ECP Environmental Activists Work to Eliminate Toxins and Reduce Landfill


skip the straw
Skip the Straw!


The Environmental Justice group’s work this year involves:

  • Reducing landfill by promoting the diagnosis, repair and re-use of items through FixIt Clinics that we co-sponsor with our City’s Environmental Quality Committee and the El Cerrito Library. We held a very successful Clinic on June 9. Our next Fixit Clinic will be on Saturday, October 27 from 12:30 to 4:00PM at the library.


  • Eliminating toxic materials in El Cerrito. Plastic presents a health threat to the environment and living beings. It adds to the overwhelming amount of debris found on streets, in waterways, and on land, and in animals that ingest plastic. Micro-bits of plastic are found in humans who drink water from clear plastic bottles.  Plastic can only be recycled once, if at all, and 91% of plastic is not recycled globally. At the 4th of July One World Festival, our group launched our SKIP THE STRAW campaign to eliminate the use of plastic food ware at local food and drink purveyors, lodging, and other institutions, such as schools. We collected 67 signatures on our SKIP THE STRAW petition.

Our goal is to update our city’s Food ware Ordinance by eliminating 1-time use food ware and plastic straws.

After speaking about our concerns during the public comment time at the Environmental Quality Committee’s July meeting, we were invited to give a formal presentation to the EQC about our SKIP THE STRAW campaign on August 14. The presentation, led by Barbara Chan with Anne Ogonowski, Mei Mei Everson, Rebecca Anaya, and Robin Mitchell from ECP’s Environmental Justice group, was very well received.  The EQC acknowledged that we (Environmental Justice) had done much of the “heavy lifting” with our thorough research, providing usable data, compelling business case studies, and resources to move this issue forward.

stork with plastic bagWhile we are encouraging the City to improve the food ware ordinance from a policy perspective, we have been conducting a “soft” campaign with each of us talking to cafe and restaurant mangers and workers about not serving plastic straws with drinks, or using alternative straws.

ECP members are invited to join our group’s work. We meet on the 3rdMonday from 7 to 9PM. If you would like to join us, for location and directions.

Barbara Chan

Convener, Environmental Justice Committee



Bake for Bonds hurdles past $10,000 goal!

Bake for Bonds Raises $10,451

Beautifully decorated Bake for Bonds table at the Kensington Market with community volunteers. Final tally raised for bond funds to support immigrants is $10,541

Update on Bake for Bonds

Bake for Bonds, now completing its third and final weekend, raised $8,200 as of Saturday, September 1st.  Organizers set a goal of $10,000 for funds to help immigrants transferred from West County Detention Center to private prisons out of state.  With a strong supportive community, organizers predict success at the end of Sunday.  Please join the campaign and buy some baked goods for a good cause. Find Bake for Bonds at Trader Joes in El Cerrito Plaza and Kensington Farmers Market from 10Am to 2PM. day1bakesale

Bake for Bonds launches the first weekend of bake sales – almost $500 raised in 4 hours.  Day 2 promises to be even greater – more sites and a 1-1 match for every dollar raised!

When El Cerrito Progressives launched a local effort to support the coalition of organizations raising funds for a Bay Area bond fund to support local ICE detainees, the outpouring of support heartened us all.  In addition to raising $3,000 within the first 10 days, a local neighbor donated funds and  suggested a city wide bake sale.  With a quick Canva graphic, catchy title and a bit of social media, neighbors came together to launch three weekends of scrumptious treats to be sold at some well traversed spots in our city. Don’t miss your chance to support a good cause.

Find us every weeekend.jpg

Local Voter Registration Drive Begins


Friends, we invite you to join the  El Cerrito Progressives’ Voter Registration Drive! The work will take place between Labor Day weekend and October 22, the deadline for registrants wanting to use a mail-in or polling-place regular ballot. Later registrants will have to use a provisional ballot.

We plan to set up tables at high-traffic locations such as Farmers’ Market, Ranch99, etc.  We also plan to canvass door-to-door in precincts with low voter registration rates in El Cerrito and Richmond Annex. Teams of 2 or more will be able to set their own schedules for this door-to-door work. The canvassing promises more voter engagement and education opportunities.

If you’ve never registered voters before, or if you’d like to go over the instructions including on-line options, please open this Doodle Poll and select your first (one click) and second choices (2 clicks) for times to attend training. There will be 2 beginners’ trainings offered on the most popular of these dates. Just click or copy and paste this link into your browser:

If you have training and experience in registering voters, or if you’ve signed up for the beginners’ training above, please go to this poll and select your first (one click) and second (2 clicks) choices for this training. We expect to give the training on only one date. This training will include strategies for ongoing engagement  including post carding, distributing the EC Progressive Scorecard and other voter information resources, accessing the on-line registration verification option, and most important, messaging strategies found most effective with uneducated, uninvolved, alienated potential voters as well as voters who may not agree with you on issues.

Even if you have limited time for registration activities, please consider taking one or both trainings to make you a more effective advocate and citizen.

For those of you who want to work as a poll worker or poll observer, watch for a follow-up email with information about the Contra Costa County Registrar’s community meetings, and poll worker trainings.

Please respond before Wednesday, August 15.


Landry Wildwind, Elections Committee,

El Cerrito Progressives

Local residents ready to SHOW UP!

El Cerrito Shows UP

Thursday, August 9th from 6-7PM

El Cerrito Plaza (San Pablo Ave)

As President Trump now introduces a new plan to target legal immigrants for deportation, the public continues to push back on his divisive rhetoric.  Locally, a diversity of neighbors will gather to make community in face of the the nationalists immigration policies.  Join your neighbors and find strength in numbers. Voice your outrage and our support. Stand up for human rights. Be a global citizen, be a local voice.


For more information about the attempt to target legal immigrants, see this article:

Trump Targets Legal Immigrants

El Cerrito Shows UP

@MaryMartinDeShaw-0063-X3Join your neighbors and friends on Thursday, August 9th from 6-7 p.m. at the San Pablo Entrance to the El Cerrito Plaza – Demand Justice for Families!

Last week dozens of community residents gathered at a busy intersection to amplify the voices of those who are locked away in detention facilities across the country – many separated from their children.  Although the national media stations have reduced their coverage of the atrocious “family separation” policy, there are still over 700 children separated and isolated from family. Please stand up for these children.  Watch the live feed from the DeSaulnier Town Hall. He describes his own experience in Brownsville, Texas where he met with many of those families experiencing  grief and trauma as a result of current administration policies.

See you on Thursday, August 9th.  Bring a sign – we are a human billboard!

Threat of deportation breaks families apart in our community – you can help

UPDATE:  El Cerrito Progressives raised thus far, $2,882 for bond funds to assist detainees at West County Detention Facility.  With 57 donors, 134 shares and 1,039 views, our community comes together.  We are not finished.  Please, if you are not one of the donors, you still have the opportunity to give.  Click the link below.

The Sheriff of Contra Costa County is ending its contract with ICE. There are over 148 detainees currently at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond that need funds to meet their bond requirement. The bonds average $5,000-$15,000. In addition, there are some local detainees that need to be returned to the Bay Area. Time is critical. The contract ends in 120 days and ICE has already started some transfers. We don’t just want the contract ended we want the detainees to be free on bond to pursue their cases with family support.

All donations will go directly to the West County Detention Facility Community Fund.
This is a partnership between Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Freedom for Immigrants and the Contra Costa County Immigrant Rights Alliance.
Funds are managed by Freedom for Immigrants.

Individuals can make a difference. We want to bail out at least one of these detainees.


Tenants Tell Your Stories!

apartment rental
How much do you think this apartment can rent for in El Cerrito?

The housing market is booming for homeowners while tenants face skyrocketing rent increases in El Cerrito.  At a recent El Cerrito City Council Meeting, Human Rights Commissioner Makalia Aga reported that she and other seniors living in a property on Liberty Street were facing a rent increase of 20%.

 El Cerrito Progressive members met with the Aissia Ashoori, Housing Analyst for the City of El Cerrito to discuss tenant protections and potential actions including rent stabilization, just cause eviction protection and a moratorium on rental increase while setting plans in place.   Ms. Ashoori is continuing to seek out input from residents to shape further action.

Listening Session on Affordable Housing Rent Scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st at 7:00 p.m.           City Hall

Please contact us if you would like to share your story about your experience as a renter in El Cerrito.