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Issue: # 30August 8, 2010
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RPA Office
317 11th St

Pt Molate Sham Hearing
KTVU Police Report
Property Taxes High?
Make Banks Pay Fair Share
Forum on Gaza Blockade
Michael Moore Film
Mime Troupe in Richmond
Climate Education and Action
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Sham Hearing on Pt Molate Casino Alternatives
Pt MolateRichmond is now going through the motions of soliciting alternative uses for Point Molate.  A consultant ($50,000) is gathering and evaluating alternatives.  Add to that the thousands of dollars for the salaries of city legal and administrative staffs.  It is money wasted to cover the rear ends of city council people who back the casino project.
The reality of this solicitation process came through at the first workshop on Wednesday August 4.
Although the consultants were supposed to be soliciting alternative uses they made no provision for  usable maps of the  area. They made no arrangements for people to have access to the area.  Instead they made clear that alternatives that would pass their preliminary qualifications had to show that they were "financially feasible", implying that any project had to be without city funds. As one person commented at the hearing, the criteria virtually excluded the most likely way that a large public purpose development can take place:  initial seed money from public agencies working with private developers with a long term plan.  Thus the process was wired so that only developer Upstream's Casino proposals would appear to pass financial tests.  See the "idea" form presented at the meeting.  

All proposals that were submitted would be passed on to Upstream and City staff  before being submitted to the City Council. Any business plan for Point Molate that might be  profitable,  or at least financially feasible,  or was just a good idea, would have to be submitted to Upstream for its possible use.  The situation is roughly comparable to the city agreeing tentatively to accept Chrysler's bid for police cars,  but telling people who like to see Ford cars considered as well, that Ford would have to submit its designs to Chrysler for consideration.
Why are we wasting city time and money on this charade?  You can find the answer by watching the city council meeting of May 18.  

The city did not have to extend the LDA.  In fact Mayor McLaughlin had placed an item on the agenda to allow the city to begin to entertain alternative uses for  Point Molate.  But during the previous item on the agenda -extending the LDA for 2 months - council member Viramontes waited until public discussion was closed to make a long confusing amendment to extend the LDA for almost a year. It also created the illusion that the city was going to consider new alternatives by setting up the procedure that put Upstream in the driver's seat.  Viramontes claims to oppose the casino but lately every one of her actions has been to smooth the road for it.  
For more information on the issues concerning the Casino project at point Molate and alternatives see the Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate web site.  

What you can do.

Richmond residents will have the opportunity to cast an advisory vote on whether we want a casino at Point Molate  on November's ballot thanks to a motion at city council by  Butt, Ritterman and McLaughlin.  Most important is to make sure your neighbors understand what is really going on and vote against the Casino in November. 

You can also write letters or call city council members and tell them that you want a process to consider alternative uses for Pt. Molate based on balanced criteria which includes traffic, social impact, and the environment and which allows other developers to present their own proposals.  

-Mike Parker 

Supporting Richmond Police and Chief Magnus


While any death is too much and we still have a long way to go to make Richmond safe,  KTVU reports a dramatic drop in Richmond's violent crime, noting a 10% decrease overall and a 22% decline in the Central District. Homicides have dropped 60% so far in 2010, and gunshots are down 37%. Click here to view the news report.

 Click here for the We Support Richmond web site.  

Why Are  Property Taxes Too High?
Because corporations don't pay their share.
We keep hearing the trickle-down economic theories:  "Make things good for businesses and that will bring us all prosperity."  But three decades of  this policy have only made things worse.  Your proportion of the property tax burden (blue) is going up, while theirs (red) goes way down.   For possible solutions see the next story.  

Tax shift
See the May 2010 report (click here),
System Failure: California's Loophole- Ridden Commercial Property Tax
prepared by the
California Tax Reform Association (CTRA) , in collaboration with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).
Tuesday, August 10th  11:00
RICHMOND:  12121 San Pablo (near Macdonald)
Bank graphicJoin community groups, faith based groups, unions and others as we take action in over 20 cities across the state to hold the big banks accountable for their role in our state's fiscal crisis. 
The Big Banks must stop gouging California tax-payers, end the Foreclosure Crisis and start helping fix California's budget crisis by paying their fair share!
California must make the big banks pay their fair share, beginning with:
  •  * Passage of AB 2492 which closes loopholes in commercial property tax law so that the banks and private equity firms pay the level of property taxes that they should;
  • Canceling or renegotiating Interest Rate Swaps that are costing cities and other government agencies millions of extra dollars we cannot afford to lose;
  • Stopping avoidable foreclosures - making the banks offer permanent fair loan modifications that include reducing principal to the current market value of the home;
  • We are calling on all banks to bundle their foreclosed properties and to sell them to the City of Richmond, a community land trust and nonprofit housing developers at a reduced price which subtracts repair costs and developer fees.
It's Time to Demand that the Big Banks Do Their Part and Help Put Californians Back to Work
For more information contact  John at ACCE  510-866-5032


Mavi Marmara wikipedia
Mavi Marmara
From Richmond to  Palestine

Thursday, August 12

Richmond Civic Center Library


Kathy Sheetz and Paul Larudee,   Richmond residents who were on the 2010 flotilla that was assaulted and seized by Israeli commandos will share their stories.



Rev. Phil Lawson, former pastor of Easter Hill United Methodist Church, Richmond

Nadeen Elshorafa, youth organizer from Gaza

Veronoica Hernandez, participant in West Bank youth delegation 2009 


Light refreshments


Sponsored by:  Middle East Study Group of Contra Costa County, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Free Palestine Movement, Macehualli, West County Toxics Coalition, International Solidarity Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace/Bay Area, American Muslims for Palestine, Middle East Children's Alliance, Students for Justice in Palestine, Bay Area Women in Black, Haiti Action Committee, Palestinian Youth Network


For more info call:  Marilyn Langlois - 510-232-4493

Michael Moore's  Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore: CapitalismWednesday August 18  7 pm

RPA office 317 11th St


In this well-known film Michael Moore goes into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down. He  goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC, Wall Street,  and elsewhere.  More information about the film is available here.    


This free film show is cosponsored by the Richmond Progressive Alliance  and the Peace & Freedom Party, Contra Costa County Central Committee


Download the full flyer for forwarding
For more information call Tarnel Abbot at 510-910-4510  or RPA 510-412-2260
SF Mime TroupeWed. , August 25  6 pm 
S.F. Mime Troupe
Anywhere, USA: another American factory is closing its doors, and on the final day of work, one tired employee sits down on the job. "Oh no, a worker sit-in, an occupation!" thinks the hapless Boss. Actually, the tired employee's just gone into labor - no pun intended - but before anyone can stop to think twice, the work force IS occupying the factory. Will these accidental organizers make the most of their plight? Can they successfully save their jobs without being tainted by - shudder - politics? And what can they learn from Mexican telenovelas and the workers of Argentina? Stay tuned to see what is . . . possible!
A Richmond presentation  by the San Francisco MIME Troup
Wednesday, August 25
6:00 p.m. - Music
6:30 p.m. - Play begins
Richmond Civic Center (stage will be at Nevin Street end of the plaza)
Ticket Info: FREE (donation)
For more info and other dates and places  see the SF MimeTroupe website
Climate Education and Action 
CBE Forum  on Public Health and Climate Action
Saturday, August 28,   12 - 3pm
 St. Marks Gym,  159 Harbour Way
RPA Activist LogoBig Oil and Creative Nonviolent Action Mass Teach-In  
Sunday, August 29  1- 4pm
Frank Ogawa Plaza, near 14th St & Broadway (12th St BART), Oakland
Big Oil March and Nonviolent Direct Action 
Monday, August 30,  11:30am
Justin Herman Plaza (Embarcadero BART), SF
For more info contact

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 the 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.


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