RPA June 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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Anti-Chevron Day

See you at Anti-Chevron Day! C’mon out for United Steelworkers—who at this date have been striking at Chevron for over two months—and Richmond community organizers who join the workers in defense of safe jobs and healthy neighborhoods. Speakers include Steve Donziger, Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Eduardo Martinez, and Richmond City Council member Claudia Jiménez.

This ninth annual global day of action unites labor and environmental organizers in calling out Chevron’s abuses from Ecuador to Myanmar, from the Philippines to Richmond. Together, we can imagine and win a world free from corporate greed.

You can find more information here, and RSVP and get more details on Facebook.

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We Need More Grocery Stores in Richmond

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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Richmond Rainbow Pride Event: Infinite Pride

By Jamin Pursell

Richmond Rainbow Pride is having its 8th annual Pride event on Sunday, June 5th 2022 at noon, broadcast on Established in 2014, Richmond Rainbow Pride is a group of LGBTQIA individuals and allies who live, work and play in or near Richmond and who have come together for the collective benefit of the LGBTQIA community.

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Chevron Threatens Our Air

Flaring at the Richmond Lubrications Oil Plant. April 14, 2-4 pm.

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 workers have been on strike at Richmond's Chevron Refinery since March 21, 2022. Since then, workers and community members have carefully documented flaring events at the refinery, which is currently run by strikebreakers who do not have the necessary training to safely operate the equipment. Below are three important documents of this extremely unsafe situation: a) a letter addressed to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) by organizer Marisol Cantú, articulating the current risks to our surrounding community and demands of relevant inspection agencies; b) a photographic gallery of flaring events taken during the strike by workers and community observers; and c) a letter authored by a USW Local 5 refinery worker, describing the extensive training he and his colleagues receive that is necessary to keep the community safe (and that current employees operating the plant do not have).

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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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