$3 million coming to the valley; where will it go? 4/14/17

$3 million coming to the valley; where will it go? 4/14/17

In Arvin, one of Kern County’s poorest cities, the Dolores Huerta Foundation received $20,000 to implement a bike sharing pilot program. The group has about 300 bicycles, many of them donated. The foundation plans to use the money to research which parts of town would be best served with centers where they could be rented, advocate for more bike paths and purchase more bikes for residents, said Yesenia Ocampo, a health policy manager at the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Although it hasn’t launched yet, the foundation has already gotten to work, setting up a free workshop next week at Haven Drive Middle School to provide helmet fittings, bike repair and education on bicycle safety to riders.

“We hope this bike sharing program not only promotes good physical activity … but brings policy changes and brings money for infrastructure so that residents can feel safe going out,” Ocampo said.

The group partnered with graduate students at Cal State Bakersfield to conduct surveys, analyzing where residents want the bike centers located and how much they could afford to pay to rent a bicycle for a day.

“We’re asking residents if it’s something they can afford to help us make it sustainable,” Ocampo said.

The program should get off the ground by August, Ocampo said.

Read the article here http://www.bakersfield.com/news/million-coming-to-the-valley-where-will-it-go/article_d2bf04f9-ece0-536c-a240-ea124e4ba1c1.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

DHF in the News: César Chávez celebrated by members of the community, Thurs. 3/30/17

DHF in the News: César Chávez celebrated by members of the community, Thurs. 3/30/17

Camila Chávez, daughter of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, and niece of César Chávez, gave the keynote address.

“As you know, thousands of people around the state and country are honoring my uncle, César Chávez,” Camila Chávez said. “It’s telling, that on university campuses across the country, we honor a man who only had an eighth grade education.”

Chávez said schooling did not hold her uncle back from expanding his knowledge and reaching his dream of civil rights and activism for farmworkers.

“He was a self-taught individual,” Chávez said.

She outlined the “values and philosophies” of the farmworkers movement as set forth by Chávez and Huerta: the vow of poverty by living simply; nonviolence even when violence is inflicted upon you; and civic participation by exercising your right to vote.

Read the full article here http://collegian.csufresno.edu/2017/03/30/cesar-chavez-celebrated-by-members-of-the-community/

DHF in the News: Conservative columnist misrepresents DHF’s efforts to keep guns off campus

DHF in the News: Conservative columnist misrepresents DHF’s efforts to keep guns off campus

Ina Barks, Bakersfield.com contributing columnist is a graduate of South High School and Cal State Bakersfield. She is a radio talk show host on KNZR.

Read her article – Huerta Foundation isn’t shooting straight with us at http://www.bakersfield.com/…/article_b486acb5-15e2-55d6-b69…

Dr. Gerald Cantu, Civic Engagement Director at the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Cal State University, Bakersfield responds.

Inga Barks’ recent column reads more like a social media rant rather than a well-documented and -researched newspaper essay. In falsely accusing the Dolores Huerta Foundation, her “source” turns out to be none other than Mike Williams and his Facebook posts.

Mr. Williams clearly wants to allow teachers to carry dangerous firearms in class, and he is the person who decided to use his power when he was the president of the KHSD Trustees to convene a special board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17th at 2 p.m.—and he only gave the public 24-hour notice about the hearing. This is a fact and it isn’t just the Dolores Huerta Foundation that pointed out the rushed nature and the unusual hour of the meeting. Students, teachers and other members of the community raised their voices to protest alongside us.

The board passed a new firearms policy on only the first reading to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons at Kern high schools without any regulations. The timing was highly suspect, as Chad Vegas had already said his farewells at the last regular board meeting, and Joey O’Connell was to succeed him at the next regular board meeting in 2016. This gave Mr. Vegas a chance to vote for this dangerous policy. It was politics at its worst.
We expect more of our journalists and columnists than to substantiate their opinions through social media rants which reflect but one side of the issue. Had Barks investigated the views of Williams’ colleagues on the board, she would have discovered a totally different perspective.

What did the other trustees think about scheduling a special meeting to take a vote on such an important policy during an hour in which parents, students, and teachers would probably be at work? Trustee Jeff Flores found the meeting to be “outrageous” because trustees were going to vote outside of a regular meeting, which, given its recurring nature and hour of the day, allows for the maximization of public input.

Barks accuses the DHF of lying. As I was reading her article I was searching for the particular facts which she accused the Dolores Huerta Foundation of presenting as lies, the false statements we knew to be false but were intentionally misrepresenting as truths. My search was in vain. Instead of focusing on any particular facts, Barks focuses in on her “perception” of the facts rather than the facts themselves. The facts are as follows:

1. Williams called together a special board meeting under the said circumstances. The perception is that Trustees pushed the gun policy through during a meeting where the public would have minimal public input and effect.

2. Barks has not consistently attended board meetings. Had she been there,
she would have seen the overwhelming response from community members, parents, students, and teachers to the new firearms policies trustees passed in 2016.

3. We now have amassed 3,500 signatures from a diverse array of individuals throughout Kern County, who are demanding that KHSD Trustees repeal the new firearms policies.

We invite all residents in Kern County who disagree that teachers and parents should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus to sign our petition at tinyurl.com/stopKHSDguns

DHF In the News: Dolores Huerta Foundation protests impending KHSD gun vote, 10/3/16

DHF In the News: Dolores Huerta Foundation protests impending KHSD gun vote, 10/3/16

20161003_184706Members of the Dolores Huerta Foundation Monday protested an impending decision by the Kern High School District board of trustees that would allow employees to carry guns on campus.

The decision, which has been put off for months, would be an extension of an earlier decision this year allowing non-employee concealed carry weapon permit holders to bring their guns onto high school campuses.

A vote on the matter was not on the agenda Monday night.

Before Monday’s board meeting, Huerta said the decision works contrary to something the state of California and Gov. Jerry Brown have been working to establish: better school climate.

“I can’t think of anything less welcoming to students than having guns in classrooms,” Huerta said, calling on board members to rescind the policy they passed allowing non-employees to carry firearms on campus.

The $1 million insurance policy the district requires for non-employees to carry firearms is not enough, Huerta added.

“I don’t think KHSD needs any more lawsuits against them. You’ve already lost quite a lot,” Huerta said.