RPA Calendar January 2021

Mayor Butt Hit With Restraining Order

A Contra Costa County Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Mayor Tom Butt. The order was granted on December 7th, after the court reviewed a petition filed by the City of Richmond. The petition alleged that Mayor Butt “has willfully and flagrantly violated the City’s privilege,” and that his multiple disclosures on his E-forum constitute a violation of both attorney-client privilege and his duties as enshrined in Charter of the City of Richmond.

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Towards Staying Power: How Richmond LAND’s Model Resists Displacement

Left: Richmond LAND team (Valerie Jameson, Ciera Jevae “CiCi” Gordon, and Mia Carbajal) and residents of S.24th St. building (Dale Riggins and Cynthia Osorio-Hernandez) in front of Mr. Riggins’ home.

Right: Image of S.24th St/Foothill Ave. in the Southside neighborhood where building is located.

Authored by Mia Carbajal and Valerie Jameson

The purchase on S. 24th Street is a culmination of the visioning and determination that took place over the past 18 months to grow Richmond LAND into a vessel for grassroots power that offers alternatives to safe and stable housing and prevents further displacement of existing residents through the Community Land Trust (CLT) model.

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The Brown Act: Back to Basics for the Butts

City Hall

Photo Credit: Tony Tamayo

Daniel Butt has turned truth upside down by posting that the RPA is responsible for the firing of Laura Snideman as City Manager and costing the city $300,000. He and his followers have repeated this misinformation on Facebook. 

The reality is that it was Tom Butt and Nat Bates who initiated and drove the firing of the City Manager. RPA Council members were split on the issue: some RPA council members thought that Snideman was doing a reasonable job given the circumstances.  Some thought she was doing a poor job. RPA members were also divided about what to do about the situation.

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Councilmember Willis Retrospective Video

Check out this video of Councilmember Willis reflecting on his current term, and visioning ahead to the future.

Another Victory Over the Fossil Fuel Industry in Richmond

Train tracks richmond

Photo Credit: Tony Tamayo

On Friday, November 12, the City of Richmond announced it had finally reached a settlement agreement with the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation. After 18 months of litigation, the parties agreed to end the storage of coal and petroleum coke (“petcoke”) in Richmond by 2027. The settlement ends a legal battle between Richmond, three fossil fuel companies, and the state of Utah that was fought in both state and federal court. The outcome is being hailed as a major win for environmental justice organizations and Richmond residents alike. 

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Vaccine Rollout for Black Community in Richmond

At our June RPA Membership meeting we presented the Reimagining Public Safety campaign and hosted a forum where we asked panelists to share with us the main public safety issues facing their community and how RPA might build a reciprocal relationship with their organization. One speaker was Reverend Kamal Hassan, Pastor of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church of Richmond. His community is about 99% Black and one of their urgent safety concerns included low Covid-19 vaccination rates. The following is an interview and report on what came next.

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2021 City of Richmond Transgender Day of Remembrance

The City of Richmond honored the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Thursday, November 18, with a flag-raising ceremony in front of City Hall. The commemorative event was hosted by Cesar Zepeda of Richmond Rainbow Pride, and guest speakers included Carolyn Wysinger and Suzanne Ford of San Francisco Pride and Richmond City Councilmembers Eduardo Martinez and Claudia Jimenez.

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Listening Project Announcements December 2021

The Listening Project is a people-centered process to guide our local transition away from the fossil fuel industry. Our goal is to listen to and understand the concerns and needs of Richmond communities that have historically suffered the most from generations of fossil fuel operations in Richmond. 

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Arts & Culture: Activist Co-Chair Edits & Publishes a Book

Dancing with the Divine: A Flow of Grace by Carla De Sola, ed. by Diana Wear, and designed by David W. McCauley, Jr. (Self-published, 2021), 182 pp.;

“Dance is revolutionary movement. It has the power to connect us to worlds beyond our own. A dancer’s outstretched hand says come...take this journey. I’m reminded as I read Dancing with the Divine that dance, as expressive as a raised fist symbolizing power, offering connection to the divine through art, is such a warm and welcome revelation.”

BK Williams, Activist, Richmond, California

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