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

2021 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

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

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 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Strides Towards Ending Child Poverty in California

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

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 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Education Equity in the Time of Covid

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

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 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Youth Leaders Rising

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

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 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Vecinos Spotlight

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

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 January WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

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/


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 WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Census 2020 Continued

Census 2020

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

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 WMNL: Mapping for Social Justice

2021 January WMNL: Vecinos Unidos® Surviving & Thriving Continued

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

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.

Translate / Traducir