Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City

Lecture | September 14 | 7-9 p.m. | 2521 Channing Way (Inst. for Res. on Labor & Employment), IRLE Director's Room

 Steve Early, Author

 Institute of Research on Labor & Employment, Townsend Center for the Humanities, California Studies Association

Home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, Richmond, California, was once a traditional company town dominated by Chevron. This largely nonwhite city of 110,000 suffered from poverty, pollution, violent street crime, and poorly funded public services. But in 2012, when journalist Steve Early moved to Richmond, he encountered a community that was bravely struggling to reinvent itself. In his new book Refinery Town, Early chronicles the fifteen years of civic activism that improved public safety, raised Richmond’s minimum wage, challenged home foreclosures and evictions, and demanded fair taxation of Big Oil and Big Soda. This compelling story of a city remade provides a model for citizens engaged in local politics and community building anywhere.

This talk is part of the California Studies Dinners series.

Co-sponsored by the California Studies Association and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

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 charlotterutty@berkeley.edu