RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #71April 8, 2012

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4/22 Progressive Campaign Kick-off Celebration
Hoodie Up Monday 11 am
Chaos at Council -- Who's Responsible?
Organic Community Garden
Credit Unions
Corporate Opposition to General Plan
Syn-Bio: Green or Danger
Ban the Box
Upcoming Events
Silly Parade Saturday 4/14
Cesar Chavez Celebration 4/14
Occupy Earthday 4/20
Pont Molate Clean-up 4/21
Campaign Kick-off 4/22
Campaign Kick-off en espanol

 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260
SAVE  Sunday April 22  4Pm
Progressive Campaign Kick-off Celebration

See More Details Below

Show support for Trayvon Martin and justice 



Monday, April 9  11am 

March starts at 7th and Barrett 



 Remember it could have been your son, your grandson. Lets show support for Trayvon and his family..

 Join us in a  peaceful march to City Hall to show our support.

 For more information Call Eleanor Thompson @ (510) 837-0188.


This photo is from a flash demonstration on March 28. Let's show the youth that this whole community is behind them.



Chaos at Council Meetings

Who is responsible for the chaos and disruption of City Council meetings?

The City Council Meetings have become unbearable.  The reason, I contend, is that Corky Booze is purposely trying to promote chaos in order to promote himself  by tearing down other council members and community leaders moving Richmond in a progressive direction.

The responsibility for trying to keep order at Council Meetings belongs to the Mayor. She has to enforce the rules.  But when a Councilman continually disrespects her as the Chairperson of the meeting, interrupts her, uses his loud voice to bully her and the city staff,  it is a very difficult job.  And when he encourages the people who attend the Council Meeting to disrespect the Chair and everyone else on the Council, the meetings get downright nasty.     

Disrespect at Richmond City Council Meeting
Disrespect at Richmond City Council Meeting

This  clip from last Tuesday's meeting is just a sample.

Because of the way the audio is recorded, it is hard to hear audience comments yelled out.  But there is no mistaking the disrespect conveyed by Booze.

If Booze is the main problem, the fact that other Council members, particularly Bates and Rogers, encourage Booze's behavior  by supporting it with words or inaction makes it much worse.

Here are some excerpts from the Municipal Code--the legal rules that govern the city council

2.12.020 Decorum
a)... No Councilmember shall by conversation or otherwise delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the City Council, disturb any Councilmember while speaking, or refuse to obey the Mayor [in conducting the meeting, unless overturned by majority vote as specified by procedures in the rules].

2.12.020  Enforcement of decorum
... any person who interrupts the proceedings of the Council who refuses to maintain silence or take a seat when ordered to do so by the Mayor, or any person who by any other action willfully disturbs or disrupts the proceedings shall, upon order of the Mayor, be removed from the Council chamber by any police officer present.  

--Mike Parker

The views here are the author's and not necessarily those of the RPA.

Check Out Your Local Community Garden



Organic vegetables don't have to be expensive.  If you're not able to grow your own, try going to your local community garden!



Richmond High School's urban ag class grows an abundance of beautiful organic vegetables in their school garden, and they have an abundance to offer to the community at $1/pound.  Past and current offerings have included: Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, Beets, Leeks, Green Garlic, Snow Peas, Spring Onions, Carrots, Radishes and Cilantro.  I've tried all of these and they are indeed delicious!!


Contact Adam Boisvert at UrbanTilth (510-323-5347, adam@urbantilth.org) to be added to the e-mail list and receive updates whenever a new crop is available.

Pick up times are generally  Friday  between 3:15- 4:00pm and Sundays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, subject to change.  Watch the e-mail notices for the up-to-date info.  The garden is located near the back gate of Richmond High School at 24th and Maricopa Streets behind the portables.


Enjoy--low cost, healthy, tasty and grown right here in Richmond.  Plus, you're supporting local students who are learning how we can grow our own food in a healthy and sustainable way!


--Marilyn Langlois

(Photo shows Ashoka, Urban Tilth Project Assistant at the RHS garden)


Credit Unions

An Alternative To Big Corporate Banks


Credit Union As noted in the film "Heist:  Who Stole the American Dream?" several major financial institutions not only profited immensely from the financial meltdown of 2008, they were also among those responsible for the economic crisis that has caused so many people to lose their homes and their jobs.  Do you or anyone you know have an account at a branch of one of the big corporate banks?  If so, you might want to consider switching to one of the very attractive and more socially responsible alternatives, such as a smaller local bank (like Mechanics Bank) or a credit union.


Credit unions are non-profit consumer cooperatives, owned and governed by the members who deposit their money there.  They generally have free checking, extremely low-to-no fees for a whole range of other services, and require only a nominal minimum deposit of $5-10.  Credit unions operate for the benefit of their members, and they tend to give back to the community in other ways, too. The following credit unions are located in Richmond:

Travis Credit Union,  3300-A Klose Way (just up the hill from the movie theater at Hilltop).
Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or studies anywhere in Contra Costa County (and some other counties, too).  The Richmond branch is open weekdays and Saturdays.  


Contra Costa Federal Credit Union at 25th and Nevin. Membeship is open to public employees (any government agency) and their family members.  Open weekdays.


Atchison Village Credit Union is a very small credit union for residents of Atchison Village.


There are additional credit unions in neighboring cities, such as Patelco Credit Union with branches in Berkeley, Oakland, Concord and more,  and Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union in Berkeley.


If you've been calling for power to the people, then why not put your money where your mouth is!  

--Marilyn Langlois

Corporate Opposition Expected  Ban Box

General Plan Comes to  

City Council 4/17


The Council of Industries and other corporate and developer dominated groups are mobilizing their members to come to the City Council to defeat all of the people-friendly, environment-friendly amendments that have been generated by the REDI Coalition and  discussed and submitted by the Planning Commission.



Green Industry or Danger

Syn-Bio at New Richmond LBNL


Green Energy
Resarchers save planet with Syn-Bio in promotional video (SFBG) 

Richmond has welcomed the new Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and we still do. That does not mean that we shut our eyes to any problem or endorse every activity that takes place there. One area of work to be concentrated in the new labs is Synthetic Biology - modifying or even creating new life forms. Since much of the labs' work is driven by commercial interests in this new $1.6 billion industry, we have to keep special watch to insure the safety of workers and the surrounding communities as well as the long term impact on our environment and society.


Steven Jones wrote a report on a recent conference on these issues in Berkeley for the San Francisco Bay Guardian  He included a recent interview with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin which is reprinted here.


SFBG: Do you have any concerns about safety at the lab or with the regulation of the synthetic biology field?

GM: I understand that this issue is extremely important. I was at the symposium "Unmasking the Synthetic Biology Lab" held in Berkeley last week and have been learning about the risks and concerns related to this field.

SFBG: Are you worried that we're entering another "economic bubble," this time with so-called "green jobs," and that it could pop like previous bubbles and end up hurting Richmond?

Green Energy
Mayor McGlaughlin

GM: I think that green and sustainable job development will continue, as there is an absolute necessity for our human survival that we create a sustainable planet on which to live and thrive as well as pass along to future generations.

SFBG: The activists say the Precautionary Principle should dictate a slower and more careful and regulated approach to developing newly engineered microorganisms, do you share that view?

GM: I absolutely agree. There needs to be a slow and deliberate process that fully researches and regulates this new engineering. I believe that science has a responsibility to examine step by step what is in the interest of us all as human beings - what truly advances us and what may cause us more problems.

SFBG: While the lab diversifies Richmond's economy, much of this research is funded by and could ultimately by developed by Chevron and other big energy companies. Is that appropriate for research into new energy forms that is sponsored with public money?

GM: I agree that the lab diversifies Richmond's economy and I support opportunities it offers our community that come from positive, safe and healthy scientific exploration, education, and job opportunities.

The fact that big energy corporations are funding much of the research definitely brings up concerns for me. We need to make sure that science is not conducted with an eye toward profit-making, but rather for the advancement of humanity. We know that our society currently is corporate-run, so we need to continuously raise the issue that true science has an obligation not to the corporations but to the people. This issue is something that should be raised everywhere.

* * *

 For more information on the subject check out ETC Group  

Council endorses Ban the Box at State Level


Ban BoxThe Richmond Council endorsed  California Assembly Bill183,  which would  Ban the Box-- removing questions about a person's criminal history from non-sensitive government job applications. This would help give former convicts a genuine second chance.  


The vote was unanimous. Councilmember Bates' complaint that the brief discussion was a waste of time and the Council resolution could have been handled as a Consent Calendar item illustrated how rapidly the community has been won to this item. When it first came up at a city level in November, Bates voted against it.


Here is the letter that the RPA sent:


March 27, 2012


The Honorable Roger DickinsonBan Box

California State Assembly

State Capitol, Room 3126

Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Assembly Member Dickinson:


The Richmond Progressive Alliance strongly supports AB 1831.  The measure would go a long way toward reducing recidivism among the seven million adult Californians with criminal records by removing questions about applicants' criminal history from city and county job applications while, at the same time, permitting background checks as necessary later in the hiring process.


As you know, the State of California, in 2010, became the sixth state to remove the conviction history inquiry from initial job applications for state employment while delaying criminal background checks until the later stages of the hiring process.


Now we urge you to support AB 1831, which, likewise, would remove the conviction history inquiry from initial city and county job applications and delay a criminal background check until later in the hiring process .


The City Council of the City of Richmond, with active support from the Richmond Progressive Alliance, has already adopted a measure to "ban the box" from applications for city employment.  This measure allows people with a conviction history to compete fairly for employment without compromising safety and security on the job. We know that the stable employment of eligible people with a conviction history is key to reducing recidivism and increasing public safety.


Adoption of AB 1831 - like public employment at the state level - extends the same encouragement to cities and counties across the state and can pave the way for private employers to reduce barriers to employment of people with criminal records.


For the above state reasons, the Richmond Progressive Alliance strongly supports AB 1831.




Kathleen Wimer

for RPA

Upcoming Events

Richmond Silly Parade (6th annual) 

Saturday, April 14th 11 am (if it rains, April 21st is the alternate date) 

23rd st & Macdonald


See below      Click here to download leaflet


Richmond Silly Parade Committee 510-235-5519 or richmondsillyparade@gmail.com   



Think Outside the Boss: How to Create a Worker-Owned Business 

Saturday,  April 14,  10:30 am -- 2 pm
 Richmond Progressive Alliance Office

1021 Macdonald  

 This workshop is hosted by the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), and the City of Richmond Worker Cooperative Initiative.  The target audience for this workshop is community members (particularly low-income people and people of color) and non-profit organizations interested in incubating worker-owned businesses.

Cost: free  

 Register here  



César Chávez Day of Celebration 

Saturday, April 14,  10 am -- 2 pm

at Urban Tilth's Edible Forest 

16th and Chanslor on the wonderful Richmond Greenway.

 See Below


Occupy Earthday March & Rally  

Friday, April 20th,   5 pm  

at Richmond BART


See Below    Click here to download leaflet  



Clean Up Pt Molate for Earth Day

Saturday,  April 21   10:30 am - 1:30 pm

Come to the Pt Molate Beach


See below    Click here to download flyer 


Progressive Election Campaign Kick-off Celebration 

Sunday, April 22  4 -6 pm

Richmond Progressive Alliance Office  1021 Macdonald  


See Below     Click here to download announcement in English 

                        Click her to download announcement in Spanish 

Silly Parade



Saturday, April 14,  from 10 AM to 2 PM    

César Chávez Day of Celebration 


You're Invited!

Come celebrate the life and legacy of César Chávez 

- and build a legacy of your own -

by joining us at our (rescheduled) 

César Chávez Day of Celebration 


at Urban Tilth's Edible Forest 

at 16th and Chanslor on the wonderful Richmond Greenway.


On this day of community action and celebration, we'll be cultivating Urban Tilth's Edible Forest - an "open to all" urban forest and garden that feeds both body and spirit. Following nature's own forestry patterns, together we'll plant 28 fruit trees, hundreds of native under-story plants, and an array of plants in our butterfly garden.


And it will be fun!
We'll have a FREE
community barbecue

Workshops in growing and using trees and edible plants

Fabulous music provided by DJ Goodbeer,

and a rich array of live entertainment

Silly Parade



                                    invites you to

Please join us for this important Earth Day Event!   Help Make a Difference! 


In conjunction with the Watershed Project, CFSPM is sponsoring a cleanup at Pt. Molate Beach in celebration of Earth Day.  From 10:30AM to 1:30PM on Saturday April 21, 2012, citizens will undertake cleaning up the tide line and man made debris at Pt. Molate Beach.


Pt. Molate Beach, located in the middle of the San Pablo peninsula, is a nearly half mile long gentle, sandy beach that at one time was a significant recreational destination and park area. Due to lack of funds to maintain the beach and adjacent park, Pt. Molate Beach was closed to the public in 2004, and has not been maintained since.  The beach remains a significant part of the San Pablo peninsula ecosystem.  Home to migratory shore birds and extensive eel grass beds, a clean beach will make a healthy environment for local wildlife.



Please RSVP by sending an email to info@cfspm.org

Just put "Attending Earth Day" in the subject line and send - no text required 



Silly Parade
Silly Parade



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