RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #115July 21, 2013
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Welcome LaVoz
Hundreds of MILLIONs at stake
Ban the Box at Council Tuesday
HRHR Takes Up Hate Speech Issue
Can Chevron Access Your Email?
Gmail and This Newsletter
Ceasefire Citywide Walk
Mime Troup: Oil and Water
National Night Out & Cheron Fire Anniversary
Bobby Bowens Spoken Word Contest
Join the RPA
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Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260


Since we don't take corporate money,  our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to promote activities and programs in Richmond. The RPA Activist is one tool we use to put out our ideas. One simple thing that YOU can do is to forward the RPA Activist to friends and acquaintances. Thanks.


A New Bilingual Voice in Richmond

La Voz Begins Publishing


La Voz There is no newspaper that really serves all the people of Richmond. ThePulse does a great job of covering youth interests. What little Richmond news is covered by Bay Area media rarely mentions the needs of the Latino community or speaks to that community in both Spanish and English. Yet the Latino community is the largest ethnic group in Richmond at about 40%.

Now there is a new voice, La Voz, that seeks to speak for all of Richmond, and especially for the Latino community. Articles are in both Spanish and English.

The first issue of the monthly paper has articles on immigration reform, views of the Pope, sports in Richmond, foreclosure, and interviews.

The newspaper supports itself by ads and heavy amounts of volunteer work.


For now the newspaper is distributed through stores, the libraries, and other public distribution places. You can see it on line by clicking here.  


The editorial board is still in formation. If you would like to write for , advertise in, or distribute the paper, email LaVozdeRichmond@gmail.com or call 510-229-4484

Viva La Voz
Hundreds of Millions at stake

What Did Chevron Fire Cost City?     


Chevron-Bates Last Tuesday the City Council delayed hiring experts to calculate the costs of the Chevron fire to Richmond. They wanted to consult the law firm they hired first. Fair enough -- if they actually do consult the lawyers before making a settlement .  


There is a lot of money at stake here. Not the $5 to $10 million dollars Jim Rogers used as examples. Some of us have done very rough estimates of the costs to the city and come up with figures that range from $200 million to $800 million.   

Click here for some estimates

As big as these amounts are to most of us individually they are very small when compared to the magnitude of the money Chevron makes at the Richmond refinery and the money involved in these kind of incidents.
Chevron's Richmond Refinery produces about $30 Billion/year in sales

Its reported profits  each year are about  $750 Million

            Its real profits(after accounting tricks) are over $2 Billion


(Note Chevron does not provide information about specific refineries. These are estimated based on reported business for "downstream operations" multiplied by the proportion of output from this refinery.   The main accounting trick used is the "transfer price" of the crude oil. Chevron pays more to itself for the crude than the market price.)


Compare these figures to settlements to other major disasters. Like the others, the Chevron fire was the result of negligence by the corporation

Exxon Valdez oil spill: $1.1 Billion

BP Gulf oil spill: still going on. estimates are now over $30 Billion

PG&E San Bruno fire: $2.25 Billion Penalty by the California Public Utilities Commission and there are an estimated $3 Billion in settlements.


Ban the Box
Council Meeting Tuesday,  July 23
Carried over from last Council meeting
Ban the Box Expansion

The ordinance to expand the City's Ban the Box policy to cover city contractors and recipients of city financial aid has been moved to  the Council meeting  next Tuesday.  The policy prohibits asking a job applicant about prior criminal record on the initial application.  For certain sensitive jobs such questions may be asked as the employment process advances.  
Monday, July 22, 6:30 pm

HRHR Committee to discuss Hate Speech at Council   Free Speech


  The Richmond Human Rights, Human Relations Commission  will take up the question of separating hate speech from free speech at Richmond City Council meetings at its Monday meeting.


The Commission meets in the City Council chambers. The public can sign up to comment.  

Chilling Ruling

Chevron Access to Activists' Email

A federal judge has ruled to allow Chevron, through a subpoena to Microsoft, to collect the IP usage records and identity information for email accounts owned by over 100 environmental activists, journalists and attorneys. Click here for article



Affects your receiving this newsletter

Google GMAIL changes handling of email  


Gmail's new handling of email puts your RPA Activist in its "promotions" category not "primary."  If you look through your "promotions" regularly then it's no problem. If you want to change your Gmail so the newsletter goes into "primary" then open your gmail account on a desktop computer. Find a recent issue of the RPA Activist and drag it to the "primary" tab at the top of the emails. Gmail will then ask if you want to do this for all email from this sender. Click on Yes.

Friday, July 26  Starts 5:30pm 

Richmond Citywide Ceasefire Night Walk       

Walk Map Join us next Friday, July 26 to join the movement to unite Richmond and bring a spirit of care and healing for our community. We walk gather at 5:30pm at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and walk across north, central and south Richmond to bring a spirit of peace and non-violence.
You can join us at congregations along the route--see the map below for more details. We will have transportation to bring people back to their destination throughout the walk and will have rest stations.

Schedule :


1.  5:30 pm New Hope Missionary Baptist Church (321 Alamo Ave)

2. 6:30 Elm Playlot (7th and Elm)

3. 7:00 St Marks (159 Harbor Way)

4. 7:45 Providence Baptist Church (3145 12th)

5. 8:25 Miracle Temple (2425 Cutting)

6. 9:00 Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church (684 Juliga Woods) 

Now Playing
MIME TROUP  Oil and Water

For 54 years, the San Francisco Mime Troupe has been providing us with our summer progressive uplift, a shot in the arm for those tiring of protest marches or despairing of change. I'm afraid the term "Mime" may have discouraged some, but this has nothing to do with those French productions, the single guy in a white suit who says not a word. This is more aPosterkin to vaudeville. Outrageous costumes, homemade stage design, scene changes in view, wonderful often silly songs composed for the occasion, lots of action, backed up by a fabulous if noisy band, that's SF Mime. It's made for the parks: bring your blanket and lunch and come early if you want a good seat on the grass.


The topic is always topical, always addressed to the evils of government out of control and corporate shenanigans. Alas, they seem never to run out of topics. This year's show deals not only with KXL pipeline and fracking but makes reference to government surveillance , corporate greed and other evils we're familiar with. But this year's production is smaller: it almost didn't happen at all. SF Mime had lost a lot a funding from arts non-profits; only a call for help to loyal supporters garnered enough funds for them to put on a shortened version, with the band cut back to two performers, and players cut to four. But it's still a rabble rousing great show. You can find the remaining shows, in the East Bay, San Francisco, Sacramento...even Ukiah...at their web site: www.sfmt.org.  


I forgot to add: They're a collective and they belong to the actors' union. And if you only go to see the incomparable hysterical gifted song-and-dance lady, Velina Brown, you won't be disappointed. And drop a little green in the bucket when you leave!  

--Jeffrey Dickermann

Check out  full schedule!

Listen to song clips - Deal with the Devil: Throw It All Away
and Crude Intentions: Runnin' This Way

Learn more about the subject matter for this year's two shows!

Saturday, August 3
August 3 Demo

Tuesday August 6
National Night Out  5pm
Commemoration of Chevron Fire 6pm
Civic Center Plaza

National Night Out will begin at 5 pm at the Civic Center Plaza and then  the action will shift to the neighborhood celebrations.

The commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Chevron Fire will take place at the Plaza at 6pm.
The event will be brief so that people can join the National Night Out celebration

Commeration August 11, 2 - 5 pm
Bowens Progressive Center
1021 Macdonald
 Click here for some background 

Join the RPA

RPA Symbol We can only keep this city moving forward, protect our health and safety, and resist corporate domination of our politics if enough of us join together. We are asking you to take sides--to join the RPA.     




UNITY - One Richmond: African-American, Asian, Latino/a, Native Americans, white, united for the good of all.

DEMOCRACY- Government of, for, by the people; all the people, not just those rich enough to buy influence.

DIVERSITY - of ideas: Democrats, Greens, independents, or other. We sometimes disagree but respect each other enough to keep working for a better Richmond together.


  • participate in periodic RPA discussions and events of community interest;
  • staff the office, make phone calls, meet in committees, arrange events and parties;
  • work on campaigns of RPA-endorsed candidates for city council;
  • engage with neighbors;
  • help shape RPA and its priorities;
  • join in support of other allied organizations working to make a difference in Richmond;
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Download the membership form and mail it in with dues.


Send us an email at info@richmondprogressivealliance.net with the information requested on the form.  And go to the RPA web page. Press the "Donate" button in the left column and make a dues contribution. An additional contribution is greatly appreciated and helps us keep dues low for those with low income.


RPA Activist Info

is for Richmond community members who want to be active in taking on the problems of the environment, racism, joblessness, housing, and crime to create a healthy Richmond. We believe that community involvement means more than voting every two years. It means regular communication with the candidates we elect, letting them know our issues and positions, supporting them as they try to take our issues forward. It means we attend meetings, use email, phone our neighbors, or go on marches building an organized movement to create real change.

Comments and columns are welcome. Articles and columns are the views of the author, unsigned text  the views of the editor, Mike Parker, and not necessarily those of the RPA. Send photos, articles, and comments to  RPAactivist@gmail.com or call  510-595-4661. Longer articles of analysis and archives of past newsletters can be found on our website.