November Newsletter
Dear Thrive Community,

Just two more days left to make your voices heard! Don't forget that there are now More Ways, More Days to vote. You and those in your community can find your local vote centers and ballot drop boxes at smcvote.org.

Recently, we also alerted you to an opportunity to make your voice heard regarding a proposed rule regarding public charge that could negatively impact those you serve. This rule about immigrants who access benefits and services could jeopardize their immigration status. Misinformation and fear are exacerbating the situation, as many are unnecessarily avoiding accessing public benefits even before the proposed rule takes effect.

What is the process for making your voice heard? When the administration proposes a new regulation, it must give the public 60 days to comment. The last day to comment is December 10, 2018. This comment period is the only opportunity for the public to weigh in. In order to comment directly, go to the  Federal Portal . Or, go to ProtectingImmigrantFamilies.org , which has templates to use for different sectors. Please change your comments from the templates to fit your individual story or the story of your clients. A personalized comment counts more than a form letter, but everything counts! You can learn more about public charge and upcoming workshops in a special section at the end of this newsletter.

We look forward to seeing you all to reflect on the year at our Holiday Mix & Mingle with our local, state, and federal legislative aides on December 6 - just a month away!

Thriving Together, 
Georgia Antonopoulos, Executive Director
Petra Silton, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator
Arts & Culture
Facilitated by Georgia Antonopoulos, Executive Director, Thrive
At our pilot meeting, the group narrowed down a general list of challenges and concerns to three main focus areas for this TAG:

  1. Advocating for increased arts funding
  2. Organizing lobbying days/activities for the arts, both locally and in Sacramento
  3. Providing channels for sustainable arts spaces and to curb nonprofit displacement for arts organizations.

Monday, November 5, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Special guest:  Ruth Waters, Founder,  Peninsula Museum of Art
Topic: "The History of Arts Organizations in San Mateo County"

Monday, December 3, 3:00 - 4:00pm
Special guest:  Suneetha D'Silva, Director of Real Estate Development and Partnerships Community Arts Stabilization Trust
Topic: "Nonprofit Displacement and Creating Sustainable Spaces for the Arts"

Children & Education TAG
Anchored by Heather Cleary, CEO, Peninsula Family Service
Wednesday, November 14, 9:00 am - 10:00 am

On November 14, we will have Shelly Masur, CEO of the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, as a special guest to talk about their current initiatives and family engagement.

In October, special guest Connie Juarez-Diroll, Legislative Officer, County of San Mateo , addressed the process of creating the legislative agenda for the County. To add input to the legislative priorities: contact your Supervisor or work through the County Departments. You can review the 2018 Legislative Session Program , c urrently being revised for next year.

Immigrant & Worker's Rights
Anchored by M. Stacey Hawver, Executive Director,  Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Tuesday, November 13, 9:00 - 10:00 am

We will have a working meeting where we will submit comments on the proposed Public Charge rule change. Anyone who works with people who might be affected is welcome. For more information on this rule and what we can all do, please go to the Protecting Immigrant Families website and join us at the next meeting.

Environment & Sustainability 
In Cooperation with  Sustainable San Mateo County
Tuesday, November 13, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

We will discuss how to collaborate to determine our most effective route forward, using what we learned from Sustainable San Mateo County's Indicator's Report and considering the results of the election.

Basic Services & Safety Net
Anchored by Bart Charlow, CEO,  Samaritan House
Special Convening Thursday, November 8, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, San Jose

Regular Meeting Wednesday, November 28, 9:00 - 10:00 am
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, Redwood Shores

T hrive and the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN) brought together safety net agencies of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to discuss how to strengthen the work in emergency assistance and safety net services and broaden the understanding of regional issues that affect vulnerable and underserved populations. We shared our accomplishments and goals. We educated each other in break-out groups about Public Charge, Contracts & Reimbursements, and Voter's Choice Act implementation. We also previewed some discussion points on housing.

Please join us for the second meeting in San Jose, hosted by SVCN.

On November 28, we will follow up on our Joint Convenings with SVCN. What steps should we take in San Mateo County and what should we do in conjunction with Santa Clara County based on what we learned?

NO TAG Meetings in 2018 after December 3- Join us for our Holiday Mix & Mingle!
Thrive's Holiday Mix & Mingle 
with Your Legislative Aides
Thursday, December 6, 4-6 pm

Join us for an exciting panel, some holiday cheer, and cookies (homemade by Thrive's staff and board)
More Days, More Ways
Vote by Mail or Vote at a Vote Center NOW!

More Days
Mail in your ballot, or drop it at a drop box anytime. All 39 Vote Centers will be open Saturday November 3 through Tuesday November 6. Vote early to avoid lines!

More Ways
*Vote by mail
If you are a registered voter you have received a postage-paid ballot in the mail. Fill it out, sign it, and put it in the mailbox.

*Put your ballot in a drop box
These are located throughout the County. 

*Vote at a Vote Center (this replaces your traditional polling place)
Vote Centers will have language assistance, disability assistance, drop boxes, regular voting, and voter registration.
What If...
I forgot to register? No Problem! You can register to vote and vote at any Vote Center up to and including election day!

I need help voting? Language help? No Problem! All Vote Centers are fully accessible and have langauge help.

My old polling place isn't there anymore! What do I do? No Problem! Polling places have been replaced by Vote Centers. Go to any Vote Center in the County and vote there.

I lost my ballot- what can I do? No Problem! Go to any Vote Center and they will print a new one for you.

I don't know where to go to vote and when the Vote Centers are open. No Problem!
Information about Vote Center Days and Hours, Drop Box Locations, and to Register to Vote is at smcvote.org

Now I know how to vote: How do I inform myself about what is on the ballot? No Problem! Find nonpartisan voter information at Voter's Edge .
Need a Ride to the Polls? Lyft 50% off your ride to the polls * Uber $10 off
Lime free rides up to 30 minutes on Election Day Code: LIME2VOTE18
Asian Americans Advancing Justice's Know Your Voting RIghts printable flyer, in many languages.

Share this video to encourage voting by people with disabilities made by The Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities
Voter's Choice
Voter's Choice Act Education and Outreach Advisory Committee (VEOAC)
Monday, Nov 26 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Post election, let's celebrate our hard work, take an early look at numbers, and plan for 2020! Everyone is welcome.

Public Charge: What Is It and What Should You Do?

We want to alert you to a proposed rule regarding public charge that could soon have a major negative effect on many of you and your immigrant clients because it could jeopardize their immigration status. Misinformation and fear are driving people away from services that they need and can access without impacting their status. This email will explain the proposed changes, who it will affect and who it won't affect, and provide the instructions on  how you can make your voices heard during this important 60 day comment period!

What is the rule?
The Trump Administration has proposed changes in how some immigrants are evaluated for visas or green cards. The changes could affect immigrants who receive specific public benefits but not all benefits or immigrants will be impacted. The proposed change has not yet taken effect and immigrant eligibility will not be affected until 60 days after the rule is finalized, no sooner than  February 10, 2019. Accepting benefits today that may be added to the list in the future will not impact immigrant eligibility until 60 days after the rule is finalized.

The proposed changes to the “public charge” rule—a “public charge” is an individual deemed likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence—could be used to deny a visa or green card to immigrants,  if they utilize certain federally funded healthcare, nutrition, and other important basic needs programs.

Currently the government only considers cash assistance programs (CalWORKs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), General Assistance (GA), Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)) and long-term care (nursing home) Medi-Cal benefits when determining if a person can be denied as a public charge. Using one of those benefits today risks that an immigrant could be classified as a public charge and denied a visa or green card. Other factors are also considered, including age, health, education, financial support, job skills, and employment history.

With the proposed new rule, the Department of Homeland Security would also consider use by an individual  (but not a family member) of Medi-Cal, CalFresh/food stamps, Medicare Part D subsidies, and Public Housing/Section 8. However, the public charge test affects only a limited group of immigrants: It does not apply to applicants for asylum, refugees, holders of U visas (for crime victims) and T visas (for human trafficking victims), children granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or lawful permanent residents applying for citizenship.

Still, many immigrants think the proposed rule would apply to them and avoid needed safety-net benefits, not only for themselves, but also for their families. Until the rule is finalized, avoiding these benefits for themselves or their families is not necessary.

This action is not lobbying.

ACTIONS


Note: Please change your comments from the templates to fit your individual story or the story of your clients. If you want help, please come to our Immigrant and Worker's Rigths TAG Tuesday, November 13. More information above.
Immigrant Resources
Contact Thrive with your ideas or questions!
 Petra Silton , Thrive Policy & Advocacy Coordinator
Thrive Alliance | 650-654-7993 | ThriveAlliance.org