2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

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!

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Letter from the Executive Director

The real power lies within the communities we serve. We are inspired by their perseverance and hard work. We have been fortunate enough to provide the tools necessary to continue to build the movement. However, we need your support to sustain this growth. Beyond sharing updates and news, we hope this can be a space where we build community and cherish the advances in social and educational justice. During the past few years, we’ve been able to reach people like never before, in ways that we did not think possible. We hope to continue mobilizing folks with your collective support. Your contributions enable us to launch new strategies, establish new partnerships and service more communities in the Central and Antelope Valleys. We appreciate the confidence that our members and donors have placed in us and our work. We will strive to be better each day and look forward to partnering with you on future campaigns.

¡Sí Se Puede!

Executive Director Camila Chavez

 

Newsletter Highlights
Vote 4 Power

As a community organization, the Dolores Huerta Foundation hosted numerous door-to-door canvassing, Candidate Forums, and voter engagement outreach throughout the Central Valley, Antelope Valley & Los Angeles County to encourage voters to power to the polls. During these events, community members, youth, and Vecinos Unidos members had the opportunity to ask questions, get to know their candidates, and learn about the importance of their vote.

Some folks even joined these efforts as a “Democracy Defender” by volunteering to get the vote out to their neighbors! The fight is not over. Now the real work begins. We must mobilize our communities who represent California’s majority. We must hold the new administration and all of our elected officials accountable for our needs and demands. For just a small donation you can help the Foundation reach our goal of contacting 1,300 voters in Kern County. Your donation will go towards educational training, forums, and outreach materials needed to connect with voters.

During recent primary elections, the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) hosted numerous door-to-door canvassing and other voter engagement outreach efforts throughout the Central Valley, Antelope Valley & northern Los Angeles County to encourage voters to show their power at the polls. Community members, youth, and Vecinos Unidos members had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the candidates at DHF hosted Candidate Forums. These “Defenders of Democracy” also volunteered to get out the vote amongst their own neighbors. In total, DHF staff, canvassers and volunteers contacted over 10,000 eligible voters, who were reminded of the importance and power of their vote. Now it is time to focus on the work of holding newly elected officials accountable.

We must mobilize these communities who represent California’s majority, to engage in legislative advocacy and action and demand that their needs are met! Your financial support helps DHF continue this outreach by providing educational training, forums, and materials needed to connect with these marginalized voters year round.

Youth Spring Into Action

In April, 98 youth from the DHF “Liberated for Youth Empowerment” (LYFE) Program gathered virtually at local parks in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Tulare for a 2 day retreat. DHF Youth Organizers led learning sessions about critical social issues addressing the community, such as the “School-to-Prison Pipeline”, which is the systemic pushout of black & brown kids through unfair and discriminatory discipline practices . They learned how to make recommendations through their school’s Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) to support efforts that prevent these types of practices from happening in their school districts.

Students participated in team-building exercises, sports, trivia games, a scavenger hunt, and created art with a social justice and political advocacy lens. Throughout each activity, youth members had the opportunity to work with each other to build their communication skills and gain trust with one another. DHF LYFE member Katherine, (she/her/hers) Age 16, said, “I was able to meet youth I haven’t seen before, it helped reunite youth who have been on zoom for so long. During the end of the retreat, we had a picnic, painted, listened to music, and other youth were playing soccer. It felt like I was at a picnic with my friends and family. ” The LYFE program aims to increase civic engagement participation among low-income, disenfranchised youth and their families to reduce racial and socio-economic disparities through evidence-based practices. These retreats give the youth an opportunity to recharge and get ready to spring into action. Currently, they are focused on LGBTQIA+ Rights and the upcoming general elections. Youth members are also excited about upcoming events. Emma (she/her/hers) Age 12 said, “I am looking forward to the Pride Prom in June!” You can support these youth experiences! A donation of $25 contributes to educational and wellness activities for a DHF LYFE member this summer.

Donor Spotlight

Raúl has been a donor and supporter of the DHF for more than 10 years. His family came from Mexico to the state of Texas in 1921 where Raul was born and lived with his mother Jesusita Marrufo, his brother, and two sisters. In 1963, at the age of 12, he and his family moved to California. He left school at a young age to work and support his family. He worked as a farmworker in the fields from the age of 13 to 32. He met Dolores Huerta in 1970. He joined the Reedley Strike and later worked with Cesar Chavez to negotiate a contract. At 32, Raul was hired at a bread company where he worked until he retired at age 65.

From his time in the field, he says that he felt committed to justice, stating “I cannot abandon the cause.” Learning that Dolores founded an organization, he became a supporter. Since February 2010, Raúl has taken the time to travel to his local post office, purchase a money order and mail it to DHF every single month, without fail! Raul’s message to Dolores as she continues to work for justice is, “May God bless her and give her strength, and may her fight continue.” His wish is that the community will continue supporting the cause. The DHF is incredibly grateful for Raul’s monthly gift. He is an example that our solidarity is our strength!

Next month, Raul at 71 years old, will make his 150th monthly pilgrimage to his post office to purchase his money order and mail it to DHF. Can you please take a few minutes of your time to join Raul in becoming a monthly donor as well, by visiting Give2DHF.org?

2022 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

DHF is honored to announce that Camila Chávez, Co-Founder and Executive Director, was awarded the 2022 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, which recognizes innovative leaders whose breakthrough solutions to critical state challenges improve lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California. This award is a reflection of her dedication to social justice, as well as the hard work and victories accomplished alongside the DHF Vecinos Unidos® members and volunteers.

May Day March

On May Day, the DHF marched the streets of Fresno & Tulare with SEIU, the United Farm Workers, and other community organizations, to stand in solidarity with workers & immigrants around the world. Although May Day is not recognized as an official holiday in the United States, DHF will continue to honor and commemorate the efforts, struggles and victories for labor rights and living wages of blue collar workers each year.

Cancelling Covid-19

DHF’s COVID-19 Education & Safety Team continues to inform community members and provide options for easily accessible vaccines. DHF is proud to report that, to date, we’ve co-hosted more than 100 vaccine clinics and a total of 7,744 vaccines have been administered! Together we can overcome the pandemic. We need your help to branch out to even more communities in the Central and Antelope Valleys & Northern Los Angeles County. Please consider supporting this work at Give2DHF.org.

Groundbreaking Celebration Bakersfield College's New Campus

The Dolores Huerta Foundation was honored to be part of the groundbreaking celebration for the new Kern Community College District campus in Arvin, California. In 2016, DHF and Vecinos Unidos® worked to pass Measure J, allocating $500 million for the new Arvin campus that is expected to open in 2024.

Bans Off Our Bodies

In response to the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, in partnership Planned Parenthood and local partners, organized the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally held in Kern, Fresno, and Tulare County to advocate for abortion rights for all.

DHF believes in the right of all people to have bodily autonomy and decide when/if they want to have a child.

2021 Fall WMNL: DHF Youth Honor Dia de los Muertos and the LGBTQI+ Community

2021 Fall WMNL: DHF Youth Honor Dia de los Muertos and the LGBTQI+ Community

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This year DHF LYFE & Livin’ LYFE Youth Program members participated in Arte Americas Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration in Fresno, California (with a limited showcase and COVID-19 safety precautions in place.) DHF Youth Organizers form their curriculum with a critical lens on history and intersectionality. Youth members  created an altar of hand painted frames to honor and feature the 49 individuals that were lost at Pulse Nightclub, in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, in a mass shooting targeting the LGBTQI+ community. It was  named one of the deadliest incidents in the history of violence against queer people in the United States. Hate has no place in this world, we extend our hearts to the families affected and to the folks who continue to battle being themselves in today’s world.

The youth not only learned about the tragedy of that night, but the personal stories and the light these  individuals shined on the world  while they were with us. They joined the frames of couples that died that night together w/ a bracelet to signify their everlasting love. 

The youth want to educate their peers and uninformed adults that the LGBTQI+ community has a rich history and life stories of love, joy and courage. This ofrenda  provided the community with a piece that demonstrated  the passion, beauty, diversity, and the love in the lives of the 49 victims prior to the events at the Pulse Nightclub Latin Night. They wanted to show how many positive experiences of the LGBTQI+ Hispanic community are found through dance, poetry and creation of safe havens. 

2021 Fall WMNL: DHF Youth Honor Dia de los Muertos and the LGBTQI+ Community

2021 Fall WMNL: People Powered Legislative Wins

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Need a reason to celebrate? DHF has got you! DHF staff, volunteers, Vecinos Unidos® members, and partner organizations, with the help of our generous donors and supporters from around the world, were able to secure significant legislative wins. This is what People Power looks like! 

SB 380 End Of Life Options Act – This is a major step forward in respect for patient autonomy and relief of suffering for terminally ill Californians. It reduces the mandatory minimum 15-day waiting period between the two oral requests for aid-in-dying medication to 48 hours for all eligible patients.

SB 721 California Farmworker Day – Establishes a day to honor California’s’s roughly 800,000 farmworkers – essential workers – who play a vital role in maintaining our food supply and whose work is more critical than ever during the pandemic.

SB 393 Farmworker Access to Childcare Act –  Directs resources to the Migrant Child Care Alternative Payment Program so that such workers can gain access to child care in any county in the state of California.

SB 497 Direct Deposits to Qualifying Accounts, Overdraft Features – Closes a loophole that allows non-bank prepaid card companies to evade California laws that prohibit overdraft fees on prepaid cards used to receive public assistance, unemployment compensation, and/or state distributed child support payments.

SB 81 Judicial Guidelines for Sentence Enhancements – Establishes guidance when a California judge is deciding whether to dismiss an enhancement (policies that mandate that people who are convicted of criminalized behaviors while engaging in generally non-criminalized behaviors—such as being in a school zone—or having generally non-criminalized traits—such as having a prior conviction—receive longer and surer sentences) by requiring judges to give “great weight” to evidence that proves certain mitigating circumstances, such as: The underlying conviction is not a violent felony.

SB 224 Pupil Instruction Mental Health Education – Requires each Californiaschool district, county office of education, state special school, and charter school that offers one or more courses in health education to pupils in middle school or high school to include course instruction on mental health.

AB 701 Warehouse Worker Protections – Prohibits a California  employer from taking adverse action against an employee for failure to meet a quota that has not been disclosed or for failure to meet a quota that does not allow a worker to comply with meal or rest periods or occupational health and safety laws.

AB 1096 Removing “Alien” from State Law – Removes the word ‘alien’ from California laws when referring to noncitizens

SB 757 Home weatherization for Low Income – Creates better transparency in the solar energy systems sales process and enhances California consumer protection.

SB 62 Garment Worker Protection – Prohibits the practice of piece-rate compensation for garment manufacturing in California, except in the case of worksites covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement.  Furthermore, garment manufacturers who contract with another person for the performance of garment manufacturing would be required to jointly and individually share civil liability for all workers in that other person’s employ.

AB 796 CA Motor Voter Program – Will help create a more representative democracy and ensure that California’s  DMV’s voter registration process is efficient, fair, and secure.

None of this work is possible without supporters like you, so please take a moment to celebrate our collective wins and know that we are grateful for all you do to strengthen our community. 

2021 Fall WMNL: DHF Youth Honor Dia de los Muertos and the LGBTQI+ Community

2021 Fall WMNL: The Fight for Fair Maps!

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Creating fair district lines is a critical tool our communities have to reclaim their voting power. For many communities of color throughout the nation, historical gerrymandering allows their elected representatives to choose their voters in their district, rather than allowing the voters to elect their representatives in fair and lawful elections. This practice of gerrymandering has disenfranchised underrepresented communities and diluted their voting power. Our communities are standing up and demanding that county officials adhere to the process as outlined in the Federal Fair Maps Act. Community leaders like Tammy Tyler refuse to be shut out of the process and are working to make sure that the voice of her community is not only heard, but that their involvement leads to concrete changes. For Tammy, redrawing the district lines is personal. “A lot is at stake for the community of California City, California,” Tammy states, “The system has failed the black and brown communities for so long that we have lost faith and it made us believe that we have lost power.” Tammy says that all changed when she met DHF Organizer Carol Watkins. It was then that she “woke up” and took her power back empowered with tools and knowledge she gained through a series of educational redistricting workshops. According to Tammy, “We don’t even have a hospital here. Our roads are bumpy when the ones in the white neighborhoods are nice and smooth.” She understands the lack of resources and funding for communities of color is rooted in racist practices that our communities work to dismantle. 

California City is not alone. The DHF plans to continue addressing redistricting issues in the Central & Antelope Valleys in partnership with community leaders and other organizations that make up the Equitable Maps Coalition (EMC). Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, DHF is working to create maps that display newly proposed boundaries. GIS mapping makes the data visible and easier to comprehend the social inequities in Central Valley communities. With your support, DHF has been able to mobilize folks in the Central Valley and support leaders like Rubi Colmenares, one of many community members who have collectively submitted hours of comments and feedback at board of supervisor meetings. Rubi shared, “I felt good, because I had the opportunity to express what I had in mind and I was being heard.” “It was so beautiful to hear from every community in Kern to come to a universal agreement, especially in the most misrepresented and underserved communities,” said Gabriela Fernandez, DHF Youth Program Manager.

DHF has faced strong opposition in Fresno and Tulare as in Kern County, and the fight for equitable representation is just starting. Each area has gained a tremendous amount of support for the EMC maps. Over 1,200 people signed petitions in agreement that these maps presented the best options for fair representation. Vecinos Unidos® member, Mirna Elvir says, “It was a very important moment for me being able to express myself to the people who have power to resolve the different problems that communities have, especially the community of Lamont.”On December 4, 2021 DHF joined forces with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 521, Central California Coalition for Equitable Redistricting (CCCER), Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN), Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) Central Valley Leadership Round Table (CVLRT), Cultiva de Salud, Central Valley Progressive PAC, Central Labor Council (CLC), Communities for a New California (CNC), Strength Based Community Change (SBCC) and Central Valley Partnership to lead a “Redistricting March for Our Future” in Fresno, California. Hundreds of supporters took to the streets to urge  Redistricting Commissions to adhere to the redistricting criteria and ensure that community voices are heard. We marched in solidarity to demand fair maps, improved public services, and more COVID rescue funds for our Central Valley communities. Join us in DEMANDING redistricting commissions to adopt an equitable map at assembly, senate and congressional levels. Demand that your elected representatives know where you are located and what is important to you and those in your community by giving public comments at your local redistricting hearings. For more information, please contact Eliana at ehoneycutt@doloreshuerta.org or Californians may visit www.wedrawthelinesca.org

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 Fall Weaving Movements Newsletter

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!

Utilice el botón “Translate” en la esquina inferior derecha para traducir estos artículos al español.

To read more about The Fight for Fair Maps! visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-fall-wmnl-the-fight-for-fair-maps/

To read more about People Powered Legislative Wins, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-fall-wmnl-people-powered-legislative-wins/

To read more about DHF Youth Honor Día de los Muertos and the LGBTQI+ Community, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-fall-wmnl-dhf-youth-honor-dia-de-los-muertos-and-the-lgbtqi-community/

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear DHF Family,
The last two years have been trying. While we have all faced loss and grief, we also came together in ways that inspired us all. You’ll find reasons throughout this newsletter, to celebrate Vecinos Unidos®, youth and most of all, PEOPLE POWER! Our Vecinos Unidos® members, youth and greater community secured legislative wins that we can all be proud of. You’ll learn about the herculean efforts we are collectively making with our partner organizations to ensure that the voices of historically disenfranchised communities are centered through the redistricting process. I hope you, like me, will also be inspired by the ways our youth continue to lead with their hearts. I wish you all a season filled with love for justice and joy in all that can be achieved when people are empowered to pursue social justice!
¡Si Se Puede!
Camila Chavez
Executive Director

Download your own copy here: https://doloreshuerta.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2021-Fall-WMNL.pdf

2021 Summer WMNL: Solidarity is our Strength

During the last year, our Education Department at the Dolores Huerta Foundation has been busy empowering parents, teachers and students to make real change in their schools. Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, DHF Education Committees of Vecinos Unidos® participated in a research study to have the necessary information to be able to effectively advocate for healthier and more accessible school meals. This spring Vecino Undios® Chapter members were able to highlight the results of the study to advocate for change. Their advocacy resulted in concrete wins for students and the Sanger Unified School District agreed to offer healthier meal options for students and continue to engage parents on designing a menu that meets the nutritional needs of students.

In April of this year we were also excited to have 8 school districts pass board resolutions to honor Dolores Huerta day on or around April 10th. As part of our efforts to educate students about the life and activism of Dolores Huerta, we hosted the Life of Activist Dolores Huerta Webinar with 7 educators presenting their curriculum as a tool for other educators and parents to educate students about this important work using the Dolores Huerta Curriculum. We had 150 participants from all over California, Texas and Colorado!

And finally, in the last few months, parents and youth have been engaged in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process to ensure the needs of our communities are heard. We were able to train 33 Vecinos Unidos® chapter members, who were ready to make sure their priorities were addressed. Through a series of town halls, we had Vecinos provide recommendations and ask questions to the following districts: Kern High School District, Sanger Unified School District, Parlier Unified School District, Lindsay Unified School District, and Woodlake Unified School District.

Vecinos were empowered with the training they needed and moved to make recommendations to improve their schools. The recommendations they made prioritized: mental health, nutrition and quality of meals, and parent engagement.

We continue to work together in the struggle for education justice and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate with all of you. The struggle continues, but as always, our solidarity is our strength.

2021 Summer WMNL: Introducing LYFE

The Dolores Huerta Foundation is excited to announce our newest youth program component, Liberated Youth for Empowerment (LYFE). LYFE offers young people opportunities to develop a critical lens on history and systems of inequity. LYFE incorporates three vital pathways for personal and professional development: Civic Engagement, Transformational Art, and New Media & Technology. This immersive 5 year program includes a pathway crafted to meet the intersection of community engagement and health/wellness all while amplifying the voices of our future leaders.

DHF Fresno Youth Lead Elisha Mendoza, has been instrumental in keeping her peers motivated and engaged during the planning process. Elisha and other youth leaders played key roles in developing the curriculum and new name for this program; in fact the name, LYFE, was handcrafted by many of them! 

Along with this rebrand, we are happy to announce a few promotions and changes to staff. Congratulations are in order as Maria Romero leads the team as Youth Program Director, Gabriela Fernandez enters her new role as Youth Program Manager for Kern & Antelope Valley and last but not least Cesilia Acevedo transitions into Youth Program Manager for Tulare & Fresno. We are proud and honored to have these three leaders in our growing organization as they embody our values and passion for social justice.

2021 Summer WMNL: Donor Spotlight – Julie Greenfield

Julie Greenfield, has been a sustaining donor supporting the work of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) for over a decade. The retired nurse, originally from Long Island, New York, resides in Castro Valley California and lives by the quote, “You are not required to finish the work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it” by Rabbi Tarfon, The Talmud.

Early on, her father encouraged his daughters’ involvement in the anti-war movement. At 14, her sister, Wendy, started a boycott of their local supermarket in support of the United Farm Workers’ (UFW) grape boycott. Angered by a store manager pushing her sister, Julie joined Wendy in clearing the grapes from all their local markets.

Julie volunteered for the UFW as a student at NYU. At 19, she joined thousands of picketing farmworkers in the Salinas Valley. Later, she worked on the New York lettuce boycott, helped build a farmworker clinic in Delano and sometimes cared for Dolores’ small children.

Julie said, “Dolores understands organizing better than anyone. The house meeting model is based on relationships and addresses community needs and wants. Dolores is a skilled organizer who understands how political power works. While others moved to urban centers to do this work, DHF is on the frontlines where communities face huge challenges.” Julie is excited about DHF’s efforts to put an end to discriminatory discipline practices that lead to mass expulsions of students of color.”

She encourages others to support, “If you really want to make an impact, you have to support the people most affected, working class families, in fighting their own battles. This is as “grassroots” as it gets and DHF has an immediate impact. DHF needs support to continue their work and to establish a Peace and Justice Cultural Center.”

According to Julie, “Dolores biggest legacy is giving everyone hope and self determination in their lives. She illuminates the possibilities and shows it can be done!”

2021 Summer WMNL: Healthcare for All!

Historically, the undocumented population has been barred for medical and other healthcare benefits. About ten years ago, California moved to cover children 0-18 under medical, and some years later included those 18-26. Recently, the California legislature has approved funding for coverage of the undocumented 50 years and older in the budget, but that’s not enough!

Recently, in partnership with Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula and Senator Maria Elena Durazo, DHF Community Organizers coordinated a press at Governor Newsom’s Office at the State Capitol for Assembly Bill 4, known as the #Health4All bill. We delivered more than 3,000 postcards and petition signatures in strong support of AB4. A California for ALL cannot roar back fully from the COVID-19 pandemic if anyone is excluded and left behind.

When passed, AB4: Healthcare 4 All, will commit the state to include all undocumented individuals of all ages in medical coverage. Join us in urging Gov. Newsom to pass AB4 to extend health care coverage to our undocumented community. Undocumented adults—our parents and siblings, friends and neighbors, taxpayers and workers in our economy—remain locked out of comprehensive healthcare, making them the largest population in California with no health insurance.

Providing health care is a human right. Sign the petition at https://www.change.org/health4all. Your signature is an act of solidarity for social justice. To view the recording visit our Facebook @DoloresHuertaFD

2021 Summer WMNL: People Powered Maps

The Dolores Huerta Foundation is working to make sure that every person is fairly represented. The 2020 Census was the initial step related to the redistribution of districts and that is when this process begins.

We organized communities to make sure their voices are heard throughout the redistricting process. We have worked hard to educate folks on how each district’s maps are defined and ultimately why proper representation matters. We saw the greatest opportunity for civic engagement in Porterville, Woodlake, Visalia, Tulare, Lindsay, Orosi, Earlimart, and Pixley as they have the lowest representation in government in the Central Valley. We reached people through food banks, community campaigns, and Spanish-language media and collected 550 signatures across the Central Valley to submit to the county board of supervisors for each area in support of accessibility, transparency and community engagement in the redistricting process.

 It was through this process and your support that we were able to accomplish so much!

Through this effort, we asked that these communities be a part of the redistricting process and that their voice be heard! While our current effort is focused on redistricting, the ultimate goal is to empower people. We want them to see that through community organizing, they can hold leaders accountable and can make real change. All this would not be possible without your help. Your donations that help DHF travel, educate and organize each community. For more information please visit doloreshuerta.org or contact Civic Engagement Director Lori Pesante at Lpesante@doloreshuerta.org

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

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!

Utilice el botón amarillo “Translate” en la esquina inferior derecha para traducir estos artículos al español.

To read more about People Powered Maps, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-people-powered-maps/

To read more about Healthcare for All!, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-healthcare-for-all/

To read more about Donor Spotlight – Julie Greenfield, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-donor-spotlight-julie-greenfield/

To read more about Introducing LYFE, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-introducing-lyfe/

To read more about Solidarity is our Strength, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-solidarity-is-our-strength/

Letter from the President

As I reflect on the last year and a half, I’m filled with sadness for all that we have lost and at the same time with pride for all that the Dolores Huerta Foundation has been able to achieve through the support of people like you. Last year we saw images of police violence against the Black community – images that sadly are familiar  to the experience of so many. As we shared when the verdict was rendered in the Chauvin case, “Transformative solutions are rooted in true community power and the enactment of social, racial and economic justice policies. It will require civic engagement, advocacy, and accountability from our public officials to end systemic racism. ”When our communities face attacks, we stand by our core values ​​and remember that solidarity is our strength. 

Many people lost their jobs, our children lost the ability to learn in person, most painful of all,  many of us lost loved ones. Those losses can’t be recovered, but together we offer encouragement and comfort to one another. Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to distribute $250,000 in financial assistance to community members in need, expand meal access to school children and provide PPE to thousands of families. We continue to provide education and information about available vaccines. The effort against COVID continues and we ask that if you or someone you know needs assistance in finding a vaccination site or registering for an appointment, please call us at: 833-564-6393 or 661-383-2588.

Finally, I want to acknowledge all of you in a very special way. The Dolores Huerta Foundation exists to empower communities through your gracious continued support. This year brings new challenges and our work is not done yet. We are now working to ensure that districts fairly represent our communities. In this newsletter you will find information on how to support these efforts. Together, despite the pandemic, despite the losses and despite the challenges – we are still standing strong!

Camila Chavez: Continuing the Legacy

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.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

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In 2020 the DHF Geographic Information Systems Department, led by GIS Analyst Sophia Garcia, continued to be at the forefront of the Equity and Social Justice GIS movement. The department started off 2020 by leading the campaign for fair and just maps during the Kern Community College District Redistricting campaign. Throughout the campaign, DHF was able to reach over 450 community members, submitted over 60 Community of Interest forms, participated in every public meeting, submitted a community-led map, and continued to educate the community at the beginning of quarantine.

Sophia Garcia, DHF GIS Analyst ,presented to the second annual Equity and Social Justice Special Interest Group at the first ever virtual Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) UC Conference, the presentation had over 800 global participants. In September of 2020, Garcia worked alongside the Equity and Social Justice Committee and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Board of Directors to create URISA’s Anti Racism Pro Equity statement.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Strides Towards Ending Child Poverty in California

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The End Child Poverty California Campaign (ECPCA) and its 185+ organizational partners expanded much needed support to vulnerable families in California. DHF organized advocacy efforts in key regions – Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Central Valley. Two ECPCA state legislative proposals were signed into law. Senator Caballero’s SB 1409 requires the Franchise Tax Board to pilot a program aimed at increasing the number of claims eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit which included families who didn’t file for taxes, many of whom are undocumented. Assembly Member Friedman sponsored AB 1979, which expands the affordable housing needs of foster youth in the child welfare system.
On a national level ECPCA Organizers met with key stakeholders to encourage and offer support for the passage of the federal CARES and HEROES Acts. They supported local advocacy efforts in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah. In California, ECPCA successfully pushed for the the expansion of California Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child Tax Credit to eligible undocumented immigrant families in California.
As 2020 closes, ECPCA has paused its direct organizing to focus on the crucial legislative changes that must be achieved in the coming year. Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis will continue as Co-Chairs of the ECPCA coalition, and ECPCA partner organizations will work to launch the America 2030 education campaign and plan legislative priorities for 2021. For more information visit www.endchildpovertyca.org.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Education Equity in the Time of Covid

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When schools closed in March due to COVID19, the DHF education team quickly prioritized supporting parents and students during distance learning. In addition to providing resources and timely updates, the education team hosted 40 COVID19 educational support meetings with a total of 179 Vecinos in attendance. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, DHF Vecinos, Youth and parents continued to be engaged in school board advocacy. One hundred thirty Vecinos and youth attended school board meetings and represented their communities and 7 meetings with leadership at Arvin Union, Mojave, Parlier, and Lindsay Unified School Districts. Their persistent advocacy has made huge impacts in parent engagement and student equity. This includes, but is not limited to language access through better interpretation and translation at board meetings, food security through the improved quality of school meals, parent engagement through parent created workshops led by the district, and more productive communication between the districts and parents during this difficult time. The DHF Education Department distributed over 200 school supplies bags full of notebooks, pens, paper, highlighters and all the school essentials needed as well as 367 culturally sensitive books for Kern County families in need. Thanks to donor contributions, DHF was also able to provide school supplies and books to help impacted Fresno County families start the year off right.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Youth Leaders Rising

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DHF Youth have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. In addition to navigating the challenges of remote learning, many are missing their friends and lamenting the inability to celebrate milestones. They bravely faced these challenges giving of their own personal time to strengthen their commitment to serve and assist their families and communities through this crisis. Over 36 DHF Youth participated in 100 phone and text banking shifts for the campaign in support of Prop 15. Twenty-two youth and 5 parents participated in GOTV Human Billboarding rallies in Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties. The youth group participated in DHF hosted candidate forums and pressed candidates to address the issues most critical to young people. DHF Youth submitted public comments and spoke to Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) and Fresno Unified School District to urge the adoption of resolutions in support of Prop 15, which would’ve brought in millions of dollars to local schools. In a victory the resolution was adopted by BCSD. Eleven youth became Super Volunteer Leaders for completing 3 or more GOTV phone and/or text banking volunteer shifts and received certificates of recognition.

The Youth planned and led their very first webinar “Reimagining School Safety” with over 42 youth and parent participants. Youth leaders shared their visions for equitable school funding, more support for distance learning, and additional socio-emotional support for students and families. They continued to call for public action on Prop 15.

DHF Youth participated in a five-week, virtual 2020 Youth Leadership Summer Program which they planned and hosted for their peers. They hosted 15 virtual trainings focused on community organizing, education equity, civic engagement, environmental and labor rights and healing justice. It included panels with the presidents of Fresno and Bakersfield State Universities, Kern High School District and Fresno Unified school board members, Congressman TJ Cox and other elected representatives and community leaders. Fifty two youth completed and received a Dolores Huerta Foundation 2020 Online Summer Youth Leadership Program Certificate.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Vecinos Spotlight

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DHF Vecina, Jessica Nunez, a Spanish speaker and trusted messenger, outreached to families in need to spread the word about DHF hosted food banks. She recruited volunteers to help distribute food to 688 families in Bakersfield and a crew to register voters and canvass for the Census. She organized forums to get her neighbors engaged and informed about renters rights during the pandemic.

Jacqueline Martinez was nominated by DHF Organizer, Lulu Oliva and awarded a 2020 Latino Inspire Award from Representative TJ Cox. “Jackie”, as the Sanger Vecinos Unidos know her, has taken the lead on issues of Senior Citizen Protection, civic participation in her local school board and city council. She is well loved and respected by her peers. Her GOTV work was extraordinary. She canvassed, phone banked and even gave people rides to the polls.

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January Weaving Movements Newsletter (WMNL)

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!

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To read more about Youth Leaders Rising, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-january-wmnl-youth-leaders-rising/

To read more about the Census 2020 article, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/wmnl-winter-2021-census-continued/

To read more about the Proposition 15 and GOTV article, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/wmnl-winter-defenders-of-democracy-article-continued/

To read more about the Vecinos Unidos Surviving & Thriving article, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/wmnl-winter-2021-vecinos-movement-growth-continued

\To read more about the Vecino Spotlights, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-january-wmnl-vecinos-spotlight/

To read more about Education Equity In The Time of COVID, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-january-wmnl-education-equity-in-the-time-of-covid/

To read more about Strides Towards Ending Child Poverty in California, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-january-wmnl-strides-towards-ending-child-poverty-in-california/

To read more about Mapping for Social Justice, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-january-wmnl-mapping-for-social-justice/

PRESIDENT’S NOTE

I hope you had a safe and joyful holiday season. We are grateful to all of the donors and volunteers who helped us provide critical resources for families hit hard by the pandemic in Kern, Tulare, Fresno counties and the Antelope Valley. This newsletter shows just some of the huge volume of work that DHF Vecinos and Youth, staff and volunteers were able to achieve this year.
We mobilized thousands of staff and volunteers to do census and voter outreach. Unfortunately, the loss of Prop 22 (denying gig workers coverage under CA labor laws) and Prop 16 (for affirmative action) were a blow to labor rights. The loss of Prop 15 (to bring more funding to our schools and communities) and Prop 21 (for rent control) shows a need to expand our grassroots organizing model.
The pandemic made it clear that community based organizations are best positioned to serve in times of crises. We hope we can count on your continued support which allows DHF to have a strong presence in the community and host more food banks, provide additional financial assistance, important information and resources to families hit hard by the pandemic.
As we move into 2021 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 must protect our democracy & ensure that our government is fairly elected by the people and works for the people. It all begins with education. Our goal is to gain social justice for low income communities. Together we will inform, educate, and empower people to form a just and equitable society.
¡Sí Se Puede! – Dolores Huerta

2022 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 January WMNL: Census 2020 Continued

Census 2020

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In the fall of 2019, the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) Civic Engagement Department launched our Census 2020 outreach campaign. DHF Organizers and volunteers participated in text and phone banking and Covid-safe door-to-door canvassing, in partnership with the Sierra Health Foundation and the Kern Complete Count Committee. Despite challenges ranging from fear tactics by the opposition, a worldwide pandemic, triple-digit heat, poor air quality caused by catastrophic fires, and a constantly changing deadline, DHF teams informed 73,776 hard-to-count community members about the importance of census participation. They obtained pledges to complete the census from 48,633 individuals and collected over 2,980 surveys at doors in Kern, Tulare, Fresno Counties and the Antelope Valley.

Our Census journey began over a year ago, with DHF collecting pledge cards from our Hard To Count community members at our many community & outreach events. The lines were drawn early, with an attempt to add the citizenship question to the Census survey stoking fears in our communities already facing the constant threat of getting separated from their family, getting detained in Detention Centers, or worse, under horrific conditions of detention camps. Cruelty & the dehumanization of our Latino & immigrant communities is very much the point. This attempt was clearly meant to instill fear and discourage many Latinos from participating in the Census, but we leaned into the thought “To Resist, You Must Exist” and to exist you have to get counted in the Census. The Census comes every 10 years, and determines where funding will go for generations to come, this administration by contrast, will only see four years.

The 2020 Census outreach we did in Kern, Tulare & Fresno county allowed us to reach the self-response rates of 2010 in Kern County thanks to Paola Fernandez and surpass the 2010  rate in Tulare & Fresno, Thanks to Angel Ruiz and Dayana Lopez, our Civic Engagement Coordinators and team leads in these counties.  In Kern & Tulare we were able to both phonebank & do door-to-door canvassing, while in Fresno we stuck to just canvassing. At the beginning of the lockdown, we continued our Census outreach via phone banking into Tulare & Kern county, while also getting community members a DHF Resource Guide for those affected by the pandemic. While in the Central Valley we are used to bad air days, with climate change exacerbating and lengthening our wildfire season, we had an exceptionally high number of bad air days, combined with the sometimes triple-digit heat, causing us to cancel several walks (canvasses). We also prioritized safety and made sure to follow covid safety protocols and CDC guidelines: temperature checks at the door, face shields were available, new masks every day, encouraging hand washing and sanitizing our work stations between shifts. So what do you do when people are on lockdown during a pandemic, and may not want to come to their doors? You make them come out of their homes! The Census team got creative, hired DJ’s for a Census caravan, started giving away hand sanitizer and PPE to get folks to come and fill out their Census Survey. Despite these challenges, we contacted 73,776 hard to count community members and 48,633  pledged to get counted in the census. 

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