2021 January Weaving Movements Newsletter (WMNL)

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

2021 January Weaving Movements Newsletter (WMNL)

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. 

2021 January Weaving Movements Newsletter (WMNL)

2021 January WMNL: Vecinos Unidos® Surviving & Thriving Continued

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DHF Vecinos Unidos® and Youth focused heavily on the 2020 Census and civic engagement work, while establishing 3 new chapters in northern Los Angeles County’s Antelope Valley: Palmdale, Lancaster, and Rosamond. In addition they organized and volunteered at DHF hosted food banks – holding them during hours more accessible to working families. They distributed food to 3,449 families hard hit by the pandemic. DHF Organizers provided support and resources to help Vecinos avoid foreclosures and evictions and access to other forms of financial assistance. In partnership with local, state and national charitable organizations, DHF distributed more than $250,000 financial assistance to families that were excluded from the Economic Impact Payments provided by the federal government due to legal status. Many of these individuals serve the larger community daily as essential workers.

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