Bay Area IAF organizations have been in local action for years around issues effecting immigrants, and are getting ready for federal immigration reform. Leaders in Marin, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa counties have been organizing immigration workshops and clinics aimed at connecting immigrants with trusted legal support, educating people about immigration reform proposals, and building a constituency of immigrant and non-immigrant leaders to lay the local foundation for a successful pathway to citizenship. Since December, more than 500 people have participated in workshops and clinics focused on youth applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and over 100 native-born allies have taken part in local Immigration Action Team workshops on the history and current implications of US immigration policy.
One LA leaders fought for and won "Community Partner Status" with the LA County Department of Health Services, granting it direct access to the county enrollment system. Now 50 leaders will train to become 'Certified Application Assisters', with the power to directly enroll people through the County computer system at 25 One LA mobile enrollment events at member institutions. They will be supported 30 leaders at each institution trained as 'healthcare experts,' who will educate and recruit people to attend their institiution's events. The goal is to enroll thousands of eligible LA residents.
At the invitation of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Episcopal seminary at Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union, the Bay Area Organizing Committee (BAOC) led a week-long January intercession class in 'Organizing for Congregational Renewal.' Thirty-one seminarians, local clergy and lay leaders from Christian and Jewish congregations participated, experiencing an intensive training in broad-based organizing.Read more
California Works to Get Word Out on Health Insurance Exchange, Los Angeles TimesRead more
"The work of citizenship does not begin and end with voting because politics is not just about elections. Elections are important moments in time when we ratify decisions shaped by months and years of political action. Politics is about coming together across differences and making decisions about how we want to live together. Politics requires relationship and negotiation and compromise..."Read more
Leaders created additional economic opportunities for workers by pushing through a "preference policy" prioritizing local bids for contracts and vending with the City of Santa Cruz and Monterey County. This is part of COPA's regional strategy to promote hiring by municipal and school district entities from within Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey.
"Tony Cardoso didn't think there was much point to voting. After all, what could his one vote do? Then he learned about an organization of 24 religious, education and nonprofit groups working together to solve economic and social justice issues....Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action, or COPA, launched a campaign Monday to push for affordable housing, health care access, public safety, economic and educational opportunity, and immigration reform."Read more