Volume 49 | December 2018
Your monthly news & updates
2018 Highlights
As we close out 2018, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions over the past year in making Kern a healthier place to live. Take a moment to celebrate just a few of the many wins achieved by partner organizations, agencies, and communities in 2018. Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season.
TRUTH About ICE Activity in Kern

On December 11, Kern County held the first local TRUTH forum during a Board of Supervisors meeting. A result of California AB 2792, the Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act, commonly referred to as the TRUTH Act, requires the Board of Supervisors in each county across the State to hold a community forum. During the forums, the public is made aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity in their county. Specifically, local law enforcement may provide data pertaining to the individuals that they shared with ICE, including dates access was provided, demographic information about those individuals, and the type of detainment (e.g., transfer, hold) they experienced.

Read more about Kern’s first TRUTH Forum here .
KHSD Redistricting: Valuing All Votes
In May, BHC partners showed up to the Kern High School District Board meeting in a big way! Supporting the equable redistribution of school board member boundaries, about 150 community members, mostly from South Kern, along with organizations including the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Committee for a Better Arvin, and Comitè Progresso   de Lamont attended the meeting. Many went before the Board to ask that their communities be fairly represented as new boundaries were being drawn.

The following meeting, the KHSD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to redraw the district boundaries in a more equitable distribution in time for the November 2018 elections. This is what democracy looks like!
KHSD Stands With Their Students
In October, the Kern High School District Board approved new policy that is designed to help students focus on learning without being fearful of ICE while at school or school events.

Prompted by AB 699, all California school districts are required to adopt a policy in 2018 outlining how they protect their students from concerns around immigration status. KHSD went above and beyond the minimum language required. As Board Member Jeff Flores stated, "We want our students to come to school and learn in an environment that is free of retaliations and fear from ICE. We want to make sure our students and parents feel safe".
Arvin Takes on the Oil and Gas Industry
In July, the City of Arvin passed an ordinance that imposes new regulations on future oil and gas facilities within their city limits. The Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment rallied the community and successfully garnered support from the City Council to update the 53-year old ordinance.

The new policy prohibits new oil and gas sites within several of the city's zones; specifically residential, mixed-use, commercial, and open space zones. Community members are further protected by limiting new oil and gas sites to be at least 300 feet from schools, homes, and parks.
South Kern Improvements Within Reach
In September, the Kern County Board of Supervisors adopted a policy to create a new economic opportunity zone designed to boost the economy in South Kern. The special zone, dubbed the Arvin-Lamont Economic Opportunity Area, will receive funds from all property and sales tax growth generated from properties within the boundaries and ensure that these monies are dedicated for reinvestment in that area, providing funding for ongoing care and maintenance of park improvements, streetscape, and support for local community programs.
Lamont Is Building A Better Future
Several South Kern organizations partnered to secure $8.2 million from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program through the Strategic Growth Council to build a 40 unit multi-family apartment complex in rural Lamont. The complex will be a net-zero energy development, making it both healthy and affordable for community members. The funding award was the result of strong cooperation and collaboration between the Comité Progresso  de Lamont, the Lamont Boys and Girls Club, and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. A great example of how working together nets positive results for the entire community!
Prioritizing Our Parks
Creating safe places to play and exercise is vital for a healthy community! BHC-Kern partners have been working with County officials to ensure that our parks are places where we want to spend time. Approved for the 2018-2019 County budget, $4.6 million has been allocated for parks and recreation.

Each supervisory district will receive $250,000 for discretionary park maintenance; $410,000 was allocated to specific park improvements (including parking lots for both Lamont and Greenfield Parks). The largest part of the allocation, $3 million ($2 million of which carried over from the 2017-2018 budget), will be used to leverage funding for park investments.
Creating Equitable Districts
Prompted by a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) against Kern County alleging that the existing supervisorial districts violated the US Voting Rights Act, County administrators moved to address the lawsuit's concerns.

After several months of public comment, Supervisors approved new boundaries which were used in the November 2018 elections, when three of the five districts were on the ballot.
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