October Meeting Minutes

RICHMOND HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL

OCTOBER 7, 2019

Agenda:

7PM – Welcome and Introductions

7:15PM – PD Update

7:25PM – Emergency Room for Richmond. The closure of Doctor’s Medical has created a healthcare desert particularly in Richmond and West County. In addition, conversations about the closure of Alta Bates in Berkeley in 2030 is going to make things worse. Our team and locals are working together to find tangible solutions to the local healthcare concerns.

7:55PM – Pt Molate Update

Census employment opportunities: Darlene Rios Drapkin, US Census Bureau, 628-800-2738, Darlene.t.drapkin@2020census.gov

8:15PM – RHNC Officer Elections

 

Officers Present:

President: Seren Pendelton-Knoll

Vice-President: Jim Hanson

Secretary: Nina Smith

Treasurer: Rock Brown

 

Quorum established: 8 people present who live or own a business within our area.

 

  1. Police Officer Prevele filled in for the Beat 7 officer: presented some of the crime stats over last 3 months throughout Beat 7. Prius’ catalytic converters are more valuable and are being stolen a lot: in mall parking lot, church parking lot, overnight. Factory alarms are mostly just when you open the door so doesn’t protect against this kind of theft. Don’t let someone think there’s something in your car. They’re looking for something they can take quick and easy. The police try to deter auto burglary as much as they can. Questions about recent shootings: 31st & Esmond in N&E Neighborhood. Ongoing investigations. Probably gang related. Stolen car reports include incidents which aren’t really stolen (e.g. my friend didn’t return car when she was supposed to). Question re murder rate: about 20 so far this year. Officer thinks that Beat 7 is to have 2 assigned officers. Police can’t do much about the donuts. Speed bumps will help deter. To deter theft of catalytic converter: get a very bright, good motion light. Put up signs saying that there are cameras and alarms. Or fake cameras.

 

  1. Nathan Stalmaker, coalition in the Richmond & West County area addressing “an emergency about access to emergency medical care” in West County. They are planning an upcoming town hall on the subject – lunch provided. November 9 at 11 am at the Craneway Pavilion. RSVP at whensecondscountrichmond.com. Kaiser does have an emergency room at their hospital in downtown. They are often at capacity and have to divert people away from their medical room. They’ve gone up from 100 to 200 patients per day after Doctors’ Medical closed. Diverted to Martinez, Berkeley or Oakland in situations where seconds matter. This coalition is saying that the status quo is unacceptable and it’s probably going to get worse. They’ve talked with Supervisor Gioia. The firefighters and police union are supporting this organizing effort. Have talked with the building trades unions. This problem is not unique to this area. This upcoming town hall is the beginning of this organizing effort. They hope to create political pressure and show that we’re serious about finding a solution and exploring our options. The town hall will show a 25-30-minute film which was a thesis project for a UCB journalism student. 2 expert panels will include people in the movie, first responders, County politicians. California is one state that doesn’t allow construction of free-standing emergency rooms. 35-37 states do allow this. Changing California’s law to allow free-standing emergency rooms could be a focus of political pressure. Nation-wide the trend is away from free-standing hospitals, towards more decentralization. Right now not considering increased County taxes to provide more public health facilities as the solution. Questions about statistics. Bo Kovitz, the student who made the film, reports that Kaiser is opaque about offering statistics re impact of Doctors’ Hospital closure on emergency room usage. Need a community coalition to come up with a solution until the larger systemic issues are addressed. The idea is to establish a public hospital which would accept all patients. Question about what exactly a free-standing emergency room entails. The model is to ensure no gap in treatment services even though a full service hospital is not physically in the same place. They have a Facebook group. Suggested put it on Next Door.

 

  1. Election of Officers:

Call for volunteers to be nominated.

President: Jim Hanson nominated, seconded and unanimously elected.

Vice-President: Seren Pendleton-Knoll nominated, seconded and unanimously elected.

Treasurer: Rock Brown nominated, seconded and unanimously elected.

Secretary: Nina Smith, nominated, seconded and unanimously elected.

 

Darlene Rios Drapkin, willing to serve as communications officer.

darlenedrapkin@gmail.com, 510-459-7780

 

  1. Darlene, working for federal 2020 Census agency: 4/1/20 is the snapshot of America. This year starting in March everyone will get reminders. They’ll invite people to respond on the internet – first time that the internet is an option. Census data drives all funding, government and non-profit. The State of California is also spending money to increase the accuracy of the Census results.   San Pablo and Richmond significantly undercounted in the past. Job opportunities coming up: census takers are paid about $20 an hour. The census will be easy to complete: online, by phone, by paper. Accommodates 50 languages. Easy, important and confidential. In the last census children were undercounted by 5%. Can be difficult to be sure that groups such as the homeless, multiple families in single households, accessory dwellings are accurately counted. A person needs to be counted even if they can’t vote. A lot of grants offered to non-profits to help increase accuracy and inclusivity of the results. They anticipate that by April 75% will have answered online. But the other 25% are the difficult ones. Up to 4 mailings from Census but if you respond early you won’t get be more mailings. This is the 24th census, 1st Taking a census every 10 years is a constitutional mandate. Centers will be set up with computers around Richmond to facilitate people completing the census form. Census takers are usually assigned to their own community. They especially need people with second language.

 

  1. Jim Hanson, Pt. Molate update: explained that the City Council settled with Jim Levine and the Pomo tribe in closed session which included an agreement to put housing units in.   Currently a lawsuit challenging this because the Brown Act says that land use planning cannot occur in closed session. Different plans were put together: 1 by City’s consultant, 1 by Pt. Molate Alliance, and a third by another community group. The public’s input was ignored in the City consultant’s plan. All 3 were adopted by the Council initially but in January Mayor Butt wrote a letter proposing no restrictions on the use of the south drum lot, no upper limit on the amount of housing, and no requirement for affordable housing beyond the mandates of existing City ordinances. Council adopted Butt’s recommendations. The Council selected Sun Cal, a southern California developer (which had been voted out of Alameda), to get an exclusive right to negotiate. In July The City requested a supplemental environmental impact report. Community activists challenged this, pointing out that a full EIR is needed because the new proposal goes well beyond the earlier EIR. There’s very little infrastructure there which means enormous upfront expenses if development is to happen there. The City has not done a financial feasibility study. Estimates of putting in infrastructure start at $100 million.

Current situation: the community group is asking for full EIR and a financial feasibility study. Community activists hired a financial consultant who concluded that 1100 units would cost an addition $3 million per year over the taxes levied on the new units.

There are also serious safety, access, and environmental concerns with the project.

Jim suggests we might think about whether the Neighborhood Council would like to see a financial feasibility study.

 

Jim moved that the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council direct a letter to the City Council asking that prior to signing any development contract the City proceed with a financial feasibility study to be presented to the public to ensure that the Point Molate project not negatively impact the fiscal health of the City of Richmond. Seren seconded.

Vote: Unanimously approved. To City Council with a cc to the Planning Director.

 

Announcements:

  1. Mira Vista Field Work Days Saturday and Sunday October 12, 9 – 12: need help spreading the chips. Volunteers welcome even for part of that time; bring a wheelbarrow and neighbors. There will be a gathering in November to be announced at the field.
  2. The Factory Bar is redoing the building. Clinton and San Pablo.
  3. The Allegro ballroom is now open next to the Grocery Outlet.
  4. Cordell announcements:
  • Bright Star, the musical at the Contra Costa Theater;
  • Contra Costa Mayor’s Council 11/7 at Mira Vista Country Club on Cutting. $55. Have to RSVP to the City clerk in El Cerrito.
  • Interim City Manager Faulk: 10/22 City Council – unveiling of a surprise. It will be on the Agenda.

 

  1. New pastor at Open Door Methodist Church – check out Pub Theology
  • Looking for property manager for house on McBryde
  • Future Agenda Topic suggestion: concerned that our renters don’t have enough of an emergency plan, public school Mira Vista has never practiced an emergency evacuation. Recommendation: west side practice a full emergency wide evacuation. Contact: Joanna Pace – joannapace4@gmail.com
  • Crime prevention awards ceremony – October 19th 6-8:30PM at the Rec Center

 

 

 

 

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