In triple digit heat in mid-June, the Sanger and Parlier Vecinos Unidos distributed over 200 boxes of food to families in need. They are addressing a food insecurity situation afflicting the Central Valley’s most vulnerable communities as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Vecinos Unidos also assisted over 40 families in self reporting for the 2020 Census, on site. They distributed information encouraging the other families receiving food to get counted.
Over all DHF Vecinos Unidos have distributed over 23,000 pounds of food in Lindsay, Raisin City, Carruthers, Parlier, Lake LA, Lamont, Arvin and Bakersfield. Boxes contain essential food items and basic staples including canned goods, potatoes, tuna, chicken, milk, beans green beans and soups.
In addition, Vecinos Unidos have assisted more than 300 families in completing the 2020 Census and have educated many others on the importance of getting every member of their families and communities counted.
On February 29th, Parlier Vecinos Unidos canvassed their neighborhoods in an effort to educate and encourage “hard-to-count” community members to complete the 2020 Census. Family members of all ages joined together to ensure everyone in their community is counted before the April 1st deadline.
We encourage you to participate by joining the Vecinos Unidos canvassing efforts and/or making sure each one of your friends and family members gets counted. Help educate our communities about census information centers, census confidentiality and new options for completing the census over the phone, online, and at local kiosks! It has never been easier to BE DOWN WITH THE COUNT!
On the evening of January 30th, 2020, a passionate group of concerned community members marched through the streets of Bakersfield demanding more resources and support for Kern High School District (KHSD) students. At a rally following the March for Educational Justice, parents, guardians, students, and teachers advocated for more counseling services, cultural celebrations, and diverse teachers to a crowd of fifty supporters in front of West High School. The demonstration took place before the final mandatory KHSD Board of Trustees Community Report Back Meeting, which the KHSD has been required to hold twice a year to report their progress in accordance with the 2014 lawsuit settlement. This lawsuit determined that KHSD’s discriminatory discipline practices targeted black and brown students and deprived them of their right to an education.
The Kern Education Justice Collaborative (KEJC) and community members continue to demand that the KHSD faithfully implements the agreements of the settlement to create a positive school environment and improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for black and brown students.
To learn more about this story, read the article below.
ARVIN NEIGHBORS UNITED INVITES YOU TO JOIN US FOR A TOWN HALL
Wednesday April 24, 2019 6-8
at the Veteran’s Hall 414 4th St. Arvin, CA 93203
Let AUSD know we want…More Counselors! More Nurses! Less Suspensions! Less Expulsions!
Find out how YOU have a voice in how the Arvin Unified School District is spending our money! Join parents, community activists, and school representatives to talk about what we need to make our schools succeed!
Raffle Prizes. Food. Music!
For more information contact: Timoteo Prado 661-669-6597
VECINOS UNIDOS de ARVIN TE INVITA A PARTICIPAR EN UNFORO COMUNITARIO
Miércoles 24 de abril 2019 6-8 pm
en el salon de los Veteranos ubicado en 414 4th St Arvin, CA 93203
AUSD…Queremos Más Consejeros! Menos Suspensiones! Menos Expulsiones! Más Enfermeras!
Su opinión es muy importante en decidir cómo el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Arvin está usando nuestro dinero. Acompañe a padres, líderes activistas, y representantes del distrito escolar para hablar sobre qué se necesita para que nuestro distrito sea el mejor!
Habrá comida, música y rifas.
Para más información contacte a: Timoteo Prado 661-669-6597
Let your local school district know we want…More Counselors! More Nurses! Less Suspensions! Less Expulsions!
Find out how YOU have a voice in how your school district is spending our money! Join parents, community activists, and school representatives to talk about what we need to make our schools succeed!
For more information contact: Timoteo Prado 661-669-6597
Hazle saber a tu distrito escolar local que queremos … ¡Más consejeros! ¡Más enfermeras! Menos suspensiones! ¡Menos expulsiones!
¡Descubra cómo USTED tiene una voz en cómo su distrito escolar está gastando nuestro dinero! ¡Únase a padres, activistas comunitarios y representantes escolares para hablar sobre lo que necesitamos para que nuestras escuelas tengan éxito!
Para mayor información contactar a: Timoteo Prado 661-669-6597.
Please check out the latest issue of the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Weaving Movements Newsletter to learn more about the important gains and accomplishments we made this year. Big thanks to all of our esteemed volunteers and generous donors who make this work possible!
Please read the latest edition of our Weaving Movements DHF Newsletter to learn about some of the exiting work we were able to accomplish this year – thanks to the contributions of our esteemed volunteers and generous donors!
On August 10, ninety community members gathered at the Sanger Community Center to form the newest chapter of the Vecinos Unidos (Neighbors United.)
The community meeting in Sanger was the result of a campaign of 20 house meetings. DHF Organizer Stephanie Canales met with small groups of friends and neighbors to discuss issues of concern in Sanger.
Executive Director, Camila Chavez and President Dolores Huerta, gave a presentation demonstrating how through these local groups DHF has been able to mobilize community members in low-income neighborhoods to transform their communities by winning huge policy and electoral victories in the areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare, and civic engagement.
Among the improvements that the group plans to work on are creating more social and cultural activities, expanding employment opportunities, and increasing services such as drug rehab and mental health services.
Long -time community activist Willie Lopez attended the event and seemed hopeful. He commented, “The meeting was very successful. Now we need to move quickly to take action on the issues that we have identified”.
The newly formed education and civic engagement committees are already actively engaging the Sanger City Council and Sanger School District to pursue their collective priorities.
California Values Act or better known as the “sanctuary state” bill, SB 54 would keep our people safe and decrease the fear and vulnerability they face when out in the community. A “common sense law” that protects and helps “our schools, hospitals, courthouses and libraries be safe spaces for our community members despite birthplace, background or appearance,” is what we are fighting for in 2017.
“We must take a clear stand for our deepest values: All people are created equal and deserve due process.
Community Organizer Gaby Fernandez and Education Policy Director Gerald Cantu Ph.D., joined parents at the Bakersfield City Schools District (BCSD) at the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) hearing on June 13, 2017.
The LCAP is a critical part in children’s education where parents have the opportunity to engage in the decisions that impact their children and schools. Each school district must create a plan that describes the school districts annual goals for the students and include the actions that will be needed in order to achieve these goals. However, this must be done with the parents, community, educators, and employees. The LCAP also includes the districts budget and how it will be dispersed to each goal in order to achieve it.
Parents from Emerson Middle School, Stella Hills Elementary School, and McKinley Elementary were able to speak in front of board members and propose recommendations for their child’s schools. Gaby was able to inform the board members that DHF has a toolkit both in spanish and english that helps to educate parents on how to read and analyze the LCAP along with making recommendations. DHF was able to suggest a future partnership with BCSD in order to educate parents more on this very important and critical part of their child’s education that allows them to have a voice.
After hearing Gaby and parents speak, Harry “Doc” Ervin, BCSD Superintendent, responded very positively which has resulted in a meeting with DHF and BCSD next month in August! Doc Ervin spoke during Gabys presentation stating that they were “always looking for ways to improve and that if DHF had any methods or ideas they were good with that and was interested in a partnership to expand the amount of parents involved.”
DHF in Action: On Wednesday June 14, 2017 Zobeida Sosa, Community Organizer attended the Greenfield Union School District board meeting to implement “safe routes to school” program by hiring more crossing guards funded by LCAP. Sabrina Villareal a parent gave a testimony about the issue by stating to the board that:
[as a parent at Fairview Elementary I would like to suggest a program like Safe Routes to School be implemented into a policy. I think this will be beneficial to our schools by teach students how to travel safely to and from school. I feel this is important to do because of all the cureent attempted child abductions that have been going on in Bakersfield.]
Zobeida followed Sabrinas statement with informing the board on how Cultiva La Salud has a tool kit that can help teach parent show to start a walking school bus that can benefit the safety of the students as well as getting parents more involved with the schools and districts. The Superintendent of the GFUSD praised our comments and asked to be contacted on a later date to further discuss the Walking School Bus program with DHF.
DHF en Accion: Zobeida Sosa, Organizadora de la comunidad, atendió la junta de la mesa directiva del distrito escolar de la Unión Greenfield para implementar un programa de “rutas seguras a la escuela.” Este programa funcionaria contratando más guardias de cruceros financiados por el LCAP. Sabrina Villarreal una madre dio su testimonio del programa y el problema que enfrenta nuestra ciudad enfrente de la mesa directiva:
“Como madre en la Primaria Fairview me gustaría sugerir que el programa de Rutas Seguras a la Escuela fuera implementado en una póliza. Yo creo que esto sería beneficioso para nuestras escuelas y para enseñarles a los estudiantes como transportarse sin peligro hacia y de la escuela. Yo creo que esto es importante de hacer por todo los intentos de secuestros de niños que a habido en Bakersfield.”
Después del testimonio de Sabrina Villarreal, Zobeida le informó a la mesa directiva acerca se Cultiva La salud y como tiene las herramientas para educar a los padres cómo pueden empezar un autobús escolar de caminar que beneficie la seguridad de los estudiantes al igual que involucre más a los padres en las escuelas y en el distrito. El Superintendente del Distrito Escolar de la Unión Greenfield alabo nuestros comentarios y preguntó si podría juntarse con la Fundación Dolores Huerta para discutir un posible programa acerca del Autobús Escolar de Caminata.
DHF in Action: Dr. Gerald Cantu alongside South Kern partners attended the #WeAreBHC California Endowment Sacramento Convening on June 6 – 8, 2017. The convening brought together all 18 Building Healthy Communities sites and their partners to visit legislators. Among the South Kern partners of BHC was our very own Dr. Gerald Cantu representing #DHF, Dignity Health, Faith of the Valley, Committee for a better Arvin, United Communities, and a youth reporter for South Kern. Speakers at the convening were: State Controller Betty T. Yee, Latina organizer and activist #CarmenPerez, California’s Insurance commissioner Dave Jones, Representative of the 63rd Assembly District in California Anthony Rendon, and California State Senator Kevin de Leon.
South Kern BHC was able to meet with Senator Jean Fuller (R), Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D), and Senator Andy Vidak (R) and discuss the issues in our community and give them an idea of the amount and type of work we’re doing here at the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Dr. Gerald Cantu advocated on behalf of DHF work for the support on #AB424, #SB607, and #SB54. Existing law was that it would be considered a crime if you were on a school zone and was in possession of a firearm. However, school staff would be allowed to carry firearms if they were to get permission from their superintendent or equivalent school authority. In 2016 the Kern High School District passed a bill that would delete the written permission needed. #AB424 would close the loophole on guns on campus and nullify what the Kern High School District did in 2016. Dr, Gerald Cantu was able to ask Jean Fuller and Andy Vidak for their support on #AB424
Not only did Dr. Cantu advocate for a safer campus but also advocated for #SB607 in order to help end the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Currently in K-12, current law prohibits a student from being suspended from school or recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent or principal determines that the student has “willfully defied” the valid authority. However, this existing law of willful defiance is so broad that you can almost define any small act that disrupts the class from the student as a willful defiance, causing suspension and sometimes even expulsion. This leaves us with kids being disciplined by removing them from the classroom, from their learning environment, and sometimes even their safe haven. #SB607 would change this law and would remove this type of pupil discipline, #RudySalas voted to support this change!
Dr. Cantu did not stop there, as a representative of South Kern he educated these legislators on #SB54. This Senate Bill would repeal peace officers from detaining individuals for any actual or suspected immigration violation or report or turn the individual over to federal immigration authorities. WOW! Gracias to Dr. Gerald Cantu for your work!
DHF en Acción: Dr, Gerald Cantu junto con sus colegas del sur del Kern atendieron la convención #WeAreBHC del California Endowment en Sacramento desde el 6 a 8 de Junio. La convención reunio a las 18 comunidades de la Construcción de Comunidades Saludables y sus asociados para visitar a legisladores. Entre los asociados del Sur de Kern estaba nuestro propio representante de la Fundación Dolore Huerta, Dr. Gerald Cantu, un representante de Dignity Health, Faith of the Valley, un representante del committe para un mejor Arvin, United Communities, y una joven reportera para el Sur de Kern. Los que hablaron en la conferencia fueron: Controlador del Estado Betty T. Yee, organizadora y activista Latina Carmen Perez, Comisionado de seguros del estado de California Dave Jones, Representante de la assemblea del distrito 63 Anthony Rendón, y el senador del estado de California Kevin de León.
Los miembros del grupo del Sur de Kern tuvieron la oportunidad de reunirse con la senadora Jean Fuller (R), asambleísta Rudy Salas (D), y senador Andy Vidak (R), para discutir acerca de los problemas que enfrenta nuestra comunidad al igual el Dr. Cantu tuvo la oportunidad de informarles a los legisladores de la cantidad y lo importante que es el trabajo que hacemos aquí en la Fundación Dolores Huerta.
El Dr. Gerald Cantu en nombre de la fundación abogó para el apoyo hacia #AB424, #SB607, y #SB54. Una ley que existe hoy día es que se considera un crimen si estas en una zona escolar y tuvieras posesión de una arma de fuego. Sin embargo, los maestros o otro personal puede cargar armas si recibe permiso escrito por el superintendente o autoridad escolar equivalente. En el 2016 el Distrito Escolar de Kern aprobó un proyecto de ley que eliminaría el permiso por escrito necesario. #AB424 cerraría la laguna de la armas en las escuelas y anularía lo que el Distrito Escolar de Kern hizo en el 2016. El Dr. Cantu tuvo la oportunidad de preguntarle a Jean Fuller y Andy Vidak que apoyaran a #AB424.
Dr. Cantu no solo defendió el tener un seguro y mejor ambiente en las escuelas sino que también abogó por #SB607 para ayudar a terminar el ciclo de la Escuela-a la Prisión. Actualmente desde el kinder hasta el grado 12, hay una ley que prohíbe que un estudiante sea suspendido o expulsado, a menos que el superintendente o principal determine que el estudiante intencionadamente desafío a un personal de la escuela con autoridad. Sin embargo, esta ley existente de desafío intencional es tan amplia que casi se puede definir cualquier acto pequeño que interrumpe la clase del estudiante como un desafío intencionado, causando la suspensión y a veces incluso la expulsión. Esto nos deja con una disciplina que saca al estudiante de la escuela, lo saca de su ambiente de aprendizaje, y a veces del lugar donde se siente más seguro. #SB607 cambiaría esta ley y quitaria este tipo de disciplina de los alumnos. ¡Gracias a Rudy Salas por si apoyarnos con esta lucha!
Pero aquí no paró el Dr. Cantu, siguió su lucha. Como representante del Sur de Kern, tomó la tarea de educar a los legisladores en lo que es #SB54. Esta nueva ley derogaría a oficiales de paz de detener a individuos por cualquier violación de inmigración real o sospechada o reportar o entregar al individuo a las autoridades federales de inmigración. ¡IMPRESIONANTE!
On Monday July 10th, Yesenia Campos and Elizabeth Martinez of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, hosted a Regional Active Transportation Plan Meeting, inviting community members to come and input their recommendations on the local biking infrastructure, and what kinds of transit changes they would like to see in their community. The Kern Regional Active Transportation Plan is a regional planning effort led by the Kern Council of Governments to enhance walking, bicycling and transit access throughout Kern County. Working with local, regional and statewide partner agencies and organizations, Kern COG aims to develop a suite of project and program recommendations to make walking, bicycling, and transit integral parts of daily life for residents and visitors alike.
The foundation collaborated with a plethora of groups such as, Bike Bakersfield, Leadership Council, Assembly Member Rudy Salas, California Walks and the City of Arvin to forge this meeting, and encourage local community members to voice their vision for a community welcoming to fitness and practical transit. A vision that is a step towards improving overall quality of life in the communities of Arvin. The Arvin branch of “Cultiva La Salud” gave several great inputs; James Guzman, captain of the committee, suggested a bike path South or East of Arvin as well as, Monserrat Rodriguez, member of committee, giving an input on the street lights needed in Arvin and Flashing lights when crossing certain streets in Arvin. DHF hopes to have such
productive meetings in the future, where we can bring active transportation to communities all over through the help of the people!
On Monday, July 3rd, Executive Director, Camila Chavez, took time out of her busy schedule to promote literacy and educate community youngsters about civil rights heroes through “Lado a Lado, Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez” by Monica Brown. The book promotes and highlights the importance of community organizing as part of a strong democracy. Camila read to a group of students from LightWave Education Freedom School in Bakersfield. LightWave Education focuses on enhancing the quality of life through holistic programs that impact positive change in these children and their communities. Both DHF and LightWave education share this characteristic of empowering individuals and creating positive leaders of them through educating our youth about their potential and their capabilities.
Jess Contreras, DHF Civic Engagement Director, DHF canvassers, and volunteers attended the Fresno Screening of “Salud! Yes Please”a documentary that revolves around Grace Parra’s journey to shed light on the Affordable Care Act, and the dire affect it has on the lives of the average American. Jess had the fortunate opportunity to share information about the Make It Fair campaign. The campaign tackles the issue of closing tax loopholes for corporations within California. With the closing of loopholes, billions of dollars can be retrieved to fund the interests of the common Californian.
Moises Duran, DHF Equality Organizer, was on the panel at the “Salud Yes” screening at Maya Cinemas in Bakersfield. Salud Yes is a documentary that revolves around Grace Parra’s journey to shed light on the Affordable Care Act, and the dire affect it has on the lives of the average American. The panel was moderated by Latina comedian Grace Parra, star of the documentary. Other panelists included Julie Ortero Maymi, a local community member who was featured in the film and Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista.
After the Screening, there was a panel discussion and Q & A where, Duran gave advice to young people on how to get involved in civic engagement and advocacy. He encouraged undocumented members of the community to enroll their children up to 19 years of age who qualify for Medical. He assured undocumented families that this information is not shared with any immigration enforcement agencies.
He also talked about his work with the Equality California Kern County Health Care Action Team and their collaboration with the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Medical Foundation that aims to provide quality medical, dental, alternative medicine and vision care, along with health education and other health services to income disadvantaged residents regardless of their age, gender, race or religious affiliations with inspiring love and humanity to both the givers and receivers. The group periodically host free clinics at Golden Valley High School.
Gerald C Cantu, Ph. D., Education Director, gave a presentation on the Farmworker Movement, and shared the films “Viva La Causa” and “Walk Out” with this year’s Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project cohort at Fresno State on Friday, June 23rd, 2017. The students participated in an engaging conversation on the importance of youth leadership in the movement.
The CLYLP San Joaquin Valley Institute (SJVI) was established in 1999 to inspire and motivate students from the area to become the future leaders of the San Joaquin Valley Chicano/Latino community through public service. Open to 50 students from the San Joaquin Valley, the three-day institute offers an impactful program designed to develop students’ leadership potential and increase their knowledge of the region’s cultural and political landscape. Institute participants connect with education, business, political and community leaders from the Central Valley and receive encouragement in their pursuit of post-secondary educational opportunities.
In May of 2017 Equality Organizers Dean Welliver and Moises Duran accompanied five teen leaders from Kern County to Sacramento for the Free Our Dreams Statewide Day of Action coordinated by Movement Strategy Center. The Free Our Dreams convening took place May 6-8 in Sacramento provided workshops on movement building and legislative advocacy. Youth learned how to tell their stories so they could meet with elected officials to advocate for legislation that help create welcoming and safe communities for marginalized youth.
Teen Leader Emily Nunez worked on the youth planning committee for the convening and helped draft the model “Safe and Welcoming Schools for All” Platform that will be launched at the Fall 2017 Free Our Dreams youth organizing convening. The “Safe and Welcoming Schools for all” platform is a model policy that provides specific policy recommendations school districts can implement to ensure a safe and welcoming school climate for LGBT students, students of color, immigrant students, and Muslim students.
Paola Hinojosa was one of the teen leaders selected from organizations across the state to meet with California Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson. Paola shared her story of growing up in a family of mixed immigration status and advocated for sanctuary schools to help students who are undocumented or have undocumented family members feel safe at school without fear of immigration enforcement on campus.
“As a student whose parents are undocumented, going to the state capital and speaking about these issues is something I take seriously. It was definitely a unique experience as the people we met with listened intently and really wanted to hear what we had to say which is nice because adults tend to not listen to what youth have to say.” – Paola Hinojosa
Additionally, all five teen leaders from Kern met with representatives from the offices of Senator Jean Fuller (R), Assemblyman Vince Fong (R), Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R), and Senator Henry Stern (D) to advocate for a legislation to end the use of willful defiance as a grounds for suspension and expulsion, legislation for free bus passes for students, legislation to update eligibility requirements for in-state tuition for undocumented students, and the creation of a third gender marker on government identification documents.
DHF’s Teens 4 Equality joined over 200 Free Our Dreams youth leaders in asking legislators and decision makers to take bold action that make our neighborhoods and schools safe and inclusive environments where youth are free to grow and thrive. They are asking our legislators and decision makers to step up and support legislation that:
– Creates sanctuary for all and fully inclusive schools and communities
– Reinvests resources from punishment and incarceration to prevention
– Transformative justice practices; and expansion of economic, health and educational opportunity for all youth
Support these youth leaders by asking that our representatives stand for all of us by supporting and building a “CaliforALL.”
Top Policy Priorities:
SB 607 (Skinner): Ending suspensions for willful defiance
SB 395 (Lara, Mitchell): Miranda rights for law enforcement interrogations for youth
AB 90 (Weber): Moratorium on the use of CalGang Database
SB 562 (Lara): Californians for a Healthy California Act
SB 68 (Lara): Extending in-state tuition for undocumented students at CSU and community colleges
CA Department of Education advisory for “Safe Schools For All”