RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #67February 23, 2012

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March 1 March for Education
Capitalism Hits the Fan Sunday 7:00
Signature Drive for Millionaires Tax
New Millionaire Tax Walk Cards
MT Campaign Information
Pacific Steel Workers March
Richmond Suppports Pow Wow
Black History through Award Winning Play
Rockets Final Home Game
Truth and Chevron PR
Chevron's Response to Council Message
Conduct at City Council Meetings
Millionaires Tax Contest Extended

 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260

March 1-5

March for Education from Oakland to Sacramento


March for Education  

Join the  March

Here are more details about the 99 mile march and a form to join.   


First leg ends in Richmond on Thursday  evening  March 1

The march begins Thursday, March 1, at 2 pm at Oscar Grant Plaza (14th and Broadway) in Oakland,  makes a stop for a rally in Berkeley and  ends  the day in Richmond.  March from the beginning or plan to join in.  We will send out more details when they area available, but save the date.  


Send-off Rally  Friday March 2 morning  

  Details to be announced    


Housing in Richmond -- Help  

Right now the organizers are looking for a church or similar institution in Richmond that can provide floor space for the marchers to put sleeping bags on Thursday night in Richmond. If you know of a place please call the RPA office 510-412-3673 


If we do not find a large enough space we will  put marchers up in homes.

Let us know if you can put up people in your place (floor space is fine) Your responsibility is to pick them up on Thursday night in Richmond, provide breakfast on Friday morning and get them to the  Richmond Rally.  Call the RPA office 510-412-3673 


Sunday, February 26,  7:00 p.m.  

Capitalism Hits the Fan

Richard Wolff on the Economic Meltdown


economics graphWith breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself.


Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown.  


By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic frame, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government "bailouts," stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis - in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes. Richly illustrated with motion graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction designed to help ordinary citizens understand, and react to, the unraveling economic crisis. 2009  57 min. http://rdwolff.com/




Free Film Screening - Discussion to follow

Richmond Progressive Alliance 1021 Macdonald Ave.  


Light refreshments will be served   


Sponsored by Richmond Progressive Alliance, Peace & Freedom Party, Contra Costa Central Committee, Librarians for Intellectual Freedom


Back SignMillionaires Tax  

If you don't want corporations to control political choices, then you have to put in some time yourself.  


Collect signatures at shopping centers, public events and in your neighborhood.


We have some new tools for Millionaires Tax  Gatherers

(available at the office  -- some assembly required)

Clip Boards

Signs to wear on your back

Large Labels for your clipboard so people know what you are about/

New Walk cards are available for the Millionaires Tax  (see below)
Fact Sheets in Spanish and English

We need more people to carry petitions and get signatures at meetings or events they attend.  If you are not already an official circulator please come by the RPA office  Large Label(1021 Macdonald  2pm - 6pm) to sign the required statement and get petitions,

You must be a registered voter to circulate the petitions.

We finally have enough petitions,  Everyone should take 10 or more since you can only get 10 signatures on each and need a separate one for each county.  Petitions are available at the office.

and we are still doing  


Every Saturday  9:30 -1 

(meet at the office for coffee  1021 Macdonald)   

MT walk card
Campaign Information

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

On Line
Note; Half of the workers fired from Pacific Steel live in Richmond and San Pablo. Mayor McLaughlin has been active in raising support for them.

Immigrant Steel Workers March Against Unjust FiringsPacific Steel Workers

photo-essay by David Bacon, Truthout

Berkeley, California - Two hundred immigrant workers, their wives, husbands, children and hundreds of supporters marched through downtown Berkeley February 17, protesting their firing from Pacific Steel Castings, one of the city's largest employers. Starting at City Hall, they walked for an hour past stores and homes, as bystanders often applauded. Teachers and students at a Montessori school along the route even came out to the sidewalk to urge them on.


At a rally before the march started, fired worker Jesus Prado told the assembled crowd, "I worked for Pacific Steel for seven years. We've organized this March for Dignity because we want to stop the way they're stepping on us and treating us like criminals. We came here to work, not to break any laws."


 Click here for full article

Council gives support

Native American Pow Wow Official City Festival


At its meeting on February 21 the City Council voted unanimously to support the Native American Pow Wow. In doing so, the council continued its tradition of supporting festivals that celebrate the diversity of Richmond. The motion, introduced by Mayor McLaughlin, was presented by Native American activist, Courtney Cummings who explained the importance of the Pow Wow in the Native American culture, and the role it can play in educating the rest of us about the culture. Several speakers pointed out that the term "Native American" includes many indigenous tribes and individuals living in countries throughout the western hemisphere, not just in the U.S.


Bottom left to right-Michael Horse-Artist, Native American Hollywood star, a regular in  TV and Hollywood movies. Pennie Opal-Native Business Owner of "Gathering Tribes" in Albany. Courtney Cummings, Daniel Larve-AIM West SF, Tony Gonzalez-AIM West SF Director, back row, Marilyn Langlois, Jose Rivera, Eduardo Martinez,  Johnny Cummings, and  Isabella Zizi, and Malina Maravilla next generation of fighters for rights of peoples.

Richmond's East Bay Center for Performing Arts is presenting a national award winning play written and performed by a Center member.


East Bay Center presents W. Allen Taylor's phenomenal one-may play "In Search of My Father...Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins." The play recalls Taylor's adventurous search for his absent father Bill Hawkins, the first black disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio. The 90-minute show follows the inspiring and heartwarming true story of Taylor's journey of self-discovery and destiny as he performs a range of richly defined characters. Taylor is one of the teachers at the East Bay Center

Friday, February 17 to Sunday, March 4, 2012


More about the play 


Click here for MORE INFO and to PURCHASE TICKETS


Not to be Missed

--Margaret Jordan  


After the show on Sunday afternoon February 26,  stay for desert from the Blackberry Soul Bakery and Café, brought to you by Richmond Mainstreet    


Final Home Game  Friday 3/2  7:30

Richmond Rockets   

Play East Bay Pit Bulls


At an upcoming  Council meeting there will be a proposal for Richmond to help support the Rockets.  


The Rockets are a great addition to Richmond and they are doing so well. But it takes time for a team to develop a base to provide adequate financial support.   The team makes a great use of the Auditorium and Rocket games are a place where the diversity of the city comes together


Chevron has PR Money... but it can't hide
Leaflet distributed at SF Symphony

Chevron's Response to Council t  


On February 7 the Council passed a resolution in support of the Chevron workers. A number of questions came up about Chevron's hiring policy and its commitment to safety when it was planning to hire scab workers to try to run the plant if experienced workers went on strike.    Here is Chevron's letter in response to issues raised at the Council meeting 


Richmond City Councilmembers,


Following the Tuesday, February 7, City Council meeting, I wanted to personally follow up with you to answer some questions that were brought up during the meeting that may not have been fully answered to your satisfaction.


The number of Chevron Richmond employees who live in the City of Richmond was one of the questions asked during the meeting. At this time, 6.9% of our employees - 154 employees - live in Richmond. As Richmond's largest employer, we continue our efforts to hire qualified Richmond residents for refinery jobs. We are committed to helping create short- and long-term employment opportunities for Richmond. Just like other employers in Richmond, including the City, we strive to make Richmond a place where employees and contractors are proud to call home. These jobs are good paying and most employees tend to enjoy long careers with Chevron.


We understand that 154 employees is not good enough, and we are currently working on a plan to help increase this number. For example, we are working with contractors to highlight the benefits of hiring locally. Additionally, we are strengthening the training-to-jobs pipeline by working with local nonprofit training organizations. I know that we have a ways to go to increase this number, but I want you to know that this issue is a priority for us. I anticipate that I will be able to share more details on our plan with you in the coming months.


Another point of discussion during the meeting was Chevron's commitment to safety. I want to reiterate to you that safety is a core value for all employees at Chevron. Chevron's culture includes 10 Tenets of Operation that have become a part of our fabric since the mid 1990's. The tenets are codes of conduct that all employees and contractors use and that supervisors and managers reinforce. The tenets are based on two key principles: Do it safely or not at all; and There is always time to do it right.


Maintaining world class mechanical integrity of our piping, equipment and machinery is critical to the health and safety of our employees and our neighbors. It's the foundation for excellent environmental performance and it supports our business goals of being a reliable supplier of energy products to the U.S. West Coast. The Richmond Refinery employs 31 full-time and state-certified inspectors who staff a proactive and rigorous inspection program. Our inspection program has over 100,000 thickness monitoring locations which are routinely measured and monitored. The refinery also employs 23 full-time analysts and technicians who develop and monitor preventative maintenance programs and asset reliability strategies for our machinery, instrumentation, electrical equipment and control systems.

Additionally, at Chevron, every employee and contractor has the right to stop unsafe work through stop work authority without any repercussions. We positively recognize those who exercise this authority to underscore its importance and our aim to confront any problem immediately. In fact, in my monthly updates to Refinery employees, I thank each individual by name who initiated stop work authority.


As you know, we have reached a mutually acceptable tentative agreement with employees who are represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) union. An area both sides definitely agreed on is safety. The USW have raised Process Safety as a key issue for their National Labor Negotiations Campaign and the Richmond Refinery is pleased that they did! It was almost 20 years ago that the OSHA sponsored Process Safety Management Requirements (PSM) were adopted at the Refinery and we have been working to continuously improve all aspects of PSM ever since.


Over 10 years ago, Richmond became the first West Coast refinery to adopt the Union developed and Company supported Safety program called TOP - the Triangle Of Prevention. The TOP program utilizes two fulltime USW representatives with joint management and union investigators to help drive what the USW refers to as the "Systems of Safety." The refinery also has two full time union selected Health and Safety Representatives who devote all of their energy to personal and process safety issues. The TOP representatives and Health and Safety representatives are all members of Joint Union Management Committees on Health, Personal Safety, & Process Safety. In addition, we also have four positions filled by union members doing process safety work for the refinery.


I, as well as my leadership team, remain committed to an injury and incident free facility for the entire workforce and our community. If there are any additional questions you have, or if you wish to discuss anything further, please feel free to give me a call.  


All my best,

Nigel Hearne

General Manager, Richmond Refinery


Conduct at City Council Meetings.

As you probably have observed and/or heard, some Council meetings have included attacks on RPA Councilmembers as well as the RPA and made it very difficult for business to proceed and for the Mayor to keep order.


The RPA steering committee adopted the following statement which was handed out  and read during open forum at the Council meeting on Tuesday, February 21.

The Richmond Progressive Alliance believes that City Council meetings should be models of democratic debate that we are proud for ourselves, our children, our city employees, and others inside and outside our community to watch.  

Richmond is becoming a leader among cities for being responsive to the needs of its residents.   In order to conduct the people's business, City Council meetings should be orderly, fair, and respectful places.  This can only happen when all City Council members and audience members adopt a cooperative rather than combative attitude and adhere to the rules by which the Council operates.

To this end, the RPA expresses appreciation to audience members and public speakers as well as council members  who abide by time limits, speak on topic, avoid disruptive language, and refrain from calling out from the audience, and we invite all members of the public to commit to doing so at all meetings.




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 March 20.

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




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