Rebel Cities on the Rise: The Richmond, CA. Story
After his 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders urged his millions of supporters to remain active in electoral politics at the local level—by running for school board, city council or mayor in cities throughout the United States.
The objective of this strategy is to win control over city hall--so the resources of local government can be used to alleviate poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation during a period with the federal government is either failing to address these problems or, under Trump’s presidency, making them worse.
Outside the U.S. progressives have also been “going local”—for example, left-wing mayors and city council members have been elected in cities like Barcelona and Madrid, on a similar program of challenging corporate power and promoting direct citizen participation in municipal affairs.
The struggle to revitalize and democratize Richmond, CA, a blue-collar, multi-racial city of 110,000 near San Francisco, is part of this cross-border municipal reform trend. Since 2004, a political formation called the Richmond Progressive Alliance has won 11 out of 19 municipal races, including an eight-year period in which Richmond was the largest city in the nation with a Green mayor.
Richmond resident and longtime U.S. labor activist Steve Early will be speaking about his new book Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (Beacon Press, 2018) which describes the successful labor and community organizing in a community long dominated by Chevron, the global energy giant.
La Biblioteca Publica, Rejoj 50A, Centro
San Miguel de Allende, GUA 37700