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Issue: # 31August 24, 2010
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RPA Office
317 11th St

Chevron End-Run on Pollution
Signs Show Support
Phone Banks Start
Ritterman: Understanding the World
Obama on Corporations in Politics
Mime Troupe in Richmond
Climate Education and Action
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Chevron Tries End-Run Around the Community 

Chevron PollutionChevron is trying to use Sacramento lobbying  to bypass environmental protections for Richmond.

Negotiations are still going on between environmental groups, the city of Richmond and Chevron about protections for restarting the Chevron  expansion project. But  Chevron is now lobbying the state legislature to sneak through a special exemption which allows the giant oil company to do its project without having to file an Environmental Impact Report and reach agreement with the city about environmental protections. 

In  July 2009  a court  ruled that Chevron's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its expansion project was flawed because it did not reveal its true plans for the expansion, Chevron stopped the project instead of submitting a revised EIR or negotiating with the environmental groups. Chevron then appealed and again the Courts ruled that its EIR was seriously flawed noting that Chevron told one thing to its stockholder but another to the community. 

In the last few months a Democratic assemblyman has been serving as a mediator  to find a way  to restart the project.  The city delegation for the mediation includes  Mayor McLaughlin, Vice Mayor  Ritterman,  Council Member Viramontes, the City Manager and City Attorney (see Chevron Loses).  In previous mediation attempts  the environmental groups demonstrated a willingness to try other approaches to protect the community. Chevron has refused to seriously address concerns about community health.

Chevron asks CEQA exemption
Apparently Chevron is trying to bypass these negotiations by asking the legislature for a special exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  This act requires that projects must file and get local community approval of an Environmental Impact Report.  This is the main tool which allows communities to protect their air and water and other environmental conditions.   An exemption for any project should be questionable under any circumstance.  But to give an exemption to a company after judges have ruled that it mislead the public with its report would be  a scandal  and is only possible because Chevron has such deep pockets for politicians.

A number of mainstream environmental organizations like the Planning and Conservation League have drafted letters to send to the leadership of the State legislature asking them to refuse an exemption to Chevron.

Write your legislator and ask that they too refuse to give a free pass to Chevron.  Our air and water and our lives  are too important to trade for Chevron campaign contributions. We don't want a further weakening of the California Environmental Quality Act.  Demand that Chevron come to the negotiating table prepared to negotiate real protections of our air and water and to file a truthful and accurate Environmental Impact Report.

       Mike Parker

 See the LA Times blog on this.

Show Your Support for a Grass Roots Campaign
Available with metal stakes as lawn signs or  window/fence signs
Come by the office (weekdays 2-5pm or Saturday 9am -2pm),
317 11th St. to pick some up for yourself and your neighbors.
Or call  510-412-2260 for delivery.

Make A Difference
We don't take  corporate contributions, we depend on on people like you volunteering to make democracy work.
Phone Banking  With Others

phoneEvery Wednesday  6:30pm - 9pm (starting September 1)

At a location convenient  to South Richmond and Annex

            Phones provided


            Email Kay Wallis  kaywallis@hotmail.com


Every Thursday  6:30pm - 9pm

At RPA office  317 11th Street

            If possible, please bring your cell phone,
           charger, and earphone


            Call 510-412-2260 

Talk to your neighbors
Door-to-Door Every Saturday 9am --2pm  plus...
Our door-to-door is a slow process but it works.  We reach new people and get them involved.
The office is open from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.   The best time to come is  between 9:30 and 10 am  for coffee and  nosh. The candidates are usually there at that time. 317 11th St.   510-412-2260
If you can't come in on Saturday, come in during the week to get the new literature and find out the exciting news.
Remember:  To get this job done we are working every Saturday as a group.  Many of us are also covering our own neighborhoods during the other days.  If you have not picked up walk sheets and literature for your neighborhood call the office to make arrangements. 
Jeff Ritterman: Understanding the World
What have we done in Iraq
There is scientific data showing unequivocally that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq has doubled the rates of poverty and illness.  If the same rate of poverty were present in the US over 120 million of us would be living in slums. 
U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness -- Leaves Country a Total Disaster
By Adil E. Shamoo, Foreign Policy in Focus,  August 22, 2010
Ecological Red
The  twin crises of economic collapse and environmental devastation are the key challenges facing Richmond.  It will be impossible to meet these challenges without radically restructuring just abut everything we do.  The stakes could hardly be higher....the future inhabitatability of the planet for those who come after us.
For the remainder of 2010, the earth is in ecological debt.  We have already used up more resources this year and produced more waste than the earth can handle.
Its a simple calculation.  When we spend more than the interest on our endowment, the principle drops.  Keep doing it year after year and eventually there is no endowment or in the case of the planet, there will be no ecosystem to provide the basics of life.
Please read the article below for the data.  
This is the challenge that is calling out to us.  Will we continue to ignore it and deny the obvious consequences?
We've Gone Into the Ecological Red:
On 21 August our environmental resource budget ran out. Now we're living beyond the planet's means to support us
by Andrew Simms August 23, 2010,  The Guardian/UK
 Obama on Corporations in Politics
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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