BHC partners showed up to the Kern High School District Board meeting Monday May 7th in support of redistributing KHSD boundaries equitably. About 150 community members, mostly from South Kern, along with organizations such as the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Leadership Counsel, Committee for a Better Arvin, and Comité Progreso de Lamont spoke at the meeting, asking Board Members to make sure their communities are fairly represented as the new boundaries are determined. The Board will make their final decision when they vote at their next meeting, May 21st.
Throughout the State, youth are finding their voice and developing skills to effectively advocate, and to move into leadership and decision-making positions. YO! California (Youth Organize California) is building leadership pathways and acting as the anchor organization for youth organizing across the State. Jeremy Lehoud from YO! California spoke with BHC Kern partners about they work they’ve been doing that impacts Kern County Youth.
One of the results has been the newly formed South Kern Youth Advisory Council (SKYAC). Led by Margie Madera from the Lamont Boys and Girls Club and Jose Pinto of the Greenfield Walking Group, SKYAC was created to train, encourage, organize, and mobilize youth aged 15-24. The Council is currently accepting applications from youth interested in participating.
On Wednesday May 9th, the US Census Bureau and California Complete Count staff hosted a Regional Readiness Assessment Convening at the Beale Library. Rolling out the timeline for the 2020 census, the speakers shared changes in the administration of the census, the need for local organizations and individuals to collaborate to ensure hard to reach populations are counted, and employment opportunities for local residents.
At this point, the focus is on outreach to hard to reach populations, starting with assembling a diverse network of local organizations that will work together with their respective constituencies to get the word out that every Californian needs to be counted. Without an accurate count, California and Kern County will not receive adequate funding for public services such as schools, health care, and infrastructure. Even our voice at the national level is impacted because the Census count determines how many Representatives California has in Congress. In addition, many Census-related job opportunities will be available for Kern residents over the next two years; ranging from management positions to door-to-door neighborhood canvasing teams. For the first time, an electronic version of the census will be available, allowing individuals to complete the information on-line. Stay tuned as we near 2020!
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