RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #56August 8, 2011

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Saffron Strand Picnic
Effectively dealing with Homelessness
SAFE Fields Celebration 8/24
No Pollution Trading in Sacramento 8/24
Chevron's Profits
Black Brown Unity
 To have an item listed send it to

Saffron Strand Picnic Saturday,  

August 13  

Saffron Strand Picnic

Miller-Knox Park


For full-sized leaflet click here 


Please register in advance tiffany@saffronstrand.org 



A different and effective approach to homelessness

The Saffron Strand Model

Tiffanny Scott Conventional public and charity services address the homeless person's immediate problems, for example food, shelter, life-threatening disease or injury.  This approach is appropriate and effective on an emergency basis. However, if solving these immediate problems is all that happens, then the homeless person's risk of dependency on emergency services grows. Over time, the homeless person can develop "learned helplessness" and become conditioned to survive at a subsistence level in the care of others.

Meeting the basic needs of the homeless for food, shelter, and health care remains critical. However, overcoming the degradation, humiliation, ill-health effects, and stigma of homelessness requires a higher purpose to which both the homeless and those who would help them can commit. For Saffron Strand members, that higher purpose is economic independence and self-reliance through work: Work that makes use of individual learned skills and personal talents and that has the potential to earn a paycheck or generate income from legitimate enterprise. In focusing on work, the Saffron Strand Model emphasizes and enhances a homeless person's individual strengths, without ignoring personal challenges such as a criminal record, substance abuse problems, etc.

Saffron Strand, Inc. is the Richmond-based 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization which builds the employability and increases the employment of homeless adults in Richmond and other Contra Costa communities. Our homeless members join an intentional community dedicated to improving the life, social, and vocational skills of individual members, thereby empowering them to achieve and sustain gainful employment or a successful micro enterprise.

How We Do It
click here for rest of article  plus information on Saffron Strand Conference and RPA Homelessness Committee 
SAFE COalition Flyer

For full-sized leaflet in English click here

For full-sized leaflet in Spanish click here

No Profits from Pollution 

Campaign Against "CAP and Trade"

Environmental groups are organizing a campaign against so called "Cap and Trade" a plan that means more pollution in our communities, more environmental racism,  and climate disaster even while pretending to address these issues. And it stands to create huge profits from pollution for some industries.


The campaign is possible because Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith, in response to a suit brought by environmental groups, ruled that the California Air Resources Board can not implement Cap and Trade because it did not properly consider the alternatives.


The campaign directly targets the Air Resources Board and Governor Brown who can instruct the Board, to pursue the alternatives.


Send and email or card to Jerry Brown.


Hold the Date August 24 for a Bus trip to Sacramento to testify at the Air Resources Board. (Details will come soon.)


For more information check out Coalition for a Better Environment's fact sheet and website


While foreclosures and unemployment and service cuts  

Chevron Profits UP
Chevron reported second-quarter profits of $7.73 billion thanks to high oil and gas prices. The company's "downstream" operations, which includes refining, improved 7%.
African American and Latina/o Unity

By Joe Navarro
BlackCommentator.com Guest Commentator  

 It has been eight years since Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez drafted the letter titled, "Open Letter to African Americans From Latinos," which was co-signed by 43 Latina and Latino activists, nationally. This historic letter made a call to strengthen African American and Latina/o unity, and challenged the attempts by the government and media to stir division among people by using the census information that declared Latinos as surpassing African Americans as the largest ethnic minority. I was a co-signer to that letter because I firmly believe that an alliance of our peoples can make a significant contribution to expanding democracy and achieving social justice in America.

African Americans and Latinas/os have shared a common history, being subjected to racism, discrimination and violations of human rights, but they also share a common vision for justice and equality. As I reflect on this, I am reminded of being awakened politically and philosophically as a result of the civil rights movement, Black Power Movement and Chicano Movement. As a teenager in San Francisco in the late 1960s I was influenced by the struggles of people to end police brutality, poverty and racism.


I remember when seven Latino youth were hunted by police, jailed and portrayed as thugs in the media as they were falsely accused of killing a cop. The community responded spontaneously and protested the arrests and a committee was formed to free "Los Siete de la Raza." After an 18-month legal battle and street demonstrations the seven Latinos were acquitted and it was believed that one cop, who had a history of brutality against Latinos, was trying to pistol-whip the youths and accidently shot his own partner.


The Black Panther Party immediately recognized the injustice that was perpetuated by the police, because African Americans suffered the same brutality. The Black Panther Party allowed the newly formed group to free Los Siete to use The Black Panther newspaper to spread its message.


See full article in Black Commentator


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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