RPA Activist Info Masthead
Issue: #96November 11, 2012
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Chevron Chooses Profits Over Safety
Post-Election Town Hall Meeting
RPA Statement on Election Results
Gary Bell Hospitalized
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1021 Macdonald, 510-412-2260


Since we don't take corporate money,  our success depends on our ability to use "people power" to promote activities 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.


Chevron Thumbs Nose at Council and Community
Damaged Crude Unit (Chronicle Picture)

The good news is that Chevron is rebuilding the damaged sections of the refinery, putting people to work, and ending the election rumors that Chevron would stop refining operations.

The very bad news is that Chevron is ignoring the community wishes and the unanimous Council resolution that the refinery be rebuilt to modern safety standards.   Instead, in order to keep full control and avoid public oversight, Chevron is repairing the dangerous crude units  mostly according to the old design. 
Read the excellent article in

Chevron sidesteps call for cleaner tech

Richmond wants refinery to use cleaner technology

Chevron will make only small-scale pollution control improvements as it rebuilds the fire-damaged crude oil unit at its Richmond refinery - telling regulators it will not increase production, a decision that allows the company to avoid requirements for new emissions technology.


After an Aug. 6 fire at the refinery produced a black cloud of smoke that sent 15,000 people to hospitals seeking treatment, the Richmond City Council and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District adopted resolutions urging Chevron to use the best pollution control technology available in rebuilding the plant.


Chevron officials, however, told air-quality officials last week that they do not plan to increase production and are simply repairing existing equipment.


election meeting

RPA Statement on Election Results

The City Council candidates supported by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois, placed fourth and fifth, close but not enough to take one of the three open seats .  Measure N, the Soda tax that we actively supported, was defeated. Despite the losses, we are proud of our work in this election.  Our candidates and our volunteers worked very hard and in a principled campaign focusing on the issues and moving Richmond forward.

We are still evaluating to understand what we could have done better or differently and welcome input in this process.

The results highlighted a major issue in American politics-the role of corporate wealth in the American electoral system-the raw power of the 1%.  Millions of dollars were poured in to defeat us by Chevron and Big Soda. Our volunteer organization did well but we were not successful in: (1) overcoming their ability to circulate lies and distortions with paid campaigners and mass mailings and (2) getting our candidates well enough known.

Our primary purpose is not to win elections at all costs but to build a movement that unites and serves the people of Richmond especially those who get ignored because of the power and interests of a few large corporations. We remain committed to working toward these goals with all organizations in the community, all members of the council, and the city staff.

Measure N, the soda tax, was defeated.  One positive effect of the campaign is the new awareness about the health problems of sugary drinks and how our kids and our communities are at risk.  There were many people who agreed with us about this problem but disagreed that the soda tax was the proper response.  We look forward to hearing their proposals for ways to challenge the diabetes and obesity epidemic and funding healthy alternative activities for our kids.  We welcome the opportunity to work on these proposals.   

RPA Steering Committee


In the next issues we will have more discussion and analysis of the election.  We encourage you to submit your views. Please send them to

Gary Bell Hospitalized
We understand that Gary Bell is in Intensive Care for treatment of Meningitis, a very serious disease.  We wish him a very speedy recovery.  
Click here for article in Contra Costa Times

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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