On February 6, community activists from Faith in the Valley held a rally outside the Bee Sweet packing shed. Stan Santos, a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9408, represented the local labor council in supporting the workers, who have no union. “People are very scared,” he charges. “Since ICE has all the records, they know where people live. Some workers are afraid they'll be visited at home.”
The 40 days of lent have begun and here in Bakersfield, that means 40 days of protests. The people behind the demonstrations said they're giving up a little bit of their time for lent in hopes of getting permanent protections for children brought to the country illegally. Faith in the Valley Kern is a network of churches and congragations and you'll see them fighting for DACA recipients outside local congressional offices until Easter Sunday.
According to Sierra Health Foundation, one in three children in the Valley lives in poverty, and in some counties nearly half of all children live in neighborhoods with high poverty rates. “Our policymakers cannot solve the problem of inequity in the state between race, income and health, or help the state truly be the Golden State, unless we examine and confront the complex issues that continue to plague the San Joaquin Valley,” said Pastor Trena Turner, Executive Director, Faith in the Valley.
No group has more at stake in the upcoming Gubernatorial race than California’s 15 million Latinos. This is why the Latino Community Foundation (LCF), one of Faith in the Valley's funders, is partnering with Univision to host The 2018 Gubernatorial Forum with a laser focus on the issues that matter most to Latinos in California. Jorge Ramos and Ilia Calderón, the award-winning Univision anchors, will moderate the forum.
A year after it was announced the effort to get a handle on Fresno's rental housing is getting off the ground. The city council approved the Rental Housing Improvement Act last year and Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced the first step of identifying and registering rental properties is underway. "We are now ready to start the registry process with an ultimate goal to protect our residents, honor our good landlords and put the bad ones on notice," Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.
The Stockton City Council voted in favor of partnering with Advance Peace, a gun-violence reduction program that has both drawn harsh criticism and optimism from the community. On Tuesday, the council voted 6-1 to include “in its public safety planning a commitment, support and partnership with Advance Peace,” an initiative first implemented in Richmond. Stockton will now test the program for four years to see if it does indeed bring peace to the city.
Faith in the Valley, a grassroots organization that represents around 120 congregations in the central San Joaquin Valley, is encouraged by the launch of the registry. But “this first step took almost a year since the program was passed and our families had to endure yet another winter in substandard housing,” said organizer Lety Valencia. “We pray the city of Fresno will not continue to delay and (will) start the proactive inspections as urgently and efficiently as possible.
Gun violence in Stockton continues to be a hot-button issue. It’s guaranteed to take center stage tonight when the City Council will be asked to consider a resolution supporting a four-year partnership with Advance Peace, a crime-reduction program that has shown some promise in Richmond, the East Bay city where it was first introduced. The program has riled some residents who believe mistakenly that Advance Peace is publicly funded and pays criminals not to commit crimes.
Elbert Holman, Vice Mayor of the City of Stockton, Bishop Rufus K. Turner with Victory in Praise and Faith in the Valley, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, Cleveland Schools Remembers, and NAACP all publicly support Advance Peace. Julie Schardt, an organizer with Cleveland School Remembers says their group had been interested in Advance Peace long before it was announced that Mayor Michael Tubbs was interested in bringing it to Stockton.
Women who have carried on the message of equality will speak at events in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in and near Stanislaus County. Other speakers will take part as well in commemorations of the civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. He was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta and assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.