Organizing in the Garden: Creating Power in Richmond, California
The residents of Richmond, California are focused on creating a sustainable, just, and people-centered economy in a community that has long faced the enormous corporate power and serious health effects of the Chevron Richmond Refinery, which is the largest greenhouse gas producer in California.
Galvanized by a massive refinery fire in 2012, that sent 15,000 people to the hospital, Richmond residents ramped up their grassroots organizing efforts to address the impact of Chevron, as well as other obstacles to their vision of a community grounded in economic, environmental, and social justice.
Members of the Richmond Our Power Coalition work collaboratively to improve their community through multi-level policy change (related to climate, energy, housing, and other issues), leadership development, community civic engagement, the development of worker-owned cooperatives, the creation of outdoor green spaces, and urban agriculture. Richmond residents hope to continue transforming the city to make it healthier for all by engaging in just economic and community development. Richmond is a community that must address entrenched oil tycoons and compounding impacts from a legacy of injustice. The work of creating a just transition is a vast undertaking, which spans across generations. Community members must build and maintain coalitions to support independence and aim to achieve significant change. Residents of Richmond are leading a liberating just transition in their community.