Dolores Huerta Foundation in 2015
“This School-to-Prison Pipeline has got to stop! When kids are removed from schools, they can’t do their school work. They fall behind and end up dropping out. Many of these young people end up incarcerated. We have to help these kids by making sure they stay in school.” – Dolores Huerta
- DHF collaborated with California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities in spearheading the Kern Education Justice Collaborative addressing the disproportionate amount of expulsions affecting African-American and Latino students.
- DHF worked with parents, faith-based organizations, legal agencies, and community organizations to develop a set of recommendations for the KHSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) focused on stopping the “School to Prison Pipeline” by improving school climate.
- DHF launched a campaign to make sure parent and youth voices are heard and that Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funds are spent following the intent of the law.
- DHF Education Department, Erika Brooks and Timoteo Prado are organizing and empowering parents to become effective advocates for children in schools.
- In a partnership with the Lamont School District, parents received trainings on their rights, the disciplinary process, and basic information about school funding under LCFF.
To read the full story click on this link EDUCATION
Manuela Ortega, is a Spanish-speaking, immigrant. She has been a member of the Lamont Vecinos Unidos group since its start in 2004. She has three children in the Lamont School District. She has served on school committees advising the Lamont School Board on English Learners. Through training and advocacy, she knows her rights. She is not afraid to address the board of Trustees, and has done so on many occasions, regarding the needs of English language learners in the Lamont School District. Her youngest son, Baltazar Ortega, began having difficulties in school. He was lacking motivation and manifesting behavioral issues. As an informed and empowered parent, with the skills and confidence necessary to navigate the educational system, she made sure her son received speech classes and glasses. His self-esteem and grades improved. Through grassroots organizing, proactive leadership, continual engagement, and sense of responsibility is cultivated and strengthened.
The DHF Vecinos Unidos celebrated after graduating from a Compreshensive Parent Training Program. Instructor Martha Elias provided families with the valuable tools needed to navigate the educational system and advocate for the best possible educational experience for their children. They learned Strategies for Authentic Parent Engagement, Understanding and Getting Involved in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and more.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Through a regional collaboration under Cultiva la Salud, organizing and outreach efforts by Yesenia Ocampo and Elizabeth Martinez, Health Policy Organizers of the DHF have inspired a determined group of Arvin residents to drive healthy change for over 20,000 residents.
- Over 100 residents are taking leadership roles and working with city and school leaders to advocate for improved infrastructure to provide: access to healthful foods in their neighborhoods and schools, safety measures on roads and sidewalks for better walkability, safer routes to school, increased park space, improvements to existing park space, and creation of safer environments that encourage walking and biking.
In October the Walking and Biking Safety Committee held their first ever Cumbia Bike Ride a well-attended event that encouraged the community to have fun with movement and music, and helped raise awareness about bicycle infrastructure needs in Arvin.
- Organizing efforts led by DHF Organizer, Irlanda Ramirez, have encouraged community members in Woodlake and Lindsay, rural farm worker towns in Tulare County, California to work to improve the health and well-being of children attending public schools, while also addressing health disparities caused by poverty and lack of access to healthy food.
- Irlanda has trained Parents and youth in advocacy and are working to strengthen School Wellness Policies to include improved nutrition guidelines, increased physical activity during school hours, and safer routes to schools.
To read the full story click on this link HEALTH AND SAFETY
- DHF worked on the #Health4All campaign contributing to groundbreaking statewide legislation that allowed California to become the fifth state to allow undocumented children from low-income families to enroll in comprehensive health care.
- DHF worked with partner California Calls to head voter outreach efforts in the Central Valley instrumental in passing Proposition 47, a much-needed and long-overdue criminal justice reform bill.
In May, under the direction of Jess Contreras, Civic Engagement Coordinator, the DHF collaborated with local legal agencies and community organizations to host an Immigration Forum. Attendees were provided with information and free legal consultations regarding AB 60 Driver’s Licenses, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), and the U Visa for Victims of Crimes. Over 100 people attended.
- DHF informed and mobilized the community when the Kern County Sheriff’s Department announced a plan to invite U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) into the Lerdo Jail in Bakersfield and made it clear that we will not tolerate law enforcement, charged with protecting public safety, facilitating deportation and the separation of families and harming the very communities they are tasked with keeping safe.
- DHF participated in Immigrant Day joining hundreds of immigrants and advocates from across California in support of state proposals that advance immigrant integration and prosperity for all Californians.
In July, DHF and supporters joined labor and civil rights activists in San Diego to protest the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) a powerful, well-funded corporate special interest front group in America at their annual conference – where corporate special interests and right-wing legislators come together to plot how to further undermine workers’ rights, environmental protections and basic fairness.
To read the full story click on this link CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
“I came to Sacramento to urge members of the Assembly to support SB 128, the End of Life Option Act. This bill will affirm a fundamental right for terminally ill and mentally competent patients to choose how their final days are lived. This is a basic civil rights issue offering a compassionate and dignified end-of-life choice that should be left between a patient and doctor.” – Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta publicly endorsed the End of Life Option Act (SB 128) and encouraged Latino legislators to vote for it. Several Latino legislators serve on the Assembly Health Committee, which voted on the bill in July.
To read the full story click on this link LEGISLATION
Dolores and the staff of the DHF gathered in San Diego on Wednesday, July 22nd, joining workers, community groups, faith leaders and progressives in a mass protest to tell ALEC: NOT HERE, NOT EVER!
The goal of ALEC’s annual conference is to put corporate special interests and right-wing legislators together to plot how to further undermine workers’ rights, environmental protections and basic fairness. Corporate lobbyists and multi-millionaires have a chance to wine and dine these politicians, promise them fat contributions and a taste of the good life in exchange for supporting bills that keep paychecks low, corporate welfare high and restrict the rights of their political enemies.
ALEC is the most powerful, well-funded corporate special interest front group in America. The mission of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is simple: shower the 1% with special privileges and advantages at the expense of everyone else. ALEC’s agenda is an affront to progress. It’s an affront to basic rights. It’s an affront to democracy.
They came to San Diego because they want to establish a foothold right here in California. It’s time we stand together to tell ALEC “HELL NO!”
On Saturday, June 27th, 2015 President, Dolores Huerta, addressed a well attended and highly informative community forum on immigration with the theme “KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER WITH ￼￼￼￼DACA & DAPA.” She encouraged the crowd to be aware of political campaigns claiming to support the people’s interests, while pushing a voting agenda that goes against their own interests. “Don’t be blind voters. Become educated voters!” She shed light on the Koch Brothers’ funded *LIBRE Initiative a deceptive campaign targeting Latino voters.
DHF staff members, Jess Contreras, Yesenia Ocampo, Timo Prado, Elizabeth Martinez, intern, Melissa Martinez, and volunteer, Wendy Greenfield, worked with local community leaders and organizations to coordinate and host this successful event held at the Beale Library in Bakersfield, California. In addition they shared information and collected pledge cards supporting The California Endowment’s #Health4All campaign which highlights the important contributions of undocumented Californians to our state’s communities and economy, while raising awareness of their lack of access to affordable health care coverage.
Community leaders and local experts addressed many other important issues of interest to the immigrant community, including recent executive actions by President Obama on immigration. Community members benefited from free consultations with immigration attorneys. Attendees were warned of immigration fraud and given tips on how to avoid being scammed by unscrupulous lawyers and notaries. Participants also received information on naturalization and the process for becoming a U.S. citizen.
*Koch-funded Libre Initiative passes as a grassroots organization founded “to empower Hispanics” and advance “liberty, freedom and prosperity.” In reality, the group urges Hispanics to support policies that experts say go “against their own interests” and “disenfranchise Hispanic voters.” a grassroots organization founded “to empower Hispanics” and advance “liberty, freedom and prosperity.” In reality, the group urges Hispanics to support policies that experts say go “against their own interests” and “disenfranchise Hispanic voters.” . http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/03/02/the-libre-initiative-a-koch-funded-group-being/202450
DHF Staff and Volunteers with Anthony Thigpenn, a Los Angeles-based community organizer who heads California Calls, a powerful alliance of 31 organizations in 12 counties around the state working to achieve progressive, long-term tax and fiscal policy reform by engaging underrepresented, low-income voters in state public policy decision-making.
DHF Staff and Volunteers joined more than 200 people who stood up to Make It Fair at the kickoff of the campaign on Thursday morning. Leaders from the small business, education and faith communities stood together on stage and made the case for fairness. The fight begins!
Civic Engagement Coordinator, Jess Contreras, said, “The time is now to make it fair. We’ve made the corporations rich. It’s time for them to give back and invest in our communities.”
The event marked the historic launch of Make It Fair California – a diverse coalition of advocates dedicated to closing CA’s commercial property tax loopholes — by assessing commercial and industrial property at fair market value — so California can continue to invest in strengthening schools & important local priorities.
Do you think our community needs better schools, safer parks, cleaner streets and more opportunities for everyone to get ahead? So do we. That’s why we’re standing up to big corporations and telling them it’s time they pay their fair share. Stand with us. Take the pledge to Make It Fair.
On May 7, parents will be “drawing a line in the sand” and asking the California State Board of Education to hold all schools accountable for authentic parent engagement practices. In partnership with organizations across the state, Families In Schools will be coordinating a bus trip of more than 50 parents/caregivers who will be traveling to Sacramento to testify at the State Board meeting. The parents/caregivers have a simple message: parents want to have a role and a voice in their children’s education.
National leaders in this field of research, such as Anne Henderson, Karen Mapp, Joyce Epstein, and many more, have clearly demonstrated that when schools engage parents, student achievement increases and school culture improves. Parent engagement practices can no longer be seen as merely “check-the-box” requirements to receive state or federal funding. Conducting a community forum here or there or adding a space for public comment at a board meeting have proven to be insufficient strategies for truly partnering with families. Authentic parent engagement is much more than that – it is about creating a welcoming and supportive culture at the schools and instilling the values in school staff so that all parents/caregivers are welcomed and respected as equal partners and decision-makers.
Parent engagement practices across the state continue to be highly uneven, uncoordinated and misaligned from student achievement goals. Sadly, the most basic indicators of authentic parent engagement are missing in many school communities. This is particularly true in immigrant, low-income communities and communities of color where barriers such as language, lack of work flexibility, financial limitations, and limited knowledge of school systems are often seen by schools as excuses to blame parents/caregivers rather than reasons to adapt or enhance policies and practices.
Authentic parent engagement cannot be optional nor can it be left to be defined by rotating superintendents or principals. California must be BOLD and listen to the voices of parents/caregivers; and “draw a line in the sand” by establishing clear expectations on how every school should partner and engage parents/caregivers, especially those families of the students targeted by LCFF.
You may read more at http://wp.me/p1SRvA-59m
The DHF was proud to partner in a successful Community Town Hall hosted by Kern County Supervisor, Leticia Perez, on the evening of February 5, 2015.
The line to register for the event spilled out the door of the David Head Center in Lamont. Every seat in the hall was filled. Elected officials, representatives from various organizations, and community leaders, including Dolores Huerta, shared crucial information with nearly 200 residents from the towns of Arvin and Lamont.
Speakers explained AB 60, the new law which will allow California residents, regardless of immigration status, to get driver licenses. The DMV had representatives on hand to answer specific questions.
Those in attendance learned how to protect themselves from fraud, specifically scams related to recent executive actions on immigration. In addition, people were given an opportunity to have free on-site consultations with immigration counselors and attorneys.