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Issue: # 40November 27, 2010

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Next Tasks for a Better Richmond
Global Warming Teach-In 12/1
Election Celebration Party
Jeff Ritterman: Under Siege
Honoring Fred Jackson
Richmond Turns Corner
Chevron's Funny Ads
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Next Tasks for a Better Richmond

The election is over. It would be tempting to take a break and return to our "normal lives" --let our good elected officials take care of business. But it won't work that way. Richmond still faces huge challenges from a national economy which is still in the tank, racism that is embedded in our society, the crime and social problems that result from huge inequality, and the misplaced priorities of war.


At the same time the defenders of the old guard in Richmond are making clear that they will continue their battle. The Casino developers are pushing forward and leaders of the defeated campaigns are claiming that the elections really show that it is they who have popular support.


A good city council is only part of the solution. Progress in Richmond requires us to keep working at it block-by-block, issue-by-issue. The RPA is re-gearing to meet this new challenge. On November 18th more than 50 activists from the campaign met to evaluate the election and talk about next steps in Richmond. Richmond already has a good system of neighborhood councils which should be strengthened. We set up ten issue committees to address different needs in our community.


Currently the RPA Committees and the initial convenors are:

  • Arts Committee (Gayle McLaughlin)
  • Climate Justice/Environment (Margaret Jordan)
  • Green Campus Jobs Committee (Jeff Ritterman)
  • Recreation Committee (Juan Reardon)
  • Office Committee (Mike Parker)
  • Worker Owned Co-op Committee  (Marilyn Langlois)
  • Culture of Peace Committee (Vivien Feyer)
  • Education Committee (Eduardo Martinez)
  • Pt Molate Committee (Andres Soto)
  • Foreclosure and Homeless Committee (tbd)


You can see more description of these committees here.


We invite you to join our effort. Let us know if you are interested in working on one of these committees. Email us at rpaactivist@gmail.com.

Post Election Meeeting

Wednesday  December 1st  5:30 -8:30 pmDec 7th image
Global Warming         Teach-In
Women's Bldg. 3543 18th St
San Francisco

Join us to understand real community-led solutions in the Bay Area
Child Care and Translation services available.

Community Action on December 7

For more information call 

Reede Stockton



Sponsoring organizations:

Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Center for Political Education, Communities for a Better Environment, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Mobilization for Climate Justice West, Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER), People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Richmond Progressive Alliance, Urban Tilth

 Friday December 10, 7pm - 11pm

Election party FlyerGayle McLaughlin

Jovanka Beckles

Eduardo Martinez

and the RPA invite you to a

Post-Election Celebration Party

Unity Church

351 28th St (Nevin)



Las Bomberas de La Bahia

Afro-Puerto Rican drumming, dancing and singing


Download Flyer 


For more information





Jeff Ritterman:

We are in the midst of the longest war in American history.  The war in Afghanistan is now  the longest war we have fought with bullets and cruise missiles, but its not the war I'm referring to.

The war I'm referring to is THE THIRTY YEARS WAR.  For an entire generation the rich, big business and their handlers and hangers-on have waged a war against the rest of us in America. 


The remarkable thing about this war is that despite a huge number of casualties and unbelievable collateral damage, the war is largely invisible to most Americans.


Consider the carnage:
The US is now the most unequal of the rich countries of the world.  Income inequality correlates with lowered life expectancy, higher infant mortality, more drug use, less trust, more depression, more prisoners, more teen pregnancy, lower scholastic achievement, more obesity.  You name it and it gets worse as we get more unequal....


The question we need to answer...

Consider the evidence...

The culprit is our own government...

Consider for example...
Democrats are at fault too...

Coming home...

Learning, working, creating together...


Fred at Climate Justice
Fred Jackson moved the crowd with his music at Climate Justice Rally 2009
Fred Jackson
Bay Area News Group-East Bay and Comcast, have selected Fred Jackson to celebrate as a Hometown Hero for making a difference in the community.

Indeed Fred stands out  for his vision, his energy, his selflessness, his talent, and his creativity.  Congratulations, Fred. 
Fred at  Election Party 2010
Fred at election party November 2010


Read the full article celebrating Fred in the Contra Costa Times

Election Results Graph by Neighborhood 

Updated Results

 updated figures from the County Clerk's office as of 11/15/10


NAT BATES35.33%7,931
 City Council (Vote For 3)
JIM ROGERS14.34%8,322
GARY BELL7.50%4,355
MYRNA LOPEZ11.86%6,881
HARRY SINGH2.29%1,331
RHONDA F. HARRIS9.18%5,329
Measure U: Casino

Worth Repeating: 

Richmond proves this California city has turned a corner

By Cindy Beitmen
Guest Commentary Contra Costa Times 11/20/2010


I MOVED to Richmond in 2003 during a period of crisis when the city had a multimillion dollar debt and was still suffering under the weight of decades of corruption in the police and city administrations.


As Richmond's bond rating sank, almost every aspect of running the city was negatively impacted. The situation was unbelievably dire, but it was the first time I understood the caring and resiliency of our community.


People of Richmond came together to voice their concerns and their fears in emotionally charged meetings. Despite the hardships, many citizens were willing to volunteer by doing whatever they could to help the city.


Since then, we have had our share of very difficult times, but I now see Richmond as the phoenix rising from the ashes.


The city has a long history of corruption and crime that have left the rest of the Bay Area and beyond with the solidly embedded thought that Richmond is a city that one should be fearful of; a place that should be avoided where crime and corruption are a part of everyday life.

I would encourage all of those who have criticized Richmond in the past to take time to really understand the positive changes in our city before they are so quick to make judgments.


Take, for example, the last election. The police and firefighter's unions, as well as Nat Bates who was running for mayor, decided to take the road well traveled in Richmond's history.


They hired a consultant who found personal information about Mayor Gayle McLaughlin from years back that they chose to make public and used as ammunition for countless mailings.

Most of us received a barrage of robo-calls and e-mails continuing the underhanded tactics of sleazy campaigning that have worked in the past.


I was very fearful that this dirty politics campaign against Mayor McLaughlin would convince the voters to elect a new mayor who freely took contributions from Chevron and developers, stated that he really wasn't concerned about environmental issues, and was a strong proponent of building a mega-casino in Richmond.


When it was announced that McLaughlin had won her re-election, I knew that this was a huge turning point in politics as usual.


I was so proud of McLaughlin for staying true to what she believed in despite anything that was thrown in her path. She has an amazing strength of character that held up against the worst campaign abuse many of us have ever experienced.


Our re-elected mayor can now continue her mission of doing what is best for Richmond and its people. I was proud of our mayor, but realized the overwhelming pride I now have for the people of Richmond who voted out pro-Chevron, pro-casino, pro-corporate contribution candidates and replaced them with a pro-Richmond mayor and City Council.


It was clear that many voters in Richmond saw right through the negative million-dollar campaigning, and realized the virtue in electing candidates who refused all corporate funding and are now beholden to no one except the citizens of Richmond.


The process has been a difficult, uphill battle, but things have changed in our city.


So think before automatically making disparaging comments concerning Richmond and find out the truth about what kind of people and government we now have.


Cindy Beitmen is a resident of Richmond.


We AgreeThe  "We Agree" Ad Series


The Punk Chevron Ad Replies 


Check out the

the Chevron Thinks We're Stupid gallery. and vote.



Also enjoy the  behind the scenes look at  how Chevron must have come up with the "We Agree"  ad series. 



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.


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