RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #91October 23, 2012

Join Our Mailing List


Facebook: Richmond Progressive Alliance   

Soda and the African American Community
Race, Poverty, and Health
Candidates' Night at St Marks 10/24
Is Gary Bell a CHEVRON Candidate?
I am Somebody!
Eduardo responds to smears
Same Smear Tactics in So Cal.
Philadelphia Campaign Against Soda
RPA Richmond Recommendations
RPA State Recommendations
Plant the Signs
Prop 30 and 32 Info
We Need Your Help
 To have an item listed send it to

Progressive Office
1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260


As the campaign heats up Richmond mailboxes will be full of literature supporting the Chevron and Big Soda agendas. Since we don't take corporate money, once again, our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to publicize our candidates and programs in Richmond. The RPA Activist is one tool we use to put out our ideas. One simple thing that YOU can do is to forward the RPA Activist to friends and acquaintances. Thanks.


Doria Robinson
Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth( Richmond Confidential Picture)

Race, Poverty,  and Health


Doria Robinson gave a short but very insightful explanation of the dynamics of race and poverty in a discussion of  Measure N,  the Soda Tax. You can hear some excerpts from her KPFA interview here. (Be patient-- it takes a few seconds to download and start your audio program)   The full KPFA interview can be heard here. 


10/24  Candidates Night

Is Gary Bell  a Chevron Candidate


Is Gary Bell the "independent"   bringing great financial skills to the city that his campaign portrays?


Chevron is spending more than $1 million dollars to elect Gary Bell to the City Council and defeat  Marilyn Langlois and Eduardo Martinez by  posting billboards, and sending out candidate mailings. "I can't help it if  Chevron supports me," Bell repeats over and over.


Bell's record would seem to support Chevron's judgment that he is a good candidate for Chevron.  In his one term on the Council before he was defeated for reelection, On Feb 5, 2002 , June 4, 2004, and  September 10, 2004, Bell voted with Chevron on environmental reports that came before the council.  Bell supported  Chevron's side  when community groups  and Tom Butt  wanted protection against risks from Chevron projects.


In fact,  when has Bell ever taken a position at odds with Chevron?


Bell Covers for Chevron on Fire
Video: Bell Covers for Chevron on Fire 

Shortly after the Chevron fire, at the Southside Plus One Candidates night, August 20, Gary Bell was asked what he would do to prevent such occurrences. He used the opportunity to place the blame on environmentalists and others, suggesting that if Chevron's stalled expansion project had proceeded, the fire might have been prevented.

Bell's facts were wrong, as most informed people knew. The expansion project had nothing to do with the Crude Unit that burned. It was not blocked by the Council which had given Chevron's flawed EIR a pass. It was blocked by a court which saw the omissions and lies in Chevron's EIR.

Bell was either uninformed or purposely trying to shift the blame away from Chevron. We can't afford either scenario on a City Council that has to deal with Chevron.


Financial Wizardry

Part of Bell's campaign is that he is good with numbers or a financial wizard.  Many would question that given his defeat for reelection in 2004, due to voters' dissatisfaction with his performance during a period of serious financial crisis in Richmond.


Financial responsibility means more than knowing financial terminology. It's about valuing and protecting the public funds.   It's also about "how" you use the public's money. Bell's  use of $3000 of Richmond money to pay for a trip he and his wife took to Las Vegas after he lost his 2004 re-election bid, in the last weeks of his term, raised lots of concerns.*


With all of his supposed knowledge about real estate values and city finances, one might have thought that he would be one of the first to speak out about the injustice of Chevron's demands for property tax refunds. Chevron won a refund the first time because Chevron was wheeling and dealing in dark rooms and one of the members of the County Assessment Appeals Board was the beneficiary of Chevron's "charitable contributions." Bell never spoke up. 


And even after a campaign developed to expose Chevron's tax-bullying during the next set of appeals, Bell still did not joined in and add his voice and "expertise" to demand that Chevron pay its full fair share of taxes.


This is the kind of "independent" Chevron loves.


*Bell responded to these claims in the East Bay Express that "None of the article is true" and that they are "lies".   Bell got into an exchange with reporter John Gelurardi demanding that he produce documentation. Geluardi replied:



As you well know, I have the documents to back up my story. I always do. Your attempt to discredit me by claiming I am in league with the Richmond Progressive Alliance is baseless and offensive.


If you can produce receipts showing you repaid the city for your 2004 Vegas trip, I'll happily write a retraction. Until then, the record shows you charged the trip to your city of Richmond travel account, which was at The Mechanics Bank and managed by Trina Jackson then with the city's finance department. All of the charges were made after you were voted off the council. The charges, $2,552.37 not including meals, were as follows:

11-15-04 South West Airlines $160.20
11-18-04 Novogradac $ CO LLP $1,287.12
12-6-04 Dollar Rental-Las Vegas $406.60
12-6-04 Four Seasons-Las Vegas $704.45

Please let me know if you would like to review the documents.

Click here for source--see Comments.    

 --Mike Parker 



I said Somebody should do something about that.  
Then I realized I am Somebody. 

- Lily Tomlin -


Mad about Chevron's hit pieces?   

Think that $2.2 million for lies is insulting?


"Be the Somebody that does Something."  Don't wait for us to call you.  Call the RPA office and volunteer some time.  510-412-2260


Put up a sign
Wear a button
Call some friends
Call people you don't know
Help on election day 

Chevron calls mortgage holders deadbeats


The latest hit piece mailer from the Chevron- funded front group suggests that Eduardo Martinez is financially irresponsible because he owes $202,000. It turns out that it's the mortgage on his house. So if you have a mortgage on your house, as most homeowners do, and you run for office, Chevron might send out a mailer saying " you can't manage your money ."


Eduardo Answers Chevron's Anarchy Lies
Video: Eduardo Answers Chevron's Anarchy Lies

Of course you may not want to run for office if you are critical of Chevron because they are sure to dig into your history to find a quote they can pull out of context to hint you are unfit or crazy. 


Hear Eduardo answer Chevron's falsely labeling him an anarchist:




Uses same tactics in Southern California  

Chevron Smears Environmentalist State Senator Fran Pavley 


State Senator Fran Pavley
State Senator Fran Pavley

I was watching TV the other night when my program cut to a commercial. Dark, ominous music started as a political ad described a sitting legislator running for re-election who was, the ad accused, a tax dodger.     


Wow! That's outlandish. And who was this legislator? State Senator Fran Pavley.    Wait... what? Senator Pavley has been my representative for over a decade, and that didn't sound like the principled environmental champion I know and respect. Then those magic words were listed at the very end of the ad: "paid for by California Senior Advocates League." Now it was starting to make sense.    So who are these important "senior advocates"? Here are their more familiar names: Chevron, Philip Morris, Anthem Blue Cross, and other multi-national corporations. They've been funneling campaign money through political action campaigns (PACs) with various names to hide their identities.     


In the space of just two short weeks, the California Senior Advocates League bought nearly $200,000 in airtime to run their false and misleading ad against Pavley - a drop in the bucket for special interests like Chevron.    These groups are attacking Senator Pavley not only because she's synonymous in California and around the world with the environmental movement and crafting policies that make California's growing clean energy economy possible, but also because the recent redistricting process left her with a new, much more competitive district than her previous one. Defeating her would be a polluter's dream come true.


That these corporations are attacking Pavley is no surprise. They have opposed environmental candidates and supported ones beholden to them for decades. What makes their attack particularly unique this year is that they're completely lying. They aren't bending the truth. They aren't telling little white lies. They aren't even telling gray political lies. This time, they're making stuff up and hoping it sticks.  


For full story see  


Philadelphia Campaign Against Sugary Drinks 
Philadelphia Department of Public Health -
Philadelphia Department of Public Health - "Time for a Change" sugary beverage PSA (July 2012)

RPA  Recommends
RPA  Recommends on Propositions

Plant the signs

Come by the office 1021 Macdonald and pick some up  

or call us and we will deliver 510-412-2260


 Lawn Signs


  Yes on 30 No on 32

Yes30  No32

Two measures on the November State ballot are about the domination of wealth in our government. Proposition 30 requires that the wealthy pay more to maintain education and other crucial state services.  


The RPA urges a YES vote on 30. On the same ballot is a measure that will weaken the power of unions while maintaining and increasing the power of wealth in politics. The RPA urges a NO vote on 32. We believe that both the Yes on 30 and the No on 32 are two parts of the same fight and should be waged together against the massive corporate money on the other side.


RPA Activist LogoWant to fight  politics dominated by money? The only alternative is that we do the work.  

  We need your help
  • canvassing,
  • phone-banking,
  • data entry work,
  • arranging house meetings, rallies, and events.  
Please do your share to keep People Power in Richmond.

The office is open on Saturdays 9:30 -2 
Weekdays 2-6.  All staffed by volunteers.  
Come in or call and tell us what you are willing to do.
1021 Macdonald 

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.