Primary Reflections and Calls to Action

By Alfredo Angulo

This June’s primary showed, above all, that electoral success does not come easily— that we will not win in November if we don’t mobilize our community’s strength. Incumbency reigned supreme in Contra Costa County, even as candidates with great credentials garnered local support, promotion from other politicians in office, and positive recognition from local media outlets. Voter turnout was a mere 34%. It was not all bad: some progressive candidates received tens of thousands of votes, and some of the races were closer than expected.

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Richmond Celebrates Juneteenth

On Saturday, June 18th, the Richmond community came together to celebrate Juneteenth. Our city’s annual parade and festival, always well-attended by Richmond residents and the wider Bay Area community, hasn’t taken place since the pandemic began in 2020. While President Biden only designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday last year, the return of Richmond’s festivities marks over two decades of celebrating the holiday in Richmond.

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Mayor Butt Misses the Point, Again

We know there will be retribution when we push back on corporate money in Richmond politics.

When RPA published our findings that the supposed grassroots group Richmond Represented was actually corporations meddling in city elections, we knew someone would come after us – the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the people who volunteer here.

The first wave of that attack is from Mayor Tom Butt.

In “Where is Claudia?,” Mayor Butt emails out what he thinks is a bombshell—that RPA leader and City Council Jimenez member has been staying at the home of friends in Point Richmond. What Mayor Butt didn’t tell you is that Claudia’s own house, in D6 where she’s always lived, is having construction done. Like most people in that situation, she and her family needed a place to stay until work finishes.

In “Careless Internal Memo Leak Explodes RPA Hypocritical No Corporate Donations Claim,” Mayor Butt drops another supposed bombshell: that in advance of making a decision about whether to accept a large donation, RPA members scrutinized the source of the money to make sure it is consistent with our no-corporate values.

Our response:

  • -It is normal for people to stay outside their home during a large-scale construction project. The city clerk and city attorney confirmed that Claudia’s temporary relocation did not violate any laws or rules.
  • -It is appropriate for any organization to have internal discussions to make decisions about money—how to raise it and how to spend it.
  • -RPA does not take corporate money. The Preston-Werner Foundation is not a corporation, nor does it serve corporate interests. None of the Preston-Werner Foundation donation has been used for political purposes, nor will it be.

When presented with clear evidence that there are problems with the current election, Mayor Butt’s response was to attack the organization that was bringing these problems to light. As mayor, he should be investigating possibly illegal campaign contributions and abuse of our Neighborhood Council system. His misguided obsession with the RPA continues to interfere with his ability to effectively lead our city.


Updated 2 PM: Look what hit mailboxes in Richmond today! A Richmond Represented flyer blaming sideshows on the Richmond Progressive Alliance and featuring Mayor Butt. Perhaps his emails this morning were an attempt to distract from what we now know: Tom Butt was working with whatever organization is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into paper mailers, TV ads, and social media ads to defeat progressive candidates in Richmond. And he's among the small circle of Richmonders who know who is paying for all this. If it's not Chevron or their helpers at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, he has an opportunity to set the record straight -- who IS paying for this? Feel free to ask him directly on Facebook @tom.butt1944 or Twitter @MayorTomButt or via email [email protected].

Emmy Lou Packard at Richmond Art Center

Interview with Richmond Art Center's curators of the Emmy Lou Packard exhibition

Landscape Near Half Moon Bay (1950s), Emmy Lou Packard. Linocut with hand coloring.
Courtesy of Donald Cairns and Richmond Art Center

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience
Exhibition: June 22 - August 20, 2022
Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 10 am - 4 pm
Exhibition and events are free to the public

The new exhibition at Richmond Art Center, ‘Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience,’ is curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores. The curators spoke with Richmond Progressive Alliance on Monday, June 27.

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Call to Action: 40 Voices 4 Wellness for People of African Descent in Contra Costa County

There is an opportunity to support 40 Voices 4 Wellness for People of African Descent in Contra Costa County
in their demand that the Board of Supervisors authorize the funding of an African American Holistic Wellness and Resource Hub to help address structural and institutional racism in healthcare, education, housing and other systems. Please see below for information on how to support their call to action.
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RPA July 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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Happy Pride from the Richmond Progressive Alliance!

Happy Pride from the Richmond Progressive Alliance!

We celebrate the beautiful and expansive LGBTQ+ community.

We honor our queer and trans ancestors who suffered from government persecution, hate crimes, HIV/AIDS, shame and social stigma. We also commemorate those who fought for liberation. We remember that Pride was born of protests against police brutality (amidst the criminalization of “same-sex” dancing), including Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966 and Stonewall in New York City in 1969.

We commit to resisting homophobia and transphobia in our lives and in our laws, international persecution of LGBTQ+ people, and the racism within the LGBTQ+ community.

Please enjoy this pride playlist, a compilation of songs submitted by LGBTQ+ RPA members. Listen on Spotify, or as individual YouTube links:

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Tom Butt Is Lying to You About: Point Molate

Welcome to our new series, in which we sift through Mayor Tom Butt's latest lie.

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Our Children Need Gun Control

By BK Williams

We live in a country where a recent draft opinion by the Supreme Court seeks to “protect” unborn babies by stripping away a woman’s righto abortion. And yet, in this country, the state and federal governments do not protect school children by banning assault weapons that allow a killer to rapidly fire large rounds without the need to reload. The same governments will not make it impossible for killers to obtain handguns and weapons, even if they are high-risk persons.

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Listening Project Transitions into the New Environmental Action Team

By Marisol Cantú

Anti-Chevron Day Centering Workers + Community From Left to Right: D4 City Council candidate Jamin Pursell, Alfredo Angulo, attorney Steven Donziger, Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez, Andres Soto, D6 Councilmember Claudia Jimenéz, Marisol Cantú, Bottom Row: Stephanie Garcia + Miguel Diaz

The Listening Project is excited to announce that we are transitioning into the RPA’s New Environmental Action Team (NEAT). The New Environmental Action Team will work to support policy that is healthy for our land, water, air, and inhabitants, guided by the perspective of our communities most harmed by environmental racism, as a collaborative, intergenerational, racial justice-centered team.

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