The Political Reinvention of Richmond

Feb 6, 2017

In the past five years, one Bay Area city has placed a soda tax measure before its voters, passed a strong rent control measure, and rejected a big-money city council campaign from its biggest employer. And no, it wasn’t Berkeley.

The notable misstep by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, says writer Steve Early, was their backing of a hotly contested soda tax on the city’s ballot in 2012, a defeat that took down their two candidates as well.

Steve Early

But in the long-run, Early predicts, ongoing trends in Richmond’s municipal demographics suggest that there will continue to be a strong and growing constituency for the Richmond Progressive Alliance.

Steve Early will be at Book Passage in Corte Madera talking about his book on Wednesday night, Feb. 8. He’ll also appear Tuesday night, Feb. 7 at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa, in a forum about Richmond's Rent Control Law. That event is hosted by North Bay Jobs With Justice:

"A special event, “How Richmond Won Rent Control," a forum with Steve Early and Zak Wear, is aimed especially for the leaders and key members of groups participating in the Fair and Affordable Santa Rosa campaign to oppose the June ballot proposition to repeal the rent control ordinance approved by the Santa Rosa City Council last fall.  The event, moderated by Annie Dobbs-Kramer, will feature Steve Early, veteran labor organizer and author of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of An American City on how a progressive majority was elected to the Richmond City Council, and passed rent control and just cause eviction ordinances; and Zak Wear, who coordinated the winning campaign in which a large majority of Richmond voters supported and upheld the ordinances in the face of fierce opposition from business forces.

"The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6 PM, at the Glaser Center (home of the Santa Rosa Unitarian Universalist Congregation) at 647 Mendocino  Avenue in downtown Santa Rosa. It is designed as an information and strategy session for those groups and leaders already committed or considering joining the campaign. "