“Today’s three guilty verdicts of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd offer us hope that change is possible. While we breathe a collective sigh of relief, the solutions our communities need must be based in collective action and policy. Transformational solutions are rooted in true people power with the enactment of social, racial and economic justice policies. It will require civic engagement, advocacy and accountability of our public officials to end systemic racism. Millions across our country and around the world marched in protest to denounce Mr. Floyd’s murder. The marching and non-violent organizing must continue as we grieve the ongoing slayings of Black, and Brown people at the hands of the police. While we pause to honor the pain of George Floyd’s family today, our commitment to our Black, Indigenous People of Color communities is an explicit promise to work together to end injustice.” – Camila Chavez, DHF Executive Director & Dolores Huerta, Founder & President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation
Erica Talavera is a parent leader from Parlier. She is a mother of two, an eight month year old and a teenager. She was recruited into the local Vecinos Unidos Education Committee in 2019. When Eric first began attending meetings with her newborn, she seemed shy and reserved.
As time progressed, she gained confidence and leadership skills becoming our local media liaison for DHF’s Vecinos Unidos group. She spoke about education issues during the pandemic, especially the importance of having a healthy and accessible nutrition plan for school districts. Her leadership blossomed. Soon organizing and distributing much needed food to communities in need. She did this at three local food banks organized by the Dolores Huerta Foundation Vecinos Unidos.
She also organized a crisis food delivery program from April 2020 through November of 2020. She assisted fellow Vecinos members in bridging the technical divide to attend leadership meetings remotely with other organizers to address issues like access to pandemic EBT food assistance and supported parents in completing online applications. During our Get Out the Vote efforts she was the top caller and neighborhood captain for the campaign in Parlier.
2021 is here! It is incumbent upon us to take the hard lessons we learned in 2020 and create meaningful and critical organizing opportunities. Now more than ever we are compelled to educate folks on the fundamentals of democracy and stress the importance of strong and capable leadership. The events of 2020 and January 6th, 2021 have shown that these issues are truly a matter of life and death.
We’ve seen the destructive and toxic nature of white supremacy. In addition to community organizing to harness people power, we believe education equity can help cure this ugly disease that is tearing apart our civil society. All children must be taught the contributions of immigrants and people of color have made to this nation’s rich fabric. This will give pride and dignity to young people of color and abolish the false sense of superiority that many white children are taught. This is the work we will continue to focus on.
We are excited to announce our capital campaign to build a home for this important work. DHF plans to construct The Dolores Huerta Peace & Justice Cultural Center, a multicultural community center complex in downtown Bakersfield, California. This state-of-the-art campus and headquarters will include a comprehensive child development facility, art gallery, outdoor amphitheater and a community organizing training academy.
The campus will provide a permanent location to honor the historic civil rights legacy of local leaders and the contributions of the many immigrants, communities of color, and poor whites who worked the land, enriched the culture and built the infrastructure of the great San Joaquin Valley.
We invite you to partner with us in creating a beacon of hope that will establish a movement building and social justice education hub and serve our communities for generations to come. For more information, or to donate, please visit:
Three years ago the Parlier Vecinos Unidos® Chapter families began discussing issues they had with solar panels installed on their homes. Homeowners were being charged fees for contracts to loans they never signed. In some cases the newly installed solar panels were not completely functional. The Parlier Vecinos Unidos® Chapter started a Solar Fraud Committee with seventeen families who came together to expose these consumer issues. They were not fully informed by solar contractors who took advantage of these homeowners and signed them up to state PACE/HERO loans that they didn’t know about.
Hundreds of families all over Fresno County were affected by these practices. Families affected continued to join the Vecinos Unidos® Solar Fraud Committee. Vecinos Unidos® members came together to host house meetings and invited community members to join them in bringing justice to this issue. The Parlier Vecinos drafted a plan to support families and organized to file formal complaints with state agencies including the Contractors State License Board, California Attorney General’s office, the Fresno’s District Attorney’s Office, and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
In response to the community efforts, the CPUC created a Solar Fraud Taskforce to address these issues and is working toward ensuring consumer protections. So far nine families have had their loans adjusted and had their solar panels properly connected for use. The CPUC also created a solar guide to help families. The CPUC recommends that solar providers give out this guide during their first contact with potential customers https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/solarguide. Affected families are encouraged to report their issues with the Contractors State License Board: (800) 321-2752 or at www.cslb.ca.gov.
On February 18th, 2021 the DHF Education Team hosted a regional call with 33 Vecino UnidosⓇ leaders. They discussed the importance of promoting legislation which was passed in California stating that “On [or around] Dolores Huerta Day [April 10th], all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to conduct exercises remembering the life of Dolores Huerta, recognizing her accomplishments, and familiarizing pupils with the contributions she made to this state.”
Our Parlier Vecinos UnidosⓇ Chapter scheduled meetings with principals of the Parlier Unified School District. Nine other Vecinos UnidosⓇ Education Committees are creating calls to action across the Central Valley promoting the Dolores Huerta Day Board Resolution. Our first resolution passed at the Lamont Elementary School District on March 9, 2021.
DHF encourages community members who are behind more than $500 and up to $1000 in their utility bills to access relief programs through their utility company or contact the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group (DACAG) at www.cpuc.ca.gov/dacag.
Please contact your elected officials and tell them to “Support SB 757!” to establish a solar panel consumer protection and restitution fund Go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.
If you are a victim of poor or fraudulent solar panel installation by contractors please contact the Contractors State License Board at
(800) 321-2752 or at www.cslb.ca.gov.
Camila Chavez is Executive Director and co-founder (with her mother Dolores Huerta) of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). Her excellent leadership style has earned her the respect and admiration of her staff and colleagues. She is often referred to as “the best boss ever.” The ideals of non-violence, selfless motivation and personal responsibility were instilled in Camila by her parents Dolores Huerta and Richard Chávez and her Uncle Cesar E. Chavez. Camila was raised at the UFW Headquarters in La Paz located in Keene, California in Kern County.
As a student at Mills College in Oakland she served as a campaign coordinator for the campaign to save Affirmative Action in California. After graduating, Camila worked in public health promoting Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and other health coverage programs for low-income and undocumented families in San Francisco and Alameda Counties.
In 2003, Camila returned to the Central Valley to work with Dolores Huerta to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation, headquartered in Bakersfield, California in Kern County. Under her leadership DHF and Vecinos UnidosⓇ (Neighbors United) have grown to twelve chapters in Fresno, Tulare, Kern and parts of the Antelope Valley. These communities have made gains in education equity and increased political representation. DHF has secured millions of dollars for neighborhood improvements. Using the “house meeting” organizing model, Vecinos UnidosⓇ (Neighbors United) chapters have expanded to twelve chapters and three DHF Youth chapters dedicated to organizing and working on campaigns to improve the quality of life in their communities. In 16 years since its inception, Camila has grown the organization to a budget of $5 million dollars with over 40 employees.
Camila currently resides in the mountains of Kern County in a cabin built by her father, where she, her spouse, their two children and a multitude of animals make every effort to live sustainably growing much of their own vegetarian food supply. Like her mother, she loves to dance, read and travel to places in the great outdoors.
She received the Humanitarian Award in 2019 from Community Action Partnership of Kern and sits on the following boards: Central Valley Partnership, Inner City Struggle, Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte, and the CA Planned Parenthood Education Fund.
The Dolores Huerta Foundation is co-sponsoring a solar panel consumer protection and restitution fund, with Senator Monique Limón who represents the 19th Senate District (Santa Barbara and parts of Ventura Counties). Senate Bill 757 introduced on February 19, 2021, would establish protections for solar panel consumers in California and funding to consumers who suffered damages caused by poor or fraudulent solar installations. Please contact your elected officials and tell them to “Support SB 757!” Go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.
The California Public Utilities Commission recommends that solar providers give out the following guide during their first contact with potential customers https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/solarguide. If you are a victim of poor or fraudulent solar panel installation by contractors please contact the Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-2752 or at www.cslb.ca.gov.
Every ten years, following the Census, governments from Federal and State Legislature to local governments are obligated to modify their districts to ensure equitable representation of the population on decision-making bodies such as the Board of Supervisors, City Councils, Water and School Boards. Redistricting presents a critical opportunity for historically underrepresented communities to be actively engaged in creating representative districts for the next ten years. The Fair Maps Act AB 849 established certain requirements, including a total of five public hearings held throughout different phases of the process.
Redistricting has always been challenging. This year because of the pandemic and the delay in the release of 2020 Census Redistricting data, the challenges are even greater. DHF is looking forward to being a redistricting partner with communities we serve. There will be a focus on the Federal and State Legislature, County Board of Supervisors, City Councils, School Boards and other districts that Vecinos UnidosⓇ identify.
“Just go for it,” is the motto that Anna Hun uses to describe what moved her from being a shy freshman at Duncan Polytechnical High School, to an engaged leader in her community. Anna credits much of her growth to the school’s ROTC and the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Anna was born and raised in Fresno to immigrant parents from Cambodia. At 14, she connected to DHF’s Youth Program and it was clear that her experience and confidence were growing. “She was scared to talk when she first started doing phone canvassing for the Census,” highlighted youth organizer Cesilia Acevedo. In March 2020, Anna traveled to Washington, DC and met with Congressional Representatives TJ Cox, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
On April 8th, Anna was appointed as voting member of District 4 on Fresno’s Youth Commission by Councilmember Tyler Maxwell. The Fresno Youth Commission is responsible for advising Fresno City Council and the Mayor on policies and laws related to young people. Today, Anna’s leadership is giving voice to youth in Fresno and she wants you to know, she’s just getting started!
Join Planned Parenthood Mar Monte for their first virtual Capital Dinner as they honor some incredible leaders among our communities including Dolores Huerta & Rhodesia Ransom. RSVP here: bit.ly/31bVhRT
When: Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM
Event link will be sent prior to event
Featuring: Lifetime Achievement Award: Dolores Huerta, President/Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation & Community Organizer, Ally of the Year: Rhodesia Ransom, Former Tracy City Council Member, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus and Stacy Cross, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, President & CEO, Jodi Hicks, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, President & CEO
On #JoltVOCES, Jolt’s Antonio Arellano chats with @DoloresHuerta about about the possibility to end racism & discrimination against immigrants in America & instead celebrate their significant contributions. Listen NOW at www.jolttx.org/voces
Voces is a political podcast produced by Jolt Action that seeks to amplify the voces of progressive leaders and changemakers who are transforming American politics today. Hosted by Antonio Arellano, Voces taps into the issues and topics that matter most to the growing Latinx community and provides unique Latinx perspectives on how we can solve the biggest issues of our times.
Join activists across the nation to take part in the John Lewis Mobilization Town Hall to bring awareness to the John Lewis Voting Rights Day of Action which aims to protect and preserve democracy. Join the event on April 14th at 7 pm ET at this link: http://bit.ly/JohnLewisTownHall2
Learn about the school district budget known as the LCAP. Create & share recommendations to your school board for the upcoming school year for better student support on your campus!
Contact to register:
Lourdes “LULU” Oliva – (559) 343-6721
Ashley De La Rosa – (661) 558-2049
or register online using: https://forms.gle/jk5A58XjYXaWW5w2