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

2021 Fall 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!

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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 Fall 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.

2021 Fall 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.

2021 Fall 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.

2021 Fall 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.

2021 Fall 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.

2021 Fall 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!

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

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

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