In the News

Thousands Gather at Sonoma County Fairgrounds to Show Another World Possible

by Julie Johnson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, January 29, 2017

[On Sunday, January 29,] people crammed shoulder to shoulder into [Sonoma County’s first ever] North Bay Community Engagement Fair at Garrett Hall at the] Sonoma County Fairgrounds[.] … They signed up to to volunteer for environmental groups, discuss politics with military veterans, write encouraging letters to refugees across the world, read about composting food and ask about affordable-housing advocacy programs. … The hall, a room with official capacity for 1,200 people, was packed from noon to 5 p.m.

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The event was organized by a coalition of local groups under the name Another World is Possible, which … includes organizations from a variety of sectors such as the Farmers Guild, the North Bay Organizing Project and Santa Rosa’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Sonoma County Activists to Showcase Campaigns in Hopes of Boosting Action

Three NBOP activists in the back of a pick-up truck with megaphone, in treelained Roseland neighborhood street.

November 4, 2014: Karym Sanchez, Luis Santoyo, and Ann Boone ride a pick-up truck through Roseland area to turn out voters as part of the North Bay Organizing Project’s Integrated Voter Engagement campaign, “Make Your Neighborhood Count”, (BETH SCHLANKER/ Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

by Chris Smith, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, January 27, 2017

Turning talk into action is the aim of a Community Engagement Fair coming Sunday afternoon[, January 29, 2017] to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

More than 80 activist and service organizations will be present to showcase [how] to become involved in … immigrant rights, the environment, the LGBTQ, sustainable agriculture and other[ concerns].

Co-host[s for the gathering … are the North Bay Organizing Project, Sonoma County Conservation Action, The Farmers Guild, the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Alliance for Regenerative Communities and Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Women’s March Unites County in Peaceful Protest

by Amie Windsor, Sonoma West Times and News, Jan 25, 2017

Despite morning deluges and cold temperatures, roughly 5,000 people filled the streets near Santa Rosa’s city hall [on Saturday, January 21, 2017] in support of the Women’s March on Washington

The local, peaceful protest was. coordinated by a grassroots effort of Standing Together for Women, composed of Anne Kain and Anne McGivern of Santa Rosa.

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[Speakers included] former 6th District Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Santa Rosa city councilmember Julie Combs, … Santa Rosa/Sonoma County NAACP [president] Ann Gray Byrd, Alicia Sanchez, longtime Latina activist, lawyer, labor organizer and board president of KBBF, … North Bay Organizing Project [organizers] Annie Dobbs-Kramer [and …] Enrique Yarce, and current 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman.

Immigration Fears Addressed at Community Meeting

by Anna Pier, Sonoma Valley Sun, November 17, 2016

Speakers at a community meeting at La Luz Center about what a Trump presidency will mean for U.S. immigration policy set out to calm fears and offer advice Tuesday night[, November 15].

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In all, four local agencies sent representatives to explain the resources available to the community.

Davin Cárdenas from North Bay Organizing Project spoke passionately about the need to “draw democracy down,” to take control at the grass roots level.

“We need to inoculate ourselves against the hateful rhetoric,” he said. “We need to put our best face forward, our most dignified selves so the political climate doesn’t cause us to lose faith in ourselves.”

Cárdenas affirmed, “local democratic work doesn’t stop” with a presidential election. He urged support for the students in their peaceful protest actions.

[ … ]

Juan Hernández, executive director of La Luz, closed the evening saying “our work has just doubled, but so has our strength.”

Sonoma County and California Defiant After Donald Trump’s Election

by Paul Payne, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, November 12, 2016

Group of protesters in street with placard "REJECT HATE" and US flag, inverted, with "No Human is Illegal" written on it;.

About 250 demonstrators gather in front or Santa Rosa City Hall on Thursday, Novbember 10, 2016 (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)






[T]he reality of a Trump White House elicited disappointment, dread and disgust among many in Sonoma County and across much of California. Here, voters threw overwhelming support behind Clinton … — a sharp contrast to the nation’s pivot right [on] Tuesday[, November 8].

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In downtown Santa Rosa last week, protesters carried signs reading, “Love Trumps Hate,” and “Not my president.” Others waved U.S. and Mexico flags in protest of Trump’s call for wide-scale deportations and a border wall with Mexico.

[ … ]

Jesús Guzmán, an activist with Sonoma County’s North Bay Organizing Project, said the election’s boisterous outcome has struck fear in the hearts of many immigrant families.

Chief among the concerns is the action Trump could take to undo Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allowing undocumented people who arrived as minors to remain in the country. Such a rollback could affect more than 1.5 million young adults, including about 4,000 in Sonoma County.

In a cruel twist, participants were required to share personal information such as their addresses that now could be used against them. Guzmán said some are already packing so they won’t be caught off guard.

“It’s a very real threat,” said Guzmán, who came from Mexico with his farmworker parents when he was 1 and went on to graduate from Sonoma State University. “That information could be very dangerous in the hands of the wrong president. Clearly, it seems imminent under Trump.”

However, the administration could be stymied by the state’s progressive policies limiting law enforcement’s obligation to cooperate with federal authorities. Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013 Trust Act has been successful at reducing the number of deportations, Guzmán said.

“So there’s both this fear and a lot of hope that at least in California, we’re seeing things in terms of inclusivity,” Guzmán said. “There’s hope that California can lead by example.”

Youth Environmental Artivist Summit

by April Moran Reza
(Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods)
Sonoma County Gazette, October 26, 2016

Student seated on ground, painting a section of a mural containing a salmon

Student retreat member Marisol Juarez paints the Salmon Life Cycle Mural

Fourteen students and over thirty-five helpers, presenters, volunteers, community leaders and coordinators came together [on July 28-31, 2016] to participate and contribute to the creation of Y.E.A.S.

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Workshops ranged in theme from watershed ecology to yoga, from civic engagement to outdoor ethics, from a salmon life cycle mural painting, to self-made camp packet meals, from kayaking to an overview of the California State Park system delivered by Sonoma Coast State Park’s very own Ranger Ben.

[ … ]

We recognize that change goes hand in hand with utilizing individual and collective power. Whether taking action means making informed decisions, writing a letter to their local supervisor about the conditions of Willow Creek Road, participating in a mural, following the Coastal Commission decision on coastal fees, writing poetry, or sparking a shift in the culture of complacency.

[ … ]

Thanks to organizations like North Bay Organizing Project …, these future voters learned that their power is in essence, their ability to act. … By providing platforms for role models, such as [NBOP youth organizer] Karym Sanchez, to share a narrative that is both highly valuable and relative, students were able connect. … Then the quiet thoughtful student who will speak up and say, “I would say Karym Sanchez stood out the most because we were both born in different countries…” followed by, “I believe Y.E.A.S. has changed my perception of who I am because I feel more empowered in creating change.”

Under One Roof: Strength in Diversity

by Ashley Simon, Center for Community Engagement blog, Sonoma State University, October 17, 2016 

I attended the North Bay Organizing Project‘s 6th Annual Meeting [“Under One Roof: Strength in Diversity” on Sunday, October 16, 2016].  This meeting emphasized voting as one of the main ways to get the community’s voice heard. As there are local government re/elections and 17 state-wide ballot measures, this is an important election year.

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At last year’s meeting, one of the big issues the community was working on was housing. Then this past summer, Santa Rosa’s City Council voted 4-2 in favor of Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Evictions. …[T]his is an especially great victory for those of whom were writing letters, sharing and signing petitions, attending city council meetings, circulating posts on social media, and doing other forms of engagement to get this moratorium passed.

Large group of housing advocacy volunteers called to the stage during Under One Roof event.

Everyone who was involved supporting these efforts in any way were invited on stage. This was great to see because it showed that voting is not the only way to have an impact on votes. As speakers at the meeting pointed out, not everyone can vote. However, their voices can still be heard by those who can. One of the most powerful parts of this demonstration of community involvement was the speakers pointing out who was not there – three out of the six city council members who are against the rent control ordinance*. It drew attention to elected officials as well as what they think is important.

Another one of my favorite parts was seeing NBOP’s Education Task Force representative and former Sonoma State University Chicano and Latino Studies and American Multicultural Studies professor, Amanda Morrison. She talked about how teaching ethnic studies is an act of love. One of the things the [NBOP] Education Task Force works to do is get ethnic studies into the K-12 education.

*  See: “Santa Rosa City Council Candidates Forum Shows Split Over Rent Control”  by Guy Kovner, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 29, 2016


Groups Will Host Candidates’ Forum

Staff Report, Sonoma Index-Tribune, October 6, 2016

There will be a candidates’ forum for the Sonoma County Board of Education, District 1, and Sonoma Valley Unified School District board of trustees, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at La Luz Center’s Booker Hall. … Spanish language interpretation will be provided. … La Luz Center’s Booker Hall is located at 17560 Greger St.

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This free event is sponsored by the El Verano Elementary English Language Acquisition Committee (ELAC) and co-sponsored by North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP), La Luz Center, and the Springs Community Alliance.

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For those unable to meet the candidates in person, the forum will be broadcast on Sonoma Valley Television Channel 27 (SVTV 27) and on Facebook Livestream.


Protesters Call Out ‘Fraud’ of Santa Rosa Rent Control Petition

by Kevin McCallum, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 22, 2016


Photo of NBOP organizer Davin Cárdenas speaking with police officer at demonstration.

The North Bay Organizing Project’s Davin Cárdenas speaks to a police officer during NBOP’s protest outside California Apartment Association offices, challenging fraudulent CAA-bankrolled petitions attacking Santa Rosa’s new rent control and just cause eviction ordinances.

Protesters picketed the offices of the California Apartment Association in Santa Rosa on Thursday to call attention to what they say are fraudulent efforts by petition gatherers trying to overturn the city’s new rent control law.

About a dozen people carrying signs gathered in the parking lot of the association’s office on Round Barn Boulevard[. Protesters] said they were symbolically “evicting” the association from its home, voicing hope that their actions would highlight efforts by the association representing landlords to block the city’s rent control and just-cause eviction policies.

Davin Cárdenas, lead organizer for the North Bay Organizing Project, said the move was prompted by numerous instances of people being misled by signature gatherers who are either twisting the truth or lying to voters in an effort to get rent control overturned.

[ … ]

“We’re calling out the fraud,” Cárdenas said.

He said the picket was part of a nationwide … National Renter Day of Action … in 48 cities around the nation.

NOTE:   If you have been misled into signing the California Apartment Association’s anti-rent control petition,     CLICK HERE     for instructions on how to revoke your signature.

Petition Drive Seeks to Block Santa Rosa Rent Control

by Kevin McCallum, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 8, 2016

Paid signature gatherers have fanned out across the city in recent days, circulating petitions calling on the City Council to either repeal the rent control law it passed Aug. 30 or call a special election.

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[S]ome people have felt duped into signing petitions they were led to believe would enact rent control, not repeal it.

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“At this point, the California Apartment Association [(which is not answering questions related to the petition drive,” Mike Nemeth, the organization’s communications director, said in a statement.

[ … ]

The North Bay Organizing Project, which supports rent control, is working to counter misinformation from signature gatherers and make sure people know that the petition seeks to block rent control, said Sybil Day, the group’s vice president.

“The rent control ordinance and just-cause eviction policies have not even gone into effect yet and the real estate interests and property managers are working hard to undermine the vote of the Santa Rosa City Council,” Day said.


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North Bay Organizing Project
Box 503 | Graton, CA 95444

Susan Shaw | Director
707.481.2970 |

Davin Cardenas | Lead Organizer
707.318.2818 |