Issues

We Need More Grocery Stores

By Eduardo Martinez

Significant portions of Richmond lack easy access to fresh, affordable groceries. The shortage of grocery stores in our city contributes to health issues, decreased revenue, racial and economic disparities, and pollution. 

But it’s not a lack of demand that’s creating the problem.

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It’s Not About the Baby

By Kathleen Wimer

Trigger Warning: This article contains mention of sexual violence.

Roe v. Wade opponents want to dictate how adult women and girls behave. Their concern is not pro-life. 

Those who get abortions know well the costs and responsibilities of mothering. They are young, single, have some college education, are poor, and already have a child. They choose not to burden their families with care of another child without support systems in place necessary to upholding them. In fact, a 2017 report shows as many as one in four women in the United States has an abortion before age 45. When speaking to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, May 10, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen noted that denying women access to abortions increases "their odds of living in poverty or in need for public assistance."

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The Activist Celebrates May Day

The Activist wishes all RPA members and allies a happy May Day, in celebration of the international labor struggles that continue to shape our world. We are so excited to witness the surge of organizing activity and unionization efforts across the United States. This renewed labor solidarity, not seen on such a scale since the early 1980s, comes under the urgent conditions of stagnant wages, meager healthcare, and increased economic precarity. 

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Fair Chance and Housing First Policies

On April 19, 2022, Mayor Tom Butt agendized City Council item W3, which sought to amend Richmond’s Fair Chance Housing Ordinance. While the mayor has been a vocal opponent of most tenant protections, this item reflects an interest in improving housing access. 

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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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Road Safety is Public Safety

By Jamin Pursell

Over the last century, the automobile has become a potent symbol of traditional Americana. The Ford assembly line brought the car to the American masses in 1913. At only $260 by 1925, the Model T was affordable, costing the average worker only a few months' wages. During that time, Prohibition created an industry for the American Bootlegger. Bootleggers drove vehicles called “stock cars” to distribute their illicit goods, making them small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Drivers also modified vehicles for speed, handling, and increased cargo capacity. The early NASCAR drivers used those same cars in Daytona Beach.

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How Much are Richmond Police Being Paid?

By Mike Parker and Shiva Mishek*

Richmond police officers are better-compensated than officers in surrounding communities. Oakland comes close, with officers being compensated an average of $279,869.87 annually to Richmond’s $283,866.50. 

The claim that police officers are leaving Richmond because they are not being paid enough does not fit the data. According to TransparentCalifornia.com data for the latest year available (2020), the average total pay plus benefits for RPD staff is higher than in comparable surrounding communities. While the base pay for police officers in all of these communities starts out roughly the same, overtime plus extras quickly boost the average.

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RPA Calendar May

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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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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Jamin Pursell Announces Candidacy for City Council

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My name is Jamin Pursell, and I am running for Richmond City Council in District 4. I believe that healthy communities thrive when a city provides abundant services and resident protections. Richmond must continue building on its progressive leadership, and District 4 is home to a new generation of families who deserve focused representation.

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