From Healthy California Now, a healthcare reform coalition of which RPA is a part:
We are Californians who believe that healthcare should be guaranteed as a human right. We are calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to fulfill his promise to fight for single-payer healthcare in California. Sign the petition here www.petition.healthcare.
Gavin Newsom led the fight for universal healthcare as mayor in San Francisco and made single-payer a pillar of his campaign for governor. On his first day as Governor, he made the same request of Trump that we’re now asking him to make of the Biden Administration. It seems complicated, but requesting the federal Medicare waivers is mandatory for a state to have its own single-payer system. The official who would grant these waivers is the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Biden Administration has nominated Xavier Becerra — who is also an advocate for single-payer, and is the outgoing California Attorney General under Governor Newsom's administration. With this unique situation, there has never been such an enormous opportunity for Governor Newsom to guarantee that every Californian receives high-quality, comprehensive healthcare.
We understand the power of the healthcare industry and the millions they will spend trying to defeat our efforts. We are asking Governor Newsom to lead the way and request the necessary federal waivers, to fulfill his promise of single-payer healthcare. Californians, please join our fight.
By Claudia Jimenez, Richmond City Councilmember
On February 23, after years of planning by City staff, much discussion from City Council, and varied input from Richmond residents, the City Council voted to approve the Safe Parking Pilot Program to be located at the city-owned parking lot at Barrett Avenue and 25th Street. Our vote also approved city staff’s recommendation for Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB) to serve as lead provider.
While council’s approved location was not my first choice, I am glad we came to a decision and were able to secure $560,000 of funding for this one-year pilot project. I believe we need to leverage whatever resources we have to better serve Richmond's many residents who are experiencing homelessness and the community as a whole.
Richmond residents who are interested in working with us to make the project successful can reach out to me at [email protected], and we will connect you to opportunities.
By Tarnel Abbott and Deborah Bayer
Where We Stand Now
The Richmond Shoreline Alliance, Citizens for East Shore Parks, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Sunflower Alliance, and Sustainability, Parks, Recycling and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund (or SPRAWLDEF) have filed a lawsuit against the City of Richmond based on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and due process violations. The suit contends the City Council ignored evidence that the proposed cleanup process will not be sufficient for future residents living on the site, and it seeks to reopen the 2016 Environmental Impact Report to include recent science on sea level rise projections and health impacts. The lawsuit and the development have been discussed in closed session, but the public is not privy to how those discussions are going.Read more
By Eduardo Martinez, Richmond City Councilmember, and Eli Moore
The Chevron oil spill into the Bay in February is only the latest in a series of devastating fires and releases of toxic chemicals into the air, water and soil of Richmond and the region.
The refinery is also the second largest source of greenhouse gases in all of California.
Scientists have determined that the only way for California to reach its goals for overcoming the climate crisis is to start closing refineries and switching to renewable energy sources.
For years, the prospect of the refinery closing was only a threat Chevron used against us, to silence calls for public health protections and fair corporate taxes. But lately the scenario of a refinery closure is much more visible, with refineries in Rodeo and Martinez both announcing in the past year that they were halting fossil fuel processing. The economic effects of Covid 19 have rocked the oil industry, and that has speeded up a process that was already underway to replace fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources. The end of oil refining is actually in sight. Even General Motors realizes this and has planned to end its production of gas-powered cars by 2035.
Here is where you can download the agenda for all Richmond City Council Meetings.
Public comment may be submitted to the Richmond City Council by paper mail, email and/or Zoom video conference in the manner that follows; provided that no member of the public may submit more than one verbal comment per agenda item.Read more
All RPA members are encouraged to attend the online General Membership Meeting on Saturday, February 27th at 2 pm. A full agenda and links to the meeting will be emailed to members on Tuesday February 23rd. Participants will be given the opportunity to vote for members of the Steering Committee, the leadership body of the RPA.
If you are not currently a member, join or renew your membership with the RPA today to receive an invitation.
The American healthcare system is a disjointed mess, which makes rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine a disjointed mess as well. But a lot of people are working hard to get it done as best they can. Here’s some information to help you get yourself or another person vaccinated.Read more
By Sue Wilson
The Richmond City Council is now setting the terms for the Safe Parking Pilot Program, a one-year pilot program that will provide a secure, professionally-managed location for those living in RVs or cars in Richmond. The project is funded by in-lieu fees that the city has collected from developers ($300,000) and by a grant from Contra Costa County ($260,000).
The City Council must choose a location and a management team. At least three sites are still being considered: Hilltop Mall, the Civic Center parking lot, and a vacant-city own lot across from the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) offices on 22nd Avenue. City staff have recommended that the Housing Consortium of the East Bay, which runs a similar program in Oakland, manage the site.
In making their decisions, Councilmembers might take the following factors into account:
Transparency -- At City Council meetings and in his email newsletter, Tom Butt has been promoting the former Hilltop Mall as the location. According to Mayor Butt, the site is being purchased by Prologis, a logistics company, and that company is willing to host the car and RV community on the property and donate an additional $250,000 towards its management. One thing Mayor Butt has not explained is why Prologis has made this offer. Are they expecting something from the city in return? The last time a corporation came to Richmond bearing gifts, the terrible trade-off Mayor Butt and others agreed to was allowing a housing development to be built on top of the polluted AstraZeneca site. So we are asking Mayor Butt directly, are there any strings attached to the Prologis offer?Read more
Following Contra Costa County’s semi-official Election Night final results (which showed RPA-backed candidates winning by margins of 13 to 20 percent), BK Williams, Chair of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, offered this statement:
The Richmond Progressive Alliance acknowledges and thanks all the candidates who ran for City Council. Although every vote must still be counted, we extend our warm congratulations to Melvin Willis, Gayle McLaughlin and Claudia Jimenez, who each are on track to winning a majority of the votes.
These electoral victories belong to everyone who shares and collectively worked towards a progressive vision for our City -- a healthy, inclusive Richmond where everyone thrives. We express our heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who donated their time and resources to help elect these corporate-free candidates to office. Again, we showed that grassroots, people-powered movements can overcome great odds.Read more