Immigration, BREATHE Act – and whose history counts?

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18 mins read

Hello Ventura Indivisians!

In our ever-evolving attempt to keep the coronavirus from derailing the urgency of the moment, we have put together a series of “Watch Party” videos! Recently added: “What defund the police really means,” “Suppressed: The Right to Vote,” and “The Girls of the Leesburg Stockade.”

See the full series here (and be sure to let us know of your suggestions!)

Get your calls to action directly to your phone – download Indivisible Ventura’s  Mobile App! The easiest way to make your daily calls! Click here to download!

After your calls to action – events and resources!

Your Calls to Action:

Allow F-1 and M-1 students to remain in the US with online-only classes

The recent ICE rule change unjustly and inhumanely threatens to remove all international students forced to take online-only classes during this pandemic. No one should have to choose between COVID-19 and deportation. Their removal is not just a loss to them, but to this country’s future as well. Some 1 million international students attend U.S. colleges and universities annually, contributing an estimated economic impact of $41 billion to this country’s economy,  and support more than 450,000 U.S. jobs. International students also contribute their intellectual labors to education and research activities.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep./Sen. [___] to do everything in their power, including new legislation,  to pressure ICE to reverse this decision.

Contact Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
AND Senator Feinsteinemail, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harrisemail, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Send a petition (or two!)

  • This petition from Change.org, addressed to ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program, has garnered close to 300,000 signatures.
  • Another petition, also on Change.org, addressed to President Donald Trump and ICE, has reached more than 3,000 signatures.

Whose history counts? Write Ventura City Councilmembers to relocate the Serra Statue! Get ready for the next meeting on Wed. July 15.

Although Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, Father Tom Elewaut of Mission San Buenaventura and Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, tribal chair of the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians (Chumash), had already agreed that the statue of Junipero Serra should be transferred from City Hall to the mission grounds where he belongs, a contentious city council meeting spooked some council members to abandon this civilized solution, and punt their decision to a later meeting on a CEQA technicality (Wed. July, 15th) or even to a costly public vote.

Taking down monuments does not erase history. On the contrary, it signals a deep societal awakening where people are willing to learn and confront the truths of our past. This statue actually presents two problems, as both an icon for a specific religion in front of a seat of secular government and as a colonizer of California’s native population. (VCReporter) “[Tumamait-Stenslie] hopes those who might not understand why the statue is being removed will consider that while Serra “is an iconic figure representing a lot of history,” that the Chumash people had a history that is not being told. “That was a very dark time for our family, and it continues past the missionization [era]. It went on… and it continues. History has just changed to a different color, with different protagonists. Now we are not getting punished, we have the freedom to move about. We’ve found our voice to speak freely about our concerns and advocate for our culture.’”

Let’s do our part:

Write to our local city councilmembers – all of them and tell them that it’s past time to make this right for our Chumash neighbors. Obviously the city managed without such a statue up until 1936, and if it hadn’t been for a Depression WPA grant for artists, we’d be living in a Serra-statue-free environment now. Ask them to remove this monument and convey it to the grounds of his own creation – the San Buenaventura Mission. There is also an interior wood statue that should be returned to its owner, as it is on loan to the city. (Attachment “C” of the City’s July 7 Staff Report regarding Agenda Item #12A.) Feel free to give them some creative ideas with what to do, if anything, with the traffic island space the statue leaves behind. Maybe it’s time for a grant for an artist of this century to create something new.

cheitmann@cityofventura.ca.gov
mlavere@cityofventura.ca.gov
enasarenko@cityofventura.ca.gov
cweir@cityofventura.ca.gov
srubalcava@cityofventura.ca.gov
jfriedman@cityofventura.ca.gov
lbrown@cityofventura.ca.gov
council@cityofventura.ca.gov

Make discriminatory 911 Calls in CA a hate crime – “YES” on AB1550

AB1550 will provide justice for victims and impose accountability on 911 callers motivated by an individual’s race, religion, sex, or any other protected class by designating such calls as hate crimes.“The intent of AB 1550 is not to discourage individuals who are facing real danger or who seek to report a crime in good faith from calling 911. Instead, this bill could protect millions of Californians from becoming targets of hate and prevent the weaponization of our law enforcement against communities of color.”

The bill has passed the Assembly (Limón and Irwin voted ‘YES.” See all votes here.) It has now been re-referred to the CA Senate Committee on Public Safety, of which our Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is a member.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want state senator [___] to vote “YES” on AB 1550 – Stop Discriminatory 911 Calls in CA.Contact State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 email

Urge your legislators to vote “YES” on the “Breathe Act”

Summary of the act by Movement for Black Lives here. This bill was introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib and it’s discussed in the video below of the bill unveiling that happened on Tuesday.

For decades, the federal government has incentivized mass criminalization through policies and funding programs that increase arrests, prison construction, hiring of police officers, and the militarization of police.

This funding has fueled the violent over-policing of Black people, while leaving social services and basic infrastructure that actually keep people safe woefully underfunded.

The BREATHE Act proposes policy and funding that upends this violent reality. Policy is one of many tools at our disposal, and with this bill, we are creating a national standard of civil rights that will bring our demands into reality.

We are not interested in someone else’s version of what is politically possible. We are interested in defending Black lives.

Minimal script for representatives/senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen [___] to vote “YES” on Rep. Pressley and Tlaib’s BREATHE Act.

Contact Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
AND Senator Feinsteinemail, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harrisemail, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

We woke up to a boycott of Goya Foods!

Yesterday, CEO Robert Unanue of Goya Food, which bills itself as the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, praised President Donald Trump during a visit to the White House. This comes as a huge disappointment to the majority of Latinos a who point out that Trumps continuously attacks their community.

For those who would give him a pass because of the company’s food donations,  David Callihan, in his 2018 article on the failure of philanthropy to produce systemic change, wrote: “Foundations like Ford and Rockefeller were focused on “nurturing saplings while the forest is being clear-cut.” While Goya is handing out cans of beans to food banks, Trump is making sure that more people need to use them. He is clear-cutting civil rights, safety nets, including the right to adequate food, and the right to a safe environment, and Goya is right with him, helping him aim the chainsaw.

Here’s a petition from United We Dream, an immigrant youth-led organization who has stated that they won’t support “companies who endorse and comply with a White Supremacist regime.

Here is a twitter thread for the recipes to replace Goya’s products.

Call your legislators about the ICE “Citizen Academy” boondoggle.

Instead of prioritizing funding to keep USCIS workers on the job to process immigration applications, they will suffer a mandatory minimum 30-day furlough, while the policing arm – (ICE), is wasting taxpayer dollars on creating a public relations boondoggle in Chicago, a sanctuary city.

A prototype for a nationwide roll-out, the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy was advertised with a city-wide mailing campaign. Ald. Rossan Rodriquez, 33rd Ward stated that she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.” “What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” 

Chicago Congressman Jesús ‘Chuy’ García said he was disturbed by the program, which he fears will lead to racial profiling, surveillance and potential violence. Congress was not informed of this potentially nation-wide program and he only learned of it through social media.  The six-week course, García said, appeared to be “inviting people to become an extension of ICE… to possibly surveil their neighbors who might be undocumented.” He also feared that the invitation might appeal to “right-wing individuals who might like the vigilante lifestyle,” which could lead to potential violence.

Tell your legislators that we are fed up with militarized police and arrests of peaceful people and we don’t want our money wasted in useless and false explanations. A public relations coup for ICE would be to comply with the June 26 order by US District Judge Dolly Gee to let children out of COVID-infested detention centers, along with their parents, complying with all known studies of the trauma incurred by family separation.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to immediately withdraw funds from ICE for their surprise “citizen academies.” If there’s money rattling around for extracurricular activities such as this, it needs to funneled back to real work – USCIS workers processing immigration applications.

Contact Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
AND Senator Feinsteinemail, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harrisemail, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Events (if you are going and interested in carpooling, email us and we’ll do our best to hook you up):

July 10 – Online: 13th Documentary Panel Discussion – How We Got Here

July 11 – Lompoc: Lompoc Federal Complex Caravan Protest: Face covering required. 800 W. Ocean Ave. 11:30am. Prevent coronavirus from converting more prison sentences into death sentences.

July 14 – Online: Hear Our Stories: DACA in Context

July 16 –  GET YOUR POSTCARDS IN THE MAIL AND WRITE THEM OUT AT HOMEThird Thursday – pizza, camaraderie, and postcards! Can’t make it? Help fund this event

July 16 – Online: Policing & Racial Justice” A community Dialogue for Ventura County. Watch on YouTube here at 6PM

July 17– Online: United We Dream: Fight Back and Win in Your Local Community

July 19– Online:  CADEM Virtual Day of Action for Christy Smith for Congress, CA-25 (1 – 4pm)

July 20 – Online: Ibram X. Kendi “How to be an Anti-Racist

July 26 – Free IMMIGRATION LEGAL AID Fair – Volunteers Needed! Every last Sunday of the month we assist residents, alongside immigration lawyers, in filling out paperwork for citizenship, DACA (click here for up-to-date DACA info) and green card renewals. Can’t make it? Help fund this event

July 10 – Online: 13th Documentary Panel Discussion – How We Got Here

July 11 – Lompoc: Lompoc Federal Complex Caravan Protest: Face covering required. 800 W. Ocean Ave. 11:30am. Prevent coronavirus from converting more prison sentences into death sentences.

July 14 – Online: Hear Our Stories: DACA in Context

July 16 –  GET YOUR POSTCARDS IN THE MAIL AND WRITE THEM OUT AT HOMEThird Thursday – pizza, camaraderie, and postcards! Can’t make it? Help fund this event

July 16 – Online: Policing & Racial Justice” A community Dialogue for Ventura County. Watch on YouTube here at 6PM

July 17– Online: United We Dream: Fight Back and Win in Your Local Community

July 19– Online:  CADEM Virtual Day of Action for Christy Smith for Congress, CA-25 (1 – 4pm)

July 20 – Online: Ibram X. Kendi “How to be an Anti-Racist

July 26 – Free IMMIGRATION LEGAL AID Fair – Volunteers Needed! Every last Sunday of the month we assist residents, alongside immigration lawyers, in filling out paperwork for citizenship, DACA (click here for up-to-date DACA info) and green card renewals. Can’t make it? Help fund this event


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