Issues

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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Transit Agencies and the Movement Forward

By Jovanka Beckles

Serving on the AC Transit Board continues to take me around both literal and metaphorically complicated routes as I navigate our agency from austerity measures toward justice for our transit users especially, students, low-income users, elders, people with disabilities, and other challenges. This month we have the opportunity to avail ourselves of state funding that will help both our riders and our planet.

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Updates on Voices for Public Transportation

By Michael Gliksohn

Voices for Public Transportation (VPT) is a coalition of labor, community-based organizations, and equity advocates who know that investing in the Bay Area’s transportation system is essential for the health and wellness of our communities, environment, and economy. RPA is a member of the coalition and I am our representative using this forum to keep our organization updated.

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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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Urban Tilth and The Richmond Our Power Coalition are Demanding #NoShade on our Community Health and Futures!

By Katt Ramos

North Richmond Farm

Within one month of purchasing the North Richmond Farm, Urban Tilth learned that our dreams of growing a healthy, community driven vision for positive development in North Richmond was being threatened by a new massive Panattoni Inc. project planned for the parcels on the eastern boundary of our farm. This development would severely impact the North Richmond farm as well as the youth in the nearby elementary school.

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RPA Calendar April 2022

Here are upcoming RPA meetings and events. Note, that 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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The Activist Celebrates Women's History Month

British poster for Women's Day March (1974).

The Activist dedicates this issue to Women's History Month, in observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. With this tribute, we hope to honor all people who identify as women, and we recognize all the ways the complexity of womanhood has been rendered invisible— from too-narrow definitions of what constitutes "labor," to the white mainstream exclusion of women of color, to the ongoing rejection of and violence against trans women and gender nonconforming people.    

This month of tribute has been officially recognized throughout the United States since 1987, but its celebration was initially encouraged by educators in Santa Rosa, California, in March of 1978.

International Women's Day, which occurs yearly on March 8th, originated much earlier in the 20th century. The earliest recorded official commemoration was organized by the Socialist Party of America in 1909.

Each year, the National Women’s History Alliance chooses a theme for Women’s History Month. This year's theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” We believe the gallery below captures a very small sampling of figures who embody this theme.

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The Black (Woman) Experience

By Jovanka Beckles

Jovanka Beckles, AC Board of Transit Director for Ward 1 and former Richmond City Council member 

I was going to write a planned article about Black women in history. I will write that article another time. Rather I am writing about the real time, history-in-the-making, effect of the direct harm of belligerent racism towards the BIPOC community—especially towards Black women. I move through the world as a dark-skinned Black woman, and I experience racism daily. From the so-called micro aggressions to the less common, but not extraordinary, blatant attacks. 

This morning is simply one example. I was trying to reach someone with a 505 area code from my office desk phone. It was the wrong number, obviously. This is how it went:

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What Do Women Want?

By Kathleen Wimer and Diana Wear

Aretha Franklin performs during "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House," 2014.

Aretha Franklin said it all, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The Supreme Court 1973 decision making it constitutional for women to choose whether or not to have a baby (Roe v Wade) may have lulled us into complacency, but last September the Supreme Court permitted implementation of Texas S.B. 8, a law authorizing anyone to collect $10,000 should they turn in someone later found guilty of helping a girl or woman get an abortion.

Covid 19, too, set an old familiar stage. The pandemic revealed the disproportionate disadvantages women endure—low wage multiple “essential” jobs with exposure to the pandemic, balancing children's at-home learning and care; often with other adults in the home but not necessarily helping and sometimes instead even administering abuse. These day-to-day women’s realities, plus the current Supreme Court threats to our free agency in reproductive matters, call us to demand rights for women together, at the local level, now.

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