music lovers. Listen on Spotify, or as individual YouTube links.

Below are anecdotes and stories submitted by RPA members and allies. 

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Election Reflections (Part I): Is Corporate-Free Too Easy?

By Shiva Mishek

In this recent election cycle, the Richmond Progressive Alliance used a simple question to decide whether we would endorse local candidates: would the candidate commit to running a corporate-donation-free campaign? This question has been the bedrock of our organization since its founding in 2004.

But is it too basic a boundary issue?

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RPA Committee Work and Action Team Report

By Diana Wear and Chris Broglio 

This month, the Membership Committee Co-chairs, collaborated with the Office Staff to address a number of needs we’ve been wrestling with in our post-election period as well as since the pandemic and acquiring our new office space at 12929 San Pablo Avenue.  We’ve devised plans to provide orientations for new members, ways for our community to have round table discussions and offer continuing education for RPA members.

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"Art is at the Forefront of Social Change”—Angela Davis

By BK Williams

Rancho Market Mural, Designed by Richard Muro Salazar

Public art reflects a community’s values and history, and how we see the world—the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are. It is placed in public sites, and is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression.

Richmond has had in effect a "Percent for Art" ordinance setting aside 1.5% of eligible capital improvement project budgets for the acquisition of public art.  Additionally, there is a 1% fee for public art to private developers on applicable projects.  Public artwork is directed through the Arts and Culture Commission which advises the city in its artistic and cultural development in preserving Richmond’s heritage. The city’s budget shows the Percent for Art has amassed in excess of one million dollars for this fiscal year.  There was approximately $1.7 million dollars available as of the end of 2022.  (A&C Ordinances, Policies, and Procedures.)

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Remembering Kabir

Graphic by Alfred Twu

In late November, our progressive community learned of the untimely death of our friend and comrade, Kabir Kapur. He was just 30 years old. Kabir was a longtime, active member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, among other political groups in the Bay Area.

The RPA deeply mourns the loss of Kabir’s brilliant mind and warm heart. His moral compass was always pointed toward justice for all people. It is fitting that this tribute to Kabir is in the same issue as our election recap since Kabir was such a fervent follower of electoral politics. 

Kabir was also an organ donor. His final act was to donate parts of himself for three people whom he had never met. 

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2022 Election Re-Cap

Election results are in!  While deeper reflections will be forthcoming and included in upcoming issues of The Activist, we want to thank our candidates, campaign workers, and others as well as provide an update on the November 2022 Richmond election results.

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Democracy Supreme

By Anonymous

Richmond voters had a full range of candidates to choose from for mayor.  Why wouldn’t Nathaniel Bates take a chance on ending his career of service with the city, yet again, as its mayor? He's earned the chance to put himself forward for that. Shawn Dunning has supporters. Recent generations may find his nouveau consultant style comfortable. Nothing wrong with testing the waters.  Mark Wassberg, one of the involved, passionate but given to misinterpretation members of the public, put himself forth and gains more votes every time he runs. And Eduardo, the winner, has RPA support. It can't be said voters did not have plenty of choices. Democracy in action. The voters have spoken.

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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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National Media

By Kathleen Wimer

Photo By Madison Inouye

Attention young people. Mainstream media is so yesterday. Witness predictions of a mid-term red wave. They don't know what they are talking about. Anyone who can impartially report the real news of the day and regain people's trust that they are hearing views, not being manipulated, owns the future. There is a void to fill.

As David Brooks reports, Americans [are] sorting ourselves out by education into two camps … people without a college degree have flocked to the G.O.P., people with one have flocked to the Democrats. He says, "Even Black voters without a college degree seem to be shifting away from the Democrats, to some degree."

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