Richmond city council member Melvin Willis and writer Steve Early will speak at a free public forum about how progressives took back political power in Richmond, the city Chevron used to own. The forum is sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of America.
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 rent control campaign organizer who finished first in a field of nine candidates for Richmond City 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.
As Bernie Sanders wrote in the foreword to Steve Early’s book, “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.”
Thursday, April 27, 7:00 PM
Unitarian Universalist Center Chapel
1187 Franklin Street
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