RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #68March 8, 2012

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International Womens Day Saturday 10/3
HEIST the Movie 3/23
New Poll: Millionaires Tax is a Winner
Gov Brown Attacks Millionaires Tax
Reich, MoveOn endorse Millionaires Tax
MT Campaign Information
Richmond Part in Education March
Another Casino! Stop it.
Behind the Attacks on the RPA
Millionaires Tax Contest Extended

 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260

International Women's Day

Saturday March 10,  10am - 3pm

Richmond's 5th Annual International Women's Day Celebration:

Int. Womens Day Sisters in Solidarity - Walking for our Beloved Community

 Lovonya DeJean Middle School

3400 Macdonald Ave


  • Keynote Speaker:  Tiny, a.k.a. Lisa Gray-Garcia  co-editor, Poor Magazine and Poor News Network
  • Richmond High School Mexican Dancers
  • Iron Triangle Urban Ballet youth hip hop dance, EBCPA
  • Richmond Writes - youth poetry
  • Richmond resident Kathy Robinson's impressions from recent stay in Africa
  • Ohlone blessing * Zumba * art activity * group oral history * networking


New this year: Solidarity Walk to Civic Center and back

Traditional / ethnic dress is encouraged!


FREE admission, lunch - info 510-620-6502


Co-sponsors: Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), Brighter Beginnings, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Communities United Restoring Mother Earth (CURME), Community Violence Solutions, Girls Inc., Guardian Angels, Haiti Action Committee, Healing Circles of Hope (dba MASK), International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, The Latina Center, Laotian Organizing Project of APEN, Morada de Mujeres del Milenio, Native American Health Center, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, Reach Fellowship International, Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI), Richmond Human Rights and Human Relations Commission; Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Richmond Progressive Arts Committee, Richmond Regla Sister City Committee, Richmond Rivets, Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront National Historical Park, RYSE Center, Saffron Strand, STAND! For Families Free of Violence; Ujima Family Recovery Services, Verde Partnership Garden (Urban Tilth), Weigh of Life. West Contra Costa Adult Education

Connecting the Dots Productions, the Richmond Progressive Alliance & Communities for a Better Environment present a special screening of...



There are only two kinds of power in America: organized money and organized people.

A new, critically acclaimed, groundbreaking documentary exposing the roots of the American economic crisis and the destruction of the American dream.  With clear, fact-driven storytelling, "Heist" unflinchingly reveals the hollowing out of the U.S. economy - the result of four decades of deregulation, massive job outsourcing, and tax policies favoring mega-corporations and wealthy elites. 


Structured as a political thriller, "Heist" effectively connects the dots to show audiences how - and why - we live in an era of class warfare, and what we can do to restore democracy and economic fairness. "Heist" features the Richmond Progressive Alliance as champions in direct action, showing organized people fighting - and winning - against corporate abuse. This is the rallying cry of the 99%, who can take this moment in history and transform the American economic and political landscape through information-sharing and direct action. 


Discussion and Q & A with director/producer Donald Goldmacher after the screening - light refreshments will be available. $10.00 donation requested to benefit Richmond Progressive Alliance, the Heist Re-Imagine the Dream Campaign, and Communities for a Better Environment - No one turned away for lack of funds. 


Friday, March 23, 2012   - 7 p.m.
Richmond Progressive Office - near Richmond BART
 1021 Macdonald Ave. Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 412-2260

Watch the trailer and take action at www.Heist-TheMovie.com "Like" Heist  at www.Facebook.com/Heist.the.Movie  Follow @ Twitter.com/HeistDoc

www.richmond progressivealliance.net      http://www.cbecal.org/   


Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?  A feature documentary by Frances Causey & Donald Goldmacher; 75 minutes, 2012  

New Poll:

Millionaires Tax is Best Chance for New Funding;


Restoring California, the coalition of educators and community leaders sponsoring the Millionaires Tax, today released results from a new opinion survey of 2000 likely voters showing huge popular support for the Millionaires Tax. The poll was the sixth in a row to find that voters prefer the Millionaires Tax over alternatives.


Pollster Amy Levin of the Benenson Strategy Group presented the findings and told a news conference, "The Millionaires Tax provides the clearest path to victory in any scenario. It proves strong and resilient, with support starting at 69 - 70% in any ballot scenario, and even after attacks, support stays at or above 60%."

March for Education

The Benenson Strategy Group conducted 2000 interviews with likely California Voters during the last week of February. The method included asking opinion, then "attacking" a ballot measure with various arguments against, and then again asking opinion.



Revenue Measures Can Pass With More Than One on Ballot;

Voters Want Options

Large Label

Levin's poll also found that "voters are far more likely to believe there should be multiple measures on the ballot so they can decide (53%) than to say that we should have only one to ensure we make progress (38%). Even among voters favorable to Gov. Brown, just 43% side with him on this issue, compared to 49% who prefer multiple initiatives." About 8% of voters opposed either measure because "there are just too many tax proposals on the ballot."


Joshua Pechthalt, Millionaires Tax proponent and president of the California Federation of Teachers, said, "The Millionaires Tax is our best chance to win voter approval for new funding for education and essential services. Why would we not present voters with the option that has their strongest support?"


Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, said, "This poll only

confirms so many other state and national polls, the enthusiastic popular support

that was visible in Sacramento on Monday and what we all know: the Millionaires

Tax can pass handily. Why stand in the way of $6 billion a year for our state and

risk an alternative measure that might fail?"


Findings from the survey can be found at www.millionairestaxca.com

Gov. Brown Unleashes Attack on Millionaires Tax


Recent news articles have suggested that support for the Governor's tax proposals are slipping. (See recent SF Chronicle article)   Brown's response has been to urge his supporters to attack the Millionaires Tax rather than take on the anti-tax right-wing.


The first attack is to call the Millionaires tax divisive and that having multiple tax issues on the ballot will confuse voters or turn-them off against all solutions. The reality is that the Millionaires tax was always more popular than Brown's regressive sales tax and that numerous appeals were made to Brown to join in and help shape the Millionaires Tax. He chose to go with heavy dependence on the sales tax increase to balance the budget in order to avoid doing battle with the  Chamber of Commerce.   


The other attack can be found in the email blitz of the California Teachers Association (CTA), long closely allied with Brown. In this attack they suggest that the Millionaires tax will lead to cuts in education and will not help balance the budget.


First the bottom line:

  • According to the "Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance" included in the Attorney General's official summary the Millionaires tax would raise slightly more money in the next few years than Brown's measure.
  • The Millionaires tax raises the funds from people earning more that a Million a year. A big chunk of Browns tax comes from an increase of the regressive sales tax.
  • Brown's tax is temporary. We would have to do it all over again in a few years to support the schools and other services.
  • The main thrust of the CTA attack is how the money is used. The Millionaires Tax is designed to provide new additional money for the schools to replace years of cuts. Brown's money which claims to go "directly to the schools"   pays for existing obligations to the schools thus according to Brown's ballot measure, "State money is freed up to help balance the budget..."

Similarly only the Millionaires Tax provides funding to restore the $2.4 billion dollar cut in Health and Human Services Brown has made in his current budget.


It is true that there are some differences in how the money is channeled. Brown's measure leans heavily toward K-12 with some allocated to community colleges and none to the university systems or social services. Even with this, since Brown's is only temporary, after four years the Millionaires Tax will provide significantly more total support to K-12.


The reality is that the Millionaires Tax speaks to the general sense that we have to begin shifting the tax burden back to wealthy. Brown's approach is more about the old balanced budget debate at the expense of services,  says structural change is not necessary and about everyone making more shared sacrifice. And that is why the Millionaires tax is so much more popular. It is a shame that Brown and the CTA are now wasting millions of dollars to carry on the campaign against progressive solutions rather than uniting to fight the well-funded right.


--Mike Parker

March for Education

Reich supports Millionaires Tax



Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich concludes a recent article on public education and the shrinking middle class with strong support for the Millionaires Tax :


A pending initiative in California would raise taxes on millionaires and use the proceeds to fund public education at all levels. It's a good idea, and it comes at the right time. Other states should follow.


See the full article here


MoveOn.Org  endorses Millionaires Tax 


MoveOn polled its over 900,000 California members to ask if they support the measure. An endorsement requires a 2/3 vote, and a remarkable 94% voted to endorse. MoveOn.org is known nationally as a leading online progressive force in American politics today.


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

Richmond, McLaughlin, Police,  recognized for hosting march 

March for Education to Sacramento


March for Education  

Last Thursday evening about 50 young people from various parts of the East Bay walked through Richmond on their way to Sacramento to demand restored funding for education. They were joined by Richmond residents at Central and San Pablo who walked with them to St. Marks church where they spent the night.


When they saw the lights of police cars they became very concerned, only to be extremely grateful to find out that the Richmond police were there to escort them safely through the dark. They were addressed by Mayor McLaughlin in the morning, then escorted through the traffic until they reached San Pablo.


Monday in Sacramento they were joined by thousands of students, teachers and concerned citizens demanding that the state restore funding to education. They offered the Millionaires Tax as the way to ask those who make more than a million dollars a year help refund our schools. They were joined by many politicians who supported the cause for education funding.


I want to thank the police and the mayor (who received national attention for her welcome) for their support and assistance. To those of you who think this isn't about Richmond, I say it's all about Richmond. Funding for education of Richmond children comes from Sacramento. In 2007-2008 California's adjusted per pupil expenditures ranked 43rd in the country in its funding of public education. And it's only gotten much worse. Richmond's children won't get the jobs of the future until the state adequately funds the schools so that they will be able to give them the education they need to be prepared for these jobs.

--Margaret Jordan 


Michael Moore  Notes Richmond Hospitality   


See  Michael Moore's Facebook posting.  He links to a Fog City Journal article about us welcoming the Occupy Education folks in Richmond.  


Casino Opposition Still Required No Casino
Plans to resurrect a proposed Casino in North Richmond are under way.  Because the location is the unincorporated  area of North Richmond, the city has less control over the decision although it will impact the city as much as the one proposed and defeated for Point Molate.  The RPA has take a position against the North Richmond Casino  and urges everyone to make their voice known.  You can start with a letter to Governor Brown.  Here is a sample:   

March 2012


Governor Jerry Brown

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Governor Brown:


RE: Please Oppose Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians in North Richmond


As a resident of the City of Richmond in Contra Costa County I am strongly opposed to the Scotts Valley Band Off-Reservation casino proposed for the unincorporated area of North Richmond. People of Pomo culture, including the ancestors of Scotts Valley's members, historically in areas north of the Bay Area including Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties. The Scott's Valley Band historic territory is more than one hundred miles from Richmond and Contra Costa County and they have never lived in or governed territory in Contra Costa County. This has been proven in a study by Contra Costa County.


I urge you to contact Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer and Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, and to work to convince them that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act must be followed.   Under federal law, a "significant historical connection" is necessary to justify Indian gaming on any land taken into trust for a tribe after 1988. Scotts Valley has no such connection to Contra Costa County at all. Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk recently rejected a similar Contra Costa County "restored lands exception" application filed by another Pomo group, Guidiville, for exactly this reason. Please join us in working towards the same result as to Scotts Valley.


Once Scotts Valley is told "no" on its "restored lands exception" application, it will undoubtedly attempt to convince you and the Assistant Secretary to make a "two-part determination," another exception to the no-gaming on post-1988 trust land rule. You and the Assistant Secretary will both be asked by Scotts Valley to determine that a Scotts Valley casino in North Richmond would not be harmful to the surrounding community or to other tribes. Such a finding would be contrary to the facts.


As Governor, you must develop a comprehensive framework for state review of these off-reservation casinos. The framework must provide a forum for the surrounding community to provide evidence on the social and fiscal impacts to the citizens of the surrounding non-Indian community, in this case the City of Richmond in Contra Costa County. A casino in North Richmond would have devastating effects upon me and my friends and neighbors, as well as upon the Cities of Richmond and San Pablo. Please ensure that the community is invited to provide our input.


Thank you very much.


Signature: _______________________________

Print name: ______________________________

Phone: _________________________________

Behind the Attacks on RPA

Recent Richmond City Council meetings have been marked by verbal attacks against the RPA by a few Council members, their representatives and supporters. Healthy politics involve disagreement and vigorous debate.  But the recent attacks have consistently contained  untruths and distortion, and we would like the record to be clear.  We are sharing correct information about the RPA here because Council meetings are not the place to dwell on these issues.  Council meetings should be focused on how to move Richmond forward-not about vilifying individuals or organizations striving to improve our community. ...Click here for the full explanation.


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.

It has been brought to my attention that in the last newsletter a brief announcement mentioned that Mayor McLaughlin introduced a motion to support city funding for an annual pow-wow in Richmond. More correctly, Mayor McLaughlin  brought the item to the Council, placed it on the agenda and introduced the resolution supporting this action. The required  motion, under Council procedure, to bring the issue to a vote was made by Councilmember Booze and seconded by Councilmember Beckles and received unanimous support.  --Mike Parker


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.


This email was sent to mparker00@gmail.com by rpaactivist@gmail.com |  
Richmond Progressive Alliance | P.O. Box 160 | Station A | Richmond | CA | 94808