SM City Council meeting tonight, NC Coalition, GREAT Community Brunch, SBCAN Editorial

SBCAN Action Alert
February 21, 2017

1. North County Coalition
2. GREAT Community Brunch
3. SBCAN Editorial: Looking back for perspective on future

1. North County Coalition

SBCAN partners with several groups in the Santa Maria area under the name of North County Coalition. Abraham Melendrez with CAUSE has put out information on upcoming meetings and efforts of the North County Coalition. We hope you will read his message below and join in as you can:

Hello Everyone,

I want to thank everyone that was able to make it to our meeting last week; it is great to see that we are still getting a lot of new people looking to get involved in the resistance against hate and in taking back our community. Before we get to announcements and meeting notes I want to remind everyone that we are having these meeting every other Monday and that our next meeting is Monday 2/27 at 5:30pm here in the CAUSE Office/UDW Hall (402 S Miller).


Tuesday night (2/21), the Santa Maria City Council will take the first steps to settle a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act and consider moving to district elections.

Like all great grassroots movements, this baton has been carried a long way.  In the 1990’s, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) made the first effort for district elections in Santa Maria, taking the city to court under the U.S. Voting Rights Act.  In 2014, CAUSE and other local community groups organized countless volunteers, collecting over 5,300 signatures door-to-door and at churches, grocery stores and little league games, rain or shine.  Our petition was blocked by the city on a technicality.  Now, thanks to a lawsuit lead by Hector Sanchez and California’s stronger voting rights protections, the city has finally heard the community’s voice.

It’s not done yet.  We’ll need all of you to make sure district lines are drawn fairly and prevent gerrymandering that diminishes the voting rights of working-class immigrant neighborhoods.  But this long-sought victory for representation and accountability is finally within sight.

The first thing we can do is attend tomorrow's Santa Maria City Council meeting and voice support. The meeting will be at City Hall (110 E. Cook St.) at 6:30pm

If you'd like to give a comment we'll help you fill out a speaker's slip, we're item #5. We'd like to keep a relatively positive and collaborative tone. It's important to note how grateful we are that now 5,300 voters' voices will finally be heard. We also must keep in mind that the city council members still get to vote on the district lines, and while we have advocacy and anti-gerrymandering laws on our side, it certainly wouldn't hurt to try to maintain some good will.

Thank you to so many people who have been part of this journey with us.

Let’s keep pushing.

This Wednesday 2/22 at 5pm Hazel will be facilitating the next Central Coast Immigrants Rights Coalition (CCIRC) Meeting. If you are interested in our immigration work (or are part of our Immigration Sub-committee) I encourage you to attend. We will discuss things like safe haven policies, citizenship workshops and creating our immigration text alert system. For more information Contact Hazel Davalos: [email protected]

This Friday 2/24 at 5:30pm. Join us for a fun reception, with appetizers, refreshments, networking and updates on our upcoming work in Santa Maria. Everyone is welcome, entrance is free.

Come and learn about CAUSE Action Fund's important work. Now more than ever it is important to build our political strength on the Central Coast.

CAUSE Action Fund Reception

Friday, February 24th 


402 S. Miller St. Santa Maria, CA

CAUSE Action Fund is a 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organization. We educate and mobilize diverse working class and young voters and lobby for policies benefiting working families. 

North County Coalition Meeting Notes
February 13, 2017

It was great to see so many new faces last meeting and I hope people continue to be involved in the important work we will all be doing. 

We are up to six sub-committees for the moment but will discuss integrating some into organizations when it makes sense in our next meeting (possibly environmental & immigration) to keep things organized. 

I will be emailing our new Rally and Women’s Committee leaders their list so they can contact their members. Unfortunately someone took the sign-up sheets for some of our other committees in our last meeting. We are still missing the environmental, Immigration, truth and elections sign-up sheets. I encourage anyone who is interested in any of the committees and has not already gotten in touch to email the contact for that particular committee.

The committees are as follow: 

Truth Committee: Will focus on keeping an eye on media outlets to spot lies and miss-information, will contact media outlets and write to them to correct miss-information and to give a voice to our movement and our communities.

Contact is Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt: [email protected] 

Immigration Committee: Will work with CAUSE and allies to continue to fight for and inform our immigrant and farmworking communities through a variety of ways (please see second announcement).

Contact Hazel Davalos: [email protected] 

Elections Committee: Will work to meet with and turn out voters during elections, help register voters, and more.

Contact Connie Ford: [email protected]

Environmental Committee: Will bring our coalition information on environmental issues facing our communities and will inform us on resources and steps needed from our community to protect our environment. 

Contact Ken Hough: [email protected]

Rally Committee: Will consist of and prepare volunteers for important roles needed for our rallies such as safety, regulations, crowd management, sign making, and more. 

Contact Jessie Funes: [email protected]

Women’s Committee: Will inform us and lead our coalition’s efforts in protecting women’s rights, reproductive rights and more. 

Contact Kate Dudley: [email protected]

Once again I would encourage all committees to touch base however they can (in person or through email) and discuss the things they want to tackle and how the coalition as a whole can help. Our next meeting is Monday 2/27 at 5:30pm here at our usual place (402 S Miller). Hope to see you all in the many events happening this week and at our next meeting. 




Abraham Melendrez
North Santa Barbara County Organizer
CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy)
402 S. Miller St. Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 253-3686
[email protected]

2. We hope you'll join us for SBCAN's GREAT Community Brunch 

Click here to purchase tickets



Platinum: UFCW Local 770

Silver: Lee Heller, Margaret Connell

Want to sponsor?

Click here to download sponsorship information

Click here to purchase tickets

This year, on our 15th anniversary, Santa Barbara County Action Network is holding a community brunch that aims to be “GREAT” (Gathering Resistance and Effective Activism Together).

At this moment of national peril and extraordinary grassroots resistance, let’s celebrate our bonds and renew our progressive community. This is SBCAN’s South County Fundraiser for this year, but more importantly, it is an important opportunity to strengthen the structure of our collective work to resist the agenda pushed by the new administration, which every day appears more anti-immigrant, anti-environment, anti-social justice, and anti everything SBCAN and its partners have stood for over the years.

Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Salud Carbajal, reporting on his first 75 days representing the Central Coast in Washington, D.C.

Featured Panel: A conversation among leaders of some of Santa Barbara County’s key environmental and social justice organizations sharing ideas on how we can all work most effectively together and continue to be a GREAT coalition of progressive organizations. We are honored to have Dave Davis moderate the panel.

The panel members are:

  • Marcos Vargas, Fund for Santa Barbara
  • Sigrid Wright, Community Environmental Council
  • Linda Krop, Environmental Defense Center
  • Maricela Morales, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
  • John Grant, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770

We will also be honoring the Isla Vista Community Services District for achieving, after nearly a half-century of trying, a path to community self-governance.

More information:[email protected], or 805.563.0463.

We hope you will join us for our GREAT Community Brunch!

Click here to purchase tickets

3. SBCAN Editorial:

Looking back for perspective on future

This editorial by Ken Hough ran in the Santa Maria Times Feb. 16, 2017:

When I started contributing to this column more than four years ago we were in the midst of what seemed to be a fairly progressive presidential administration. It feels really different now, so I want to reflect on past columns, what might be coming, and what readers might want to do about it.

The first column I worked on was about the decline in honeybees. It seemed like a small issue for someone who came to his job to advocate for affordable housing and safe, efficient transportation. But I learned the importance of bees to the survival of our ecosystems and agricultural economy. How important will the decline in honeybees be to the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency?

Four years ago we wrote about the importance of solar power, for our economy as well as for our environment. Rick Perry is the nominee for Secretary of Energy. When he was a presidential candidate he said he would eliminate the Department of Energy. Will he continue federal policies in support of alternative energy? Or will he work only to facilitate further reliance on fossil fuels?

Three years ago we wrote about the proposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Santa Maria. We thought it was a bad idea to change the zoning of the land next to railroad tracks from industrial use to zoning that allowed an ICE holding facility. We were assured this was only a facility to hold a few serious undocumented criminals for short periods of time. Will it now be busier? We’ve all heard the deportation promises made by the new president.

Then we wrote about the dangers of unconventional oil extraction. The late Jerry Connor wrote in our column about the geological uncertainties when high-pressure steam is pumped into the ground to soften up thick oil. We know this process has exacerbated the oil seeps on Orcutt Hill. The risks to our groundwater are uncertain and worrisome. We know concrete cracks and steel corrodes, and we know hundreds of oil wells in Santa Maria Valley and Cat Canyon have been drilled through our groundwater. There is even evidence of oil-drilling wastewater being injected into aquifers that could be used for municipal and agricultural purposes. How well will the EPA protect our water? Will the administration even allow EPA staff to enforce existing regulations?

Two years ago we started writing about the risks of the proposed Phillips 66 crude oil rail terminal in Nipomo. We cited a paper we published detailing the risks in Santa Barbara County of mile-long, highly-volatile oil trains traversing the county within close proximity of our hospitals, schools and most of our population. Will the new Secretary of Transportation support greater protections for our communities, or side with oil producers and railroads to facilitate shipment of crude oil through our cities and coastal environments?

Last year we supported a farmworker bill of rights to try to correct abuses occurring on some farms in the county. Most of our farmers follow the law and treat their workers fairly, but some apparently do not. There are allegations of wage theft, sanitation issues and health concerns, especially related to pregnant workers. Will the new Secretary of Agriculture support farmworkers’ rights? Will the Secretary of Homeland Security deport many farmworkers, leaving farmers to plow their crops under?

If you are worried about our environment, your health or fair treatment of all people, know there are many people organizing to protect us all. Join us.

Ken Hough is executive director of Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN). He can be reached at [email protected]. Looking Forward is a progressive look at local issues.

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Ken Hough
SBCAN Executive Director
[email protected]