RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #66February 14, 2012

Join Our Mailing List


Facebook: Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Signature Drive for Millionaires Tax
Council Endorses Millionaires Tax Campaign
Campaign Information
Support Chief Magnus
Keep Adult Education
Paul Robeson - Black History Month
Help on Operating Your Own Business
CONTEST: Millionaires Tax Message
Identifying Corporate Owners
We Love You, Richmond

 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260

Let's create our own possibilities

Millionaire  Tax  

Signature Drive is on

At last we have the petitions.  Important organizations like the California Nurses Association and AFSCME District Council 57 have come on board.  


Independent polls show that 70% of California voters  support this measure--more than other ballot measures.


Statewide, we need 550,000 valid signatures turned in by April 20. That means we need to collect between 800,000 to a million signatures.


What you can do  

  1. Sign the petition.  Come by the office.1021 Macdonald.  You can register to vote at the office if you are not currently registered.   
  2. Circulate petitions and get them signed. Call or come by to the RPA office and get a brief training and pick up petitions to circulate where you work, where you shop, or where you meet people. Office is open weekdays 2-6 pm and Saturdays 9:30am to 1pm plus other times. 
  3. Join us on Saturday morning to help canvas areas of the city. We meet 9:30 to 10 at the office for coffee and then go out.
  4. Let us know of events where it would be good to have signature gatherers. Call the office at 510-412-2260  
  5. Help in the office during the week with phoning and data entry.
  6. Write letters to blogs , to newspapers. Get the facts. Download the fact sheet or the comparison sheets here.
  7. Explain to people why the Millionaires tax is so much better than Brown's tax proposal. Browns proposal is temporary, includes a highly regressive sales tax, and hardly touches the millionaires. It does not seek to shift back the unfair tax structure and thus reinforces it. See below for where you can get facts. 
  8. Add your name to the state-wide movement to get updates.  Click here  
  9. Enter the Cartoon Caption Contest.  See below 
A little involvement by you can make a big difference.
15 RPAers turned out at 6:45.  Honking horns and waves showed very strong support. We had great fun. (photo: Michael Beer)

City Council Endorses Millionaires Tax

The Richmond became the first city in the state to endorse the Millionaires Tax when the City Council voted for a resolution by Councilmembers Ritterman, Butt, and Rogers to endorse the state-wide effort to place this initiative on the California ballot in November.  The vote was  six for the resolution with Booze abstaining.

Public comment and Council statements on this resolution discussed issues of equality,  overwhelming popular support, and the benefits that would come to Richmond.  Kathleen Wimer explained it this way:


When I grew up in the Midwest, it was well known that California had the best schools in the country and the best roads in the country.


Since having chosen to reside here, I see what has been evident for too long: California's schools and roads are far from the best in the country, and it's a shame.


That's why California needs this Millionaires' Tax and does not need Governor Jerry Brown's proposed tax initiative.

  • For one thing - the Millionaires' Tax would be permanent. California's problems are not temporary as would be the governor's tax initiative.
  • For another thing - as the thief, Willie Sutton, said when asked why he robbed banks, "That's where the money is."

Likewise, the Millionaires' Tax is the one proposal that taxes only people with money - people whose income exceeds a million a year - and will not cost Richmond citizens a penny (unless Richmond has more millionaires than we know). The governor's proposal - in part - relies on a regressive sales tax that would cost rich and poor alike.


Richmond needs the revenues the Millionaires' Tax would generate for schools, social services, safety, and roads.

Campaign Information

At the RPA Office, 1021 Macdonald,  510-412-2260
  2 pm - 6 pm  M-Fri    9:30 am - 1 pm
  • Petitions for circulating
  • Training on petition circulation
  • Fact Sheets
  • Voter Registration Forms

On Line

Race-bias charges

Support Police Chief Magnus  


The race-bias trial against the city and Police Chief Chris Magnus has been on since mid-January and may go as much as another two months. It has cost the city millions and has had the police department in turmoil for the past several years.

Chief Magnus
Chief Magnus  
photo: Joseph Schell in EastBay Express  article 

And we always take race-bias charges very seriously.


 Here is how the Contra Costa Times summarizes the trial:

MARTINEZ -- Either a group of black police managers is trying to burn a reform-minded boss, or the chief of police in one of the Bay Area's most diverse cities is a racist.

Those were the competing narratives laid out Tuesday in a race-bias lawsuit that has dogged the Richmond Police Department for five years.

Attorneys for the seven black police managers who are plaintiffs painted Chief Chris Magnus and his now-retired second-in-command Lori Ritter as racists who created a work environment reminiscent of the Jim Crow South.

The city's defense team characterized the plaintiffs as liars bent on sabotaging their new chief because of his insistence on making upper-level management conform to his progressive, community-oriented plan for the department.


In our view Chief Magnus has done an exemplary job of reorganizing a troubled and often corrupt police department into one which uses an effective model of community policing, rightfully promotes minorities into positions of real influence in our diverse community, and has established an open relationship with the community. He has made these strides against  internal cliques in the police department which resisted reorganization and whose concern seems protection of exceptionally high salaries including overtime for some at the expense of others. We got a taste of this with the racist political mailings of 2008, and the disgusting personal attacks on candidates McLaughlin and Beckles in 2010 sponsored by the Richmond Police Officers Association (another clique in the department).


In this world the law mandates the police with protecting the status quo and those in power. There have been issues when we disagree with Chief Magnus and the RPD, but we have always found him to be principled, fair, and willing to listen. He always looks for solutions that move Richmond forward.  


Because the City is involved in the suit, City staff and Council members cannot speak out on the issues in the trial. But we believe that community members should show their support for Chief Magnus.
Chief Magnus will be on the stand this week Tuesday through Thursday and probably next week also.  Hours are 9:30 to Noon  and 1:30 to 4:30.

725 Court Street, Department 17  


The trial is open and one way we can show support is by being in the court room. Many community members have already showed their support by sitting on the side of the courtroom behind the defense table.  The press has noticed this support.  


The trial itself is very interesting both in how its conducted and the content.  You can learn a lot about Richmond and  different views of policing. There is security at the court house and you will have to go through metal detectors.


You can add your voice and support to the discussion by posting comments to articles in the Contra Costa Times or the Richmond Confidential



There is also a website run by supporters of Chief Magnus that contains details of his accomplishments as Police Chief. You can put copies of your statement of support on a newly developed "Testimonial" page. www.WeSupportRichmond.com


-Mike Parker
-Courtney Cummings


Dear concerned,

I was at the trial of Chief Magnus today in Martinez.  It makes a huge difference for folks to come to the trial and to sit on the defense side of the courtroom.

I urge everyone who can to come to the trial tomorrow and early next week while Chief Magnus is on the stand to show your support. 

In partnership,  

-Jeff Ritterman 


Recent News Coverage


East Bay Express   2/9, 1/9

Contra Costa Times 2/102/9

San Francisco Chronicle 2/10, 2/9

Richmond Confidential  2/10, 2/9

KQED Radio 2/10 Blog

Adult Education Needs Support


Communities Organized to Support Adult School (COSAS) encourages supporters of adult education to come to tomorrow's Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, February 15 at 6:30 pm at LoVonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 MacDonald Ave.  The agenda for the meeting can be viewed at www.wccusd.net.


There are two important action items on the agenda: a resolution to reduce certain services  and a renewal of the parcel tax.  The resolution to reduce services is a routine step the board must take before issuing layoff notices, and we need to listen for any discussion around adult education that goes on there.  We also need to listen to discussion around the parcel tax.


Our opportunity to speak will most likely come during the regular public comment period, before the action items are discussed, but since they will be discussing possible reductions, it's important for us to demonstrate that public support for adult education is still strong.  


If you plan to come to the meeting, please let me know by way of an email or phone call so we can get an idea of how many people will be coming.  

Please contact me if you have any questions.

-Kristen Pursley


(510) 387-6357 (cell)

Paul RobesonPaul Robeson

Black History Month presentation at the Iron Triangle

Neighborhood Council meeting


Thursday, Feb 16,  6 pm, Nevin Center

featuring "Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist"


29-minute documentary, narrated by Sidney Poitier, made in 1979, winner of Academy Award OSCAR for Best Documentary, traces Robeson's career through his activism and his socially charged performances of his signature song, Ol' Man River

"All that Paul Robeson stood for had enormous impact on American and global history. The combination of his art, intellect and humanity was rarely paralleled. The cruelties visited upon him by the power of the State stands as a great blemish on the pages of American history. But despite the attempt to wipe him from memory, he has endured and continues to influence. It speaks to our most strategic interests that African American children be instructed about the truth of his existence. Indeed it would be in the best interest of all Americans to know what this great patriot offered this nation."  ....Harry Belafonte, on the occasion of Paul Robeson's 110th Birthday, April 9, 2008

ANSWERS on Operating Your Own Business 


If you've ever thought about operating a food business, here's a free workshop that could save you countless hours and headaches, offered right here at the Richmond Library.  Register now!  For more information, contact Terry Baird at weownourjobs@gmail.com.


Legal Eats

Time for the 99% to show our strength

Help Put the Tax on Millionaires on the Ballot    





Fill in any or all of the balloons or provide a caption for the drawing. Send to RPAActivst@gmail.com by February 20.

Prize: The original cartoon in color signed by David Moore and you. 




Valentines Day

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.


Richmond Progressive Alliance | P.O. Box 160 | Station A | Richmond | CA | 94808