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Issue: # 32September 17, 2010
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Jobs or Bogus Politics
Phoning for Jobs
Jobs in a NON-Development
WPA Jobs Resolution
Are Co-ops Part of the Answer?
Ritterman: Understanding the World
Buttons/Signs Show Support
Phone Banks Start
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Jobs or Bogus Politics 

Without a job you can't feed your family. Without jobs we can't get to the root causes of crime and despair. Providing good jobs is the priority of everyone who cares about working people and our community.
The problem is that "Jobs" has also become the mantra for people who could not care less about working people or their communities. The Chamber of Commerce endorses  millionaire Republican Meg Whitman who says her campaign is about providing jobs. But her policies destroy unions, pensions, medical care, and social security, and now California's clean air laws.

Here in Richmond we have the same kind of politics.  Developers, the Chamber and many candidates  wrap themselves in a "Jobs" fig leaf while pushing programs good for corporations and harmful to the the community.

The Casino debate contains  the most in-your-face and exaggerated  promises of  jobs that won't materialize. We have answered these claims in the ballot statements and will cover them again.
In this issue of the newsletter we draw attention to some of the other bogus claims of "jobs" to justify almost anything. We suggest that the economy is in a national crisis and that we must look beyond Richmond for solutions. We demand that the Federal government enact programs similar to those in the 1930s and restart the economy by rebuilding the infrastructure.
New Models for Job Creation

We also want to start a discussion about new models of job creation that we can do locally.  Exciting possibilities include organized co-operatives which are growing elsewhere.  That discussion starts below.

In coming newsletters we will cover some of the real possibilities we have in Richmond for attracting and building on the growing green economy such as producing hydrogen from renewable sources and building flexible mass transit.

Phoning for Jobs 

angry phonePhone campaigns are a part of election season. But notice the difference.
The calls you receive from the RPA are made by volunteers who give up precious time because they believe in what they are calling about. They are also prepared to discuss issues with you and want to hear what you have to say.

The well-funded campaigns of the establishment candidates  pay telemarketers to do their calling.  Here is how a letter in the Contra Costa Times (9/8) describes one call.
Council race

Last week, I received a campaign telemarketing call that still has my blood boiling.

A man, who said he was calling for the "Jobs Now" campaign, urged me to vote for Ludmyrna Lopez and Maria Viramontes for Richmond City Council.

When I asked if he was a volunteer, he confirmed he was a paid telemarketer. I asked him some questions about Lopez and Viramontes, but he had no knowledge about their positions or platforms.
It is bad enough that these candidates hire telemarketers to reach out to their neighbors, but here's the most outrageous thing: The paid telemarketer was calling from New York. Jobs for Richmond, indeed!
Richmond voters, stick with candidates who can motivate volunteers to get involved -- or at least those who hire all their campaign workers locally.
Deanna Gates Wallis

A second call from Jobs Now  urged support for Nat Bates,  The caller did not know the other candidates for Mayor against Bates and refused to say in what city she lived.
Help in our campaign by joining one of our phoning sessions and talking to your neighbors about what is really happening in Richmond.  Wednesday evening or Thursday evening.  

Claiming Jobs in a NON-Development 
Recently Richmond residents received a mailing complaining about  the threat to 550 jobs if the city council were to rezone property on the north shore of Richmond. The reality is that no jobs are at stake because there is no planned development.  This fuss is all about boosting value for land speculators who bought the land hoping for a big profit on resale.
The issue is well summed up in a letter to City Council 8/27: 
Dear Members of the City Council:
On Wednesday, I received a flyer from the "North Shore Coalition" asking me, as a Richmond resident, to "protect jobs and open-space."  Thursday evening I received a call from someone asking if I had received the flyer and asking for my support.  What they wanted was for me to oppose the proposal to down zone the industrial properties referenced above, and to support the idea that the City council get the property owner's permission prior to making any zoning changes.  
I vehemently oppose this idea, If the Council had to get the property owner's permission prior to changing the zoning, then the Council essentially cedes their zoning authority to the landowners. 
The landowners claim to be protecting jobs and open space.  What types of jobs are they talking about, and when might they come into existence?  There is already vacant warehouse and office space in Richmond; there is no need to develop more warehouses and offices when there is no demand for it.  And when the economy improves and demand for commercial and industrial space picks up, there are other sites in Richmond which would be far more appropriate for this type of use.   
I support the proposal to re-zone the property as open space.  The site is adjacent to tidal marsh and could potentially be restored as either marsh or upland habitat.  Given climate change and the potential for sea level rise, this site could either be inundated or require public subsidies, in the form of levees and other shoreline protective measures, to protect it from inundation. Does Richmond expect to have the funds to spend on this type of project?
In conclusion, I have no sympathy for land speculators who expect to be able to build a project in an inappropriate location.  I urge the Council to not give in to the owners phony "Coalition" and to do the right thing to protect Richmond's shoreline and re-zone the area for open space.
Robert Solotar
Bay Area native and resident in the Richmond Annex for 12 years
This so-called plea to save jobs is really a campaign piece and part of the attack on Gayle and her supporters.  The Richmond Development Corporation is a major contributor to a number of campaigns:
* $2,500 to Maria Viramontes
* $2,500 to Nat Bates
* $2,500 to Jim Rogers
* $2,500 to Ludmyrna Lopez
Guess how these candidates stand on any consideration of rezoning. 
City Endorses NAACP, AFL-CIO  Campaign
Resolution for a Federal Works Program
PainterMayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jeff Ritterman sponsored a resolution at the Council's September 7  meeting calling on Congress and President Obama to deliver a new "New Deal" with the creation of a Public Works Program to provide jobs for the millions of unemployed American workers and fix public infrastructure in cities and counties throughout the nation.
Unemployment and foreclosure that we face in Richmond are fundamentally national economic problems and require action at that level.  Unfortunately the country has been either mesmerized or frightened by the Tea Party movement and all federal efforts have been blocked. The resolution puts Richmond with others who are willing to stand up against the new right wing and to press for real programs to restart the economy.  

Resolution acknowledging the 75th anniversary of the Works Progress Administration (WPA);

calling on President Obama and Congress to deliver a real WPA program;
and supporting the goals of the October 2nd, 2010 March on Washington: Jobs, Economic Security, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a Safe and Renewable Energy Policy, and a Reversal of National Priorities from Making Wars to Meeting Human Needs
The resolution passed unanimously although Bates and Viramontes used the discussion  to launch political attacks on the Mayor.
See the Council Session  Click on Item I
 Paving the Way

Worker Cooperatives in Richmond?

Co-opers visit Eco VillageWhat if people who need a job got together, pooled their skills, secured funding and technical assistance from a variety of available sources, collaborated with labor unions, and formed democratically run, worker-owned cooperatives?

There are worker co-ops in other parts of the world, nation and Bay Area, and the time is ripe to bring them to Richmond as a worker empowerment-based model of economic development and job creation.  Mayor McLaughlin intends to pursue this strategy during her next four years in office.  She was invited to attend a seminar in Mondragon, Spain in mid-September to learn about the expansive Mondragon worker-owned cooperatives, which have flourished for over 50 years in what was once an empoverished region with high unemployment.

As a prelude to this seminar, the Mayor asked me to attend on her behalf a conference of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, in Berkeley in August.

Click here for full story                                              by Marilyn Langlois
Jeff Ritterman: Understanding the World
Why the Big Lie About the Job Crisis?  And the $10 Trillion Answer 
by Les Leopold
As election campaigns in Richmond heat up there will be no lack of discussion and finger pointing concerning our unemployment woes.  But to really understand our problem, one has to understand the big picture.  This article helps a lot.
As a result of a regressive tax structure, greed, and financial deregulation the money and wealth in the US has migrated to the top 1%. This 1% can only buy so many yachts and other luxury items. The remaining 99% will not consume goods without a steady income. Businesses will not invest and expand without assurance of future sales. The economy is essentially at a standstill.
There are so many things we need to put people to work to do---rebuilding our infrastructure, promoting public art, developing real local alternatives to industrial agriculture, weatherizing and solarizing our homes and businesses to name just a few.
We have the trained workforce in Richmond to do much of this.  We need the federal government to invest in the future of our city and our nation.

Our community must understand the roots of the current economic crisis.  We need to educate ourselves and each other about these complex issues and we need to build a grassroots movement for change based on that understanding.  

No one will save us but ourselves.  Read the Article
Behind Prop 23
It seems that two Texas Oil Giants, Tesoro and Valero  which are bankrolling Prop 23 to undo California's landmark climate protection legislation (AB 32) have been joined by Kansas Oil Barons,  and billionaires, the Koch Brothers. (See)
For years the Koch Brothers have been funding those who deny the reality of climate change. ( See)

Now they have thrown their dirty dollars into Prop 23 coffers in order to prevent a social response to climate change.
These people have put personal greed ahead of saving our planet.

Vote NO on Prop 23 in November.   Read more.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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 headset


            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. 

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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