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Updated: 5 days 22 min ago

From The Mayor's Desk- February 2023

Tue, 02/28/2023 - 21:33

By Eduardo Martinez

Earlier this month, my team and I celebrated our first month in office. I am so proud my office is fully staffed with Chief of Staff Shiva Mishek, Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Tamayo, and Policy Director BK White. We’ve started strong! Our accomplishments as of our one month in office include:

  • -over 250 meetings with constituents and city staff held
  • -over 20 applications to boards and commissions processed
  • -over a dozen community events attended
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Introducing Jamin Pursell, New RPA Operations Manager

Tue, 02/28/2023 - 16:53

Interviewed by: Diana Wear

Jamin Pursell 

Jamin, congratulations on being hired for this new leadership position for the RPA. What led you to apply for this position?

Initially, I had not thought to take on the whole gamut of RPA’s structural needs. I’ve been with RPA since 2014 with a few lapses of school and other things, but since I’ve worked on several campaigns, served on various Action Teams and committees, and as a Steering Committee member, I have felt well positioned to help us transition to a new status. I think this is a pivotal moment for RPA as we are on the cusp of celebrating twenty years as a successful progressive organization in the East Bay. I would like to help RPA establish structures that will enable us to work more productively and effectively with other groups in Richmond. Our organization stands on the legacy of many RPA founders, friends, and colleagues over the years. It’s time to advance for the next ten years, to be as strong as possible for what it means to be progressive in Richmond and our surrounding communities. I aim to build on what all those people have done—we are a constantly moving machine. We have big problems to address, and I feel poised to help us do that.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

American History is Black History

Fri, 02/24/2023 - 20:26

By: Jamin Pursell

George Washington Carver 

George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter. America has a habit of creating myths about itself that hide the actual work of black people in building America. While Carver is widely known for his work with peanuts, he did not invent peanut butter, which traces back to the Aztecs. Carver, however, is recognized for his pioneering work in promoting the cultivation of peanuts as a profitable crop for farmers and his research into the many uses of peanuts and other crops, including over 300 products made from peanuts. While not primarily known as a political figure, Carver used his position and influence to advocate for important issues, such as education and the empowerment of African Americans. He was a member of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. This organization worked to promote better race relations in the United States, and he used his platform to speak out against racism and discrimination.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Help Design Richmond’s Green-Blue Economy of the Future

Fri, 02/24/2023 - 19:33

By Justine Burt

Block Island Wind Farm

California has ambitious environmental policy goals in place. By 2030, 30% of our land and waterways will be conserved. After 2035, 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will be zero emission. By 2045, 100% of electricity will come from renewable sources.

Closing the gap between our goals and where we are today will require millions of new green jobs. Building offshore wind turbines, retrofitting buildings for all electric, and recycling waste materials into new products are just a few examples of the kinds of projects that will build a just, equitable, resilient and sustainable future.

The Richmond Green-Blue New Deal Workforce Development Plan team is currently seeking input from Richmond residents about which green-blue projects to prioritize.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Election Reflections (Part I): Is Corporate-Free Too Easy?

Thu, 01/12/2023 - 19:03

By Shiva Mishek

In this recent election cycle, the Richmond Progressive Alliance used a simple question to decide whether we would endorse local candidates: would the candidate commit to running a corporate-donation-free campaign? This question has been the bedrock of our organization since its founding in 2004.

But is it too basic a boundary issue?

Categories: G2. Local Greens

January Calendar

Sat, 01/07/2023 - 17:49

Here are upcoming RPA meetings and events. Note, most meetings are only open to RPA members, although allies and guests are often welcome. If you are interested in becoming a member, you may do so here. Dues may be waived if they are a barrier to you joining the RPA. If you have questions about joining the RPA, or are interested in attending a meeting as a non-member, please contact

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Public Art?

Sat, 01/07/2023 - 16:31

By BK Williams

Public art reflects a community’s values and history, and how we see the world – the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are. It is placed in public sites, and is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression.

Richmond has had in effect a "Percent for Art" ordinance setting aside 1.5% of eligible capital improvement project budgets for the acquisition of public art. Additionally, there is a 1% fee for Public Art to private developers on applicable projects. Public artwork is directed through the Arts and Culture Commission which advises the city in its artistic and cultural development in preserving Richmond’s heritage. The city’s budget shows the Percent for Art has amassed in excess of 1 mill for this fiscal year. There was approximately $1.7 million dollars available as of 12/20/22. (A&C Ordinances, Policies, and Procedures.)

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Tribute to Kabir Kapur

Sat, 01/07/2023 - 12:06

By Nicole Valentino and Diana Wear

Kabir Kapur left an indelible mark on our RPA community when he died at the young age of 30 years old. He died of complications following an asthma attack that progressed to cardiac arrest. We are deeply saddened by this loss. Yet while we are bereft with his death, we are also left with some wonderful memories and profound lessons.  Kabir was a longtime, active member of RPA. Over the years, he worked on a number of committees and action teams including the leadership body of the RPA, the Steering Committee, as well as Membership and Council Action Team. He also participated actively with the Communications Team meetings urging coverage of relevant issues.

Categories: G2. Local Greens


Sat, 01/07/2023 - 12:02

This playlist tribute to Kabir Kapur is a compilation of songs submitted by Kabir’s fellow RPA music lovers. Listen on Spotify, or as individual YouTube links:

Peace Train by artists from around the world featuring Yusuf / Cat Stevens. Submitted by Emily Ross. “Kabir and I shared a love for Cat Stevens, and he would sometimes send me renditions I may not have heard, such as this one.” Note: Spotify playlist includes alternate version (original).

Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone. Submitted by Jamin Pursell. “Kabir and I really enjoyed listening to classic protest music and Nina Simone was able to really articulate the frustration of Americans who are tired of the racism. Also, it’s the frustration with the constant regressivism that we have in America.”

Fuk Da Police by NWA. Submitted by Jamin Pursell. “Kabir had too often seen the brutality brought upon people voicing their opposition to exploitation and violence with brutality by police.  He understood the great frustration within communities that have to prove their humanity to those in power in order to be treated fairly.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

RPA Committee Work and Action Team Report

Sat, 01/07/2023 - 11:03

By Diana Wear and Chris Broglio 

This month, the Membership Committee Co-chairs, collaborated with the Office Staff to address a number of needs we’ve been wrestling with in our post-election period as well as since the pandemic and acquiring our new office space at 12929 San Pablo Avenue.  We’ve devised plans to provide orientations for new members, ways for our community to have round table discussions and offer continuing education for RPA members.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Remembering Kabir

Sat, 12/10/2022 - 12:48

Graphic by Alfred Twu

In late November, our progressive community learned of the untimely death of our friend and comrade, Kabir Kapur. He was just 30 years old. Kabir was a longtime, active member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, among other political groups in the Bay Area.

The RPA deeply mourns the loss of Kabir’s brilliant mind and warm heart. His moral compass was always pointed toward justice for all people. It is fitting that this tribute to Kabir is in the same issue as our election recap since Kabir was such a fervent follower of electoral politics. 

Kabir was also an organ donor. His final act was to donate parts of himself for three people whom he had never met. 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Democracy Supreme

Sat, 12/10/2022 - 12:46

By Anonymous

Richmond voters had a full range of candidates to choose from for mayor.  Why wouldn’t Nathaniel Bates take a chance on ending his career of service with the city, yet again, as its mayor? He's earned the chance to put himself forward for that. Shawn Dunning has supporters. Recent generations may find his nouveau consultant style comfortable. Nothing wrong with testing the waters.  Mark Wassberg, one of the involved, passionate but given to misinterpretation members of the public, put himself forth and gains more votes every time he runs. And Eduardo, the winner, has RPA support. It can't be said voters did not have plenty of choices. Democracy in action. The voters have spoken.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

HelloFresh Layoffs Aren't Cause for Celebration

Sat, 12/10/2022 - 12:40

By Shiva Mishek

In his latest e-forum blast, Mayor Tom Butt announced the closing of the HelloFresh warehouse location in Richmond, which will result in the layoff of 618 workers. Butt triumphantly notes, “There was a union election that the RPA supported, but unionization was turned down by a vote of the workers.”

Given the brutal working conditions at the HelloFresh warehouse, I would hope that the mayor of my city would be right there, first supporting low income workers who are his constituents fighting for a safer workplace, and then expressing dismay and concern for hundreds of people who now have no income. These layoffs come in a fiscal year with abnormally high inflation rates and gas prices—and all in one of the most expensive regions in the country for housing.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

National Media

Fri, 12/09/2022 - 15:51

By Kathleen Wimer

Photo By Madison Inouye

Attention young people. Mainstream media is so yesterday. Witness predictions of a mid-term red wave. They don't know what they are talking about. Anyone who can impartially report the real news of the day and regain people's trust that they are hearing views, not being manipulated, owns the future. There is a void to fill.

As David Brooks reports, Americans [are] sorting ourselves out by education into two camps … people without a college degree have flocked to the G.O.P., people with one have flocked to the Democrats. He says, "Even Black voters without a college degree seem to be shifting away from the Democrats, to some degree."

Categories: G2. Local Greens

2022 Election Re-Cap

Thu, 12/08/2022 - 19:12

Election results are in!  While deeper reflections will be forthcoming and included in upcoming issues of The Activist, we want to thank our candidates, campaign workers, and others as well as provide an update on the November 2022 Richmond election results.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

December Calendar

Wed, 12/07/2022 - 21:29

Here are upcoming RPA meetings and events. Note, most meetings are only open to RPA members, although allies and guests are often welcome. If you are interested in becoming a member, you may do so here. Dues may be waived if they are a barrier to you joining the RPA. If you have questions about joining the RPA, or are interested in attending a meeting as a non-member, please contact

Categories: G2. Local Greens

The Fine Print I:

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The Fine Print II:

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