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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

How Grassroots Politics Transformed Former Company Town Richmond, CA

sm_refinery.jpg
Date:
Thursday, July 06, 2017
Time:
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Speaker
Organizer/Author:
Green Arcade
Location Details:
The Green Arcade
1680 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, Richmond, California, was once a prototypical company town dominated by Chevron Corporation. This largely nonwhite, working-class city of one hundred thousand suffered from poverty, pollution, and poorly funded public services. It had one of the highest homicide rates per capita in the country and a jobless rate twice the national average.

Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City chronicles the fifteen years of successful community organizing that raised the local minimum wage, defeated a casino development project, challenged home foreclosures and evictions, and sought fair taxation of Big Oil and Big Soda. The book features a dynamic cast of characters—from ninety-five-year-old Betty Reid Soskin, the country's oldest full-time national-park ranger and witness to Richmond's complex history; to Gayle McLaughlin, the Green mayor who challenged Chevron and won, to police chief Chris Magnus, who brought community policing to Richmond and is now one of America's leading public safety reformers.

Part urban history, part call to action, Refinery Town shows how concerned citizens can harness the power of local politics to reclaim their community and make municipal government a source of much-needed policy innovation.

Steve Early, author of Refinery Town, has been an organizer, lawyer, union representative, and labor activist for the past forty-five years. He has written three other books, including Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress. He lives in Richmond, California, with his wife, Suzanne Gordon.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 4:11PM
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