Volume 63 | February 2020
Your monthly news & updates
McFarland Tells Detention Facility-
You're Not Welcome in Our Community

Last week, the McFarland Planning Commission voted against the opening of two detention centers in McFarland. These detention centers would have housed up to 1,400 federal immigration detainees.

According to ACLU Policy Advocate Emely Velez, "Tuesday’s McFarland Planning Commission meeting was truly an amazing win. It was inspiring to be among such passionate leadership from McFarland residents and be among all the organizers and activists who came to support."

More than 200 people rallied outside of the meeting in opposition to the facilities. During the meeting, dozens of local residents and experts offered public comment, explaining why the facilities were not welcome in McFarland.

As Velez further explained, "Not only was there so much community power, but there was a lot of expertise and testimonies shared that night [during the planning commission meeting]. There was testimony from individuals who had been in Mesa Verde who explained how this company (Geo Group) did not at all represent the values of community. From medical negligence to abuse of detainees, it was clear that GEO is not an option. It was also incredible to hear from community members expecting more from their city officials. The community wants more jobs, but jobs that invest in more resources for schools, more mental health services, and overall invest in the community! It was simply stated on one of the signs “Protect McFarland! Prisons are NOT the answer!” Last night’s win is a true testament to people power and I hope McFarland officials continue to listen to their community".

Alex Gonzalez from Faith in the Valley agreed that local residents were the real champions in this victory. He shared that "the community of McFarland organized and fought to put people over profit. This is what grassroots organizing looks like, and these are the powerful changes that it can bring."

Upcoming Events & Opportunities
  CalEPA Accepting Applications
for Environmental Justice Grants
The California Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.

This funding cycle will award $1 million to eligible community-based nonprofit groups and federally recognized tribal governments to support environmental justice-related projects across California. The maximum grant award will be $50,000 and all grants will have a 12 month term.

“Communities that face persistent environmental stress are especially vulnerable to climate-related changes and impacts,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld. “Our EJ Small Grants Program is focused this year on building resilience to climate change and other pollution-related impacts through community-led solutions.”

CalEPA will prioritize projects that increase participation in environmental decision making at the State and local levels, that promote community resilience, and focus on:
1) Improving access to safe and clean water
2) Mitigating, responding, and adapting to climate change impacts through developing and implementing community led solutions
3) Promoting pollution preventing and resource conservation
4) Reducing exposure to toxic pesticides and other chemicals
5) Building community capacity and strengthening collaborations with schools and local government to address cumulative pollution burdens and to uplift community knowledge

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020

CalEPA plans to announce the grant awards in June 2020.

Applications are available on CalEPA’s website , by emailing Malinda.Dumisani@calepa.ca.gov , or by calling (916) 445-9480.
Everyone Counts. Make Sure Everyone is Counted!
Building Healthy Communities| 9000 Stockdale Hwy| Bakersfield| CA| 93309

We have the power to build healthy communities for the next generation! 
A #HealthyKernCounty benefits us all