In the News


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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Meet the Farmworker Who Helped Win Rent Control in California’s Wine Country

by Brooke Anderson and Davin Cárdenas, YES! Magazine, August 30, 2016  HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para la traducción española When Gervacio Pena Lopez migrated to Sonoma County 30 years ago, he just wanted to find work to support his family. Since then, he has organized and won victories for domestic and day laborers, including a green-landscaping certification program. [ ... ] Today, he is a landscaper, laborer, and board president of the Graton Day Labor Center, a worker-led day organization that advocates for the rights of domestic and day laborers. He has studied ...

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Power of the People Achieves Tenant Protections in Santa Rosa — Is Springs Next?

by Davin Cárdenas, Sonoma Valley Sun, August 17, 2016 The North Bay Organizing Project’s (NBOP's) Right to a Roof campaign has protected housing for 35,000 to 40,000 people in the City of Santa Rosa. We took an issue that seemed impossible to achieve and built a people-powered campaign that created leadership, changed hearts and minds, and won material changes in the lives of working people. [ ... ] "In a 4 to 3 vote, the Santa Rosa Council approved rent stabilization [on Tuesday August 16, 2016]. The City Attorney and city staff are drafting the ordinance and the ...

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Sonoma County Sheriff Promotes Deputy Who Shot, Killed Andy Lopez

by Paul Payne, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, August 5, 2016 The Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa in 2013 has been promoted to sergeant, a sheriff’s spokesman said [on] Friday[, August 5, 2016]. [ ... ] His promotion drew criticism from community activists who have been critical of the Sheriff’s Office in the wake of Lopez’s death. The North Bay Organizing Project posted on Facebook this week that the Sheriff’s Office promoted an “openly white supremacist cop.” The group’s director, Susan Shaw, ...

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