In the News


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]. [ ... ] 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,...

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Sonoma County and California Defiant After Donald Trump’s Election

by Paul Payne, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, November 12, 2016           [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]. [ ... ] 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 ...

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Youth Environmental Artivist Summit

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

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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. [ ... ] At last year's meeting, one of the big issues the community was working on was housing. Then this past summer, Santa ...

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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. [ ... ] 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, ...

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

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

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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. [ ... ] [S]ome people have felt duped into signing petitions they were led to believe would enact rent control, not repeal it. [ ... ] “At this point, the California Apartment Association [(which is not answering questions related to the petition drive,” Mike Nemeth, the organization’s commun...

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Santa Rosa Latino Students Ask to Meet with Sheriff over Andy Lopez Shooting

by Robert Digitale, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 7, 2016 A group of Santa Rosa Latino high school students dropped off flowers Wednesday for Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas and asked for a meeting with him to discuss concerns surrounding the Andy Lopez shooting and the identification of local people in a state gang member database. “We want our voices to be heard,” Milton Contreras, 17, a Roseland University Prep senior, told a group of more than 50 students and adults gathered in front of the Sheriff’s Office. Contreras is president of the ...

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Farm Worker Fighting for Rent Control for Migrant Families

by Heather Bailey, Sonoma West Times & News, September 7, 2016 “We  need to fight for our rights and protections.” — Gervacio Pena Lopez When the president of the Graton Day Labor Center, Gervacio Pena Lopez first came to the U.S., the last thing on his mind was activism. He’d been in school in Mexico and had his future there planned, but a career ending injury to his single mother meant he had to re-prioritize and come to work for an uncle in the U.S. to support his family. [ ... ] “I wasn’t planning to fight,” [Lopez said]. “But I finally ...

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PR Firm Mounts Campaign to Support Sonoma County Sergeant Who Fatally Shot Andy Lopez

by Guy Kovner, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 3, 2016 A group formed to support Erick Gelhaus, the Sonoma County sheriff’s sergeant who fatally shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez, is part of a campaign by a Southern California public relations firm whose founder [Robert Parry] said last week that he has been paid by Gelhaus for his services.  ...  [The] firm, Cop PRotect, specializes in representing law officers under public scrutiny for on-duty incidents. [ ... ] [Gelhaus' promotion] to sergeant in May [2016] ... prompted renewed complaints from community ...

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