A talk by Steve Early and Melvin Willis
“These inspiring victories in Richmond would not have been possible without the prior development of a multi-issue, multi-racial progressive organization. Our country obviously needs a great deal of change at the state and federal levels. But laying a solid local foundation, like activists in Richmond have done, is an important first step toward overcoming working-class alienation from politics and resulting low voter-turnout rates.”
— Bernie Sanders, from the Foreword to “Refinery Town”
Steve Early’s new book, Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City, tells the story of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. Since 2004, RPA candidates have won 10 out of 16 races for mayor or city council against corporate-backed Democrats, giving them a five-member super-majority on the Richmond council.
Melvin Willis is a 26-year old a rent control campaign organizer who finished first in a field of nine candidates for Richmond Council last November. He is now helping to implement rent control regulation, a rollback of recent rent hikes affecting thousands of Richmond tenants, and new legal protection against their being evicted without just cause.
Co-sponsored by San Francisco Progressive Democrats of America (SanFranpda [at] aol.com
), Democratic Socialists of America–San Francisco (http://www.facebook.com/dsasanfrancisco/
) and Unitarian Universalists for Peace and Justice-San Francisco