Come support Richmond residents suffering from health problems aggravated by coal and petroleum coke dust! On Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 pm, No Coal in Richmond will hold a rally and press conference on City Hall steps at 5:30 pm before the 6:30 pm Richmond Planning Commission meeting.

WHAT: No Coal in Richmond rally & Richmond Planning Commission hearing
WHEN: Thursday, July 18: rally & press conference 5:30, Planning Commission 6:30
WHERE: Richmond City Hall steps, 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond CA 94804

The Planning Commission meeting will consider the Richmond Coal Ordinance, which prohibits new coal operations on private land in the city, prevents existing facilities from expanding, and provides for a graduated phase-out of coal operations. It relies on the city’s police powers to regulate businesses in the interest of residents’ health and safety.

No Coal in Richmond is urging the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the ordinance with a phase-out period of three years. A three-year phase-out will safeguard terminal workers’ jobs and allow the terminal enough time to convert their operations to safer bulk commodities. The commission’s recommendation will go before the City Council in September.

If you are a Richmond resident and want to speak at the hearing, please contact and put “Planning Commission testimony” in the subject line. This is your chance to voice your experience, or that of family members, of suffering health problems such as asthma and COPD.

No Coal in Richmond has collected 1,600 signatures on a letter to the City Council urging them to act to end coal and petroleum coke handling and storage at the Levin-
Richmond Terminal. We already suffer from the areas’s highest levels of asthma and other health problems caused by bad air quality.

To read the ordinance and learn more about the health effects of coal and petroleum coke dust, please visit the No Coal in Richmond website:

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Despite the federal government’s inaction and attempts to deny the effects of its policies on the environment and society, people across the United State are taking action to combat climate change. Join us to watch this National Geographic film about inspired and inspiring people working to make a difference and talk with fellow human beings about ways we can make a difference locally.

Saturday, September 21 @ 7PM

Berkeley Zion Presbyterian Church, 545 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito


Seats are limited–Reserve yours now

Support Plastic-Free Produce

We love our hometown organic grocery store, El Cerrito Natural. We would love it more if vegetables and fruit were not packaged in plastic wrap or plastic clamshells. Plastic is a toxic material, and it is a contradiction to sell organic product wrapped or packaged in plastic. Other produce markets and farmers at El Cerrito Farmers Market are selling produce without plastic packaging or use of plastic bags!

We have drafted a letter to El Cerrito Natural’s owner, Mr. Bob Gerner asking him to consider sourcing product from farmers who use sustainable packaging.

If you did not sign our group letter to Bob at the 4th of July WorldOne Festival, feel free to copy our letter or write your own, then sign and deliver or mail it to El Cerrito Natural Grocery, 10367 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530. Please encourage your neighbors and friends who shop there to write a letter too.

# # #

Dear Bob,

We value that your store sells organic food products. Those products support the health of all in our community.

We are writing to urge you to source produce from famers who do not package their harvest in plastic. It is a contradiction in values to sell organic fruit, such as berries, and organic greens, in plastic containers. Not only is plastic harmful to the environment and living beings, encasing berries and greens exposes those foods to potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

There is overwhelming evidence that plastic causes grievous harm to the environment and living beings. We hope you will consider our request.


Your name and address

# # #

Coal Out of Richmond

We are in solidarity with Richmond residents who are affected by the coal dust pollution at the Levin-Richmond Terminal. Although residents in that area are the ones primarily impacted, Bay winds blow pollution all over the greater Bay Area, affecting air quality.

They are asking people to support Coal Out of Richmond and to show up at the Richmond Planning Commission’s meting on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30PM.

More details at

Plastic Free July!

For over a year ECP Environmental Justice has been advocating that the City of El Cerrito ban plastic and non-compostable single-use food- and beverage ware through our research, presentations to the El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee, conversations with residents, speaking at City Council meetings, showing a film about plastic, and our presence at events like Off the Grid and World One 4th of July Festivals. After one year of speaking up and out, City staff are only proposing to ban plastic straws and stirrers.
Meanwhile cities around us, including Richmond, Alameda, and Berkeley have instituted new foodware and litter ordinances that have not only banned single use plastic food and beverage-ware, and non-compostables, some have instituted mandatory charges of as much as 25¢ a cup for a take out beverage, thereby encouraging people to bring their own cups. Palo Alto very recently banned plastic produce bags in addition to plastic straws, stirrers, and utensils, and produce and farmers’ markets will have to replace plastic bags with compostable ones or none at all.  Watsonville just banned plastic carryout bags, and disposable plastic foodware from all restaurants.

To understand how much plastic enters our lifestream, some of us tracked our plastic lifestream for 31 days and it was an eye-opener about how many items used in a normal daily life include 1-time use plastic. For example, a box of Kleenex has a plastic piece around the opening of the box, presumably to protect the tissue. Buying a package of batteries involves disposing of hard-to-open hard plastic packaging. The toilet paper you buy probably comes wrapped in plastic. The sparkling water metal bottle cap has a small disc of plastic in it. To say nothing about plastic straws or cups from your favorite To Go beverage shop. The list is much longer than we anticipated.

One cannot escape the almost daily news about the overwhelming, ubiquitous amount of plastic pollution everywhere around the globe. This pollution cannot be recycled. We cannot “throw plastic away” because there is NO AWAY. Plastic is toxic to the environment and all life.

El Cerrito used to be known as a green city. We need your support to ban toxic plastic from our city.

This is why we are encouraging everyone to ban plastic from your life to the best of your ability during the month of July. If you have children, ask them to help you track the plastic that comes through your life. If you are thinking about buying an item, be it food or a non-food item, reconsider whether you really need it or can get it or an alternative without plastic packaging around it.

Come by our Booth 54-55 at the 4th of July free WorldOne Festival at Cerrito Vista Park, say “Hi” and learn how to make healthy changes in your life and work.  We’ll share our Plastic Lifestream spreadsheet template with you. Check out the games we have, take our Plastics Quiz, see our samples of alternatives to plastic that can be purchased locally, and pledge to take action to eliminate plastic from your life.

Learn about our campaign to have El Cerrito sign on to theClimate Emergency Resolution with other Bay Area cities.

We ask you to call your State representatives and tell them to support California SB 54 and its companion AB 1080. As reported in the Santa Monica Daily Press SB 54 requires that all single-use packaging and products be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2030. Senate Bill 54 would also require California to recycle or divert 75 percent of single-use materials. The state currently recycles just 15 percent of single-use plastics.

Join the global Plastic Free July Pledge started by fellow concerned humans in Australia. Together, we can make a difference in reducing plastic pollution!

With gratitude,
Barbara Chan
Convener, Environmental Justice Committee
El Cerrito Progressives
Leaders of the Campaign to Ban Plastic in El Cerrito